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Using Mobile Media API (MMAPI)

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Using Mobile Media API (MMAPI)


Perhaps the easiest way to learn about MMAPI is to start by acquiring and playing a simple audio file. All multimedia operations, whether simple audio playback or complex video capture, will follow similar patterns. The Manager class will be used to create a Player instance using a String locator. The Player will then be realized, prefetched and played till it is time to close it. There are small differences, and I will point these out as we go along.

Figure 3 shows part of the operation of this simple audio file playback.

Figure 3
Figure 3. Simple audio file playback

When the user launches the MIDlet, he is given the option of playing the only item in the list, which is a "Siren from jar" item. On selecting this item, the screen changes to show the text "Playing media" and two commands become available to the user: pause and stop. The media starts playing in the background and the user can pause the audio or stop and return to the one item list.

The corresponding code is shown in Listing 1.

package com.j2me.part4;

import java.util.Hashtable;
import java.util.Enumeration;

import javax.microedition.lcdui.Item;
import javax.microedition.lcdui.List;
import javax.microedition.lcdui.Form;
import javax.microedition.midlet.MIDlet;
import javax.microedition.lcdui.Display;
import javax.microedition.lcdui.Command;
import javax.microedition.lcdui.Displayable;
import javax.microedition.lcdui.CommandListener;


public class MediaMIDlet extends MIDlet
  implements CommandListener, PlayerListener {

  private Display display;
  private List itemList;
  private Form form;

  private Command stopCommand;
  private Command pauseCommand;
  private Command startCommand;

  private Hashtable items;
  private Hashtable itemsInfo;

  private Player player;

  public MediaMIDlet() {
    display = Display.getDisplay(this);
    // creates an item list to let you select multimedia files to play
    itemList = new List("Select an item to play", List.IMPLICIT);

    // stop, pause and restart commands
    stopCommand = new Command("Stop", Command.STOP, 1);
    pauseCommand = new Command("Pause", Command.ITEM, 1);
    startCommand = new Command("Start", Command.ITEM, 1);

    // a form to display when items are being played
    form = new Form("Playing media");

    // the form acts as the interface to stop and pause the media

    // create a hashtable of items
    items = new Hashtable();

    // and a hashtable to hold information about them
    itemsInfo = new Hashtable();

    // and populate both of them
    items.put("Siren from jar", "file://siren.wav");
    itemsInfo.put("Siren from jar", "audio/x-wav");

  public void startApp() {

    // when MIDlet is started, use the item list to display elements
    for(Enumeration en = items.keys(); en.hasMoreElements();) {
    itemList.append((String)en.nextElement(), null);


    // show the list when MIDlet is started

  public void pauseApp() {
    // pause the player
    try {
      if(player != null) player.stop();
    } catch(Exception e) {}

  public void destroyApp(boolean unconditional) {
    if(player != null) player.close(); // close the player

  public void commandAction(Command command, Displayable disp) {

    // generic command handler

    // if list is displayed, the user wants to play the item
    if(disp instanceof List) {
      List list = ((List)disp);

      String key = list.getString(list.getSelectedIndex());

      // try and play the selected file
      try {
        playMedia((String)items.get(key), key);
      } catch (Exception e) {
        System.err.println("Unable to play: " + e);
    } else if(disp instanceof Form) {

      // if showing form, means the media is being played
      // and the user is trying to stop or pause the player
      try {

        if(command == stopCommand) { // if stopping the media play

          player.close(); // close the player
          display.setCurrent(itemList); // redisplay the list of media
          form.removeCommand(startCommand); // remove the start command
          form.addCommand(pauseCommand); // add the pause command

        } else if(command == pauseCommand) { // if pausing

          player.stop(); // pauses the media, note that it is called stop
          form.removeCommand(pauseCommand); // remove the pause command
          form.addCommand(startCommand); // add the start (restart) command
        } else if(command == startCommand) { // if restarting

          player.start(); // starts from where the last pause was called
      } catch(Exception e) {


  /* Creates Player and plays media for the first time */
  private void playMedia(String locator, String key) throws Exception {

