Windows Media Player look-alike

Custom palettes created by the Krypton community.

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Windows Media Player look-alike

Postby Judah » Tue Jun 10, 2008 3:21 am

With the recent release of the Krypton Sparkle themes (inspired by Windows Media Player 11 theme), I thought I'd try my hand at creating a Windows Media Player 11 UI using only the Krypton Toolkit controls. Here is the fruit my efforts over the weekend:

Image

It's built using Visual Studio 2008 Express and .NET 3.5.

I've published the app using ClickOnce technology, go give it a spin.

I'm planning on publishing the source code on CodePlex sometime this week. I'll update here as that progresses. Over the next few weeks I'll be making additions and tweaks until I'm fully satisfied with the look.
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Re: Windows Media Player look-alike

Postby Waescher » Tue Jun 10, 2008 3:50 am

Wow, very nice job, Judah :D
Quite close to the original. There are some craggy borders on the rounded buttons but I like the way it looks.
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Re: Windows Media Player look-alike

Postby Judah » Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:34 am

Thanks.

Yeah I see the odd borders. They show up when using certain glass render styles. I'll be working on ironing out these kinks over the next few weeks.
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Re: Windows Media Player look-alike

Postby Miketrix » Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:42 am

Nice job!!!

Did you design it entirely using Krypton? If so, I'm really wondering about some UI components, like the slider? (for the sound level)
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Re: Windows Media Player look-alike

Postby Judah » Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:52 am

Mike, all the controls are Krypton, however, 2 controls are just images on a panel.

If you run the program, you'll see the slider isn't an actual control yet; it's just a panel with an image on it.

Right now there are 2 controls that are just images/panels:
  • The volume slider
  • The playback position slider.

The reason these are images is the lack of a customizable TrackBar control in Windows Forms (and Krypton for that matter). However, I am working on a custom Krypton-rendered TrackBar control and will make it part of this WMP look-alike within the next week or two.
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Re: Windows Media Player look-alike

Postby Judah » Wed Jun 25, 2008 1:19 pm

Here are some interesting notes I took during the creation of this Window Media Player look-alike. It highlights some short-comings of the Krypton suite as well as some interesting things I ran into while laying out this UI.

  • The WMP colors are slightly darker than the Krypton sparkle theme.
  • There is no CheckDropButton. (That is, a cross between a KryptonCheckButton and a KryptonDropButton.) This is needed for the category buttons at the top (e.g. Library, Now Playing, Rip, Burn, etc.)
  • There is no way to hide the drop arrow on a KryptonDropButton. Windows Media Player hides the drop arrow on the category buttons until you mouse over them.
  • Back and forward button Back.Color2 needed to be tweaked to cyan to get the bright bottoms
  • Back and forward buttons had to be sized larger than WMP sizes (e.g. 32x32 instead of 28x28) because image won't show up if buttons are any smaller.
  • The play button colors aren't quite right. I could use some pointers.
  • Krypton has no support for control animations, thus we cannot reproduce the smooth mouse over animation of the play button.
  • The rewind and fast forward buttons utilized the draw border edges bits - very useful. However, I also had to manually set the region of the button to make the concave arc on the side of the buttons. To this effect, we created a KryptonConcaveButton. This seemed to work out well.
  • To achieve the aqua blue state of the play, navigation back, and navigate forward buttons, I used a check button with the checked state == true. Ideally, there'd be an easier way to do this (ideally in the designer). Best option until then is to use a regular button but set the back styles to the back styles of a checked button.
  • Due to a lack of theme-able trackbar control (either in Krypton or in vanilla Windows Forms), I was forced to use an image for the volume control and the playback position control. I'll look into building a theme-able trackbar control in the future.
  • The KryptonDropButton doesn't look good in Low Profile mode, due to the drop down icon being white. If we could change the icon used for the drop arrow, it would be able to perfectly mimic the Windows Media Player breadcrumb control. Perhaps the yet to be released KryptonBreadCrumb control will allow for this.
  • The search icon in the KryptonComboBox should be to the left of the combo box drop down. Unfortunately, I don't see a way to make this happen with the KryptonComboBox.
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Re: Windows Media Player look-alike

Postby Judah » Thu Jun 26, 2008 2:18 am

I've tweaked the look a bit more and added a media items grid with tracking color rows and a rating column. You can try it out for yourself.

