December 11, 1999 - Media Player Programming | WebReference

December 11, 1999 - Media Player Programming

Yehuda Shiran December 11, 1999
Media Player Programming
Tips: December 1999

Yehuda Shiran, Ph.D.
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The Windows Media Player comes in two versions: ActiveX control for Internet Explorer 4.0 and up, and plugin for everything else. The set of the ActiveX control's properties, methods, and event handlers is very similar to the plugin's. The names of the methods and events are identical. The properties are different though. While you can set and get the ActiveX control's properties as they are, you have to use the plugin's set and get methods to set and get, respectively, the plugin's properties. Let's take the ActiveX control's fileName property. You can set it in the ActiveX control as follows:

document.mediaPlayer.fileName = url;

You can get it simply by referring to document.mediaPlayer.fileName. In the plugin Media Player, you can set it as follows:


and get it:


To streamline the integration between the ActiveX control and plugin conventions, we chose to write our own functions for getting and setting properties. In this way, the difference between the browsers is reflected only inside our functions, leaving the overall script quite generic and neat. For example, let's examine the function that sets the media file name, setFileName():

function setFileName(url) {
  if (activeX)
    document.mediaPlayer.fileName = url

Now, let's examine a get function. Here is the function that gets the showControls flag:

function getShowControls() {
  if (activeX)
    return document.mediaPlayer.showControls;
    return document.mediaPlayer.GetShowControls();

You can learn more about multi-browser Media Player programming from Column 53, A Streaming Media JukeBox, Part III: Browser-Independent.