Archive for the ‘NicePlayer’ Category

NicePlayer, Lion beta edition

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

I’ve built a new version of NicePlayer that plays nicer with Lion. Please test it out and let me know whether you run into any issues. If no one runs into any problems then we will post this as a NicePlayer update. Download NicePlayer 0.97.9-rc pre-release.

NicePlayer 0.96

Thursday, November 8th, 2007

For those of you who didn’t notice, we released NicePlayer 0.96 two weeks ago, most importantly bringing compatibility with Leopard. It also has progressive movie loading status in the scrubbing area, as well as some subtitle fixes (most of the features in this version were brought to you by Jay). There are also some other minor bug fixes… we’re always looking for suggestions, and now that NicPlayer is open source, we’re also open to accepting patches for new features.

NicePlayer Progress

Saturday, February 3rd, 2007

With the new year brings a new release of NicePlayer. Now with updated resources for enhanced prettiness, as well as fixes for some of the bad crashes that have been happening. There are now more preferences for double click/right clicking action, as well as a preference to preserve the audio volume across new window openings. NicePlayer is now open source, so feel free download the source and contribute patches! Since NicePlayer is open source, we are now offering a downloadable package that includes installers for all of the greatest open source quicktime component codecs.

NicePlayer 0.94

Wednesday, June 7th, 2006

We just released NicePlayer 0.94 onto the world. It has a number of new features, including support for the Apple Remote (check the preferences for what controls what — it’s not currently customizable, but that might be added in the future depending on the feedback we receive). NicePlayer also now uses almost no CPU when idle, since it takes better advantage of mouse tracking rects, as well as fixing some dvd display problems. All dvd display problems have been fixed (some new issues cropped up with the latest 10.4.6 update), my understanding is that these issues prevent NicePlayer from working properly on anything earlier than 10.3, so be warned. Also you now have the ability to do a “smart resize” (see the preferences — change “resize from” to “screen edge”). This will try and make sure that when you resize the window, the window will never get resized offscreen. This version of NicePlayer is also a universal binary so that you can finally watch those movies on your intel machine full screen without performance problems. No xine plugin yet (still having problems getting it to work, although I have gotten the source to compile), stay tuned on that.

Xine plugin for NicePlayer

Thursday, October 20th, 2005

I wanted to include some information about the development of the Xine plugin for NicePlayer. This plugin is 99.5% due to the work of Richard Wareham, and his XinePlayer project that made this plugin possible. Before working on the Xine plugin, I had looked into either doing a plugin with VLC or MPlayer, the two most popular media players on the Mac. Unfortunately it looked like MPlayer would have been hard to support given its desire to run each movie in its own process — I wasn’t sure how much work it would take to make MPlayer work more like a traditional player, as opposed to how it currently launches its own window to player media that is separate from the controller. I also looked at VLC, which was impressively complex. At the time, it was fairly complex to build (it may still be that way, I don’t know), requiring tons of dependancies. I tried for several hours on both VLC and MPlayer trying to get a prototype to run, but it was fairly apparent that to do what I wanted, it was going to take a great deal of time. XinePlayer, on the other hand, was factored into two parts: a backend “XineKit” and a frontend “XinePlayer.” This made it very easy to plug into our existing plugin interface. I was also able to use the existing dynamic libraries built by Richard Wareham, which meant that I wouldn’t have to invest large amounts of time downloading codec source code and compiling them on both of my two machines (a Powerbook and a PowerMac). I still hope that someone more familiar with either the VLC or the MPlayer source code will write a plugin for NicePlayer, or at least factor the code in these players to make it easier for me to do so. Additionally, if anyone out there is working on any of this (a plugin for NicePlayer, or refactoring the code to make it easier to plug), please get in contact with me!

As it is, the Xine plugin does a pretty good job of handling a lot of media that QuickTime can’t. There’s something to be said about a project being both complex enough underneath to do what needs to be done, but have a simple enough interface such that developers not familiar with the code can still easily work with it. I sometimes wonder if the reason the VLC project is having a hard time finding OS X developers is due to the fact that it’s hard for people to work in the complexity of their code. It seems to me that they could easily take advantage of all of the UI features of NicePlayer by simplifying their programming interface and creating a plugin — a great benefit to both Xine and NicePlayer users.

