Feeds

Behind the scenes with Apple's media browser

Integrated advantage

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Mac Secrets Welcome my second “peek behind the scenes” for Cocoa developers. I enjoyed the responses to the first installment, both for and against, and especially the lively email exchanges, some of which I plan to pick up on in the near future!

For now, though, let me just emphasize a couple of important points.

First, this column is not for novice Cocoa developers. If you're new to Cocoa programming, then you definitely shouldn't be casually exploiting undocumented features of the platform. Instead, go check out some of the great Cocoa tutorials here.

Next, when working with undocumented classes and methods, be sure to bulletproof your code as much as possible. As one of my respondents said: “It's important to have your code fail gracefully if a wanted class/method doesn't exist, rather than... uhh... disgracefully!”

To put this in concrete terms, before calling an undocumented method, use the respondsToSelector: message to see if the method exists. Similarly, when checking for the presence of an undocumented class, use NSClassFromString to get a reference to the wanted class. If the returned reference is nil, then you know the class no longer exists.

You won't find these checks in my sample project because I don't want to obfuscate the basic intent of the code and we all have our own ideas about how error handling should work.

Things get slick

Having got the compulsory caveats out of the way, let's take a look at how to implement the so called "media browser" feature inside your own application. As the name suggests, a media browser is designed to let the end user browse for media - meaning things like photos, movies and audio files - before selecting a wanted item and incorporating it into their document.

Karelia Browser

Browse before selecting your media

At time of writing, a number of open-source media browser implementations exist. For example, type "iMediaBrowser" into Google, and you'll be pointed at various different projects. Heck, you can even buy a commercial implementation. The most popular browser, however, is totally free, includes full source code and it's available here. Once you've downloaded the code and looked through it, you'll see that it's quite a complex beast, using an extensible architecture to handle various different media types.

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.