Feeds

Behind the scenes with Apple's media browser

Integrated advantage

SANS - Survey on application security programs

With free media browsers available, why use the undocumented Apple one? Well, aside from the fact that it's also free, the Apple media browser has a few additional strings to its bow. One big advantage is that the Apple browser supports the Events feature recently added to iPhoto 7. As far as I know, no other media browser supports this, meaning that photo browsing is much less convenient.

Introducing ILMediaBrowserView

So how do you make use of the Apple browser? This turns out to be simplicity itself. Create a new, windowed, Cocoa application project in Xcode, and drag Apple's private iLifeMediaBrowser.framework into the frameworks section of your project window. You'll find it hiding inside /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks. Now edit your MainMenu.nib file by adding a custom view to it in the usual way. Use Interface Builder's Inspector window to change the custom view's class name to ILMediaBrowserView. Now save and run your application. Voila - you've got an instant media browser!

Didn't work for you? Chances are you're not running Leopard. Apple added the iLifeMediaBrowser framework to the 10.5 SDK, but it's not a part of the 10.4 SDK. Yes, it's perfectly possible to use the Apple Media Browser without problems under Tiger, but it involves a few more wrinkles than there's room to discuss here. Instead, let's look a little deeper at the ILMediaBrowserView object.

By default, the browser operates in audio mode - meaning you'll see a list of all your iTunes albums, podcasts and other media in the usual format. I've added a little code to the demo program to illustrate how to switch modes for photo browsing or movie browsing. As mentioned earlier, when you're browsing photos, you'll see a list of defined iTunes events. If you don't want to use the setCurrentBrowserType: method, there are three distinct methods which switch between the wanted modes as below:


- (void)displayAudioBrowser:(id)sender;
- (void)displayImageBrowser:(id)sender;
- (void)displayMovieBrowser:(id)sender;

All the other available methods are included in ILMediaBrowserView.h, which is included as part of the project. As ever, I used the class-dump utility to create this header file. You'll see that there are a number of options here for customising the appearance of the browser. For example, setTableAlternatingRowColors: can be used to set custom colors for table rows when displaying media:


[_browser setTableAlternatingRowColors: 
    [NSArray arrayWithObjects: 
         [NSColor colorWithCalibratedWhite: 0.2 alpha: 0.8], 
         [NSColor colorWithCalibratedWhite: 0.25 alpha: 0.8], 
       nil]];

Personally, I would be strongly disinclined to mess with that stuff because the last thing you want is to confuse the end user with a weird-looking media browser. If you're planning to embed the browser in a HUD window, though, then some judicious customization would make sense.

In case you're wondering how to actually select media in an application, the answer of course is drag and drop. I've added an editable NSImageView control to the demo program to illustrate the point. More typically, you'd build the image browser into a panel, and drag from there into the main document window. The demo program can be downloaded from here.

Have fun with the Apple media browser. More undocumented naughtiness next time.®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
OpenBSD founder wants to bin buggy OpenSSL library, launches fork
One Heartbleed vuln was too many for Theo de Raadt
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: Great changes, but sssh don't mention the...
Why HELLO Amazon! You weren't here last time
Got Windows 8.1 Update yet? Get ready for YET ANOTHER ONE – rumor
Leaker claims big release due this fall as Microsoft herds us into the CLOUD
Patch iOS, OS X now: PDFs, JPEGs, URLs, web pages can pwn your kit
Plus: iThings and desktops at risk of NEW SSL attack flaw
Next Windows obsolescence panic is 450 days from … NOW!
The clock is ticking louder for Windows Server 2003 R2 users
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
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
Apple inaugurates free OS X beta program for world+dog
Prerelease software now open to anyone, not just developers – as long as you keep quiet
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
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.
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.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.