Some ideas for deprecated media apps

Seeing as we’re probably still at least a few decades away from final release, I thought I’d share some of my thoughts with regards for some of Haiku’s built-in apps.

‘TV’ is currently an app that is capable of capturing RF signals sent through a TV capture card. So while it isn’t limited to analog TV content, it isn’t particularly useful today with the advent of digital camcorders and high-definition equipment.

I can see this functionality being merged in a new app called MediaCapture, which does what it says: capture realtime audio and video from outside the system. We could port Easycap and other Digital Video drivers from the Unix world, plus support for any HDMI/Component capture cards that exist, and use them all in this one app. We could even combine SoundRecorder’s functionality and, on top of this, have support for digital audio interfaces. There would be settings for sampling rates and bit depth accordingly.

Finally, an API could be produced so that if a third-party developer/company wants to make an app with this functionality, they could utilise the tools with minimum effort.

It is debatable whether CDPlayer and MediaPlayer should be separate or not, but one thing I do have in mind in support for DVD movies being built-in to the system. I’m not sure what the situation is with regards to licensing, even though there is open-source decryption software available. In any case it makes sense for CDPlayer to be renamed ‘DiscPlayer’ so as not to be limited to the RedBook Audio standard.

We already have an API for this, it's called the Media Kit. The problem is only the lack of drivers to make use of it. Some USB webcams work. They are published as video sources (you can see them in preferences/media). CodyCam makes use of this and shows the picture from the input source and allows to save it at various places. Think of it as the SoundRecorder for videos, and forget about TV.

The CD player was separate because it used the "passthrough" cable on old systems running BeOS (we're talking early pentium and sound blaster here). This is not available anymore, making CDPlayer useless (you can play CDs with MediaPlayer, the tracks will be visible as WAV files).

Support for DVDs will land in MediaPlayer someday. There is the problem of patents, but the support could be distributed as an add-on to Haiku. And there's the problem of handing interactive menus which is a bit more tricky.

“This is not available anymore, making CDPlayer useless (you can play CDs with MediaPlayer, the tracks will be visible as WAV files).”

That is probably as good a reason as any to drop CDPlayer from Haiku now and move all the functionality to MediaPlayer. I would think that a majority of people these days are using SATA multiplayer drives and not 15 year old dedicated CD drives with a passthrough cable.
Older tickets like #9065 could then be closed, as it is related to this legacy harware issue.

Actually, if I remember correctly, CDPlayer was to be merged into MediaPlayer, was it not?
I recall that it was even a GSoC/GCI task…

– louisdem