Jetpack 0.4 Update Tackles Open Video and Open Audio
Article by George Norman
On 20 Jul 2009
The development process of Jetpack, Mozilla’s experiment in using open web technologies to enhance the Firefox browser, is speedily moving forward. Is say speedily because just a short while ago we were reporting on the availability of Jetpack 0.3 (an update influenced by user feedback) and now we see the release of yet another update, Jetpack 0.4. What’s interesting about this release is that it tackle the issue of open video and open audio on the web.

Anant Narayanan and David Dahl, on behalf of the Jetpack development team, explain: “Aligned with Mozilla’s goal of enabling open video and audio on the Web, we are pleased to announce the release of Jetpack 0.4, which includes experimental support for recording audio directly to Ogg-Vorbis. These new audio encoding APIs will allow developers to build Jetpacks that record high-quality audio directly from within the browser, which can then be played back using Firefox 3.5’s new audio tag support. This update to the rapidly evolving Jetpack APIs also enables the ability for developers to add features or functionality to any website being viewed in the browser using the “page mod” API.”


Jetpack 0.4 new features
Audio Recording APIs – give you the option to record audio in Ogg-Vorbis format. The Firefox 3.5 web browser natively supports playback of audio files, and Jetpack 0.4 lets you record them. You can also use these Audio Recording APIs to take audio notes on any webpage you visit.
Page Mods APIs – empower developers to add new features and functionality to websites.

This is of course on top of the features and functionality provided by previous Jetpack releases. Here’s a reminder:

Jetpack 0.3 highlights
Selection: it is easier to perform an action on or upon a selection (like for example selecting a word on Wikipedia).
Clipboard: get and set text from the system clipboard.
Slide bars: updated the API, added new functionality.
Persistent storage: has a new API and is now synchronous.
Improved UI: Jetpack’s looks have been improved.

Jetpack 0.2 highlights

Slide bars: a new take on the old sidebars that let the use seamlessly access all sorts of temporary and permanent info. You can use Slidebars to watch a video while surfing the web for example; or you could use Slidebars to access streams of info, such as Facebook or Twitter.
Jetpack.future: according to Atul Vama and Aza Raskin from the Jetpack development team, jetpack.future is actually two things rolled into one. “It is a platform for experimentation and it is also a solid set of APIs that anyone to easily build new Firefox features. To enable Jetpack to be both stable and — at the same time — to experiment with not-quite-yet-ready features we’ve added the ability to import new features from the “future”. Slidebars, for example, are still highly experimental. To use them, you need to import them from the future first,” the two explained.
Persistent storage and clipboard support: the feature adds simple storage support to the future module, just as requested by numerous Jetpack testers.

Jetpack 0.1 highlights

- APIs with status bar, tabs, content-script, animations support.
- External API libraries support.
- jQuery support.
- Bespin integrated development environment.
- Firebug inline debugging.

If you would like to visit the Jetpack official web page, please click here.
If you would like to get the Jetpack add-on, a download location is available here.

Tags: Mozilla, Jetpack, Mozilla Labs
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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