By Shawn Van Every
Published December 2010 List Price:$44.99, Your Amazon.com Price: $36.81
Amazon.com Sales Rank:1,900,273 Availability: Usually ships in 24 hours
Mobile devices have evolved to focus on rich media production and consumption. Developers of mobile applications are able to create applications that allow people to play, capture, and share media in a variety of new ways on mobile devices. The popularity of Android has soared in part because the platform offers developers a rich set of capabilities including access to media capturing and playback functions.
Pro Android Media provides concise and clear instruction on how to utilize the media APIs made available through Android to create dynamic apps. It takes you from a simple means to gain access to the camera to complex video capture and sharing examples. It also covers sound, graphics, painting, and more'''everything you need to make your app come "alive."
After reading this book, the app you create will showcase the best of multimedia that Android has to offer.
GDNet Staff Review:
Books nowadays seem to get their titles from SEO departments. Pronouncability has taken a back seat to whether or not a Google search will usher the search-er to the Amazon page for your book. At least that is my impression from Pro Android Media: Developing Graphics, Music, Vdeo and Rich Media Apps for Smartphones and Tablets.
Just Pro Android Media gets the big font, so I am going to assume that'''s how Apress expects the book to be named in polite cocktail-party conversation.
Pro Android Media is a concise reference to Android'''s multimedia API'''s. It is not a thick step-by-step tutorial like my previously-reviewed Beginning Android Games. There are not any "take home" projects that span several chapters. While there are several standalone application examples, they are very simple and are just intended to show off a particular technique, like capturing an image from the camera or streaming out audio. In a way (and probably a way that the publisher intends), Pro Android Media can be thought of as a sequel to large-scale tutorials like Beginning Android Games. Despite being half the size of a large tutorial (at a little under 300 pages), it'''s more likely to be the book you'''ll be sticky-noting once you get past the basics.
And "Media" in this case means quite a bit more than just graphics. The book spends most of its time showing how to talk to Android hardware. While books can (and do) spend their entire length building sprite animation libraries, Pro Android Media just spends about half of a chapter on graphics. Much more coverage is given to accessing the camera, speaker, film-roll, and microphone. And that is important nowadays. As you have no doubt seen, there are some very imaginative new smartphone games that are built entirely around capturing images and/or audio and/or video. And if you are coming from a standard game development background like myself, you probably have not spent a lot of time on these technologies. Now is the time to get caught up.
One significant deficiency in Pro Android Media is a lack of discussion of mutitouch screens and gestures. While multitouch is optional to Android devices, most do support it. In the book, touch event coverage is limited to about five pages at the end of the graphics chapter, and multitouch isn'''t mentioned at all. And I do understand that it is debatable as to whether or not touch events count as "media", but this does seem to be a book covering Android stuff that exist beyond Java'''s standard class-library (file access, memory access, XML, etc), and I think it belongs here.
But as it stands, it is a good discussion of the multimedia API'''s in Android. Check out the table of contents below. If you think your game needs access to any of that stuff, you will probably be well-served with the book.
Table of Contents 01 Introduction to Android Imaging 02 Building Custom Camera Applications 03 Image Editing and Processing 04 Graphics and Touch Events 05 Introduction to Audio on Android 06 Background and Networked Audio 07 Audio Capture 08 Audio Synthesis and Analysis 09 Introduction to Video 10 Advanced Video 11 Video Capture 12 Media Consumption and Publishing Using Web Services