Here's a screen shot of the updated version, as you can see it looks a bit smoother all around.

Image
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Re: Windows Media Player look-alike

Postby vesuvius » Fri Jun 27, 2008 3:58 am

I have tried to resist posting a response, because if you have nothing good to say, it's better to keep quiet, right?

If you have a look at most of the applications in this forum, you will see that they do something different. They may contain a similar visual interface, but intrinsically they do something different. They (the applications posted) have a function or purpose if you will. You are trying to re-invent the wheel and I cannot see why. This is more like a 'coding for fun project', because why would I use your media player, when I have one already?

Even if you finished this and got an exact replica, so what? I already have WMP11 and that works fine. If you look at your bullet points above and Phi'ls notes at http://www.componentfactory.com/blog/?m=200805 it is clear what the sparkle theme is for.

When will you media player have video, be directx compatible etc.? Please take this as constructive criticism, but you are certainly re-inventing the wheel here, and most users are not going to be surprised.
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Re: Windows Media Player look-alike

Postby Judah » Fri Jun 27, 2008 10:45 am

Vesuvius, this is a "coding for fun" project. It's not meant to be a functioning program -- more a demo of what you can do with Krypton.
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Re: Windows Media Player look-alike

Postby gedisoft » Mon Jun 30, 2008 4:33 am

Hi,

That you can do marvelous things with krypton, I think everybody here knows that allready :wink: I mean your WMP look-a-like, well .... euh ...looks like WMP, I you run it (No offense mented)...but I'm more curious about your code, maybe you could offer that as a download ? (I'm thinking 'bout using this a shell form for a CAB-application, not for a new version of SAP, but for simple lookup of parameter-table edition this could be very interesting, I think)

greetz

Geert D.
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Re: Windows Media Player look-alike

Postby Waescher » Tue Jul 01, 2008 1:07 am

What's the problem with this App? WMP is a kind of showpiece for a new software-UI. Judah just put the KryptonControls together to rebuild the WMP-look.
Nobody said this is gonna be a new MediaPlayer. Nobody said it's gonna be a mini-framework to rebuild this UI in your App. It's just the approach to use the Sparkle-Palette to rebuild its origin UI. So why do you badger him with such futile statements?

I like it - even if it's quite useless for me :wink:

The only thing I really do not like is the ClickOnce-Installation. Please upload your executable in a zip-Archive or publish your project with code - but do not use ClickOnce.
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Re: Windows Media Player look-alike

Postby Keigan » Tue Jul 01, 2008 1:44 am

Waescher wrote:What's the problem with this App? WMP is a kind of showpiece for a new software-UI. Judah just put the KryptonControls together to rebuild the WMP-look.
Nobody said this is gonna be a new MediaPlayer. Nobody said it's gonna be a mini-framework to rebuild this UI in your App. It's just the approach to use the Sparkle-Palette to rebuild its origin UI. So why do you badger him with such futile statements?

I like it - even if it's quite useless for me :wink:

The only thing I really do not like is the ClickOnce-Installation. Please upload your executable in a zip-Archive or publish your project with code - but do not use ClickOnce.


qft

nice work j.
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Re: Windows Media Player look-alike

Postby gedisoft » Tue Jul 01, 2008 2:03 am

Waescher,

I think you were talking to me....and I think (no, I'm sure :? ), you got me wrong.

In my opinion, Judah made a wonderfull piece of WMP like software, so wonderfull that I'm thinking of using it in my own app, so I asked him If he could share his code (on not only the exe), so I don't have to 're-invent the wheel, again'.

What Judah did, is something I also do regulary: see if a piece of software can be rebuild using (among others) the krypton toolkit....And he did just that.

