7 Replies Latest reply: Mar 7, 2011 5:36 AM by jacobp RSS

    Building a web-player Desktop App: A How-To

    BlueFrog

      I realize many people are upset that Sling has gone away from the desktop app for Mac, and will only support the web version. I liked having an app I could open up and just watch TV on, instead of trying to watch it in my browser. I also liked that I could float the window above everything else, handy for when I was only partially paying attention to a sports event.

       

      The good news is that I've found a solution, and it works pretty darn well - it's also FREE!

       

      You'll need to download a couple pieces of software:

      Fluid - this is an app that allows you to make apps that connect to a single URL, or allow it to connect to the entire net. You can download it here:

      http://fluidapp.com/

       

      When you launch Fluid you'll see a single dialog box asking for a few things.

      URL: user "http://watch.slingbox.com/watch/sling_player" for the app

      Name: I called mine "SlingBox Online Player"

      Location: Applications

      Icon: I used the default, which is "Use Website Favicon" and then I copied/pasted the icon from "SlingPlayer" onto it.

       

      When you open the app for the first time you should go under "Preferences" and then "Advanced Preferences" and then select "Allow Browsing to Any URL." If you don't do this then you'll run into problems trying to log into Sling as it forwards to another server for verification and this will cause the URL to load in your default browser, not the new app we just made.

       

      You'll also have to change the User Agent to fool Sling into thinking this is a supported browser (it's built using the same "guts" as Safari). Go under the first menu (Mine is named "SlingBox") down to "User Agent." I selected "Firefox 3.0.4 Mac" as my User Agent, and it works fine with Slingbox.com.

       

      Now log into your Sling box like you normally would in a browser, and everything will play normally. We've just built an app that will automatically connect to your TV when you open it. Woohoo!

       

      Now this was something that really excited me - the ability to float the window over everything else.

       

      Download and install Afloat (http://infinite-labs.net/afloat/). It'll add new options under the "Window" menubar, allowing you to float the window above everything else, and even assign levels of transparency. You can also set the window to become opaque when you move your mouse over it. Very slick!

       

      I wasn't happy when I heard the Mac application had been abandoned, but the combination of these two apps have given me something that works well, and also provided me some new functionality.

       

      Hope this helps some others out. I've attached a screenshot showing the window floating over Firefox.