Familiar with AutoPlay Media Studio 6?
Here’s what you need to know to get right up to speed with v8!

Full Support for v6 Projects

AutoPlay Media Studio 8 was developed with v6 users in mind. While a plethora of new features have been added, v8 remains almost 100% compatible with v6 projects.

Lua Language Changes

AutoPlay Media Studio now contains an updated version of the Lua scripting library, version 5.1 (previously 5.0). AutoPlay's version has been compiled to try to maintain compatibility, however there are some minor syntax changes/deprecations made to the language that you need to be aware of for future development as well as previously created projects and lua scripts.

When importing a project made with an earlier version of AutoPlay Media Studio, AutoPlay Media Studio 8 will automatically analyze your project file and create a report detailing any areas where it thinks the old style for loop is in use. If there are any old for loops found the report will automatically be saved in the same folder as your new 8 project file and opened in your default web-browser. We recommend analyzing each line of code found in the report to ensure that you only use the new for loop syntax.

Table Iterating For Loops

The syntax for iterating a table using for loop using in has changed (has been deprecated) If the syntax is not changed, a runtime error will be thrown when executed.

Old syntax:

mytable = {"One","Two","Three"};

for k, v in mytable do
    Dialog.Message("Table Item", k .. "=" .. v);
end -- for

Needs to be changed to:

mytable = {"One","Two","Three"};

for k, v in pairs (mytable) do
    Dialog.Message("Table Item", k .. "=" .. v);
end -- for

The functions table.foreach and table.foreachi are also deprecated. You can use a for loop as above with pairs or ipairs instead. While these two are deprecated, they still work (unlike the example above), however you are advised to also rework these types of loops in case they are removed from future versions.

If you commonly use Lua functions (non-AutoPlay actions) in your scripts, you may also want to review the list of other changes to the language in case other changes affect you. You can find this information in the Lua 5.1 Reference Manual found on

Plugin Changes

As of AutoPlay Media studio 8, only plugins created with version 2 of the Plugin SDK (or higher) are compatible. When a version 6 project is opened in version 8, the project is analyzed to determine if it contains any plugin objects or actions. A list of these can be viewed in the analysis report that is automatically generated under the heading "Legacy Plugins."

In order for your project to work you will need to obtain updated versions of the plugins listed. Once you have the updated version of these plugins, simply install them into the correct plugin directory and your project should work properly. If you have already installed versions of the listed plugins that were created using version 2 of the Indigo Rose Plugin SDK then no further action is necessary.

Customizable Dialogs

Application development has been raised to a new level in AutoPlay Media Studio 8 with the addition of customizable dialogs. Dialogs support the same background settings, objects and events as pages do...but the options don't stop there. Dialogs have features above and beyond pages including custom sizes, multiple windows styles, and even a custom icon. Complemented by both its own "DialogEx" action category containing 21 actions, as well as 6 additional "Application" actions, you'll surely find this powerful new feature a welcome addition to your design arsenal.

New Objects

A richtext object, radiobutton object, checkbox object, slideshow object, grid object, QuickTime object, PDF object, and xButton object have been added to the army of objects available in AutoPlay. The richtext object allows you to display rich text (.rtf) in an object; the radiobutton object provides the functionality of a Windows radio button; the checkbox object provides the functionality of a Windows checkbox; the slideshow object allows you to show a series of images in a set area; the grid object allows you to add spreadsheets, grids and list controls to your applications; the QuickTime object lets you play audio, video or show images supporting a wide variety of formats; the PDF object allows you to display a PDF file on the page or dialog; and the xButton is an extension of the Windows button containing configurable features such as text, images, themes and styles and support for markup text for text highlighting and hyperlinks.

New Actions

AutoPlay Media Studio 8 contains over 865 actions right out of the box. All of the actions existing in version 6 exist, as well as some new very powerful ones. For example, there are over 35 MSI actions that leverage the Windows Installer service technology on the user's system for querying the state of products, features and components on the end-user's system that were installed with a Windows Installer package.

Multiline Text on Button Objects

Button objects now support multiline text. You can have multiple lines of text with word-wrap and specify custom left and right margins.

Thumbnail Support in File Browsers

The file browsers in the product now support thumbnail view, making it much faster and easier to locate files.

