Mastering Modern Media Playback 

Session 503 WWDC 2014

Media playback just got easier and more powerful with the introduction of AVKit on iOS. Hear how AVKit provides view-level services that give you access to the modern media capabilities of AV Foundation. Learn the best practices for playing audiovisual media on iOS and OS X.

Welcome to “Mastering Modern Media Playback”.

My name is Stefan Hafeneger.

I’m an engineer on the AVKit Team.

And if you are already using or planning to adopt AVKit or AVFoundation in your iOS or OS X applications, this is the right session for you.

The goal of this session is to show you how easy and powerful media playback is on iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite.

You have more sessions focused on other major operations later today and this week.

And we will refer you to those at the end of this talk.

In the first part of this talk I’m going to introduce you to AVKit for iOS and show you why and how you should use it your applications.

I’ll also give you a very brief overview of the most important API additions and changes in your IM behavior.

We have for you this year an AVKit for OS X.

In the second part of this talk, my colleague Shalini Sahoo will teach you best practices for using AVKit and AVFoundation in your iOS and OS X applications.

But before we dive in, let’s take a quick look at our current Media Stack on iOS.

On the lowest level, we have the Core Media framework, the core of our Modern Media Stack.

On top of our Core Media sits AVFoundation, a powerful Objective-C framework that provides you easy access to our Media Stack.

Finally, on your iKit level, we have the Media Player framework with built-in UI, providing you playback UI in the form of MPMoviePlayerController.

This year in iOS 8 we’re adding a new framework called AVKit, replacing parts of the Media Player framework.

AVKit is our new high-level media framework providing you access to the rest of the Media Stack.

And I’m going to show you in this talk what possibilities this opens up for your iOS applications.

But to be clear, we’re not deprecating MPMoviePlayerController in iOS 8, but we are strongly encouraging you to adopt AVKit for media playback instead.

So here you have it, our Modern Media Stack on iOS.

For those of you with an OS X background, you might see that it’s pretty similar to our Media Stack on OS X.

And you’re correct.

In fact, it’s the same now on both iOS and OS X and will allow you to create and maintain cross-platform applications easier than ever.

And now, let me introduce you to AVKit for iOS.

So up to now we’ve provided you two options for media playback on iOS.

MPMoviePlayerController and its UIView controller companion, MPMoviePlayerViewController and AVFoundation.

So some of you might be using MPMoviePlayerController on your applications, which means you get standardized playback UI, but you lack access to the Media Stack, which means you’re limited to basic media playback.

Or, you might be using AVFoundation, and thus have access to the Media Stack, and can do things beyond basic media playback, but you have to implement your own playback user interface.

Finally, some of you in the audience might be in the process of adding media playback to your applications.

And you might be torn between these two options.

We want to make your life as developers easier.

And that’s why we have something new for all of you.

AVKit provides you both standardized playback controls and behaviors by giving you full access to the Modern Media Stack through AVFoundation.

Last year we introduced AVKit in OS X.

This year we bring AVKit over to iOS.

Our goal for AVKit in iOS is to provide you view- level facilities for media operations on top of AVFoundation and your iKit.

Media playback on iOS is now easier and more powerful than ever.

AVPlayerViewController – sorry, AVKit on iOS, which uses AVPlayerViewController, a state-of-the-art UV controller subclass provides you the same look and feel as our video applications and the existing MPMoviePlayController API.

And we made it really easy for you to adopt AVPlayerViewController in your iOS applications.

Let me show you the necessary steps in a demo.

So in XCode, we create a new iOS application and we select the empty application template.

And then press the Next button.

As the name, we enter AVKitPlayer.

Press Next again.

Set the project on the desktop.

Now we select the AppDelegate implementation.

And the first thing you have to do is to import AVFoundation and AVKit.

Then, an application didFinishLaunchingWithOptions.

We first create an AVPlayerViewController by calling AVPlayerViewController alloc init.

