Substance (Swing) Sightings Volume 2

April 25th, 2008

The first volume of Substance sightings was published last August and featured four Swing media-oriented applications. The purpose of this series is to highlight the capabilities that Substance look-and-feel brings to Swing applications, and the second volume showcases three open-source audio players with Substance-powered UI.

The first audio player is aTunes (hosted on Sourceforge as well), and it takes advantage of a few Substance APIs. Here is a sample screenshot of aTunes under the dark Raven skin (click to see full-screen image):

And here is another aTunes screenshot under the Business Black Steel skin. Note that both screens use vertically rotated tabs (in the top left corner) and the status bar component from SwingX component suite rendered by the Substance SwingX plugin:

The final aTunes screenshot shows the UI under Arabic locale. Note how Substance handles the right-to-left orientation of title pane buttons, menus, sliders, table headers and tabs:

The second player is Jajuk (which is also hosted on Sourceforge). Here is a screenshot of Jajuk in action – note how it uses an image-based watermark:

Unlike aTunes, Jajuk uses a few custom components that are not painted by Substance (the title bars of inner docked views and some of the buttons).

The last one is Xtreme Media Player (also hosted on Sourceforge). Unlike aTunes and Jajuk, Xtreme MP uses a custom Substance skin to create a unique look for the application. Here is a screenshot of XtremeMP in action:

This application uses SwingX and the matching Substance SwingX plugin as well (for the status bar). In addition to a custom Substance skin, it also takes advantage of the Substance button shaper functionality, setting custom button shapers on the control panel buttons:

Once the application defines the contour of each button, Substance takes care of the rest, including mouse hit detection and proper animation sequences.

If you haven’t tried Substance in your application, you’re more than welcome to do so. The current stable release is 4.3, and the next 5.0 version is available in early development drops.