Print Pages/Dialogs at Runtime

The addition of the Page.Print and DialogEx.Print actions allow you to print pages and dialogs at runtime including options for whether or not to show a print dialog and whether to scale the page/dialog to fit the paper.

Automatic Sizing and Positioning of Objects

The new Auto-Resize options for each object allow you to control how each side of the object responds to the page or dialog being resized at runtime. This makes it very easy to have resizable applications look right at different sizes.

Page Keyword Searching

Specify a list of keywords associated with each page. Then at runtime use the new actions to search for keywords on pages, create an indexed table of keywords, or even show a common dialog to allow the user to perform keyword searches.

New and Enhanced Templates

Includes many new project templates that demonstrate many of the new features in version 8.

CD / DVD / Blu-Ray Burning on Vista

You can now burn CD/DVD/Blu-Ray projects on Windows Vista or later systems.

Get and Set Page/Dialog Properties at Runtime

New actions, Application.GetPageProperties, Application.SetPageProperties, Application.GetDialogProperties and Application.SetDialogProperties allow you to query and modify page or dialog properties such background colors and images dynamically at runtime.

Automatic Code Signing

Automatically have your applications code signed during publishing. This provides a more secure experience for users and helps make applications Windows Vista or later compliant.

Dynamic Passwords for Encrypted Data Segments

Now when you build to a Web/Email executable and turn on the Encrypt data segment option, a unique key is used to protect the data ensuring that your data cannot be decrypted using a common key.

Instructions for Project Templates

Now when you export a project to a project template and enter instructions in the Description field of the Project Template Information dialog, the text will be displayed for the developer to read when a project is created from that template.

Support for Alternate Templates Folder

The new project dialog now scans the "My Documents\AutoPlay Media Studio 8\Templates" folder for project template files as well as the "Program Files\AutoPlay Media Studio 8\Templates" folder. This allows the storage and use of project templates from a per-user folder.

Minimum Page Size

Added support for minimum page sizes for resizable projects. These dimensions can be entered on the Appearance tab of the Project Settings dialog.

CDATA Support for Writing to XML

The XML.SetValue action now has an extra parameter that allows you to specify whether the data should be written out as a CDATA section.

NEW! Faster & More Powerful Lua 5.1 Scripting Engine

AutoPlay Media Studio 8's scripting engine is now faster, more powerful and much more extensible. The Lua 5.1 system features a new module system, incremental garbage collection, new mechanism for varargs, new syntax for long strings and comments, mod and length operators, metatables for all types and a fully reentrant parser.

NEW! Support for Lua 5.1 Code Modules

With the new scripting engine upgrade comes compatibility with Lua 5.1 modules. You now have access to a wealth of free Lua code you can download and use in your AutoPlay Media Studio 8 projects. In most cases you simply copy the module files into your project and "require" them in your script. Just some of the useful modules out there include Bit Operation, Date, Canvas Draw, Imaging Tool, GD, Crypto, Colors, Speech, Alien, Social (Twitter), CURL, Regular Expression Parsing and so much more. It’s a whole treasure chest of addons and tools just waiting for you!

NEW! Blu-ray Disc Support

Do your projects contain huge database and video files? AutoPlay Media Studio 8 now includes full support for burning directly to Blu-Ray media (BD-R, BD-RE). The integrated Bluray disc burning allows you to publish your project directly to single layer and dual-layer BD-R and BD-RE media, supporting 25 GB, 50 GB and even 100 GB formats.

NEW! Application Styles / Skinning

AutoPlay Media Studio 8 gives you the freedom to create applications that look exactly the way you want. Perhaps you prefer that your programs to take on the same appearance as the operating system (e.g. Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 Aero...)? Or do you want them to be entirely customized with completely custom drawn background images, buttons and window shapes? Or perhaps you'd like to simply make use of the hundreds of ready-to-use MSSTYLES themes (like OS/X Tiger and Panther) that you can download on the Internet? In any case, AutoPlay Media Studio makes it possible – and easy!