And then we create an AVPlayer object by calling AVPlayerWithURL.

And then we use NSBundle mainBundle, URLForResource with extension.

The resource name is going to be “longboarding”, and the extension .mov.

We set the player object on the AVPlayerViewController.

And then we set the AVPlayerViewController as the rootViewController of our window.

Finally, we add the movie to our project.

And if we now build and run, you can see we have a fully functional playback application.

And this was just three lines of code, basically.

But this example is probably not what your application would look like.

So let’s switch to a different project.

Let me first run this and show you what it is.

So this is a very simple media playback application, or media library, movie library application.

And it’s using the master detailViewController template.

So in the master view here, we have a list of movies.

And for each of the movies we have the thumbnail, the name of the file and some information.

We will now click one of the movies.

We see that in the detail view we have some information about the movie in this gray box here.

So in the rest of this demo, I’m now going to add AVPlayerViewController and show you how to hook it up.

So we start by modifying the main storyboard.

As you can see here, I already have a container view.

So now in the object library, we search for the Player View Controller.

Drag in an instance to our storyboard.

Move this over here a bit.

And then using a Control Drag, and choose Embedded embed.

We can set the AP Player View Controller up for our container view.

Now we need to select the segue in the inspector, give it an identifier.

In this case we just use showMovie.

Since we are using AV Player View Controller in a storyboard, you also have to manually link against the AVKit library a framework.

So for Linked Framework and Libraries, we add a new framework.

So we type in AVKit, select Add and then press the Add button.

And now we have to modify the DetailViewController implementation.

Again, the first thing we have to do is import the header files.

So do import AVFoundation then add import AVKit.

And then we need to implement the prepareForSegue sender notation.

So first we check for the identifier.

We want to make sure that it is showMovie.

Then we get the AVPlayerViewController, which is the destinationViewController of the segue.

And then finally we create an AVPlayer the same way as we did before by using playerWithURL.

And this detail view controller has a movie property, which itself has a URL.

And then we set this AVPlayer and its player object on the playerViewController.

We now build and run and select a movie.

You can see that the movie is loaded here.

And we can press Play.

And we press the fullscreen button.

It goes into fullscreen and I can rotate to landscape.

And you can see it’s fully working.

All right?

So next I want to show you how AVPlayerViewController works in AVFoundation, especially for those of you in the audience that are new to AVFoundation.

AVPlayerViewController has a strong reference in AVPlayer object.

This object provides the content.

And an AVPlayer object manages an AVPlayerItem, which serves as a mutable data structure from an individual AVAsset.

This means in order to provide content from the AVPlayerViewController, you have to do the following steps.

First, you create an AVAsset from an NSURL.

This URL can either be a local file on disk or a remote URL.

With an AVAsset you then create an AVPlayerItem.

Once you have an AVPlayerItem you can create an AVPlayer object.

And finally, you associate the AVPlayerObject with the AVPlayerViewController.

But if you don’t need to inspect any properties yourself of the content, and just want to play with AVPlayerViewController, you can do all four steps at once.

As I’ve shown you in the demo, you can directly create an AVPlayer object from an NSURL and then pass it to the AVPlayerViewController.

And there’s a chance that the only reason why you inspected the AVAsset so far was in order to implement your own playback user interface.

With AVKit you don’t have to do this anymore.

So if you would take a look at the AVPlayerViewController API you might notice that besides the player property, there isn’t really much more.

But there is so much stuff you just get automatically without any further setup.

Here’s a list of the most important AVPlayerViewController features for your reference.

You might notice that it is mostly identical to MPMoviePlayerController.

And there’s a reason for that.

We want to make your transition to AVKit as easy as possible.

For those of you not familiar with MPMoviePlayerController, let me show you what these features actually look like.

AVPlayerViewController has adaptive player controls.

This is different from MPMoviePlayerController and AVPlayerViewer on OS X.

