A READER ASKS: QuickTime And Container Fields

From Dwayne Wright PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM
Certified FileMaker Developer

WEB: www.dwaynewright.com
EMAIL: info@dwaynewright.com
TWITTER: dwaynewright
YOUTUBE: FileMakerThoughts

I've found your blogs very helpful as I work through FileMaker, and was hoping you could lend your expertise on a question I have.

I have a folder of QuickTime movies (with a known fixed path from the filemaker db). Each record in my table has the name of one of these files as a text field. How can I see the movie in FM? I can import it into a container, but when I set a calculation field to the filepath and a type of container, I get a generic document icon.

I know the path is right because I can take the calculation field, pass it to the send event script as the filepath for an open document event, and it opens correctly.

For the rare few unfamiliar with QuickTime, it is a cross platform environment to view movies and other multimedia content. It is the product of Apple Computer but (again) it is cross platform and performs admirably on Windows based computers. A free player for viewing QuickTime content is available from Apple Computers web site.

FileMaker interactions with QuickTime content is a bit odd. When you insert a QuickTime movie into a container field, it only allows you to store a reference to the file, not embed the file into the field itself. The trouble with the reference is that if you move the database or the folder containing the movies, your reference is broken and you receive a message "movie missing" in the field.

QuickTime content in container fields have always been stored as references. This allows you to play the movie within the field itself. Embedding the movie as a file (insert file) works from a storage perspective but the FileMaker container field won't recognize it as a QuickTime file, and therefore won't give you the QuickTime player within the container field to enable playback.

Now I haven’t found any confirmation of this (but I think I’ve read it somewhere) but the process of importing a QuickTime movie manually, tags it as a QuickTime movie somewhere hidden in the FileMaker file. Creating a calculation reference to the objects location (just like inserting the QuickTime content as a file) doesn’t inform FileMaker that it is a QuickTime file, like the import process does.

Insert QuickTime - stores a reference to the file and FileMaker recognizes it as QuickTime content. You an play the movie within the field itself.

Insert File (embedded) - allows you to add the entire file into the container field. This does not allow you to play the file in the field. You can export the contents of the field and then play the file there.

Insert File (reference) - allows you to add a reference to the entire file into the container field. This does not allow you to play the file in the field but it comes very close. It will allow you to double click the field and it will launch the QuickTime video in the default application setup for it (normally the QuickTime Player).

More info about the author and FileMaker in general, contact me at info@dwaynewright.com.

© 2008 - Dwayne Wright - dwaynewright.com

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