NEW! Integrated Database Access

It's never been easier to write database applications using AutoPlay Media Studio! Easily connect to a variety of popular local and remote/Internet database systems including MySQL, SQLite3, ODBC, Oracle and PostgreSQL. Execute any SQL statements you desire like CREATE, INSERT and more – even easily retrieve data results using a row-by-row cursor system. Features full integration with our fill-in-the-blanks style Action Wizard, plus intelligent code completion.

NEW! PDF Object

AutoPlay Media Studio now features integrated support for displaying PDF documents right in your application. This highly requested feature also gives you full control over the display and formatting. You can show/hide toolbars, scrollbars and borders. Layout options include "Single Page", "One Column", "Two Columns" and "User Preference". View options include "Fit Page", "Fit Page Width", "Fit Page Height" and "Actual Size".

NEW! PDF Actions

Take control of the PDF object with 18 easy-to-use actions. Fully integrated into the fill-in-the-blanks Action Wizard, you'll be able to easily create dynamic applications to work with PDF files. Actions are provided to Print, Load, Navigate, Zoom, Resize, Hide and much more.

NEW! QuickTime Object

Thanks to the new Apple QuickTime object, your AutoPlay Media Studio applications are now compatible with over 80 video, audio and image formats. Video formats include .MOV, .DV, .M4V, .MP4 and dozens more – including the amazing h.264 format. Audio formats include .AAC, .AIF, .M4A, .MP3, etc.  Visual formatting options let you lock an aspect ratio, resize the media to fit the object dimensions or center it within the object area. Border styles include 3D, plain or none.

NEW! QuickTime Actions

The Quicktime object by itself is great - but a Quicktime object plus 22 built-in high-level actions is just plain awesome! Brought together, your AutoPlay Media Studio actions have exceptional control over the QuickTime object. Using simple script commands you can Play, Seek, Set Volume, Load, Mute, View Full Screen, Hide, Show and much more. Your only limit is your imagination.

NEW! xButton Object

If you're trying to create an application that blends in beautifully with the operating system, the new xButton object is just what the doctor ordered. However, that's just the beginning! The new xButton object supports far more customization than was previously possible. Now you can modernize your applications by adding "icon" images to your buttons, plus you can "markup" the text however you desire! This object lets you control the relative placement of button text and button images; choose between normal and toggle styles; adjust fonts and colors; and even markup you text using dozens of XAML tags – including hyperlinks right on your buttons! By default, the xButton styles itself according to whatever operating system it is being run on. If your application is running on Vista, the button looks like a standard Vista button. If you're running it on Windows 7, it looks like Windows 7. However, you can easily override this and choose from many included styles like Flat, Office 2000, Office XP or many different Office 2007 styles. Or hundreds of MSSTYLES themes… The options are endless.

NEW! Checkbox List Object

Checkbox lists are a long awaited addition to AutoPlay Media Studio! We've integrated this feature into the existing Listbox object – you just need to turn it on. Once you do, you can easily present lists of items with corresponding checkboxes. Actions are included to get and set the checkbox state for any listbox item with ease. You'll find dozens of great uses for this one!

NEW! Rolling Code Data Security

AutoPlay Media Studio 8 adds another layer of protection to your applications and scripts. A unique random encryption code is now generated every time you build your project, making "hacking" of your applications much more difficult. As we all know, anyone determined enough can break any protection system given enough time and resources, but the use of rolling codes renders generic attacks ineffective. You can now sleep a little easier!

NEW! Multiple Timers

You're no longer limited to just one timer event per page! You can now set as many "named" timers as you want. Having multiple timers running really opens up the creative possibilities for animations, games, status updates and dozens of other applications.

NEW! Service Actions

Easily control Windows Services using the seven new actions included in AutoPlay Media Studio 8. Everything you need is included, such as Create, Start, Stop, Pause, Delete, Query and Continue.

NEW! FTPWI Actions

AutoPlay Media Studio 8 includes a set of built-in FTP actions, enabling your application to easily download files over the Internet from FTP servers. These new FTP actions make use of the WinINet API to ensure compliance with the RFC 959 File Transfer Protocol specifications. Actions include FTPWI.Download, FTPWI.GetErrorInfo and FTPWI.GetFileSize.

