iTunes skins???

twister

Howdy
So they say iTunes 3 may be on it's way, soon. Well it just might have skins because Quicktime now has skins.

---www.apple.com/quicktime/download/---
6. Create designer media skins.
Make your own fashion statement with media skins that create a unique look and feel for your movie. Learn How.
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That'd be SWEET!

Twister
 

Ricky

Registered
Originally posted by twister
So they say iTunes 3 may be on it's way, soon. Well it just might have skins because Quicktime now has skins.

---www.apple.com/quicktime/download/---
6. Create designer media skins.
Make your own fashion statement with media skins that create a unique look and feel for your movie. Learn How.
----------

That'd be SWEET!

Twister
Actually, Twister, that ability has been around since Quicktime 5 was released. That's old news... Sorry to burst your bubble...
 

twister

Howdy
Well iToons needs skins anyways. Now we have audion which has skins and works with iPod too. So for iTunes to keep up it needs skins.

Ok that's my two cents.

Bubble still intact.

Twister;)
 

Snowball

Switched the Other Way
Sorry, BUT...
The "skins" you guys are referring to are not true skins like those you can download for Audion, SoundJam, WinAmp, etc. Instead, someone who makes a movie can include a unique skin just for that movie. This skin is movie-specific; it cannot be applied to QT permanently the way a skin for Audion would - once you playback a different movie, the "skin" goes away.

It would be great if Apple wasn't so d@*! hostile to changing their various interfaces, which have kinda gone <flameshield ON> downhill with OS X... (but not as badly as XP has). I mean, the Dock really sucks, at least when compared to the <flameshield DOUBLESTRENGTH> Taskbar which has 3x more functionality. It is the first thing I replace with LaunchBar! It could have been so much more: http://wormintheapple.gr/articles/AltDock.html
Not that I think that's the best solution but it is much better than the current one...
 

voice-

Registered
SNOWBALL!!! I'm a TAD angry with you! I went to that site and read it all. I started at the top and loved it all. I visited the links along the way and studied the screenshots. When I got to the bottom I was EXPECTING an app, that's how hyped up I was, but alas, no such thing. Please give a warning so that you don't waste peoples time...shiez, it must be harder to fake the screens than making the app...
 

vertigo

Swollen Member
By forcing Mac OS to utilize the inferior GUI capabilities of UNIX, Apple has given up its greatest asset.
what an idiot. inferior GUI capabilities of UNIX? come on, get a clue.

some interesting screenshots, however. i think some of the proposed ideas would fail simply because they're _too_ thought out. the dock, if nothing else, is a simple, flat organization tool. some of those proposed ideas would require several clicks in sequence to do what the dock can do in one, or a keyboard command and one click could do from the finder.
 

Snowball

Switched the Other Way
sorry Voice: I had the exact same reaction as you when I read that article, and got the link to it the same way you did (through a forum I mean) I read it, get to the end, and say "WHAT! No link!" :D I was actually considering learning how to program for Mac OS X so I could write a hack similar to that, but haven't had the time lately... Maybe Unsanity would be interested? ;)
I think it would be a really cool replacement, but would need some modifications before it is truly viable, like Vertigo brings up. Also, I think some things like Dock animations (aka Toast's burning progress), Mail.app's "new mail" indicator, application's custom Dock menus (aka iTunes), and Docklings (aka MacReporter) are impossible to support in a hack like this because Apple doesn't want the Dock messed with! :)

vertigo: yes, this article was written (right before OS X.0 came out) by an interface nut who may take his organization concepts a bit far, but calling him an idiot is a little harsh. He's not thoughtlessly bashing Apple or anything! He just wants to see some changes, and writes a very convincing (but in some ways not viable) proposal . I agree with more of his ideas than not, and always enjoy reading interface improving suggestions. And UNIX without Xwindows, etc. DOES have an inferior GUI because it's just a command line! :)
 

voice-

Registered
As for the idea that OS 9 was better, I disagree. OS X is an improvement in GUI and even if it hadn't I'd choose the stability over GUI any day of the week
 

Snowball

Switched the Other Way
You are right, voice, Apple did make a lot of improvements in OS X's interface, but unfortunately also made some sacrifices. I refer you to John Siracusa's extremely comprehensive and knowledgable reviews of all the versions of OS X since DP2 at http://www.arstechnica.com/ (links 1/2 way down the right, keep in mind these reviews will take at least 2 hours each to read :D )

There are two principles of the old Mac OS interface that made it great: 1) the OS was designed to support a GUI right from the start of it's existence (not vice versa), and 2) since screens were much smaller back then (Mac Plus :) ), many elements had hidden/were in condensed forms most of the time for the computer to have enough real estate left to be usable (pull-down menus for example. (now those were a REAL innovation, be it from Xerox's PARC or Apple). That concept came from the interface designers modeling after a real desktop, with "pull-out" drawers and a trash, a concept that is still relevant but more and more lacking today.

1) Today's OS X does not hold true to these two facts. Apple can't really do much, if anything about the first one I mentioned because UNIX is first and foremost an OS designed to be used through a command line. Sure, Apple can add great layers on top of the UNIX core like Cocoa and OpenGL, but the whole interface we are used to is run as just another process, called the Window Server - it is not an inseparable part of the OS as it was in OS 9 and earlier (to see it in action, open up a terminal, type top, and notice it's processor % jump when you resize a window).
Since most users think of the interface AS the computer, it comes as something of a surprise (it did to me, anyway) that the whole interface was just another process (granted, it is a "protected" system process which separates it somewhat but still). I recall one section of John Siracusa's articles about OS X where the 10.0 window server permanently crashed while the rest of the machine was still perfectly fine and could even be telnetted into. http://arstechnica.com/reviews/01q2/macos-x-final/macos-x-7.html#ui-death

Anyway, I guess what I am trying to say in this point is that Apple has done a great job making a working interface for OS X, but they can't change the basic inner workings of the original OS they've adapted (well, maybe they can, but not without some SERIOUS rewriting of UNIX).