Instead of setting a certain control style, AVPlayerViewController automatically adapts and controls that for you.

So as you saw in the demo, when you show a movie embedded in your application, and your user taps the fullscreen button, AVPlayerViewController automatically switches to the fullscreen playback controls.

If you don’t want it to show any controls at all, you still have the option to hide them.

AVPlayerViewController also has dynamic player controls.

So for continuous chapters, tapping this seek backward or seek forward button seeks the previous or next chapter.

For content with additional languages or subtitles, AVPlayerViewController adds a media selection button allowing the user to select a different audio or subtitle track.

Dynamic also means that AVPlayerViewController automatically switches to a different set of playback controls for live streaming content.

You don’t have to do anything.

Finally, AVPlayerViewController has built-in support for both AirPlay and HDMI.

So when a user enables AirPlay or plugs in an HDMI adapter, the application will automatically present the content on the external screen but keeping the player controls on the iOS device.

So let’s see how AVPlayerViewController stands up against MPMoviePlayerController so far.

Every major feature is available in AVKit as well.

But if you look closely, you will notice one difference.

As I mentioned before, AVPlayerViewController automatically selects the control style for you.

So there’s less for you to worry about.

But actually, there’s a lot more.

Let’s take a look at an object diagram from earlier for a bit.

If you want to replace the current AVPlayerItem, you typically use replace current item with player item on AVPlayer.

But if you already know in advance what the next item is going to be, you can help AVFoundation and AVFoundation can help you to get smooth playback when switching to the next player item using AVQueuePlayer.

AVQueuePlayer is a subclass of AVPlayer that allows you to enqueue a list of AVPlayer items, each of which is backed by an AVAsset.

Everything I’m showing you today about AVPlayerViewController works just fine with AVQueuePlayer as well.

So far I’ve just talked about basic media playback.

With AVFoundation you can do a lot more.

AVComposition is a subclass of AVAsset and allows you to create multi-clip and multi-track media compositions.

As a result, this is heavily used in our and possibly some of your video editing applications.

It doesn’t matter if you provide AVPlayerViewController an AVPlayerItem backed by an AVAsset or an AVComposition, either works fine.

AVComposition is also your entry point to even more advanced features.

For instance, if your reader composition allows you to apply FN transforms and simple transitions for video content, but you can even create your own custom compositors to create all kinds of video effects.

AVAudioMix provides a similar functionality for audio tracks.

AVVideoComposition, AVAudioMix work in combination with AVFoundation – I’m sorry – with AVComposition.

If you want to analyze, modify or visualize raw audio data during playback, you can use MTAudioProcessingTap.

These are just a few classes that AVFoundation provides you for media operations beyond basic media playback.

If you want to learn more about this topic, check out our previous WWDC sessions, like this one from last year, and related sample code.

Let’s take a look again at our list of AVPlayerViewController features.

So as I’ve shown you in this talk, AVPlayerViewController features the same features – sorry – has the same features as MPMoviePlayerController, but due to the full access to AVFoundation, you get so much more.

Let me show you what you can easily do now with AVFoundation, AVKit in your own iOS applications.

So this is an iPad version of the movie library application that I used earlier to show you how to use AVPlayerViewController.

In this demo I can now add video effects to movies.

As you can see, I added the Hue Curve effect to this movie.

Right now the effect has zero impact.

But once I start dragging handles up or down, you can see how I can change certain hue values in the movie.

Each handle represents a hue value on the color wheel.

And changing a handle modifies that color or shifts that color to a different value.

I can structure any frame in the movie to adjust the values.

So here, the helmet, for instance.

Well, let’s go back to the beginning and start playing.

So as you can see, the video effect is applied in real time.

And on the right, I even added a digital volume meter that shows the volume for the left and right audio channel during playback.

In order to do all of this, the application is using the AVFoundationComposition API that I mentioned before.

AVKit continues to manage the user interface just as it does for basic media playback cases.

