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.

 
AAPL
$116.47
Apple Inc.
+0.16
MSFT
$47.98
Microsoft Corpora
-0.72
GOOG
$537.50
Google Inc.
+2.67

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Cobook 3.0.7 - Intelligent address book....
Cobook Contacts is an intuitive, engaging address book. Solve the problem of contact management with Cobook Contacts and its simple interface and powerful syncing and integration possibilities.... Read more
StatsBar 1.9 - Monitor system processes...
StatsBar gives you a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the following areas of your Mac: CPU usage Memory usage Disk usage Network and bandwidth usage Battery power and health (MacBooks only)... Read more
Cyberduck 4.6 - FTP and SFTP browser. (F...
Cyberduck is a robust FTP/FTP-TLS/SFTP browser for the Mac whose lack of visual clutter and cleverly intuitive features make it easy to use. Support for external editors and system technologies such... Read more
Maya 2015 - Professional 3D modeling and...
Maya is an award-winning software and powerful, integrated 3D modeling, animation, visual effects, and rendering solution. Because Maya is based on an open architecture, all your work can be scripted... Read more
Evernote 6.0.1 - Create searchable notes...
Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at anytime, from... Read more
calibre 2.11 - Complete e-library manage...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital... Read more
Herald 5.0.1 - Notification plugin for M...
Note: Versions 2.1.3 (for OS X 10.7), 3.0.6 (for OS X 10.8), and 4.0.8 (for OS X 10.9) are no longer supported by the developer. Herald is a notification plugin for Mail.app, Apple's Mac OS X email... Read more
Firetask 3.7 - Innovative task managemen...
Firetask uniquely combines the advantages of classical priority-and-due-date-based task management with GTD. Stay focused and on top of your commitments - Firetask's "Today" view shows all relevant... Read more
TechTool Pro 7.0.6 - Hard drive and syst...
TechTool Pro is now 7, and this is the most advanced version of the acclaimed Macintosh troubleshooting utility created in its 20-year history. Micromat has redeveloped TechTool Pro 7 to be fully 64... Read more
PhotoDesk 3.0.1 - Instagram client for p...
PhotoDesk lets you view, like, comment, and download Instagram pictures/videos! (NO Uploads! / Image Posting! Instagram forbids that! AND you *need* an *existing* Instagram account). But you can do... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Ubisoft Gives Everyone Two New Ways to E...
Ubisoft Gives Everyone Two New Ways to Earn In-Game Stuff for Far Cry 4 Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 21st, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Golfinity – Tips, Tricks, Strategies, an...
Dig this: Would you like to know what we thought of being an infinite golfer? Check out our Golfinity review! Golfinity offers unlimited ways to test your skills at golf. Here are a few ways to make sure your score doesn’t get too high and your... | Read more »
Dark Hearts, The Sequel to Haunting Meli...
Dark Hearts, The Sequel to Haunting Melissa, is Available Now Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 21st, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Meowza! Toyze Brings Talking Tom to Life...
Meowza! | Read more »
Square Enix Announces New Tactical RPG f...
Square Enix Announces New Tactical RPG for Mobile, Heavenstrike Rivals. Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 21st, 2014 [ permalink ] With their epic stories and gorgeous graphics, | Read more »
Quest for Revenge (Games)
Quest for Revenge 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: The great Kingdom of the west has fallen. The gods ignore the prayers of the desperate. A dark warlord has extinguished... | Read more »
Threadz is a New Writing Adventure for Y...
Threadz is a New Writing Adventure for You and Your Friends Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 21st, 2014 [ permalink ] In the tradition of round-robin storytelling, | Read more »
SteelSeries Stratus XL Hardware Review
Made by: SteelSeries Price: $59.99 Hardware/iOS Integration Rating: 4 out of 5 stars Usability Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars Reuse Value Rating: 4.25 out of 5 stars Build Quality Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars Overall Rating: 4.31 out of 5 stars | Read more »
ACDSee (Photography)
ACDSee 1.0.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Photography Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Capture, perfect, and share your photos with ACDSee. The ACDSee iPhone app combines an innovative camera, a powerful photo... | Read more »
ProTube for YouTube (Entertainment)
ProTube for YouTube 2.0.2 Device: iOS Universal Category: Entertainment Price: $1.99, Version: 2.0.2 (iTunes) Description: ProTube is the ultimate, fully featured YouTube app. With it's highly polished design, ProTube offers ad-free... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Save up to $400 with Apple refurbished 2014 1...
The Apple Store has restocked Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 15″ Retina MacBook Pros for up to $400 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping... Read more
New 13-inch 1.4GHz MacBook Air on sale for $8...
 Adorama has the 2014 13″ 1.4GHz/128GB MacBook Air on sale for $899.99 including free shipping plus NY & NJ tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. B&H Photo has the 13″ 1.4GHz/128GB MacBook... Read more
Apple Expected to Reverse Nine-Month Tablet S...
Apple and Samsung combined accounted for 62 percent of the nearly 36 million branded tablets shipped in 3Q 2014, according to early vendor shipment share estimates from market intelligence firm ABI... Read more
Stratos: 30 Percent of US Smartphone Owners t...
Stratos, Inc., creator of the Bluetooth Connected Card Platform, has announced results from its 2014 Holiday Mobile Payments Survey. The consumer survey found that nearly one out of three (30 percent... Read more
2014 1.4GHz Mac mini on sale for $449, save $...
 B&H Photo has lowered their price on the new 1.4GHz Mac mini to $449.99 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $50 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this new... Read more
Check Apple prices on any device with the iTr...
MacPrices is proud to offer readers a free iOS app (iPhones, iPads, & iPod touch) and Android app (Google Play and Amazon App Store) called iTracx, which allows you to glance at today’s lowest... Read more
64GB iPod touch on sale for $249, save $50
Best Buy has the 64GB iPod touch on sale for $249 on their online store for a limited time. Their price is $50 off MSRP. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale price for... Read more
15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $17...
 B&H Photo has the 2014 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1799.99 for a limited time. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. B&H will also include free copies of... Read more
New Logitech AnyAngle Case/Stand Brings Flexi...
Logitec has announced the newest addition to its suite of tablet products — the Logitech AnyAngle. A protective case with an any-angle stand for iPad Air 2 and all iPad mini models, AnyAngle is the... Read more
Notebook PC Shipments Rise Year-Over-Year as...
According to preliminary results from the upcoming DisplaySearch Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report, the global notebook PC market grew 10 percent year-over-year in Q3’14 to 49.4... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC)- Retail S...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
Project Manager, *Apple* Financial Services...
**Job Summary** Apple Financial Services (AFS) offers consumers, businesses and educational institutions ways to finance Apple purchases. We work with national and Read more
*Apple* Store Leader Program - College Gradu...
Job Description: Job Summary As an Apple Store Leader Program agent, you can continue your education as you major in the art of leadership at the Apple Store. You'll Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Senior Event Manager, *Apple* Retail Market...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global event strategy. Delivering an overarching brand story; in-store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.