When you’re embedding a QuickTime movie into a web page, you have to specify the width and height, and if it’s a movie that’s fully under your control, that’s not a problem, but if this is at all part of a CMS where users can and will upload things that don’t fit the specified design, you’re going to have a player that doesn’t look right.
The way to fix this is to use the scale parameter in your quicktime video embed. If you set it to “tofit” then the video will fit the bounding box specified by the width and height parameters, but it’ll also stretch and/or squish the video to cram it into that box, which can be less than ideal.
And alternative is to use a value of “aspect” for your scale parameter, which will respect both the bounding box and the aspect ratio of the video. It won’t necessarily fit the box exactly, but it’ll look OK without breaking the rest of your page’s design.
If you use what’s called a “poster frame” in QuickTime, you can load an image that displays before the video plays, like some kind of “click to start” image, and when the user clicks the image, the movie starts. This is done by setting the src parameter to the image file and adding an href parameter that’s the URL of your actual movie.
All great, except for this: the video won’t respect the scale parameter or the width and height. It’ll cram itself into the box, but if it’s bigger than the box then the controller won’t show, nor will chunks to the left, right, and bottom of the video.
If you want to use a poster frame for your movie, you’re going to need to go outside of the plugin. In my last project, I put an image in the markup with the poster image, and attached an onclick handler to it that removed the image and replaced it with the QuickTime embed on autoplay, which did the trick.
And yes, alternatives are to use a Flash player, HTML5 where supported, a back-end job to resize the movie file, and so on, but sometimes you’ve got to go with what the client wants.