Spiffy accidental discovery


So I was goofing around as is my wont, looking through terabytes of videos for something to watch while not paying attention, and suddenly I somehow hit the spacebar with a video file selected, and lo, a window popped up and it began to play! I had no idea I could do that, and I still don't know what's playing the video file, but it's pretty spiffy.

I also found it would open other files for viewing, and that's truly groovy as well, but I am not at all sure what is actually doing this. Is it Finder? Is it some nameless system utility? I'd always used VLC player for watching my videos, but now I have this other option and it's pretty darn cool.

What system thingy is it that does this?


The "system thingy" is called Quick Look, and has been in OS X since OS X 10.5
It's the Finder doing that fun trick.
It's purpose is to provide a method to preview a variety of different files, without opening them, and without launching an application that might actually use them.

Doesn't work for all file types, and some applications will install quick look plugins to allow other file types supported by that particular app.
Videos that are supported will automatically play.
Command select several .jpg photo files, and press space. That will allow you to view all those pictures in a slide show, or as a set of pictures arranged in thumbnails. Very handy for a Quick Look, eh?