I know I've been pretty quiet lately. I got burnt out on AMP for a while, and was working on a different side-project for a while. My side-project was a "home-theater" version of AMP. As you know, AMP was my first app in Cocoa/Obj-C, and I learned a lot while working on AMP. So I took what I learned and started my side-project from scratch.
I tried designing the interface to be usable with a six-button Apple remote. This led to quite a few challenging logic decisions, as I don't have one to play around with! But it made me keep the interface simple & clean.
Well, you may be able to call it AMP 2.0. It's so much more incredibly better than AMP 1.0 already, and it only has the extreme basics. Here are some improvements:
1. No more importers, it reads from your iTunes & iPhoto .xml file on startup, and startup only takes about 3-5 seconds (for my 7,000 item library on a PBG4). So if you add new media, all you have to do is restart the version of AMP, you don't have to run any importers, etc.
2. Resolution independent - it should work with essentially any resolution.
3. Modularized - no more monolithic chunks of code. If you are a developer, you will enjoy much more working on this app than the previous version of AMP.
4. You can select "All" artists, "All" albums, and see playlist items.
5. It's all controlled from like six buttons, so touch-screen buttons will be "extras", but all the essential controls *can* be through a hardware device (such as a PowerMate, NuL00q, etc).
6. Since it's modularized, the playing, etc, is delegated out to other objects, so, well, the way it works is just pretty damn awesome
7. It offers all the same browse modes as the iPod does, so you can browse music by Artist, Album, Songname, Genre, or Playlists, and you can browse your videos by Movies, TV Shows, and Music Videos.
8. In addition to the videos from your iTunes library, it also lets your browse through your own file structure in ~/Movies, so you can just dump whatever media in there, in whatever directory structure you want, and you can browse it like that.
The only *con* is that it has to keep iTunes open to get your album art. But that's a pretty small thing. This is because Apple changed the way you access album art in iTunes 7.0 (they keep it in some random external file now.)
I have just a few tiny things to workout with my little side-project before I can upload a demo (I have to finish some school work tonight, and I can work on it some tomorrow to finish up the little odd bits) to show you some of the things I've got going.
If you would like, I can upload the version of AMP I have now, without any of these changes, but with the Google Earth support, so you can have that until I can combine AMP1.0 with the new changes in AMP2.0.
Below is a screenshot showing some of the things I have in mind. Now, I know it's a bit ugly. I'm no designer! I got the design from a post I saw in iTheater's forums, where a guy mocked up a user-interface. The screenshot below is an actual implementation, it is *not* a mockup. A lot of the visual stuff you see is me trying to figure out what I can do with NSViews. For example, the clock uses NSBezierPath paths, and it let me learn a lot (and you should see how long it took me to remember how sin/cos & deg/rads work to calculate the time :-) ) So those aren't necessarily things I will keep, just me trying to learn.