I’ve always been a fan of QuickTime for no other reason than I really like the interface. It’s simple, it’s essentially the ultimate video player. In its latest incarnation, in Snow Leopard, every bit of window disappears when your mouse is gone. The navigation, the title bar, everything. It’s kind of slick, and once you start using it, it makes a lot of sense. It was one of those essential Mac pieces of equipment, so much so that you kind of took it for granted.

For as long as I can remember, there has been an option—disabled by default—to set the software to automatically play any media file that it opened. In the preferences, you could even tell it how to handle conflicts in this scenario. For instance, if you opened five MP3 files at once, you could tell it to play them all at the same time, or you could tell it to play only the most recently opened file. It was simple, but flexible, and I had no other cause for complaint other than the paucity of media files that it supported.

This has all changed with QuickTime X in Snow Leopard.

“Seriously, Apple, no autoplay in QuickTime X? I double-click on a media file… do you not think I mean for it to play?!?”

QuickTime X not only has no way to change that setting… it doesn’t have preferences! That’s right, in an ultimate form of pure Apple-ness, they’ve taken out the preferences completely. My trusty command-comma produces nothing at all. But this makes no sense to me at all. I don’t honestly know why the default would be otherwise. Doesn’t everyone who double-clicks on a media file want to watch and/or listen to it? Am I missing something here?

Maybe it’s a bad time that Apple’s QuickTime section of their website still links to – and offers for $29 – the old QuickTime 7 Pro. Maybe they know something we don’t. Maybe Apple fully realizes that the new QuickTime is great, but not ready for prime time yet. Heck, maybe they plan to fix the icon. It looks weird to me.