Apple’s digital music software iTunes has legions of happy fans. The company has made some improvements in the software, enabling it to run under Mac OS X, for example, or to burn music to CD-R drives if you’re still using 9. Still, there’s one issue that’s been a concern for some users — the software only includes one visual plug-in.
The Visuals feature of iTunes displays colorful (some say psychedelic) graphics that pulsate and change with the music. However, outside of adjusting some very basic features — displaying frame rates, for example — there’s no way to adjust how the plug-in interacts with the music.
Such features are standard on other digital music software applications. Some companies have thrown open their gates to development of third-party visualizer plug-ins, which have resulted in the development of hundreds of plug-ins. Now Apple’s doing the same.
Apple has made available to developers the iTunes Visual Plug-ins software development kit (SDK). Apple indicates that the new SDK contains all the files necessary to develop visual plug-ins for iTunes 1.1 or later, and includes documentation and sample code.
Specifically, the SDK contains “iTunesAPI.h”, “iTunesVisualAPI.h”, and “iTunesAPI.c” — files that Mac software developers can use to develop their own plug-ins. The sample code is a working plug-in developed using Metrowerks’ CodeWarrior Pro 6 development environment.
For more details, visit the Apple Development Kits Web site.