[mythtv-users] iPhone Frontend Issues

Chase Douglas chasedouglas.lists at gmail.com
Mon Jun 29 19:47:49 UTC 2009

Sorry everyone, I've been on vacation and haven't kept up with the list.
So even though iPhone OS 3.0 is out and has support for streaming videos,
I've come to the realization that it's a very poor implementation.
Essentially, it's geared towards live streaming of a single stream to many
devices. For example, the streaming UI provided by Apple (and which the app
cannot replace because Apple hasn't provided any hooks like play() or ffwd()
functions) has three buttons: pause, skip back 30 s, and skip to the end.
The purpose of the latter button is in a live event where you want to skip
to the end of the stream so you are caught up to live tv. There is no seek
bar. Now, imagine you are trying to watch a recording using this interface.
There is no way to skip past commercials! There's no way to really seek
anywhere! Apple has stated that their solution can be used for Video On
Demand as well as live streamed events, but obviously their implementation
is untenable for VoD.

However, the streaming interface could still be useful if you wanted to
watch live tv shows. But it's also so tightly integrated into an HTTP web
server approach that I've realized that it's best to facilitate everything
through MythWeb. So I checked out the trunk of MythWeb to see what I could
do. Immediately I realized that the it has a skin for the iPhone, but it's
not the greatest looking and it could be done much better using AJAX and
Apple's Dashcode (which throws in the glitter and magic needed to make a
webapp look like a real app). I've actually got a new skin working to the
point that I can browse recordings (and play around with streaming them
using the new streaming interface that won't work well anyways...). From
there, I need to try getting live tv streaming working, but there's no
built-in support for that already in MythWeb.

Add to all this my vacation and overall annoyance with trying to get a
tenable streaming solution for mythtv on the iPhone the past 6 months and
I'm a little burnt out on the whole thing (keep in mind I actually build a
whole ffmpeg player for the iPhone from scratch this past winter as one of
the first forays into this). However, I'll probably pick it up again shortly
to at least finish off the iPhone skin without live tv streaming, and then
I'll try to add live tv streaming back over the top.

I hope this has helped enlighten others on my progress. If anyone wants to
help out and has access to
dashcode I'd be happy to have them take a crack at some of the stuff.

Chase Douglas
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