TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Jan 00 Bookshelf

Volume Number: 16 (2000)
Issue Number: 1
Column Tag: Programmer's Bookshelf

Programmer's Bookshelf

by Paul E. Sevinc, Switzerland

Discovering QuickTime and QuickTime for Java

QuickTime Developer Series

This month's review discusses the first two books in the QuickTime Developer Series. QuickTime is a cross-platform (i.e., Mac OS and Windows) multimedia software package that is able to handle audio, video, vector graphics, and many other types of digital media in different formats. For more information, visit http://www.apple.com/quicktime/ - or should you consult the QuickTime Developer Series? Let's find out.

The QuickTime Developer Series is a joint effort by Morgan Kaufmann (who publishes the books) and Apple Computer (who develops QuickTime and provides the authors). At the time of this writing, three books have been published or announced: Discovering QuickTime [Towner 1999], QuickTime for Java [Maremaa and Stewart 1999], and QuickTime for the Web [Gulie 1999]. For more information, visit http://www.mkp.com/qt/ - and finish this article!

Discovering QuickTime

George Towner is the author of Discovering QuickTime: An Introduction for Windows and Macintosh Programmers. He is Apple's lead writer for QuickTime technical documentation.

Discovering QuickTime is organized in two parts, The World of QuickTime and Programming Techniques. Furthermore, it contains five appendices, an extensive glossary, a commented bibliography, an index, and a CD. The CD contains lots of sample code, demo programs, Inside Macintosh volumes about QuickTime, and more.

The World of QuickTime

There are six chapters in the first part. They are written in a tutorial style, similar to the Getting Started column (albeit much longer). They mostly consist of text illustrated by well-designed figures or screen shots, plus function signatures, type definitions, and code snippets written in C.

The purpose of the first chapter is to give a few definitions and to dissect QuickTime in five layers: User Experience, Movie Delivery, Movie Composition, Media Handling, and Media Source. The remaining five chapters treat each of these layers in top-down order.

Even without a background in graphics or sound (not to mention multimedia), it is easy to understand the text as every term and concept is clearly explained. The learning process is additionally supported by the Quick Summary sections every chapter ends with that list the most important points again.

To cut a long story short: The World of QuickTime is a must-read for every programmer. Even if multimedia isn't your core business, you might still be inspired to use QuickTime for your killer About... box or for your on-line help.

Programming Techniques

The second part encompasses 13 chapters. Chapter 7 points out where to get further QuickTime-related information, chapter 8 explains the main differences between QuickTime-coding for Mac OS and Windows, and chapter 19 casts a glance at QuickTime for Java. Note that other chapters mention some Mac OS/Windows differences, too.

In what order to study chapters 9 to 18 (or whether to study them all in the first place) is up to the reader. Some of the topics discussed here have been introduced in the first part and are now covered in more detail. The code examples are much longer than before. Again, the explanations are easy to understand without insulting the reader's intelligence.

QuickTime for Java

Tom Maremaa and William Stewart are the authors of QuickTime for Java: A Developer Reference. Stewart is Apple's chief architect of QuickTime for Java. Maremaa is a member of the QuickTime Technical Publications team. QuickTime for Java (the technology) is an API that enriches the Java platform, but it relies on QuickTime being available for the underlying operating system (i.e., a JVM alone is not enough, so -as of this writing- you can't use QuickTime for Java under Solaris, for instance).

QuickTime for Java (the book) is organized in four parts, QuickTime for Java Fundamentals, Using QuickTime for Java, The QuickTime for Java Software Architecture, and QuickTime for Java Reference. Unlike Discovering QuickTime, it only contains one appendix, but also an extensive glossary, a commented bibliography, an index, and a CD with similar contents.

QTfJ Fundamentals

The first four chapters are an introduction to QuickTime in general and QuickTime for Java in particular. There is even a two-page introduction to Java for C/C++ programmers. However, in my opinion, the reader should know Java before reading this book. Also, the QuickTime introduction is rather a refresher course for those who already have some basic knowledge of QuickTime, for instance from consulting the PDF version of Inside Macintosh on the accompanying CD. What I clearly missed is a section about the use of Swing vs. AWT with QuickTime for Java.

Using QTfJ

Chapters 5 to 10 introduce QuickTime for Java by example. Every chapter shows how to perform a typical task (e.g., playing music). The reader encounters few definitions only and lots of source code instead. I find that this approach gives the reader a good idea of QuickTime for Java, even though some might prefer to have larger text sections.

