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

Is there cross-platform play in slither....
So you've sunken plenty of hours into crawling around in slither.io on your iPhone or iPad. You've got your stories of tragedy and triumph, the times you coiled four snakes at one time balanced out by the others when you had a length of more than... | Read more »
Rodeo Stampede guide to running a better...
In Rodeo Stampede, honing your skills so you can jump from animal to animal and outrun the herd as long as possible is only half the fun. Once you've tamed a few animals, you can bring them home with you. [Read more] | Read more »
VoxSyn (Music)
VoxSyn 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: VoxSyn turns your voice into the most flexible vocal sound generator ever. Instantly following even subtle modulations of pitch and... | Read more »
Catch Battleplans on Google Play from Ju...
Real-time strategy title Battleplans is due for release on Google Play on June 30th, following its release for iOS systems last month. With its simple interface and pretty graphics, the crowd-pleaser brings a formerly overlooked genre out for the... | Read more »
iDoyle: The interactive Adventures of Sh...
iDoyle: The interactive Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - A Scandal in Bohemia 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Books Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Special Release Price $1.99 (Normally $3.99) | Read more »
Five popular free apps to help you slim...
Thanks to retail and advertising, we're used to thinking one season ahead. Here we are just a week into the summer and we're conditioned to start thinking about the fall. [Read more] | Read more »
How to ride longer and tame more animals...
It's hard to accurately describe Rodeo Stampede to people who haven't seen it yet. It's like if someone took Crossy Roadand Disco Zoo and put them in a blender, yet with a unique game mechanic that's still simple and fun for anyone. [Read more] | Read more »
Teeny Titans - A Teen Titans Go! Figure...
Teeny Titans - A Teen Titans Go! Figure Battling Game 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Teeny Titans, GO! Join Robin for a figure battling RPG of epic proportions! TEENY... | Read more »
NinjAwesome: Tips and tricks to be a mor...
Sorry about that headline, but I'm going to go ahead and assume that GameResort would not have named its game NinjAwesome without expecting some of that. It is, in fact, pretty awesome the way it combines an endless runner and old school arcade... | Read more »
Into Mirror (Games)
Into Mirror 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: "Is all that we see or seem, but a dream within a dream?"- Edgar Allan Poe New game by Lemon Jam Studio, the team behind Pursuit... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

13-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to...
B&H Photo has 13″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro: $1179 $120 off MSRP - 13″ 2.7GHz/... Read more
Apple refurbished Mac minis available for up...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac minis available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $80 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999,...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
Apple refurbished iMacs available for up to $...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 21″ & 27″ iMacs available for up to $350 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. The following models are available: - 21″ 3.... Read more
15-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for $200-...
B&H Photo has 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $210 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1799.99 $200 off MSRP - 15″ 2.5GHz... Read more
Mac minis on sale for up to $100 off MSRP
B&H Photo has Mac minis on sale for up to $100 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $449 $50 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac mini: $649 $50 off MSRP - 2.8GHz Mac mini... Read more
Clearance 2015 13-inch MacBook Airs available...
B&H Photo has clearance 2015 13″ MacBook Airs available for $300 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB MacBook Air (MJVE2LL/A): $799.... Read more
Apple refurbished Mac minis available for up...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac minis available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $80 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac... Read more
ABBYY TextGrabber: 1,000,000 Installs in 5 Da...
ABBYY, an international OCR technologies provider, has announced that their image-to-text application TextGrabber, got installed 1,000,000 times in just five days while being featured by the App... Read more
New SkinIt Waterproof Case For iPhone 6
With its impact and waterproof design, the Skinit Waterproof case provides security and protection to guarantee your phone will get you through even the most demanding outdoor conditions. The impact-... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* iPhone 6s and New Products Tester Ne...
…we therefore look forward to put out products to quality test for durability. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions, Towson...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* iPhone 6s and New Products Tester Ne...
…we therefore look forward to put out products to quality test for durability. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, Read more
Music Marketing Lead, iTunes & *Apple*...
…Music Marketing Lead is responsible for developing robust marketing campaigns and programs for Apple Music and iTunes across the whole of Apple ecosystem. This Read more
*Apple* Valley Medical Clinic is Hiring - AP...
Apple Valley Medical Clinic is Hiring! Apple Valley Medical Clinic is an independently owned practice operating a Family Medicine Clinic, a 24/7 Urgent Care, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.