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Friday, March 06, 2009, 06:45 am PT (09:45 am ET)

New QuickTime Player, Cocoa Desktop in latest Snow Leopard beta

As expected, Apple overnight equipped its vast developer community with a new build of its upcoming Snow Leopard operating system that includes significant changes, such as a redesigned QuickTime Player.

People familiar with the matter confirm the build number to indeed be 10A286, as was predicted by AppleInsider in a software-related news roundup published earlier in the week.

Among the changes developers will see in the latest beta is a completely redesigned QuickTime Player — believed to be QuickTime X Player — which sports "a new minimal user interface focused predominately on playback," those people say.

Also widely distributed outside Apple's walls for the first time is a new Cocoa-based Mac OS X desktop envoirnment featuring updated info windows and contextual menus.

Those people familiar with the software say Apple informed developers about a dozen significant issues which are still plaguing Mac OS X 10.6, and which will need to be ironed out before the software can transition closer to a final candidate stage. Several months of work are believed to remain.

Build 10A286 arrives about four weeks after Apple equipped its developers with build 10A261. Around that time it was reported that Snow Leopard would include Core Location and Multi-Touch frameworks for third-party developers, and also deliver more intuitive printer driver delivery.

Specific to the 10A261 build were a handful of visual tweaks, such as a Put Back option in the Finder and the ability to drill down into stacks via a new grid-view interface, each of which were documented in a series of screenshots.