How can I add a button to the iTunes GUI on Windows?
October 17, 2006 9:03 AM   Subscribe

I recently downloaded this tool called Qloud and noticed to my delight that it installed a button on my iTunes GUI. Not only that but they create their own view/window with a list of playlists and songs. How can I hack the iTunes GUI to do that?
posted by jeff_w_welch to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's been hours, and no help yet. I suggest you check out this lifehacker post about Qloud; one of the comments is by one of the creators of the product; maybe you'll have more luck getting in touch with someone who can help you over there.
posted by Sprout the Vulgarian at 12:03 PM on October 17, 2006

I don't have time to install the plugin and the systernals tool I'd need to do it, but my suspicion based on (a) being a windows programmer for a goodly amount of time and (2) looking at the iTunes API in the past is that they're not really doing either of those things. It looks like it, but it's a dodge.

Looking at the demo here I notice that the fonts and sliders change slightly but perceptively and that the buttons never seem to alter/interact with any established iTunes windows or objects. What I think they're doing is using some windows functions to grab the client area and overlaying their own application and buttons on the iTunes interface and using keep-on-top functionality.

It's possible that Apple has notably expanded the API since I last looked at it, but I doubt it since they always seem to lag behind on features, much less plugins this snazzy. (The last time I looked was to see if I could script something to toggle the remember position option within about 60 days of it being introduced - the API still didn't expose those settings, as well as some others.)
posted by phearlez at 2:16 PM on October 17, 2006

That's interesting phearlez. I can definitely see how that might be true.

I have noticed that when I instantiate the qloud app within iTunes and then close iTunes it gives a warning to the effect of "You are closing iTunes, some other application is using it right now." This is the same message I get when I interface to itunes with VBScript or whatever.

Also, the iTunes SDK has no plugins into the UI itself, well other than reading the information in the window. You can't put buttons or what-not using the SDK.

However, when I run iTunes and click the Qloud button, I don't see any more processes starting up in the TaskManager. That is, before I start iTunes I have 70 processes running after I start itunes I have 71 and after I click the Qloud button I still have 71.

Anyway, I'll download that systernals tool you mentioned and see what I find. Thanks for the tip
posted by jeff_w_welch at 3:43 PM on October 17, 2006

Grab their process explorer tool and in the upper right hand on the toolbar is a little target thing you can drag over any windowed app and see what controls it.
posted by phearlez at 12:38 PM on October 18, 2006

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