So Judah, If I offended you in any way: please accept my apologises (and please have a little concideration for the fact that I'm not a native english speaker, so sometimes expressions don't pass the flemish-english barrier very well :(

Greetz
Geert
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Re: Windows Media Player look-alike

Postby Chris Porter » Tue Jul 01, 2008 5:41 am

gedisoft, I'm pretty sure that Waescher was responding to this post from vesuvius:
vesuvius wrote:I have tried to resist posting a response, because if you have nothing good to say, it's better to keep quiet, right?

If you have a look at most of the applications in this forum, you will see that they do something different. They may contain a similar visual interface, but intrinsically they do something different. They (the applications posted) have a function or purpose if you will. You are trying to re-invent the wheel and I cannot see why. This is more like a 'coding for fun project', because why would I use your media player, when I have one already?

Even if you finished this and got an exact replica, so what? I already have WMP11 and that works fine. If you look at your bullet points above and Phi'ls notes at http://www.componentfactory.com/blog/?m=200805 it is clear what the sparkle theme is for.

When will you media player have video, be directx compatible etc.? Please take this as constructive criticism, but you are certainly re-inventing the wheel here, and most users are not going to be surprised.
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Re: Windows Media Player look-alike

Postby Keigan » Wed Jul 02, 2008 12:06 am

Chris Porter wrote:gedisoft, I'm pretty sure that Waescher was responding to this post from vesuvius:

That was my impression as well...
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Re: Windows Media Player look-alike

Postby vesuvius » Wed Jul 02, 2008 12:27 am

Just remember that is was constructive criticism not anything callous. I am used to seeing dollar signs on software projects, because I know how long it will take to produce something, especially as hard a Windows Media Player. You really have to jump through hoops to get the media elements working.

As an introduction to WPF I did build a media player using the excellent tutorials from http://www.totaltraining.com/prod/microsoft/wpf_ess.asp. What you get is something that looks far better that WMP 11, and you can do in far less time. WPF was made from the top down for media stuff and you can add music in one line of code. Seriously, you could spend one week with these tutorials and end up with something better than WMP11 (and music and video that work).

It is through this experience that I resolved to post what has been unfortunately mis-construed as criticism, but it is not. For business applications Component Factory is the right choice for a lot of reasons I won't go into. For media, I would head for WPF, it is acres and acres easier, notwithstanding the excellent work Judah has put together already.


Miketrix recently criticised politely) something I had overlooked, so I will have to go and correct it. It's one thing everyone telling you your app is great and the sun shines out your backside, but sometimes take the plunge and say what you don't like. It may be an oversight or under looked, but if I can say, xyz has said this feature is bad, but I think it is good, then I have the confidence to deal with any future doubters. Unless you all write perfect applications of course.

Judah please do share the source, this is a code snippets section, with a lively (and great) community. I'm sure some people want to see how you have done what you have done. No offence imtended :D
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Re: Windows Media Player look-alike

Postby Judah » Thu Jul 03, 2008 2:11 am

Not offended at all. As I said, it's purely a "for fun", "here's what you can do with Krypton" project. And I think it says something great about Krypton when you can recreate the WMP 11 UI pretty closely.

I will post the source code sometime this week.

The only thing I really do not like is the ClickOnce-Installation.


Why?
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Re: Windows Media Player look-alike

Postby Waescher » Thu Jul 03, 2008 2:53 am

Why? Just because I would like to have a tiny executable to download, start and maybe archive it somewhere on my machine (or maybe copy it onto another one).
With that ClickOnce-thing you (the user) have no power to handle the program. So it's VERY obscure what happens to your PC while you "install" that app.
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Re: Windows Media Player look-alike

Postby Judah » Thu Jul 03, 2008 3:18 am

Like a web app, I don't want you to archive it on your machine. I want you to run it from my website so you get the latest version every time. (Especially relevant since this is a demo that gets updated a lot.)

Nonetheless, I'll post a direct link to the executable to satisfy your need.
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Re: Windows Media Player look-alike

Postby Waescher » Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:33 am

Thanks :D
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