New QuickTime releases are usually accompanied by a rash of bug reports — not necessarily exclusively the fault of Apple’s; maybe it simply reflects the widespread use of the QuickTime APIs and the general fragility of digital video. We’ve heard surprisingly little, though, from the visual community about QuickTime 7.5.

Macfixit does report some major issues with audio performance:

“The problems brought about by QuickTime 7.5 have proven so dire — an issue with choppy or stuttering playback is most common — for some users that downgrading to a prior version of the multimedia architecture has become an attractive option. Fortunately, downgrading to QuickTime 7.4 is a relatively easy process and is proving successful at resolving many previously document. “

QuickTime 7.5 (#4): downgrading to an older version; No sound — fix; more [MacFixIt]

Sounds delightful … to which a chorus of VJs respond, wait, what? You listen to the audio on video clips?

Despite the gloom and doom, in this case it’s unclear whether these problems are largely on PowerPC, how widespread they are, and what other codecs or third-party software may be involved in the issues. So no reason to panic here. What is useful about the MacFixIt article is that it includes a reminder that Pacificist can be used on Mac to downgrade QuickTime. (Windows users can just reinstall.) I think if you’re going to use computers at all, you have to be prepared for a little of this sort of dirty work — and, naturally, not touching anything leading up to a gig. As an aside, I caught a lot of flak for pointing out audio issues on OS X Leopard recently on Create Digital Music. That case was very different, though, in that we had isolated the source of the issue, it was relatively widespread, and caused reproducible problems with hardware and software from a variety of variables, many of whom reported the issues through their support channels. The bottom line for me, though, is that none of us wants to be the person with a problem, whether we’re alone or not — and sometimes collecting anecdotal experience is the only way to find out what’s up.

Let’s get the anecdotal feedback going:

So far, I’m having good luck on both Mac and Windows (XP and Vista). If you gig regularly and have developed a healthy and understandable fear of updating too early, you may have steered clear of this so far, but we’d love to hear from you. How is QT 7.5 working for you? Be sure to be specific about OS version, apps you’re using, the exact circumstances of any problems, and whether you’re on an Intel or PowerPC processor on the MAc side.