Feeds

Behind the scenes with Apple's media browser

Integrated advantage

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Entity Framework goes 'code first' as Microsoft pulls visual design tool
Visual Studio database diagramming's out the window
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.