The QTfJ Software Architecture

Chapters 11 to 15 are of more technical nature than those preceding them. The classes discussed in this part perform lower-level tasks (e.g., timing). Don't get me wrong: neither are these classes unimportant (on the contrary), nor is their coverage boring!

QTfJ Reference

Chapters 16-45, or in terms of number of pages half the book, comprise the reference part. Every chapter starts with the class hierarchy (the same type of diagram used throughout the book) of a package and then describes the classes. The format of these textual descriptions differs from javadoc's. I liked it a lot, though, as it allows for very concise treatment. Readers who prefer the javadoc style won't be disappointed by the CD.

Conclusion

The QuickTime Developer Series looks like becoming the authoritative source for QuickTime-related information - and rightly so. Both QuickTime for Java and especially Discovering QuickTime could be role models for other reference or tutorial material. Let's hope that Apple and Morgan Kaufmann can keep up the good work.

Those of you interested in developing QuickTime-based software using the Carbon API should definitely start with Discovering QuickTime. Those who intend to use the Cocoa API may want to start with QuickTime for Java. If the book and the CD don't suffice, you can still restart with the first book.

Acknowledgments

This month, Manuel Hilty did the proof-reading.

References

  • [Gulie 1999] GULIE, Steven. - QuickTime for the Web, Morgan Kaufmann, 1999.
  • [Maremaa and Stewart 1999] MAREMAA, Tom, STEWART, William. - QuickTime for Java: A Developer Reference, Morgan Kaufmann, 1999.
  • [Towner 1999] TOWNER, George. - Discovering QuickTime: An Introduction for Windows and Macintosh Programmers, Morgan Kaufmann, 1999.

Paul is an EE student at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ) and a student member of the IEEE. 2000 is going to be a very exciting year for him: he'll finish his M.S. thesis in February, turn 25 in March, be interviewed for jobs in April, ... And throughout that time, he's looking forward to receiving your feedback at psevinc@ee.ethz.ch.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

1Password 6.6.4 - Powerful password mana...
1Password is a password manager that uniquely brings you both security and convenience. It is the only program that provides anti-phishing protection and goes beyond password management by adding Web... Read more
Cocktail 10.3.1 - General maintenance an...
Cocktail is a general purpose utility for macOS that lets you clean, repair and optimize your Mac. It is a powerful digital toolset that helps hundreds of thousands of Mac users around the world get... Read more
Safari Technology Preview 10.2 - The new...
Safari Technology Preview contains the most recent additions and improvements to WebKit and the latest advances in Safari web technologies. And once installed, you will receive notifications of... Read more
Together 3.8 - Store and organize all of...
Together helps you organize your Mac, giving you the ability to store, edit and preview your files in a single clean, uncluttered interface. Features Smart storage. With simple drag-and-drop... Read more
GraphicConverter 10.4 - $39.95
GraphicConverter is an all-purpose image-editing program that can import 200 different graphic-based formats, edit the image, and export it to any of 80 available file formats. The high-end editing... Read more
beaTunes 4.6.13 - Organize your music co...
beaTunes is a full-featured music player and organizational tool for music collections. How well organized is your music library? Are your artists always spelled the same way? Any R.E.M. vs REM?... Read more
Vienna 3.1.9 :e81515b: - RSS and Atom ne...
Vienna is a freeware and Open-Source RSS/Atom newsreader with article storage and management via a SQLite database, written in Objective-C and Cocoa, for the OS X operating system. It provides... Read more
iExplorer 4.0.12.0 - View and transfer f...
iExplorer is an iPhone browser for Mac lets you view the files on your iOS device. By using a drag and drop interface, you can quickly copy files and folders between your Mac and your iPhone or... Read more
OpenEmu 2.0.5 - Open Source game-emulati...
OpenEmu is about to change the world of video game emulation, one console at a time... For the first time, the 'It just works' philosophy now extends to open source video game emulation on the Mac.... Read more
TextSoap 8.3.3 - Automate tedious text d...
TextSoap can automatically remove unwanted characters, fix up messed up carriage returns, and do pretty much anything else that we can think of to text. Save time and effort. Be more productive. Stop... Read more

