Monday, October 08, 2007
Cats Meow Redux

It occurred to me/us that there might be some viewers out there who believe we borrowed some ideas from the recent Apple WWDC07 conference to use in our own pre-Leopard applications. I'm referring to the features of CamCamX which obviate the new QuickTime 7.2 APIS which provide for non-exclusive access to the video digitizer. First off, the only reason anyone here knows about those new APIs is that they are referred to specifically in a press release for an application which is part of our compatibility testing matrix.

Now the background. Nobody from our team went to the WWDC this year. In fact we didn't go last year either. However, I did attend several of the ones prior, starting with the Jaguar conference.

Regarding CamCamX, keep in mind that we were working on applications for built-in (and external) iSight at least a year prior to the release of DotMatrix, which is well before WWDC06. (Not to mention that we were working with shared memory and video on the desktop well before Apple acquired NeXT). To say that we have more iSight applications in the pipe would be something of an understatement. And, one of my jobs is to make sure that all our applications fit together in some kind of cohesive strategy, or architecture. Some of our DotMatrix customers had requested we include CamTwist-like capability to DotMatrix. So we were getting it from all angles. It doesn't take a genius to realize that exclusive access to the built-in camera is a big limitation.

CamCamX was never initially intended to be a system utility, rather, we had planned a robust video mixer for providing the glue that makes all our iSight applications work together. We also want our applications to "play well with others", which is why CamCamX both mixes standard QuickTime sources (both camera and movies) and outputs the mixed feed as a QuickTime-compatible camera. The feature which shares the camera output systemwide is just a byproduct of the design.

As far as the idea for a video mixer, well, you can dream all you want, but in the late 80s I was primarily into live audio and lighting, but one time someone needed some help broadcasting a college hockey game, and I found myself in this little trailer outside the icerink looking at a bank of monitors. The system had buttons for selecting the video input and a big handle to smoothly fade between the inputs. "Cool, I thought to myself, it's just like an audio mixer."

We did see one thing from WWDC07; the keynote. We were already anticipating Apple's move away from Aqua toward the "black look", so we did adjust the UI to be more familiar to iMovie 08 users.

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By : Mr.Black Cats Meow Redux 0 comments



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