Thank you.

[ Applause ]

So now that I have shown you how easy it is to adopt AVPlayerViewController in a new application, and what amazing things you can do in combination with AVFoundation, I hope you can’t wait to adopt AVPlayerViewController in your existing applications.

In order to help you with the transition, I’m going to highlight the necessary steps for the three common scenarios.

In the first scenario, we’re using AVPlayerLayer and possibly implemented your own playback user interface.

Start off by replacing your AVPlayerLayer back to your UIView and your user interface – or your playback user interface with AVPlayerViewController’s view.

Then set the player property on AVPlayerViewController instead of AVPlayerLayer.

And there’s a chance that most of your remaining code will stay unchanged, unless you have some special UI needs.

If you’re using MPMoviePlayerViewController, just replace MPMoviePlayerViewController alloc init to content URL by AVPlayerViewController alloc init and then create an associated AVPlayer object like I’ve shown you before.

However, if you are also accessing the MPMoviePlayerController property, the third scenario also applies to you.

So if you’re using MPMoviePlayerController on your applications, you’re dealing with a couple more properties and methods.

But don’t worry, the transition’s actually quite straightforward.

MPMoviePlayerController API can be grouped into two classes, view-specific API and controller-specific API.

In the former case, you use AVPlayerViewController API.

In the latter case, AVPlayer and AVPlayerItem API.

Things like MPMovieErrorLog and MPMovieAccessLog are actually very [inaudible] object around AVPlayerItemAccessLog and AVPlayerItemErrorLog, for instance.

There are two things which you should watch out for, though.

As I mentioned before, AVPlayerViewController’s control style is dynamic, so there’s no setting property.

Also, MPMoviePlayerController auto plays by default.

AVPlayer does not do that.

If there’s anything you cannot do or do not know how to do with AVKit and AVFoundation when switching over from MPMoviePlayerController, please talk to us in the labs or ask us in the Developer Forums.

So let’s wrap up AVKit for iOS.

In iOS 8 we’re bringing AVKit over from OS X as our new UI-level media framework for AVFoundation.

AVPlayerViewController provides you with standardized playback controls and behavior while giving you full access to a powerful, modern media stack.

So please consider adopting AVPlayerViewController in your iOS applications.

Finally, I want to give you a brief update on AVKit for OS X.

As you saw yesterday in the Keynote, OS X Yosemite received a UI refresh, and as a result with a brand new UI for AVKit as well.

If you are already using AVPlayerView, your applications will receive the new UI automatically.

You won’t have to change a single line of code or update any file.

If you’re not using AVPlayerViewer yet, this might be a good time to adopt.

With the introduction of AVKit for iOS we’re also updating some user interfaces and behaviors for AVPlayerView to match AVPlayerViewController.

If you want to learn more about how to use AVPlayerView, please check out last year’s “Moving to AVKit and AVFoundation” session.

And finally, we have a brand new class for you this year in AVKit for OS X.

AVCaptureView provides you view-level capture facilities on top of AVFoundation and AppKit.

I’m not going into any details in this session, though.

Please come to the Camera Capture talk tomorrow morning or ask us in the labs if this is interesting to you.

And now, let me hand over to my fellow AVFoundation engineer to show you how you can get the most out of AVKit and AVFoundation in your iOS and OS X applications.

Thank you.

[ Applause ]

Thank you, Stefan.

Good morning.

I’m Shalini Sahoo, an engineer on the AVFoundation team, and I’m here to talk to you today about best practices.

Before we get into the details of these practices, for a show of hands, how many of you have used AVFoundation before?

Lots of you.

For you, I would hope this section serves as an update or refresher on best practices.

As technology evolves with time, so do best practices.

For those of you who are new to AVFoundation, I hope this serves as a guideline on how to approach our APIs.

Let’s get started by talking about why you would be interested in adopting such practices.

What’s the motivation?

These practices are designed to make your application as efficient and performant as possible, making it responsive to your end-users.

