QuickTime for Java Componentsby Chris Adamson
QuickTime has been able to expand and grow for 15 years now, adding new features while maintaining tremendous backwards compatibility: QuickTime movies made in 1990 on System 6 or 7 still play on Mac OS X 10.3.7 in 2005. Critical to making this work is QuickTime's system of components, shared code fragments that can be discovered and used dynamically. Most of what QuickTime needs to play a movie is a component: the code to understand a file format; code to decompress the audio, video, and/or other codecs used in the file; code to handle streaming media protocols; etc. Old components are straightforward to maintain, and new ones add more capability to QuickTime. When a new version of QuickTime adds support for new formats or codecs, or when users install new features themselves, a well-behaved application will pick up these features automatically. And, fortunately, components are readily available to Java programmers using the QuickTime for Java API.
In this PDF excerpt from QuickTime for Java: A Developer's Notebook, Chris Adamson shows how to write such a well-behaved application. Chapter 4: Working with Components introduces the type/subtype identification scheme of components and shows how to export a QuickTime movie to a canned format, and then to any format discovered at runtime. It shows how to import and export graphics, and then provides a utility for showing all installed components.
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