Ticket to Earth beginner's guide: H...
Robot Circus launched Ticket to Earth as part of the App Store's indie games event last week. If you're not quite digging the space operatics Mass Effect: Andromeda is serving up, you'll be pleased to know that there's a surprising alternative on... | Read more »
Leap to victory in Nexx Studios new plat...
You’re always a hop, skip, and a jump away from a fiery death in Temple Jump, a new platformer-cum-endless runner from Nexx Studio. It’s out now on both iOS and Android if you’re an adventurer seeking treasure in a crumbling, pixel-laden temple. | Read more »
Failbetter Games details changes coming...
Sunless Sea, Failbetter Games' dark and gloomy sea explorer, sets sail for the iPad tomorrow. Ahead of the game's launch, Failbetter took to Twitter to discuss what will be different in the mobile version of the game. Many of the changes make... | Read more »
Splish, splash! The Pokémon GO Water Fes...
Niantic is back with a new festival for dedicated Pokémon GO collectors. The Water Festival officially kicks off today at 1 P.M. PDT and runs through March 29. Magikarp, Squirtle, Totodile, and their assorted evolved forms will be appearing at... | Read more »
Death Road to Canada (Games)
Death Road to Canada 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $7.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Get it now at the low launch price! Price will go up a dollar every major update. Update news at the bottom of this... | Read more »
Bean's Quest Beginner's Guide:...
Bean's Quest is a new take on both the classic platformer and the endless runner, and it's free on the App Store for the time being. Instead of running constantly, you can't stop jumping. That adds a surprising new level of challenge to the game... | Read more »
How to rake in the cash in Bit City
Our last Bit City guide covered the basics. Now it's time to get into some of the more advanced techniques. In the later cities, cash flow becomes much more difficult, so you'll want to develop some strategies if you want to complete each level.... | Read more »
PixelTerra (Games)
PixelTerra 1.1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.1.1 (iTunes) Description: The world of PixelTerra is quite dangerous so you need to build a shelter, find some food supply and get ready to protect... | Read more »
Tokaido™ (Games)
Tokaido™ 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Discover the digital adaptation of Tokaido, the boardgame phenomenon that has already sold more than 250,000 copies worldwide, and... | Read more »
Card Thief (Games)
Card Thief 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Card Thief is a solitaire style stealth game played with a deck of cards. In Card Thief you move through a deck of cards as a... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple’s iPhone 6s Tops Best-Selling Smartphon...
In terms of shipments, the iPhone 6s from Apple bested all competitors for sales in 2016, according to new analysis from IHS Markit, a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions.... Read more
Logitech Rugged Combo Protective iPad Case an...
Logitech has announced its Logitech Rugged Combo, Logitech Rugged Case, and Logitech Add-on Keyboard for Rugged Case for Apple’s new, more affordable $329 9.7-inch iPad, a complete solution designed... Read more
T-Mobile To Offer iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus...
T-Mobile has announced it will offer iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition in a vibrant red aluminum finish. The introduction of this special edition iPhone celebrates Apple’s 10... Read more
9-inch 128GB iPad Pros on sale for $50-$70 of...
B&H Photo has 9.7″ 128GB Apple WiFi iPad Pros on sale for up to $70 off MSRP, each including free shipping. B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 9″ Space Gray 128GB WiFi iPad Pro: $649 $50... Read more
27-inch iMacs on sale for up to $200 off MSRP...
B&H Photo has 27″ Apple iMacs on sale for up to $200 off MSRP, each including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $2099 $200 off MSRP - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB Fusion iMac 5K: $... Read more
Save up to $600 with Apple refurbished Mac Pr...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac Pros available for up to $600 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each Mac Pro, and shipping is free. The following... Read more
Save $230 with Apple Certified Refurbished 13...
Apple is now offering Certified Refurbished 2016 13″ 2.0GHz non-Touch Bar MacBook Pros for $230 off original MSRP. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 13″... Read more
Apple price trackers, updated continuously
Scan our Apple Price Trackers for the latest information on sales, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers. We update the trackers continuously: - 15″... Read more
13-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pros on sale for up...
B&H Photo has the Apple 13″ Touch Bar MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 2.9GHz/512GB Touch Bar... Read more
Today only! 15-inch 2.7GHz Space Gray Touch B...
B&H Photo has the new 2016 15″ 2.7GHz Space Gray Apple Touch Bar MacBook Pro in stock today and on sale for $300 off MSRP for today only. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Director, *Apple* Program - ERP & Cloud...
Leading Pharmaceutical / Biotech Company is announcing a Director, Apple Program - ERP & Cloud Platform Architecture Lead opportunity in Northbrook, IL. Purpose & Read more
Fulltime aan de slag als shopmanager in een h...
Ben jij helemaal gek van Apple -producten en vind je het helemaal super om fulltime shopmanager te zijn in een jonge en hippe elektronicazaak? Wil jij werken in Read more
Starte Dein Karriere-Abenteuer in den Hauptst...
…mehrsprachigen Teams betreust Du Kunden von bekannten globale Marken wie Apple , Mercedes, Facebook, Expedia, und vielen anderen! Funktion Du wolltest schon Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.