They not only help with the application’s efficiency, but also help make your program – help improve your program correctness, making it robust and preventing any sort of hangs or crashes.

Media applications sometimes make use of expensive resources like networks.

These best practices are designed so that you can make efficient use of such resources.

And lastly, your users will be thankful for the improvement they see in their battery life as your application uses very little power.

Here is our Modern Media Stack we looked at earlier in this talk.

AVFoundation sits on top of Core Media and its family of frameworks.

And on top is AVKit, which provides you with standard playback controls with just a few lines of code.

The focus for this section today is best practices, specifically in the areas of inspection and playback.

If you would like to gain more information about AVFoundation in general, you can look at this talk from WWDC 2011 called “Exploring AVFoundation”.

Based on the two major categories for today, AVFoundation objects are modeled separately.

For the first category, which is inspection, AVAsset is an example.

Within AVAsset, as a client of this API, you are in charge of loading values whenever you need it in your application.

You can initiate I/O.

And when AVFoundation requests – receives a request for I/O, we go and do all the loading work so you can get your value.

The best practice here is to request values asynchronously.

Why asynchronous loading?

We’ll answer that in just a few slides.

For the other category, which is playback, AVPlayer and PlayerItem are the controller objects.

All you have to do here is create these items and initiate playback.

AVFoundation and its underlying machinery drives the playback clock so that your users see video frames on time.

So when you hit Play, we drive the necessary machinery so that your user can experience a smooth playback.

As time progresses, properties change.

And if you would like to keep our application state up-to-date with the state of the playback engine, you can use NS key value observing to be notified of such changes.

NS key value observing is also called NS KVO.

Here’s a look at our object diagram from earlier.

Stefan showed you in a demo how to use these objects and create a simple media application.

Now let’s use this as a roadmap for talking about best practices class-by-class starting with AVAsset.

As I mentioned earlier, with AVAsset you can use AVAsynchronousKeyValueLoading, one of our protocol methods, which lets you load properties asynchronously before accessing them.

For example, if you are interested in the precise duration of an asset, you can ask AVFoundation for the duration and we download just about the right amount of data to be able to tell you what the duration is.

With some file formats it’s straightforward.

And there’s some of that information right overhead.

So we can download just that piece of data.

But that’s not always the case.

Sometimes when you ask us for duration, AVFoundation would have to download the entire contents of the media file, parse it, decode it before we can give you the value for a precise duration.

You might ask why should I load asynchronously if AVFoundation has to do all this work to load values, or it takes time to load values?

Well, you really should.

On OS X, if you tried to access a property synchronously by accessing your getter before loading the property, you would be blocking your main thread leading to a spin and making your application unresponsive to your end-user.

On OS X, however, you can dispatch this work to a background queue to access the getter and you won’t see a spin.

Whereas, on iOS, loading synchronously from any thread would block your application and could lead to a hang or crash.

This is because, as you may already know, on iOS we have a shared daemon called mediaserver.d, which services media requests on behalf of your application.

If you tried to access a property synchronously, you would be tying mediaserver.d or forcing mediaserver.d to load a value, and this might take time.

This leads to a timeout and media services termination.

This not only affects your application, but every other application on the system which relies on media services.

So please don’t do that.

Now that we looked at a good reason to use AVAsynchronousKeyValueLoading, there are two more things to remember.

Firstly, only load those properties you anticipate to use in your application.

Every extra property means more work.

If you intend to not use a particular property, do not encode the wasted work.

And the second thing is, if you anticipate the use of a particular property later in your application, you can still request all of them together using loadValuesAsynchronouslyForKeys and completionHandler.

You can parse in an array of keys which AVFoundation will load together and your completionHandler is called once you are done loading these properties.

You no longer have to load tracks before playback begins.

This has changed since the last time we talked about best practices.

In fact, this has changed since iOS 5.

