Saturday, September 27, 2014

nessMediaCenter 1.5.4 & nessViewer 3.5.4 for Mac available

Simultaneous with the Mac App Store version of nessMediaCenter, the new versions of nessMediaCenter and nessViewer are now available.

As previously posted, we have adjusted the versions for the upcoming Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) after hints from Kelvin.

The AppStore version was rejected in the first review, because we have pointed out the adaptation to Yosemite - according to AppStore rules, "not yet released" Mac OS X versions may not be mentioned.

The only question is how to update versions simultaneously with the new Mac OS X version (and to inform the user about it) if the review takes almost a week.
Anyway - recent changes mention now just "adaptions for Mac OS X" and the user must think the rest...

Monday, September 22, 2014

Adaptions for Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite)

We have now installed Developer Preview 8 of Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) to prepare nessMediaCenter and nessViewer to the new system.

Surprisingly, the message "NSApplicationDidChangeScreenParametersNotification" is sent when displaying a fullscreen window (MediaCenter, media presentation), which should normally only be sent if the monitor resolution has changed. In this case - if the user changes the resolution - the current fullscreen window is closed. But displaying a fullscreen window does not change the screen resolution.
Under Yosemite this meant that the media center or fullscreen media presentation was immediately closed after a very short display. Now the current screen resolution is compared with the size of the fullscreen window and the window is only closed if the size is different.

In addition, we have adapted the export of videos in media shows for the 64 bit version of nessViewer, so that now several videos can be sequentially converted again.

Overall, we are excited about Yosemite - not only because of the new design, but also because QuickTime and the QuickTime extensions (eg Perian) continues to be supported. Thus the 32-bit versions can still be used, which offer the advantage of greater compatibility with video formats.
The 64 bit versions provide better support for multiple screens with Yosemite, so that the menu bar is now finally managed independently for each monitor. This means that now the menu bar no longer "unintentionally" appears if in fullscreen mode.

The modified versions can be downloaded from the download page - a new version will be simultaneously released with the new AppStore version 1.5.4 of nessMediaCenter, which we have uploaded today to the AppStore and is now awaiting the review by Apple.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Bug if Universal Access (VoiceOver) is activated

Kelvin informed us that nessMediaCenter (and nessViewer) is not compatible with the Universal Access and that it shows endless crash reports if "VoiceOver" is activated.

We apologize for this bug - modified versions of nessMediaCenter and nessViewer are now available at our download pages. In the Mac App Store this bug fix will be available with the next version.

Alternatively Universal Access and "VoiceOver" can and should be deactivated.

Furthermore we will test whether the MediaCenter can improve the support of Universal Access.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

nessMediaCenter (64 Bit) in Mac App Store

The 64 bit version of nessMediaCenter is now available in the Mac App Store.

On 64 Bit & AppStore the differences to the 32 bit version will be explained, which we offer on our download page.

We recommend to download both versions - 32 bit and 64 bit - as demo and to compare them. Both versions have their advantages...

The AppStore version costs 14.99 instead of 9.50 Euro, but may also be used on multiple Apple computers.

Friday, August 22, 2014

nessMediaCenter 1.5.3 & nessViewer 3.5.3 for Mac available

As previously reported, there are now new features at the media presentation: random & endless media playback and sorting by name & path.
These new features are available in the presentation menu in the menu bar that appears if you move the (invisible) cursor up to the top.

Thereby, we noticed that the switch between video and picture display was not always "very clean": with slower computers the picture was sometimes shortly partial visible when changing from picture to video, with faster computers the last picture was sometimes shortly visible when changing from video to picture.

Also, we have - thanks to the hint by Jochen - re-implemented features that were not taken up in the redesign of the media center classes: the quick change of internet content pages and Miro video podcast pages by keyboard commands (Cmd-Alt-Arrow key).

