Monday, July 28, 2008

The Media Player fantasy in Java

These days, i am busy in coding a music player using Java..and definetly it has not been really easy. Java does not offer much in handling media files efficiently..anyone who has had some interests in this field must have heard of Java Sound and Java Media Framework.
Java Media Framework(JMF) has been a subject of lot of criticism as it has not really been able to deliver according to the expectations of Java developers. There has also not been much work done in JMF lately..its API is old and the support it offers is pretty limited..
If someone really wants to make a robust media Player using JMF, that person really needs to code to a very large extent to provide basic functionalities provided in common media player softwares around us..and if we dont do that, the software stands no chance, and has no justs helps in increasing our understanding of the topic, thats all!!
One of the biggest drawback of JMF is lack of support of different codecs, and this is something which makes people to go for third party libraries. In past, JMF had trouble with MP3 format license as well, but then it was sorted out after some time..really it would have been dreadful if JMF would not have been able to provide MP3 support.
In third party library support, Quicktime for Java has been told by many as the alternative but then it has a very serious drawback..There is no Quicktime for Java library for Linux platforms. This simply means that by using it to create a media player, we are going to miss a very important segment of users who use Linux.
Then what should we do?? There are other libraries as well such as JLayer and then Tritonus..if you are comfortable to use them, its well and good but they all have some drawbacks as well. So then it all comes down to what we want our media software to do!!
But if we want to look a bit differently, then there is another alternative as well.
Heard of MPlayer??
Yes there are ways of using the Open source MPlayer from within the Java Application according to your needs.. i.e. creating a Java Front end for using the power of MPlayer in a manner we want, in the background.
One of the big advantage is that MPlayer supports large number of formats so in a way our Java Application also will be able to support a large number of formats. So start working to use MPlayer from within Java, you will be astonished by the power you will be having at your hands!!

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