You really only need to load those properties you would directly use in your application.

Now let’s look at how AVAsynchronousKeyValueLoading translates into code.

In this particular example, I’m interested in loading the property “playable”.

I pass in an array with just playable in it and I provide a completion handler.

In my completion handler I first check to make sure the property is loaded.

Sometimes things go wrong, like if you are relying on the network resource and your user device goes out of range, asset loading can fail.

So this is a good place to check for such errors.

Once you get the status, you can see if it’s already loaded.

And then you can update your UI for the asset or, if there’s a failure, you can report an appropriate error to your end-user.

One more thing to remember with completion handlers is, if another module has already loaded the keys you’re interested in, your completion handler is called back immediately.

Say, in this example, if AVPlayer has already loaded the playable property, your completion handler is called synchronously on the same thread.

If you have code which relies on loadValuesAsynchronously for keys to return immediately, that might not happen till the completion handler has executed.

So that’s something to keep in mind to prevent a deadlock.

To list the best practices for AVAsset, load only those keys you are interesting in using in your application.

You can use AVAsynchronousKeyValueLoading to list all these keys together in an array.

And you can provide a completion handler, which is called once we are done loading these properties.

In your completion handler, check to make sure the properties are loaded before you access them.

And lastly, be prepared for asynchronous callback.

If someone else has already loaded the property on your behalf, your thread is called – your completion handler is called back immediately.

Those were best practices for AVAsset.

Now let’s look at AVPlayer and AVPlayerItem.

As I mentioned earlier, with AVPlayer and AVPlayerItem, the playback engine on the – the underlying playback engine drives the machinery necessary so that your user sees video frames on time.

So all you have to do is use NSKeyValueObserving or KVO to be notified of such changes so that you can update your application state.

Here’s an example.

If you have a progressive download item on an HTTP server, as AVFoundation downloads some data, you get a callback with the loaded range.

And as we buffer more data, you get yet another callback with the updated value for the loaded range.

Let’s take an example of where KVO might come in handy, is playback interruption.

If your user’s device receives a phone call or a FaceTime call when your application is playing a particular file, your playback is interrupted so that your user can answer their call.

In this case, if you’re using KVO on the player’s rate, you would see it transition to zero.

This is a good way for you to be notified of such interruptions so that you do not end up waiting endlessly for playback to end.

And the last example here is media services reset.

As I mentioned earlier, if your application or some other application wasn’t paying attention to AVAsynchronousKeyValueLoading and tried to access a property synchronously, you could have forced mediaserver.d to terminate.

This affects your application, too.

Your media services are reset.

And when this happens, your player item status transitions to failed.

And this is a good place for you to throw away all your old objects and rebuild your player and PlayerItem to continue playback.

Let’s look at an example in code where KVO might come in handy.

In this example I would like to decide when to show audio-only UI in my application.

Here I first create a player item with an asset.

Then I try to access the track’s property on item asset, particularly of type video.

And then I check to make sure that the video tracks – or there are no video tracks before I update my UI to audio-only.

This is not completely correct.

Firstly, we’re trying to access the tracks property on an asset without prior loading it.

This could block your main thread and make your application unresponsive.

And the second thing here is an assumption that lack of video tracks means audio-only.

You can have non-video visual tracks like subtitles in your movies.

Now let’s look at how I can do this using KVO.

I add myself as an observer for the presentation size on a player item.

And once AVFoundation is done loading the presentation size and your observation callback, first check to make sure that your presentation size is zero by zero.

This way you know none of the tracks have a non-zero presentation size.

And after that, make sure you have at least one audio track.

To do that, you can look at the underlying AVAsset tracks and make sure that there’s at least one of them which has an AVMediaCharacteristicAudible.

This is necessary because sometimes you can have movie files which have non – or which have zero by zero for the presentation size but no audio tracks, like timecode tracks.

The KVO recipe we just used, we first create a player item with an asset.

Then we register for key value observing a property of interest.

