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Hacking iTunes: Programming iTunes on the Windows Platform

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Want to make your iTunes rock (and add a little roll, too?) Apple has given you a code base from which you can build Windows solutions that run in your iTunes software. In his continuing series on hacking your iPod, Matthew David gives you the skinny on developing the plugins and extensities you need.
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My previous articles in this series focused on how to hack your iPod. This article continues in the same vein, but first you'll step back from the iPod to the parent product: iTunes. ITunes is the tool that allows you to manage music, buy music, and migrate music to your iPod.

In many ways, iTunes can be controlled through exposed classes, methods, and properties more efficiently than the iPod. In this article you will build a custom visual plugin, which is a view in iTunes that plays funky graphics that synchronize to your music.

What You Need

The visualization tool is built as compiled code for iTunes. For this reason you will need to program with a programming language such as C++. For this article I will use the following tools:

  • Visual Studio.NET (2002-2005 works fine)
  • ITunes running on your Windows PC
  • Windows PC
  • Some songs in your music collection to test with

The focus of the article is to develop a solution that will run on a Windows PC.

In addition to the software, it's a good idea to download and work with the Visual Plugin iTunes Software Developers Kit from Apple's web site ().

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