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Explorer Cover Flow

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That sounds good to me :)

I just added a new version ( to the first post.

About (text) resolution: The text is rendered to a RenderToSurface. In the first version this was locked to 512x512 pixels and the backbuffer was locked to half of the screen size i.e. 960x600 for a 1920x1200 screen. The new version includes the option to have the full screen button like in iTunes and also an option to select the sizes of the backbuffer and textures. If you select to use the full screen option (or if you don't but are picky with text quality) you should also set the backbuffer size to the same as the screen size and raise the Text Texture size to 1024. This should give a rather smooth text output. RenderToSurfaces does not anti-alias so another option is to render the text with GDI+ and put it on a texture. I think this will have to be a later project.

If your computer is capable (hardware acceleration and lots of video memory) you can gain very high quality by fiddling with these settings. If it isn't you can really force it on it's knees. On the Dell Dimension 2400 test computer (the one without video memory) the animation speed suffers if I choose the full screen backbuffer and it just wont show 1024x1024 text textures. The quality you can get depends on your hardware.

Associated icons just have the size they have. I think vista icons include a 256x256 image, don't they? On xp (again I think) you could use an app like "Icon packager" to get hi-res icons.

About speed: I do, despite the above remark, think the animation is quite smooth (at least far smoother than the cover flow in iTunes) the problem with speed IMHO lies in the calls to IExtractImage during the rendering. Each of these calls can take up to a second and just locks the whole thing and makes it seem like it is not responding. If you uncheck "Use Thumbnails" in the settings application IExtractImage will not be called and only associated icons and image preview will be shown. It looks boring but it is way faster. The calls to IExtractImage could probaly be put into a separate thread. I think this will also have to be a later project (holy moly batman).

Here are my current settings:



Forgot to mention: I won't be able to work seriously on this app for a couple of weeks now, but I will be back after the holiday B)

Edited by vemod
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Wow , i love you man , this version 1.0.3 Works great and the explorer.exe works fine tooon my seven 7100 :D , not so hungry for memory as the precedent version ,

well there is something else here

i cant access to the setting a message " Runtime error 383 'text property is read only'

i dont know what is that

any help ?

Edited by ahmadus
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Wow..nice update...but now I have a strange view in coverflow. File/Folder icon is strange...low-res?! or what? and for audio/video files...look in this screenshot...text is placed over icon and arrows looks very weird. What can I do?

Have you tried to uninstall the first release before installing the new one ??

i think thats your problem there mate ;)

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bsayz: try to choose another font...one of windows defaults ;)

PS: installed again with the 2nd method to install...no luck...same "view" like in my previous screen :(

PPS: @mps69 - sorry for double post. Rushin' and much work to do and...you know. Thanks

Edited by Elevati0n
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Hi vermod,

did you ever hear of Coverplay ??

It was originally an music file launcher with the coverflow design. The project is not continued but the source has been opensourced !!!

Perhaps it can help you to increase the performance of Explorer Cover Flow because your program does not run really smooth on my Core2 but coverplay does.

Nevertheless I thank you for your effort and please go on with your project.

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This is very cool, damn fine start, and for me, works right out the box.

All the normal stuff the other guys, have mentioned, like icons text and mouse scrolling, will make this a must have for a complete Mac Emulation, kudos to you for taking on this and bring it to this forum.

One little bug/annoyance - I've set the coverflow window to 150, however the scroll bar covers the text.

Can't wait for the next releases.

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Hello again, in case this is of any help to vemod.

I am running Vista x64 sp2 and have installed CF4windows no problems using both the install methods covered in this thread. As I posted a while back the toolbar is registered and enabled in IE8 and I am able to select it as a toolbar under view -> toolbars -> cover flow.

The toolbar cover flow shows as being installed and enabled in IE8 "Manage Add-ons" but when I go into explorer, cover flow just dosn't show as an option under view -> toolbars.

FindeXer which is installed does show.

I noted that if I access IE8 "Manage Add-ons" through "Internet Options" via Windows firewall that in that case CF4Windows does not show at all.

Frustrating because when unlocking the toolbars it's like the app is there but I can't get at it because like I said there is no option to select via the explorer view mode.

Is anyone running it on Vista x64 either service pack ?

Cheers ....

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When I added the scroolbar I was considering setting a minimum height around 200+ px just like in iTunes but then again I thought that it is better not to fill it with limitiations.


Findexer is an explorer bar, cover flow is a toolbar, it isn't a surprise they aren't found in the same menu. I don't have Vista 64 so I can't try it out myself but a logical place would seem to be "Organize -> Layout", perhaps. I will try to see if I can find somebody who owns vista 64 who will let me debug.


I think that might be a unicode thing. Maybe somebody else who is using a unicode language can tell?

@Everybody who has problems with the text or the settings app. Make sure you have the lateste versions of DX and the VB runtime files.

You might also try to temporarily reduce the size of the text textures to see if makes any difference. On some computers textures must be sized to a power of 2. I.e. 64,128,256,512,1024 to look right.

There are 2 ways to upgrade from to

1. Unselect the cover flow in the toolbars menu and shut down all instances of windows explorer. Uninstall from control panel -> Add/remove programs. Install the new version.

2. Unselect the cover flow in the toolbars menu and shut down all instances of windows explorer. Open the cab file in the installer and copy these files: ExplorerCoverFlow.dll










into the directory of the old version. Optional: Create a shortcut to CoverFlowSettings.exe.

If in any doubt:

Right click the installed ExplorerCoverFlow.dll. Select properties->version and make sure you have version

In this version you will also find a file called KillLayout.reg. If the layout is screwed up, i.e. the address bar always shows up even if you unselect it everytime you run explorer or it never shows up even if you always select it. Copy KillLayout.reg to the desktop, close all instances of explorer and run KillLayout.reg from the desktop to start over with a completely wiped toolbar layout.

I hope this was helpful to someone :)

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I currently do not have any plans to switch platform. This does not mean that its never gonna happen.

I have developed applications that way before. Starting out in VB6, which is a really fast way to whip an application together, and then when everything works, rewrite it in C++. I did so with Object Studio

However, by "Vista/7 safe" I guess you mean VS.NET/DirectX 9 and not Borland C++builder 2006/DirectX 9. A VS.NET license costs a smaller fortune and I don't have any budget at all for this application.

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Hi vemod,

thanks for replying. I really hope that some day you consider this migration, down the road... ;)

... by "Vista/7 safe" I guess you mean VS.NET/DirectX 9 and not Borland C++builder 2006/DirectX 9. A VS.NET license costs a smaller fortune and I don't have any budget at all for this application.

No, not at all... if so, I would've stated so; I don't see .net as the best technology myself, preferring to be much more in control of things - and that's one of the reasons I don't like VB either... I'm an old C++/Java developer and advocate. As of VS.NET, there's always the free, express edition, that can be used if needed...

Anyway, this seems to be a very promising emulation implementation of the much waited Cover Flow interface, so I wish you the best luck and will be waiting for the possible migration... ;):D

ps: btw, coverJuke (formerly coverPlay) is indeed a functionally good open source C++ reference implementation and the (somehow messy) source-code comes with the download of the application itself at SourceForge...

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Some Windows Explorer extensions and some Control Panel items are not displayed on computers that are running an x64-based version of Windows

The workaround in the article is of course not satisfying in the long run, especially since you'll then miss your 64-bit extensions.

This obviously calls for an x64 compilation of the cover flow (a little googling gives me the impression that this at the current time only can be done with the professional version of VS.NET).

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