Media Playback in Windows 8 App Explained; Fresh Paint Now Available in Windows Store

Microsoft has released the RTM version of Fresh Paint Windows 8 app. "Fresh Paint" kills Paint.exe by making it an upscale program with many different features. You can simulate a fan to "digitally dry" your paint. You can also insert a picture easily and trace over it. What kind of utensils can I use? From […]

Microsoft has released the RTM version of Fresh Paint Windows 8 app.

"Fresh Paint" kills Paint.exe by making it an upscale program with many different features. You can simulate a fan to "digitally dry" your paint. You can also insert a picture easily and trace over it. What kind of utensils can I use? From paint, to pastels and pencils, Fresh Paint has it all.

In simple terms, it is "paint for the modern age, and has a simplicity and realism that is amazing."

While the old Windows Paint is still available in Windows 8, this new Fresh Paint app comes with the ability to use it on a tablet, and is free for download from Windows 8 app store.

Fresh Paint was originally designed "as a prototype for the Materials Lab at New York's Museum of Modern Art." Ever since it's debut there, Fresh Paint "has been used by over 56,000 visitors at Museum of Modern Art," posted Steve Clayton.

The Fresh Paint app is now the top downloaded app in Windows Store.

Fresh Paint Windows 8 App

At the time of RTM of Windows 8, the Windows app store had 470 applications, but as of today, the numbers are up to 665 "with 195 of those applications being added in a just a week."

Windows 8 app store (Windows Store) Hits 665 apps mark in just a week

In a Windows 8 app developer blog, Microsoft explained the Media Playback in Windows 8 app - and how you can take advantage of them in your media apps.

Windows 8, bring a totally new audio paradigm your way for Windows 8 that lines up with new form factors and a new user experience in Windows.

For Windows 8 apps, Microsoft has introduced the Playback Manager and Media Transport Controls. "The Playback Manager uses audio categories, which assign behaviors to audio streams--and, by extension, audio apps. Incoming audio streams in the foreground are always allowed to play audio. But by tagging streams, Playback Manager can make intelligent decisions about how to handle multiple streams in the foreground and background," Johnny Bregar, Program Manager, Windows, writes.

"For example, if a background capable app is playing music and is moved to the background, and then the user opens a new app in the foreground to play music, Playback Manager mutes the audio in the background app. This allows for a more fluid and intuitive user experience. Users hear what they want to hear, not what they don't. Add in intelligent attenuation of background music for alerts (like alarms and ringtones), and easy to access to Media Transport Controls to stop, start, skip to next/previous tracks, and you have a system that is designed to keep you from panicking and frantically looking for apps that are making noise when you don't want them to," Bregar explained.

"Audio Categories provide Windows with context so the system will treat your app appropriately. If your app needs to play background audio, all you do is set the category, hook up media transport controls and declare it in the manifest," he said.

"SoundLevel notifications let you know if your app can be heard by the user. This gives you info you need to help save battery life by pausing the audio if it can't be heard in the background."

"The Media Transport UI shows volume state, allows users to quickly start and stop audio, and get artist info. from a media app," Bregar said.

Media Playback in Windows 8 apps

Microsoft begin promoting Surface for Windows 8 tablet -- as the part of advertising campaign -- the first two print ads spotted -- first print advert was placed at the corner of North 11th Street and Wythe Avenue.

Microsoft Surface Billboard at North 11th Street, New York

And, the second billboard below was spotted at the E.V. E2 St.

Microsoft Surface Billboard at EV. E2 St.