Related topics

Serve up iTunes with Apple's media browser

Give your software some soul

This returns an array of ILMediaGroup objects corresponding to the available playlists. An ILMediaGroup object encapsulates all sorts of different groups such as albums, recently played, recently added, and so on. If you want to filter this stuff, the simplest thing to do is use the type method to figure out what kind of group you're looking at. Turn on the DEBUG flag in my code - below - and you'll see all the different type numbers after each group name.

While on the subject of groups, it's also worth pointing out that one group can potentially contain subgroups. This functionality isn't directly supported by the iTunes user interface, but it is programmatically accessible.

OK, so we've got a list of playlists. Via the mediaObjects method, ILMediaGroup provides access to another array containing all the media objects in the group. Each object is of type ILMediaObject. Here's where things get really interesting: different methods give you access to information such as the name (song title), artist, play duration, and the fully qualified path of the media file itself.

iTunes library through the Mac browser

Methods access music information

Play it again...

For the sake of completeness, my demo application includes the ability to play a track: just double-click an item in the right-hand list and it will start playing. This is done by making use of the ILMediaBrowserAudioPlayer class that, once again, forms a part of the iLifeMediaBrowser library: it's what's used by the Apple browser when previewing a selected audio file. In essence, this class is a simple wrapper around QTMovie that forms part of the QuickTime framework.

If you want to make more sophisticated use of ILMediaBrowserAudioPlayer, you should be aware that it posts a number of undocumented notifications while it's working. These notifications - the meaning of each should be obvious from the name - are listed here:

  

MediaBrowserAudioPlayerWillBeginPlaying
MediaBrowserAudioPlayerDidBeginPlaying
MediaBrowserAudioPlayerDidBeginNextSong
MediaBrowserAudioPlayerDidFinishPlaying

You can listen out for these notifications in the usual way and take the appropriate action as required. In fact, even if you don't use any of the classes mentioned but simply use the standard media browser as described last time, these notifications will still be generated and can be exploited in the host application.

That's all we've got room for this time. You can download the demo application and source code that I mentioned earlier here. More undocumented naughtiness next time.®

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