After that, we associate the player item with the player.

And in your observation callback, you can look at the change dictionary to know what the new value is.

This is the recipe when you work with these objects.

But there are a few more things to remember when you’re interacting with these objects in general.

First, do not assume the order in which events occur.

As soon as you associate a player item with a player, AVFoundation starts its underlying machinery so that your user can experience a smooth playback.

On iOS 7 we made an optimization which changes the status to ready-to-play much more quickly.

So if you were to add yourself as an observer after you create a player with a player item, you could miss this vital notification.

To fix this, you can add yourself as an observer before associating a player item with a player.

That way you won’t miss any notifications.

Or, sometimes in your applications, you might have a particular scenario where you would like to add yourself as an observer only after an event, say, if a user presses a button.

In such cases, you can use NSKeyValueObserving OptionInitial.

This flag lets you access the initial value as well as the new value.

The second thing to remember is that AVFoundation serializes the access to AVPlayer and PlayerItem on the main queue.

It’s safe to access and register and unregister for observers for these objects on the main queue.

This was done to prevent any possible race conditions as multiple modules are interacting with these objects.

And the main queue was a natural choice, as most of these observation callbacks lead to your application’s interaction with UIKit objects, which also happen on the main queue.

However, this does not mean that we are doing our work on our main queue.

We are not affecting the end-user responsiveness.

All our loading and playback-related work happens on the background queue.

We only serialize the access to these objects on the main queue.

If in your application you have a particular scenario for which you think this requirement is a hindrance, please come talk to us in our labs or file enhancement requests.

We are really interested in listening to your feedback on this.

And the last thing to remember is wherever possible, set up your player item before associating it with the player.

As I mentioned earlier, as soon as you create a player, AVFoundation starts driving its machinery so that we can get ready for playback.

For example, if you have a streaming item, as soon as you create a player, we go over the network and start downloading data from the default time.

And after that, if you were to issue a seek to time, we would have to throw away all the data we downloaded and start reloading our caches to begin playback.

In order to prevent that wherever possible, you can always configure your player item before associating it with the player.

Here’s a few examples of the kind of configurations you can do.

This is definitely not the exhaustive list, but just a few.

You can add outputs.

You can select media options like audible and legible.

You can set forward and reverse playback end times or seek to time.

And after doing all those changes, I can associate my player item with the player.

In summary, for AVPlayer and PlayerItem, use NSKeyValueObserving to be notified of changes as the playback engine is driving the clock so that your user can experience a smooth playback.

Do not rely on the order in which events occur.

If you really need a particular value, you can always use NSKeyValueObserving OptionInitial or add yourself as observers before you create the player.

Please serialize your access to Player and PlayerItem on the main queue to avoid any possible race conditions.

And lastly, wherever possible, set up your player item with all configurations before creating a player.

Those were the best practices for AVPlayer and PlayerItem.

Most of the things we talked about AVPlayer also apply to AVQueuePlayer.

As you’ve seen earlier in this talk, AVQueuePlayer takes a list of player items.

If in your application you have an inspector window for which you would like to access a set of keys on each of the player items, you can use AVPlayerItem’s convenient initializer, which lets you parse a set of keys which AVQueuePlayer or AVPlayer would load on your behalf.

You have an AVQueuePlayer with a list of items.

And if you initialize each of these items with a set of keys, as AVQueuePlayer is getting ready to initiate playback for the particular item, we load these keys in combination with the keys we require for playback.

And as playback progresses and we reach the next item, we load the second set of keys you requested for that particular item.

This is valid for AVPlayer as well if you are using replaceCurrentItem with playerItem.

You can use this as an alternate to AVAsynchronousKeyValueLoading.

Instead of using AVAsynchronousKeyValueLoading for each of your asset, you can initialize each of the player items and we’ll take care of loading the properties.

And if you are using this instead of AVAsynchronousKeyValueLoading, the best place to access your properties would be to KVO the playerItem status.

