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

PopChar 7.1 - Floating window shows avai...
We're also selling a 5-license family pack for only $25.99! PopChar helps you get the most out of your font collection. With its crystal-clear interface, PopChar X provides a frustration-free way to... Read more
BBEdit 11.1.1 - Powerful text and HTML e...
BBEdit is the leading professional HTML and text editor for the Mac. Specifically crafted in response to the needs of Web authors and software developers, this award-winning product provides a... Read more
Picasa 3.9.139 - Organize, edit, and sha...
Picasa and Picasa Web Albums allows you to organize, edit, and upload your photos to the Web from your computer in quick, simple steps. Arrange your photos into folders and albums and erase their... Read more
Mac DVDRipper Pro 5.0.5 - Copy, backup,...
Mac DVDRipper Pro is the DVD backup solution that lets you protect your DVDs from scratches, save your batteries by reading your movies from your hard disk, manage your collection with just a few... Read more
NetShade 6.2 - Browse privately using an...
This promotion is for NetShade and 1 year of Proxy and VPN services NetShade is an anonymous proxy and VPN app+service for Mac. Unblock your Internet through NetShade's high-speed proxy and VPN... Read more
CrossOver 14.1.3 - Run Windows apps on y...
CrossOver can get your Windows productivity applications and PC games up and running on your Mac quickly and easily. CrossOver runs the Windows software that you need on Mac at home, in the office,... Read more
Little Snitch 3.5.3 - Alerts you about o...
Little Snitch gives you control over your private outgoing data. Track background activity As soon as your computer connects to the Internet, applications often have permission to send any... Read more
OmniGraffle Pro 6.2.3 - Create diagrams,...
OmniGraffle Pro helps you draw beautiful diagrams, family trees, flow charts, org charts, layouts, and (mathematically speaking) any other directed or non-directed graphs. We've had people use... Read more
OmniFocus 2.2 - GTD task manager with iO...
OmniFocus helps you manage your tasks the way that you want, freeing you to focus your attention on the things that matter to you most. Capturing tasks and ideas is always a keyboard shortcut away in... Read more
1Password 5.3.2 - 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

MooVee - Your Movies Guru (Entertainmen...
MooVee - Your Movies Guru 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Entertainment Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: MooVee helps you effortlessly manage your movies, on your iPhone. | Read more »
Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions (Games)
Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Enjoy the next chapter in the award-winning Geometry Wars franchise and enjoy stunning, console-quality... | Read more »
CHAOS RINGS Ⅲ (Games)
CHAOS RINGS Ⅲ 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $19.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: The newest addition to the popular smartphone RPG series is finally here! ・CHAOS RINGS Overview | Read more »
The Popular Insight Series of Travel Gui...
Getting around in a country when you can't understand the primary language can be tough. Fortunately there are several options available to help wold travellers with the important stuff like giving directions to a cab driver or asking where the... | Read more »
Desktop Dungeons is Now on the iPad Desp...
Desktop Dungeons has been a well-loved roguelike on PC for quite some time, and now it's finally available for the iPad! Just the iPad, though. Sorry iPhone users. [Read more] | Read more »
Moleskine Timepage – Calendar for iCloud...
Moleskine Timepage – Calendar for iCloud, Google & Exchange 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Productivity Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: The most elegant calendar for your pocket and wrist, Timepage is a... | Read more »
QuizUp Gets Social in its New Update
Plain Vanilla Corp has released a new and improved version of their popular trivia game, QuizUp. The app now emphasizes social play so you can challenge friends from all over the world. [Read more] | Read more »
The Deep (Games)
The Deep 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Swipe Controls Delve into the deep in this retro rogue-like! Swipe to move your diver around and keep away from the enemies as you... | Read more »
Sproggiwood (Games)
Sproggiwood 1.2.8 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $9.99, Version: 1.2.8 (iTunes) Description: Sproggiwood was developed for devices with at least 1GB of RAM. We recommend you only download Sproggiwood if your device... | Read more »
Battle of Gods: Ascension (Games)
Battle of Gods: Ascension 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: TURN-BASED TACTICAL COMBATFight tactical battles against the forces of Hades! In Battle of Gods: Ascension you play... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple refurbished 2014 13-inch Retina MacBook...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 13″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $400 off original MSRP, starting at $979. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and... Read more
What Would the ideal Apple Productivity Platf...
For the past four years I’ve kept a foot in both the Mac and iPad camps respectively. my daily computing hours divided about 50/50 between the two devices with remarkable consistency. However, there’... Read more
PageMeUp 1.2.1 Ten Dollar Page Layout Applica...
Paris, France-based Softobe, an OS X software development company, has announced that their PageMeUp v. 1.2.1, is available on the Mac App Store for $9.99. The license can be installed on up to 5... Read more
Eight New Products For USB Type-C Application...
Fresco Logic, specialists in advanced connectivity technologies and ICs, has introduced two new product families targeting the Type-C connector recently introduced across a number of consumer... Read more
Scripps National Spelling Bee Launches Buzzwo...
Scripps National Spelling Bee fans can monitor the action at the 2015 Spelling Bee with the new Buzzworthy app for iOS, Android and Windows mobile devices. The free Buzzworthy app provides friendly... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $120 o...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $979 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $120 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price for this model (except for Apple’... Read more
27-inch 3.3GHz 5K iMac on sale for $1899, $10...
B&H Photo has the new 27″ 3.3GHz 5K iMac on sale for $1899.99 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
Save up to $50 on iPad Air 2, NY tax only, fr...
B&H Photo has iPad Air 2s on sale for up to $50 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 16GB iPad Air 2 WiFi: $469 $30 off - 64GB iPad Air 2 WiFi: $549.99 $50 off - 128GB iPad... Read more
Updated Mac Price Trackers
We’ve updated our Mac Price Trackers with the latest information on prices, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers: - 15″ MacBook Pros - 13″ MacBook... Read more
New 13-inch 2.9GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.9GHz/512GB Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1699.99 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price for this model from... Read more

Jobs Board

Program Manager, *Apple* Community Support...
**Job Summary** Apple Support Communities ( discussions. apple .com) helps customers get the most from their Apple products and services by providing access to Read more
Senior Data Scientist, *Apple* Retail - Onl...
**Job Summary** Apple Retail - Online sells Apple products to customers around the world. In addition to selling Apple products with unique services such as iPad Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
**Job Summary** As an Apple Solutions Consultant (ASC) you are the link between our customers and our products. Your role is to drive the Apple business in a retail Read more
*Apple* Watch SW Application Project Manager...
**Job Summary** The Apple Watch software team is looking for an Application Engineering Project Manager to work on new projects for Apple . The successful candidate Read more
Engineering Manager for *Apple* Maps on the...
…the Maps App Team get to take part in just about any new feature in Apple Maps, often contributing a majority of the feature work. In our day-to-day engineering work, we Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.