As far as possible, only ScriptingBridge is now used to control EyeTV, iTunes and VLC. A few commands for communication between nessMediaCenter or nessViewer and these programs still use AppleScript because either Scripting Bridge offers no solution or simply is too slow. What has surprised us - most of the times Scripting Bridge is rather faster.

The support of multiple displays has been improved, too: if a media presentation was started on the second screen and something else has been done on the first sceen, then the menu bar was sometimes visible on the second screen after returning to the media center.

Unfortunately we found some bugs caused by the redesign of the media center classes which have been fixed now.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Media presentation: sort & endless

Jacob has brought us through his criticism of another media center on very good ideas: "sorting, search, random or repeat".

Different sorting (eg by name or path) at the media presentation we find a good idea, but even better is of course a random order for example in music videos. And then endless - so after playing all videos, a new random order and over again ... we are wondering that we had not this idea as a lover of music videos. :-)

These new features are available in the pre-release version of nessViewer if several videos (eg a folder) are selected and the media presentation is started. Then in the media presentation menu "Sorting" and "Endless" can be found.

We can only not agree to the search function: in our opinion, a media center allows quick access to media (via remote control) - and typing a search term is not one of them. For such functions we see (and use) better options than a media center.

With the next official release of nessMediaCenter and nessViewer these new functions are then available for all.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

nessMediaCenter 1.5.2 & nessViewer 3.5.2 for Mac available

In this version we have internally overworked the MediaCenter completely: for all media center content (DLNA, Internet, Aperture, iPhoto, iTunes, Miro, pictures and movies folders and volumes), there is a separate class now that manages the access to its content.

Thus, the program code is not only clearer, but also easier to customize and extend: because Apple will apparently stop to support Aperture and iPhoto in the future, "Photo in the Cloud" will probably soon be added as new content. Our opinion on it should be known... but we will continue to support future technologies.

Another major internal change affects (currently only) the iTunes control (both the movie playlists and the music control): so far iTunes was controlled by AppleScript, which was now (for Intel computers) replaced by ScriptingBridge.
In addition to a better and faster control - among other things the start of purchased and rented movies and TV shows (DRM) - we primarily prepare ourselves so to further innovations that Apple might bring us with Mac OS X 10.10.

But we have worked on the user interface in this version too:
1) The search for DVD covers - if no cover and description is specified by "Movie Info" - is now executed in the background so that the scrolling is not delayed anymore.
2) Due to a new provider - FreeCovers - better and more appropriate DVD covers are now displayed. Even if we still prefer manually setup of covers and descriptions by "Movie Info".
3) For folders (e.g. picture and movie folder or volumes) a "combined" preview of the included media will be displayed. The creation of this preview is running in the background too.
4) The "combined" preview in iPhoto albums or iTunes movie playlists will also be running in the background.

In addition, the display duration of pictures in media presentations has been improved - not only for little slower computers, but also for NRW images (Nikon camera RAW format), which are a challenge with almost 30 MB, even with fast computers.

And once again very clearly: DVDs are DVDs and should be stored this way too (and not as movie files). And covers are only searched automatically for DVDs - in contrast to movie files, because their contents and especially filenames might be private. Privacy has absolute priority!

For movie files there is "Movie Info", which allows it to setup manually a cover and description for DVDs, (EyeTV) movies and media shows - without sharing their file names automatically with the global "world". Sadly true: privacy sometimes also has disadvantages - manual editing of covers is of course less "comfortable". But also safer ...

Many thanks to Erik not only for various bug reports in pre-releases, but also for the reference to NRW - unfortunately, this format  is only supported by Apple with 10.7 or newer.

Finally, a note on compatibility: with a heavy heart, from now on our applications are "only" compatible with Mac OS X 10.5 or later for Intel computers - but we would recommend for these computers at least 10.6 anyway. For PowerPC (PPC), however, 10.4 is still supported.

And for those who like to use the latest, there are on request of course still the 64-bit versions which require Mac OS X 10.9 and are based on "AV Foundation" instead of QuickTime.