NicePlayer 0.93

Thursday, October 20th, 2005

We released NicePlayer 0.93 today. The most important feature is the ability to switch the plugin of the currently playing movie dynamically. For those of you using NicePlayer, it tries to detect the appropriate plugins (plugins that claim to be able to open the current file type), but you can hold down option to see all of the plugin choices. The OS X DVD Playback framework appears to be getting worse with each release, which affects NicePlayer somewhat. We’ve done our best to work around the new problems in the framework though. We also fixed some crashes, and you can now play audio files in NicePlayer without the window disappearing. There’s some expanded AppleScript support, including a new AppleScript menu. All in all things keep getting better and better. Unfortunately we’re not able to play protected content (yet), hopefully Apple will fix this in a future update to the OS. If you’re using the Xine plugin, be sure to update, as there are some issues addressed with NicePlayer 0.93 compatibility, including a crash and some undesired behavior when dropping a folder full of media onto NicePlayer. Enjoy!

NicePlayer 0.92

Thursday, June 30th, 2005

Jay and I just released the latest version of NicePlayer, 0.92. It includes an updated component that uses CoreVideo (Core Image rendering effects to come in the next release) that makes NicePlayer perform really nicely when resizing the window as compared to using QuickTime on 0.91. I aso simultaneously released the XineLib plugin for NicePlayer, which supports a lot more media types (high def recordings from eyetv, better xvid support, etc.). The plugin architecture is even more flushed out, and the source for both the dvd plugin and xinelib plugin are both available. Does anyone have any good suggestions on features for the next release?


Monday, April 11th, 2005

NicePlayer is well on its way to the best media player for mac — ever. I finished implementing a plugin this past week using Xine-lib that plays back a lot more media than QuickTime supports. It does have some minor issues (mostly having to do with setting the playhead point in certain cases) that are Xine bugs, but we can do cool stuff like play back vob and HD mpeg2 files (at full res! requires a G5). This is mostly thanks to XinePlayer being open source — I mostly hacked around the existing Xine view code, refactoring it to adhere to our plugin API. Xine gains all of the great UI things we have in NicePlayer, and NicePlayer gains great playback speed — a win-win.

All of the problems with the resize indicator appearing in funny places have been resolved — the resize indicator now appears on mouseover where the movie resize should be while in full screen mode. I’ve also implemented notification support, so we get cool text notification overlays like DVD Player. There’s also support for non-proportional scaling (actually it pretty much comes for free), and plugin loading order and preferences have been fixed (not that anyone noticed it was broken). We’re probably going to miss our projected release date of 4/17 by a week or two, as we’re trying to get some pretty advanced playlist UI in. But we’re definitely getting closer to a 1.0 release, with probably one or two more interim releases between now and then.

NicePlayer 0.91

Tuesday, March 8th, 2005

Jay and I release NicePlayer 0.91 over the weekend. I did a lot of work on DVD playback support and the underlying plugin framework. Indeed, the plugin API has been mostly solidified (except for adding support for returning a nib for custom configuration in the plugin preferences), and there’s a even some sample code posted on the NicePlayer web site to help others create plugins. In fact, for anyone who is looking to create their own DVD player using Apple’s DVD Playback API, they need not look further than the provided sample code, which is basically the code that NicePlayer uses to play DVDs. If all goes as planned, the next release will use VLC to play video: not only will it give a great speed boost to playing back divx files and such, but will also provide a better user interface for VLC users.

The other big new feature is AppleScript support — extremely useful for users of the Saline clicker software. There’s a resize widget, as per Nicholas Riley’s suggestion, and the widgets now smoothly fade out after you’ve moved your mouse off of them. While trying to figure out if we could get normal correct window shadows for NicePlayer (we can’t without faking our own — something which makes the app a lot slower), Jay found the following shadow bug in OSX — the non-focused windows with standard OS X shadows have an artifact in them — a thin line running along the bottom, below where the shadow should have faded out. You can see this if you stack several windows on top of each other, such that the bottom shadow falls on the white space in the window below it (this makes it easier to see). The line is fairly clearly visible, and I’m surprised I didn’t notice it before Jay pointed it out.