Control a Silverlight Media player in IE9 from Windows 7 taskbar


Following my article on IE9 and Windows 7 integration, here is how you could go further by controlling an IE9 hosted Silverlight video from Windows 7 taskbar.

Live demo

If you have IE9 on Windows 7, you can try a live demo by visiting and dragging the browser tab to your taskbar, then select “Connected Experience” from the JumpList. (I explain how to create such a list in my previous article).


This opens IE9 with a web page containing a Silverlight video:


Note that you get a live preview in the taskbar’s thumbnail, and you can control the video!



How to build this experience ?

With a bit of JavaScript, and the knowledge to communicate between the browser and Silverlight.


Silverlight project

1. In my XAML page I have a MediaElement with x:Name="MediaPlayer", so I just need to add 2 methods with the ScriptableMember attribute in code behind:

public void Play()
public void Pause()


2. Then expose the page instance (as “MyPlayer”) to JavaScript, see line 4 of the following code:

   1: public MainPage(object sender, StartupEventArgs e)
   2: {
   3:     InitializeComponent();            
   4:     HtmlPage.RegisterScriptableObject("MyPlayer", this);
   5: }


With these two steps I am able to call the C# methods from JavaScript.


Web Site

1. In the HTML (or aspx) page that hosts Silverlight add the following META tag:

<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=9" />


2. Add some JavaScript:

   1: <script type="text/javascript">
   2:     window.onload = function() {
   3:         var host = document.getElementById("SLObject");
   5:         btn1 = window.external.msSiteModeAddThumbBarButton('Play.ico', 'Play');
   6:         btn2 = window.external.msSiteModeAddThumbBarButton('Pause.ico', 'Pause');
   8:         document.addEventListener('msthumbnailclick', btnHandler, false);
   9:         function btnHandler(e) {
  10:             if (host) {
  11:                 if (e.buttonID == 1)
  12:                     host.Content.MyPlayer.Play();
  13:                 if (e.buttonID == 2)
  14:                     host.Content.MyPlayer.Pause();
  15:             }
  16:         }
  17:         window.external.msSiteModeShowThumbBar();
  19:         window.external.msSiteModeUpdateThumbBarButton(btn1, true, true);
  20:         window.external.msSiteModeUpdateThumbBarButton(btn2, true, true);
  21:     }
  22: </script>


Line 3: SLObject is the Id of my Silverlight object tag.

Lines 5 and 6: Create 2 buttons

Line 17: Instantiate them

Lines 19 and 20: Set both buttons visible and enabled.


Now you will automatically get 2 buttons in the live thumbnail from the Windows 7 taskbar, and be able to play/pause the Silverlight video!


The only thing I wasn’t able to do is installing the Silverlight app Out-Of-Browser right from the thumbnail.
I think because Application.Current.Install(); must be called from a user initiated event (mouse or keyboard event in Silverlight).


Technorati Tags: ,,

No Comments