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iTunes LP, iTunes Extra & TuneKit

06 Jun 2010

Tagged with iPad, iPhone, iTunes

iTunes LP (itlp)  and iTunes Extras (ite) are inter­ac­tive expe­ri­ences cre­ated to accom­pany music and movies. iTunes LP lets lis­ten­ers hear an album and view lyrics, liner notes, band pho­tos, per­for­mance videos, and more.

With iTunes Extras, view­ers can see cast inter­views, exclu­sive clips, behind-the-scenes footage, and photo gal­leries along with the movie.

Tunekit is the pack­age from Apple that enables the pro­duc­tion of a set of rich media inter­ac­tions around music in iTunes and Apple TV.

Tunekit is a col­lec­tion of files in a direc­tory and the direc­tory has the exten­sion dot itlp which cause OSX’s finder and iTunes etc. to see it as a bun­dle. Essen­tially in this “bun­dle” are html, css, javascript files as well a images and media files that go up to make the whole bun­dle. This col­lec­tion of files then pro­duces with HTML5 and CSS3 (all open source)  what would nor­mally be gen­er­ated a a mono­lithic & pro­pri­etary Flash appli­ca­tion. It also opens the devel­op­ment up to a wider audi­ence as those skill set are more widely avail­able and eas­ier to learn.

By show­ing the bun­dle in Finder (right click and Show Pack­age Con­tents) you see this

itlp/ite struc­ture

The bun­dle breaks down with the fol­low­ing structure.

audio

Stores audio files used in the iTunes Extras, such as a short music excerpt that pro­vides back­ground audio that loops.

con­trollers

Stores Javascript con­troller files that con­trol ele­ments and actions on a page and the nav­i­ga­tion and tran­si­tions between pages. Each con­troller should have a cor­re­spond­ing HTML file in the views directory.

css

Stores the CSS files for each View. The CSS files con­trol the posi­tion­ing of but­tons, text, and images on the page. It also includes some inter­ac­tive ele­ments and animations.

images

Stores all the images used in the iTunes LP or iTunes Extras. In this exam­ple tem­plate, each view has its own images folder.

index.html

The page that opens when the user starts an iTunes LP or iTunes Extras. Often called the Home page.

(This page has lit­tle HTML in it. It seems to have all the links to the stylesheets and the javascript and the body tag con­sists of just the ini­tial page. In essence ite and itlp are fun by javascript)

iTune­sArt­work

The icon for the iTunes LP or iTunes Extras. Also some­times referred to as album cover art or film poster art. The for­mat should be either PNG or JPG with­out the file extension.

The iTune­sArt­work file is auto­mat­i­cally gen­er­ated at the time of pur­chase, so there is no need to author this file except for test­ing pur­poses. It must be removed prior to sub­mit­ting to the iTunes Store.

iTunesMetadata.plist

Describes the meta­data for dis­play­ing the iTunes LP or iTunes Extras in iTunes. Meta­data includes things like descrip­tion, genre, copy­right year, artist names, and so on. This file is auto­mat­i­cally gen­er­ated at the time of pur­chase, so there’s also no need to author this file except for test­ing purposes.

manifest.xml

The man­i­fest is an XML file that must live in the top level folder of the iTunes Extras or iTunes LP; that is, it must be a sib­ling of the main index.html file. The pur­poses of the man­i­fest are to:

â – iden­tify the ver­sion of the iTunes LP or iTunes Extras

â – call out what plat­forms it is com­pat­i­ble with

â – iden­tify any items in the user’s iTunes Library that are to be playable via the user inter­face of the iTunes LP or iTunes Extras

videos

The videos folder stores bonus videos, such as deleted scenes and behind-the-scenes inter­views, as well as bonus audio tracks (with the excep­tion of back­ground audio which needs to live in the “audio” folder). The main video asset or main album asset are not stored in this folder.

views

Con­tains the HTML files for each view in the iTunes LP or iTunes Extras. A view defines the lay­out of the page. Each view should have a cor­re­spond­ing JavaScript con­troller in the con­trollers folder.

src

Con­tains javascript libraries pro­vided with TuneKit.

sounds

Con­tains sounds for your use. These sounds can be used to pro­vide audio feed­back as the user nav­i­gates using the Apple TV remote. See the TuneKit doc­u­men­ta­tion for how to use them.

For more details and sam­ple files, and detailed pdf with instruc­tions and the tunkit api go here to Apple.

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