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Old Jul 9, 2007, 12:06 PM   #1
Spike099
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Coverflow

Has anyone seen any examples on implementing coverflow in there apps? I think coverflow looks amazing and would love to put something like that in my app. Maybe this is something Apple will make available to developers in Leopard?
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Old Jul 9, 2007, 12:17 PM   #2
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I think its going to be part of core animation for easy use. Maybe a developer with leopard installed can answer this a bit more though.
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Old Jul 9, 2007, 12:20 PM   #3
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yup. there is indeedy a coverflow api...

its easy as it works like an old file tree view...drag n drop...its crazy good.

havent figured out how to customize it too much yet tho.
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Old Jul 9, 2007, 12:22 PM   #4
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yup. there is indeedy a coverflow api...

its easy as it works like an old file tree view...drag n drop...its crazy good.

havent figured out how to customize it too much yet tho.
Ohhh my. I'm excited for this. Is it possible to download Leopard from Apple with a student ADC membership?
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Old Jul 9, 2007, 12:24 PM   #5
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Ohhh my. I'm excited for this. Is it possible to download Leopard from Apple with a student ADC membership?
Not in advance of release. It may be included in the student mailers once it's public.
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Old Jul 9, 2007, 01:03 PM   #6
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I know you didn't ask for this advice, but I'm such a generous person I'll offer it anyway (!!)

Please don't use CoverFlow in your application unless it's being used as a browsing mechanism. I was a bit surprised when Jobs used it as an app launcher, a task to which it's very poorly suited. It's a very good browsing UI, but a poor UI when you know which file/app you want to open.

Still, it's good to see it's open as an API, I hadn't heard that.
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Old Jul 9, 2007, 01:16 PM   #7
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I have to say, I don't think very much of this coverflow lark either and see it only as a gimmick. I spent hours, if not days, going through my itunes library adding all the album artwork because I wanted to use coverflow. The coolness wore off quickly. I don't think there's any better way to display information than a thumbnail view and I really wish iTunes had one.
If a dev wants to add coverflow to an app because its a bit of a buzzword right now for marketing then sure go for it but for usability it really sucks imo.
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Old Jul 9, 2007, 01:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanky Deluxe View Post
I have to say, I don't think very much of this coverflow lark either and see it only as a gimmick. I spent hours, if not days, going through my itunes library adding all the album artwork because I wanted to use coverflow. The coolness wore off quickly. I don't think there's any better way to display information than a thumbnail view and I really wish iTunes had one.
If a dev wants to add coverflow to an app because its a bit of a buzzword right now for marketing then sure go for it but for usability it really sucks imo.
Its seems to me that a lot of the delay in releasing Leopard was to get Apple Frameworks polished enough to release to developers instead of leaving them for internal use only.
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Old Jul 9, 2007, 04:27 PM   #9
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id just like to add that there is a circular mode in the api.
so it would look more like a carousel.

also i would love to see apple considering launching a web based version of some of its api's, i guess for iphone development, the idea eing that they are medium sized libraries which can be called as objects from a webpage. It would be a very cool idea, but it would only work on apple computers meaning you would need either a very discreete set of clients viewing your site, or you would need a detection and swap system.

still kudos to apple if this ends up getting released but i see it being an iPhone 2.0 time thing, and being revealed maybe WWDC 08 or 09..i heard rumblings of this type of thing
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Old Jul 9, 2007, 07:24 PM   #10
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I know coverflow in iTunes isn't that huge. However I actually really like it. I find I use my library more than anything else now. Which makes me browse all my music reminding my what is actually in there. I have used coverflow for iTunes for many months now and can not see myself going back.

As for my app. I would use coverflow purely for browsing a few to maybe a 100 pictures. I could see it been a very nice feature in my app. And that carousel idea is just as sweet. I can't wait to try and implement those.
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Old Jul 12, 2007, 04:27 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by yagran View Post
yup. there is indeedy a coverflow api...

its easy as it works like an old file tree view...drag n drop...its crazy good.

havent figured out how to customize it too much yet tho.
I tried looking for the API, but can't find it. Is this part of leopard, or is there one floating around on the web for 10.4?
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Old Jul 12, 2007, 04:29 PM   #12
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I tried looking for the API, but can't find it. Is this part of leopard, or is there one floating around on the web for 10.4?
Leopard only.
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Old Jul 12, 2007, 08:33 PM   #13
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To implement something like CoverFlow would be difficult, in my opinion, but doable. I haven't dabbled with OpenGL for quite awhile, but here's a basic rundown of the kind of things I think would have to happen:
  1. Have a class "Layer"
  2. Have the layer class generate a square in 3D space
  3. Have the layer class texture the square with a defined image
  4. Have a positioning routine
  5. The positioning routine will go through all the images and position them along the x axis, and rotate them around the y-axis to make them face right, forward, or left
  6. (The layer class would automatically update the OpenGL portions when its location properties were changed)
  7. Some method of capturing mouse input would be used, and controls (scrollbar, etc) would be drawn. The controls might actually be able to be drawn in Cocoa or Carbon and be placed above OpenGL, but I don't know if that would work. Otherwise, they would be additional OpenGL layers.
  8. Add animation to the "Layer" class. Make the set X and set rotation Y functions animate instead of simply changing. This is complicated as for performance reasons it would be a good idea to make these events happen in a separate thread. You would have to also make the previous move operations be canceled whenever calling a new one.
  9. Add a bit of reflection. This can be done through the "Layer" class (it would create a second OpenGL piece of geometry, which would contain a flipped version of the image.)
  10. If you can do that much, you can probably figure out what all else needs to be done to make it look perfect.

Note that all of this is basically what Core Animation does. Though it won't do the "positioning" part (you tell it where to place the items) it supposedly handles all or most of the OpenGL.
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Old Jul 13, 2007, 02:56 PM   #14
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I know coverflow in iTunes isn't that huge. However I actually really like it. I find I use my library more than anything else now. Which makes me browse all my music reminding my what is actually in there. I have used coverflow for iTunes for many months now and can not see myself going back.
I agree. I very rarely use playlists in iTunes as I can scroll incredibly quickly through my entire music collections (some 60GBs worth) and just get a feel of everything I have. Sometimes I end up spotting something which I have not heard in a while and stick it on, makes listening to music with iTunes a little more interesting for me at least.
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