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Combining Tracks with the Add and Add Scaled Commands

When you use the Paste command as covered in Chapter 6, pasted data gets placed before or after existing data. Sometimes, however, you may want to add data that plays at the same time as the existing data—for example, to add a new audio track to a movie, to add text for subtitles, or to add new graphics to enhance an existing image.

You can add the data so that it runs as long as it did originally—a good idea for audio, unless you want to speed or slow the audio. You can also add data so that its duration is scaled to a certain length, as you'll often want to do when adding text or graphics.

To add data so that it lasts for its original duration:

  1. Select and copy the data you want to add.

  2. In the movie to which you want to add the data, move the Current Location indicator to the point where you want the new data to begin playing.

  3. From the Edit menu, choose Add (Figure 7.4).

    Figure 7.4Figure 7.4 To add data so that it plays concurrently with existing data, from the Edit menu choose Edit > Add.

  4. When you play the movie and reach the point where you've added the data, you'll find that it begins playing along with whatever data was already there.

Track Names

If you already have a track of the type you are adding, QuickTime automatically changes the track names to include sequential numbers (Video Track 1 and Video Track 2, for example). To simplify later editing, you can rename tracks with more meaningful labels. From the left pop-up menu in the Properties window, choose the track you want to rename; from the right pop-up menu, choose General (refer to Figure 7.3). Then click the Change Name button, type a new name, and click OK. Alternatively, AppleScript users can choose Tracks > Rename Track(s).

To add data so that it lasts for a duration of your choosing:

  1. Select and copy the data you want to add.

  2. In the movie to which you want to add the data, select the portion of the movie where you want the added data to play (Figure 7.5).

    Figure 7.5 Figure 7.5 When you want added data to last for a certain length of time, make a selection of that length in the movie to which you're adding the data...

  3. From the Edit menu, choose Add Scaled (Figure 7.6).

    Figure 7.6 Figure 7.6 ...and then choose Edit > Add Scaled.

    When you play the movie, you'll see or hear that the added data lasts for the duration of the selection. For data that originally had a time component (in other words, that changed over time), this method gives you a fast- or slow-motion effect, depending on whether the selection was shorter or longer than the original duration of the added data.

Annotating Tracks

You can add and edit annotations for individual tracks, just as you can for the whole movie. Simply follow the steps in "Adding and Editing Annotations" in Chapter 6, but instead of choosing Movie from the left pop-up menu, select the track for which you'd like to add or edit an annotation.


  • Don't be confused by the term scaled. You're scaling the data in time, not space. The image doesn't change—what does change is the rate at which the track plays back.

  • When you use the Add Scaled command to add data to a movie with no selection, the new data is actually scaled to the entire movie, as though you selected it all before choosing Add Scaled.

  • Whenever you add a track to a movie that's intended to be used on the Web, make sure to save the movie as a self-contained file (as described in Chapter 6). A common error is to save with dependencies and forget to upload all the dependent files; this error results in the infamous "broken movie" icon.

  • (AppleScript users only) If you choose Edit > Merge Movie 1 into Movie 2, you'll accomplish the same thing as though you had chosen Select All for the frontmost movie, chosen Copy, clicked the next-to-frontmost movie, chosen Select All, and then chosen Add Scaled. You save a lot of steps! Another useful script is Set Start Time of Track; this may come in handy if you add a track and then decide to shift it a bit earlier or later.

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