Apple giveth, Apple taketh away

As a longtime fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000, I am also a big fan of RiffTrax. The concept is very much the same: three (usually) guys make fun of a particular movie. However, unlike MST3K, these guys don't have any rights issues to deal with. Rather than sell videos, they sell audio tracks that you play alongside your DVD. Kinda brilliant, I think.

Of course for a geek like me, that's just not good enough. I want to be able to pop a DVD in (or bring up a movie on my Apple TV) and not have to worry about syncing the sound, simple a process though it is. I enjoy taking the time to extract the original sound track from the DVD, inserting the RiffTrax file, mixing them together, then re-inserting the new audio into the movie file. Yes, it's a fair amount of work to go through, but I only have to do it once. When the mood strikes, I can then bring it up and watch it on the spot.

My tools of choice have been Apple's Quicktime 7 and Audacity. I would open a movie in Quicktime, extract the audio track via its Movie Inspector, open that in Audacity, sync the RiffTrax audio to it (and make minor edits as well), Audo-Duck the whole magilla (so that the original audio "ducks" out of the way when the riffs come up), then put that new sound track over the original in Quicktime, save it, and Bob is my uncle.

Unfortunately for me, Apple saw fit to upgrade my Quicktime when I upgraded my OS from Leopard to Snow Leopard. As nice as the newer version is, it lacks certain capabilities––like being able to extract audio from a movie, and being able to replace audio in a movie. Kinda important for geeks like me. Apple is also one to disallow downgrading its software. Once up move up, you cannot go back down without a full reinstall. Kinda sucks.

However, it seems like there was a hue and cry when Quicktime 7 was replaced, because Apple now allows one to install 7 alongside the latest version. Nice! What's not nice is that they don't tell you how to do that. Not so nice.

That's where I come in. After a bit of research I discovered the way to install Quicktime 7 on your Snow Leoparded Mac:

  1. Insert the Snow Leopard disc.
  2. Open the Optional Installs folder.
  3. Open the Optional Installs.mpkg file.
  4. Deselect everything in the list other than Quicktime .
  5. A minute or two later you'll have Quicktime 7 in your Utilities folder.

Now you can get back to rolling your own RiffTraxes!