When you receive an observation callback for the status, and if the status is ready to play, your asset keys would either be loaded or failed.

So then you can use statusOfValueForKey to access these properties.

And the last thing to remember with AVQueuePlayer is if AVFoundation encounters an error with a particular player item, we’ll skip that item and move on so that your user experiences uninterrupted playback.

However, if you would like to be notified of such errors, you can NSKeyValueObserve AVQueuePlayer’s current item status.

Those were some tips for using AVQueuePlayer.

Lastly, let’s talk about AVPlayerViewController.

With AVPlayerViewController on iOS or AVPlayerView on OS X, it’s a good idea to animate your view into your view hierarchy only when there’s some viable content to present.

Only if there’s some video frames you can show.

And to do that, you can key value observeReadyForDisplay.

On iOS, you would observe on the player view controller, whereas on OS X you observe on the player view.

You add yourself as an observer for ready for display.

And in your observation callback, you can check to make sure ready for display is Yes before animating your view or before, like showing your view.

New in iOS 8 and OS 10.10 is contentOverlayView.

With contentOverlayView, you can do your custom drawings and renderings over the player view.

The contentOverlayView is guaranteed to have similar dimensions as the player view.

And if you would like to place your drawings relative to the video frame, you can access the videoBounds property on the player view controller.

Here is a screenshot of the demo we saw earlier.

The digital volume meter on the bottom right was rendered using contentOverlayView.

And lastly, for chapter navigation, as you may have seen in QuickTime Player, when you seek through chapters using the appropriate keyboard shortcuts or menu items, QuickTime Player briefly flashes the chapter number and title.

And if you would like to get similar behavior in your applications, which we highly recommend, you can use this API of AVPlayerView, This is only on OS X, to flash chapter number and title.

Ideally, you would do this after the seek has completed so you can place this code in your completion handler for seek to time.

So the best practices for PlayerViewController is to observe ready for display to know when to present your view onscreen so that your user doesn’t have to look at black screen.

Second, then we saw how to use content overlay view to do custom rendering over the player view.

In Z-order, the player view is below and above that is content overlay view and the controls sit on top.

And lastly, we saw how to flash chapter number and title during chapter navigation using AVPlayerView.

That brings us to the end of our roadmap for best practices.

Let’s wrap up.

We looked at why it’s important to load values asynchronously and how to do that AVAsynchronousKeyValueLoading for AVAsset.

With AVPlayer and PlayerItem, all you have to do is use NSKeyValueObserving to be notified of changes.

And we looked at some tips for using AVQueuePlayer.

We talked about how to observe readyForDisplay to know when to present your view into your view hierarchy.

And then we looked at how to customize your player view by custom drawings in content overlay view and displaying chapter numbers during navigation.

That was best practices for AVFoundation and AVKit, our last topic for today.

In summary, AVKit is now available on iOS along with OS X.

AVKit provides you with standard playback controls with just a few lines of code.

If you’ve been using AVKit on OS X, you get the UI refresh for free.

You wouldn’t have to change anything.

We looked at the demo, which shows how powerful AVFoundation can be in combination with AVKit to provide you with an application with standard playback controls and to add effects and visualizations.

We highly recommend you to adopt our Modern Media frameworks and to audit your current applications to see if they can stand to benefit by adopting these best practices.

For more information, you can contact our Evangelism Team or visit or check out our programming guide on our developer Website, which covers both AVFoundation and AVKit.

You can also consult us on our developer forums.

We have some related sessions lined up for you for the rest of this week starting with one this afternoon called “Harnessing Metadata in Audiovisual Media”.

Tomorrow morning we show you Camera Capture with all its new features and AVCaptureView, we mentioned earlier in this talk.

And on Thursday, we show you how you can directly access our media encoders and decoders.

That’s it.

Thank you for coming.

Enjoy the rest of your week.

[ Applause ]

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