2) What Apple CAN address but hasn't are the old Human Interface Guidelines that they themselves established years back that made the Mac interface the envy of PC users. They discarded many of the tried-and-true guidelines when they created Aqua in favor of glitzy, processor-intensive translucence and wow!-factor shadows, but I find the changes usually do not offer a truly useful advantage.

Personally, I don't mind these kinds of effects, but only when they truly help. Keep in mind I have a relatively old G3 (see specs below), but I think my thoughts are still relevant in general since there is a larger base of users with older specs than one with newer specs (because there are more older machines in use than new ones)
When was the last time you thought, "Translucent menus really are making me more productive, because my processor is NOT tired and has extra cycles to burn! The fact that this window minimizes with a genie effect makes me work better! The superior method of distinguishing windows from one another is NOT a draggable or even resizable border, drop shadows are simply better! Eye candy is more important than UI speed (a large part of productivity). Thanks Apple!" The gratuitous use of these features looks nice, sure, and creates a sense of OS X as a truly different OS in consumer's minds, but I always find that the extra features cost more cycles than they are usually worth. If I drag a translucent terminal window around my screen while iTunes is playing for example, my entire processor is totally maxed out and the MP3 I am listening to goes stops (yes, I am running latest versions of everything and have 320 MB of RAM). Sorry, Apple, I know UNIX underpinnings are great and all, but in the end it is the results that count, not the feature bulletpoints.

This revolutionary OS is only revolutionary in my mind if it improves in more than a few ways. Stability? Sure. Much improved file I/O performance? Great, we all benefit form that. Interface, though? While pretty, it needs serious revision, and much of it is too late too fix. Apple has already established Aqua as the final interface and won't signficantly change it anytime soon (Jaguar's changes are welcome, but still only minimal) because even if developers follow guidelines, significant UI changes this late in the game would be suicide on Apple's part.

The least I think Apple could do is add a Sys Pref panel that would enable/disable most of these features, primarily live window resizing. Aqua windows should at least have a checkbox for resizable borders, and possibly even OS-supported theming should be brought back.


And speaking of interfaces, an advantage Windows has over the Mac OS X interface is the way windows are handled. You can think of Window's windows (hehe) as vector graphics and Mac OS X's as bitmapped. This means that there is much less memory overhead for Window's windows(haha) than OS X's. If I understand correctly, the way Windows manages it's windows is that it describes each component of a given window with a set of parameters: the title bar is x pixels high, the scroll bar is x pixels thick, the titlebar font is x, etc. This is why if you ever get a monitor with 20,000x15,000 resolution for a Winblows OS as old as 95 you can just change these widget sizes, and the vector parameters will increase so the widgets don't have to be miniscule. This is not possible on the current interface of OS X, as the widgets are stuck in one non-resizable size.

(end post #1 thanks to message limit)
 

Snowball

Switched the Other Way
Also, Mac OS X stores each window as a graphics file (I think it's TIFF), even if you are not looking at it, which gobbles up RAM like a turkey. There IS window compression, but this disabled by default and it does not help all that much, relatively speaking. I think this is part of the reason why Window's windows (hoho) resize so much faster as well: Windows must only change parameters whereas OS X must dynamically change the size of a whole graphic. We all hate Windows, but come on guys, we should give MS some credit for having a decent window engine. (However, MS did rip off Aqua with Luna, so that may be hard... ;) )



To get back onto the original topic's off-topic diversion:
I like Worm in the Apple's Dock replacement mockup because it follows a "hiding when not needed" concept:
We have all heard the complaints about the Dock, but they truly reveal basic and huge flaws with the Dock's design. The way Apple currently has things set up, you may as well drag a line of application aliases to the bottom of your screen, drag the trash can to the right, and you would have almost the same thing (minus some cutesy but essentially useless mouseover effects). I truly hope the path Apple has taken with Aqua's problems is rectified with later releases, but I am not holding my breath based upon Jaguar's small changes...

And before you guys bash me as a troll, you should know that I grew up with 99% Macs and used to mindlessly hate Windows until I found that...it doesn't really suck as much as everyone says (but only from Win2K onwards). We take pleasure in hating MS and everything they do because of their monopoly/illegal tactics/whatever, but amidst crap like Palladium and .NET, they do have some smart programmers.

(I can't wait for the flaming to start! I love MacOSX.com! :) )
 

xoot

Got xoot?
What is great about Aqua: When an OS X program crashes, it's interface still remains there, even if you drag a window over it. In windows, if you drag a window over a frozen application, it's like an eraser; it turns all white. :)
 

voice-

Registered
Snowball, that keyboard smoking yet?

I completely agree that OS X is built up in a dumb way, the basic difference between MS and Apple is that Apple have taste and creative minds, MS have performance. I still feel OS X's stability is worth the inferior parts. The stability is provided by UNIX. OS 9 couldn't match that, it was patched together by chewing gum(said the author of Kaleidoscope).
I do get your worries about eye-candy thou, I have them myself. I like Aqua, but I'd change it for the old OS 9 interface any day if that would increase the speed noticably.
 
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