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» 2005 » October Ken Villines 1.0

Archive for October, 2005

Quicktime Scripting & playing Fullscreen

October 27, 2005

Sometimes building QuickTime Scripting Controls into your web pages can be tricky. The differences between Windows Media Player and the Quicktime Player are very significant. The first problem is that they have different scripting APIs. When you are a video profressional trying to post your work to the web this can be tasking.

One of the Javascript function calls for the Windows Media Player allows fullscreen playback on the client desktop. The quicktime API doesn’t support this feature from within the plugin. The video producer will have to force the plugin to send the video to the QuickTime Player. The media, being either a .qtl or a .smil file, is basically a reference or pointer to the real Quicktime video or audio file. The Quicktime Plugin reads the directives or properties within the file and follows the commands. That includes telling the plugin to play a video at fullscreen and sending it to the player to accomplish the task.

The files are both XML formatted but with different tagging structures. I am going to cover the easier of the two – QTL. I will save the SMIL lecture for another post.

Quicktime media Link or QTL for short allows you to create a text link on a web page that opens a movie in QuickTime player. For this to work, your web server must be configured to associate the .qtl file extension with the correct MIME type. The MIME type can be handled by placing a .htaccess file into the movies directory. Type the following info into the .htaccess file:

AddType application/x-quicktimeplayer qtl

The XML within the .qtl file will look something like this:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<?quicktime type="application/x-quicktime-media-link"?>
<embed
autoplay="true"
controller="true"
fullscreen="full"
kioskmode="false"
loop="false"
playeveryframe="true"
quitwhendone="true"
src="http://movies.apple.com/movies/paramount/waroftheworlds/waroftheworlds_480.mov"
type="movie/quicktime"
volume="100"
/>

Save this XML as “qtfullscreen.qtl” and into the same folder as your .htaccess file or vise versa. Now you can make a link from within a web page that calls your .qtl file. You now have a control to play your movie Fullscreen!!

Other important Commands for your XML file:

autoplay = “true” or “false”
controller=”true” or “false”
fullscreen=”normal” or “double” or “half” or “current” or “full”
href=”url”
loop=”true” or “false” or “palindrome”
playeveryframe=”true” or “false”

qtnext=”url”
quitwhendone=”true” or “false”

Play Sample Movie Now!!

BTW: You can always open an HREF to your .qtl file using a javascript call.

Letter to Bob Stoetzel (MBTA Commuter Rail Chief )

October 27, 2005

This letter pretty much sums up all of my feelings about my MBTA Commuter Rail experience the last four years. I am beyond hating using their service. The MBTA is always promising changes and they never come. Here is the letter:

Hi Bob,
First off I want to let you know that I have a 3 hour total commute daily. My total daily commute used to be 4 hours when I had to commute from North Station to Back Bay. I am a professional commuter and am pretty pissed at the MBTA commuter rail service.

The 7:20 train from Fitchburg (412) has not been on time into North Station in three weeks. It stops in the station 10 minutes late every F-ing day!! I have lost almost two hours of my time in the last two weeks.

TODAY (10/27/05) the train was 30 minutes late when it finally stopped at North Station. There were no public announcements and the conductors never reported it to the Controller. The signs along the route kept reporting that all trains were on time. The Fitchburg conductors never report when their trains are running late – NEVER. If they are already running 30 minutes late at the beginning of the route they report it other wise they don’t. I was told by a Fitchburg conductor that 10 minutes late wasn’t late and to stop complaining. Today they were 30 minutes late and the idiots still didn’t report it. They are always trying to cover their asses.

Any train running 10 minutes late or more should be reported and the signs at stations should be updated to report this. It isn’t a hard concept. I have been taking the Fitchburg line going on 4 years and the service sucks. The service sucks even more because of the price hike almost two years ago. I haven’t seen the service change AT ALL!!

Can someone please enforce some RULES and make the controllers keep track and report when trains are late? When a train sits outside of North Station for 15 minutes it isn’t in the station. THAT IS A LATE TRAIN TOO!!

I pay $200 a month and have never once come into North Station at the scheduled time.

BTW: The Lowell line is terrific but I have to drive 20 miles to grab that train.

Thanks for your time
-Ken Villines

Final Note:
There needs to be a better compensation structure when trains are late. If a train is 15 minutes late a person should get a single one way ticket. When a train is 30 minutes late we currently get two tickets. I don’t know how many times a train, I am on, rolls into the station 23-25 minutes late. That is no different then 30 minutes late in the minds of the rank-and-file using your service.