    // locate the actual file, we are only dealing
    // with file based media here
    String file = locator.substring(
      locator.indexOf("file://") + 6,

    // create the player
    // loading it as a resource and using information about it
    // from the itemsInfo hashtable
    player = Manager.createPlayer(
        getClass().getResourceAsStream(file), (String)itemsInfo.get(key));

    // a listener to handle player events like starting, closing etc

    player.setLoopCount(-1); // play indefinitely
    player.prefetch(); // prefetch
    player.realize(); // realize

    player.start(); // and start

  /* Handle player events */
  public void playerUpdate(Player player, String event, Object eventData) {

    // if the event is that the player has started, show the form
    // but only if the event data indicates that the event relates to newly
    // stated player, as the STARTED event is fired even if a player is
    // restarted. Note that eventData indicates the time at which the start
    // event is fired.
    if(event.equals(PlayerListener.STARTED) &&
      new Long(0L).equals((Long)eventData)) {

    } else if(event.equals(PlayerListener.CLOSED)) {

      form.deleteAll(); // clears the form of any previous controls

Listing 1. Simple Audio playback

You now have an audio player with code that leaves room to add playback for other media. To start, the MIDlet displays a list of items that can be played. At the moment, it only contains a single item called "Siren from jar". Notice that in the code, "Siren from jar" corresponds to a file-based access. This implies that the actual location of this media will be in the MIDlet jar file. When the user selects this item, a Player object is created specifically for it in the playMedia() method. This method loads this player, attaches a listener to it, prefetches it, realizes it and finally, starts it. Also notice that it plays the media continually.

Because the listener for the Player is the MIDlet class itself, the playerUpdate() method catches the player events. Thus, when the user starts hearing the siren, the Form is displayed, allowing the user to stop or pause it. Stop takes the user back to the list, while pause pauses the siren and replays from the paused marker when restarted.

Having created this generic class, it is now fairly easy to add other types of media to it. Besides audio, video is the primary media that would be played. To allow the MediaMIDlet to play video, the only change that needs to be made is in the playerUpdate() method, to create a video screen. This is shown in the following code snippet, with the changes highlighted in bold.

/* Handle player events */
  public void playerUpdate(Player player, String event, Object eventData) {

    // if the event is that the player has started, show the form
	// but only if the event data indicates that the event relates to newly
	// stated player, as the STARTED event is fired even if a player is
	// restarted. Note that eventData indicates the time at which the start
	// event is fired.
	If(event.equals(PlayerListener.STARTED) &&
	  new Long(0L)Equals((Long)eventData)) {

        // see if we can show a video control, depending on whether the media
		// is a video or not
		VideoControl vc = null;
		if((vc = (VideoControl)player.getControl("VideoControl")) != null) {
		  Item videoDisp =
			(Item)vc.initDisplayMode(vc.USE_GUI_PRIMITIVE, null);

	} else if(event.equals(PlayerListener.CLOSED)) {

	  form.deleteAll(); // clears the form of any previous controls

The change allows you to play video files with the help of this MediaMIDlet as well. If the method determines that the player has a VideoControl, it exposes it by creating a GUI for it. This GUI is then attached to the current form. Of course, now you need to attach a video file to the list so that you can test it.

Recall that not all mobile phones will play all video files (or audio files for that matter). To see the list of video files supported by a device, use the Manager.getSupportedContentTypes(null) method. In the case of the Wireless Toolkit, video/mpeg is supported and therefore, this video will play. Add this to the list as shown here

items.put("Promo Video from jar", "file://promo.mpg");
itemsInfo.put("Promo Video from jar", "video/mpeg");

put the video in the res folder, and you should now be able to select and play it as well when the MIDlet is run. The result is shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4
Figure 4. Video playback with MediaMIDlet

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Keywords: Using Mobile Media API (MMAPI), j2me introduction, J2ME Tutorial, j2me tutorial netbeans, j2me background process, j2me development kit, J2ME tutorial pdf, history of J2ME, basic J2ME, syntax use in J2ME, J2ME training courses, J2ME download.

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