Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Browsing photos and videos on your iPhone via your Mac

Since owning an iPhone 3GS, I've accumulated quite a few videos captured using the built-in camera feature. Oddly, Apple doesn't provide a method for viewing these items via iTunes. In order to access them, I'd launch iPhoto, copy out the movies in which I was interested and then drag the items out of iPhoto into my preferred movie management tool.

It was all a bit of a nuisance since I don't like to use iPhoto.

I figured there must be a simple way to get at these photos and videos without having to use iPhoto or some other bulky image management program. Well, it turns out there is. The iPhone follows the normal "Design rule for Camera File system" convention, so any tool that can browse photos or movies on a camera will be able to access these files. No big surprise there. That's what I expected.

But what did come as a surprise to me was with Mac OS 10.6 there is an ImageKit API which makes accessing this data via a custom program incredibly simple. How simple? How about not even having to write any code simple? Using XCode and Interface Builder, you can literally drag and drop an application which will provide a simple browser interface for any attached cameras on your Mac.

Apple details the simple 2 step procedure in their XCode documentation.

If you don't don't feel like building your own XCode project for this feature, the "Image Capture" program supplied with Snow Leopard provides this exact functionality.

Also, I should note, when I say this allows you to browse videos stored on your iPhone, I am referring to videos you have recorded using the built-in camera. It does not allow you to browse videos loaded via iTunes.

All content copyright © 2009  Brian Stormont, unless otherwise noted.   All rights reserved.