Fun with Quartz Composer in Snow Leopard and the BBC Radio Schedule
So, with all these patches, you create a composition, which is a file with a .qtz extension. Here's an example of what a composition looks like:
A composition can be ran stand-alone, exported as a QuickTime movie, or used in a Cocoa application. It can also be used as a Screen Saver or iTunes visualization simply by dragging it into the correct folder on your Mac. A patch can also be nested in a patch, so as you can imagine the compositions can get quite complex.
One of the limitations of the initial version of QC was that you could only load RSS feeds and not arbitrary XML. Luckily this had been addressed in the new version, so as well as all the other awesome new patches, there's one that lets you provide a path to some XML, and handles downloading and parsing into a structure, as well as download progress information and a flag for when the data is ready.
With this new functionality as well as other new patches, I have created a composition that rolls through the BBC's National Radio networks and displays who is currently on air, as well as downloading and displaying the network logo and a pretty image for that show. Here's a screen grab:
You can download the composition here:
To install you need to:
- Make sure you are running OSX 10.6 (It won't work otherwise)
- Unzip the downloaded file
- Move the BBC Radio Now.qtz file into your Screen Savers directory.
- NOTE: You may need to create the Screen Savers directory if it doesn't exist
Now you can go to the Screen Savers settings page in system preferences, and you will be able to choose BBC Radio Now from the left hand menu. You can also adjust the duration in which the radio stations are switched via the options tab. Oh and remember, if you're not connected to the internet then you won't see anything.
Disclaimer: I made this as an unsupported demo for my own learning. If you find any problems and fixes, please post them in the comments