NEW! System Restore Actions

This trio of system restore actions are extremely powerful and essential for any application that might want to make system changes or install software in a failsafe manner. By creating a system restore point using System.SetRestorePoint before making changes to the computer, the user can easily rollback those changes using the operating system's "restore" feature (found on Windows Vista or later). Actions include System.IsSystemRestoreAvailable, System.SetRestorePoint and System.RemoveRestorePoint.

NEW! Dialog.ComboBox Action

Here's an action that'll find a lot of use! The Dialog.ComboBox action is used to pop up a dialog box presenting the user with a drop-down list of items they can choose from. You simply pass in a list of items to select from, choose if you'd like them sorted or not and whether or not to restrict the user to just the items in the list, or allow them to type in their own text response. It's a fast and compact way to get user input, while offering suggestions to them at the same time!

NEW! Balloon Tooltips and Extended Tooltips

In addition to the standard popup tooltips you're used to from previous versions, AutoPlay Media Studio 8 now lets you display Balloon tooltips! It's an extremely attractive option for presenting context sensitive help within your application. It's also much more useful than the old style tooltips, as you can use multiple lines of text to present your instructions. In fact, multi-line tooltips were so useful, we also added the feature to the standard looking popup as "extended" tooltips.

NEW! Modernized Visual Workspace

AutoPlay Media Studio has always looked pretty slick, but that wasn't good enough. The entire project workspace has been overhauled. Selection boxes, toolbars, context menus – everything has been redone using a consistent color palette, light source and 3D perspective. You spend a lot of time working on your projects. Your tools should serve to increase your productivity, rather than distract you. With AutoPlay Media Studio 8, you'll find everything is more logically arranged and attractively presented – so you can get more done.

NEW! Plugin SDK v2

Action Plugins and Object Plugins are one of the best features of AutoPlay Media Studio. They allow 3rd party software developers to extend and expand the product in an extremely integrated and seamless fashion. By simply dropping a plugin into your project, you can easily save yourself hours of work and add significant functionality to your application. The great news is that with AutoPlay Media Studio 8, plugin developers can now fully leverage the advantages of the Lua 5.1 language. The Plugin SDK v2 is available for free download on the website.

Improved! Grid Object

Working with data grids in AutoPlay Media Studio is more useful than ever, especially with the new integrated database features in v8. As always, the grid object allows you to add spreadsheets, grids and list controls to your applications. With over 110 scriptable actions, it is extremely powerful. To help you easily preload data, you can now even specify a CSV (comma separated value) data file at design time.

Improved! Flash Object with ExternalInterface Support

The Adobe Flash object now supports calling and responding to Flash actionscript functions with the addition of the new "Flash.CallFunction" and "Flash.SetReturnValue" actions and new "On FlashCall" event. Access to Flash's external API opens up many new uses for the Flash object and advanced interaction with your AutoPlay Media Studio application such as playing FVL video files using a Flash loader.

Improved! Web Object

The web object now uses the latest Microsoft Internet Explorer SDK. New scrollbar and border options have been added to give you increased visual control over the object - allowing you to better integrate web pages into your AutoPlay Media Studio applications.

NEW! Stack Traceback for Syntax Errors

We've made it easier for you to debug syntax errors in your scripts by providing you with better error reports. Error messages now include additional details about exactly where the problem occurred – right down to the event name and line number!

NEW! Debug Message Logging

Testing and debugging your projects is much easier in AutoPlay Media Studio 8. You can now send all debug message to a human-readable text format log file, to a debug window or simultaneously to both locations. Between the automatic "Trace Mode" logging, "Event Context" information and "Last Error" actions, you've got a formidable collection of tools to help squash those pesky bugs and logic errors!

NEW! Eyedropper Color Picker

Easily match colors thanks to the new eyedropper style color picker. Integrated into all color choosers, simply move your mouse pointer off the dialog and watch it turn into an eyedropper cursor. Click on the color of any pixel on your screen and voila – you've automatically set the color to match.

NEW! Updated Dependency Modules

All of the dependency modules have been updated in AutoPlay Media Studio 8. Dependency Modules make it fast and easy to detect whether or not common 3rd party software applications and technologies are installed on the user's computer. AutoPlay Media Studio 8 can detect the current versions of such products as Microsoft PowerPoint, Adobe Flash, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Adobe Acrobat, Apple QuickTime, Windows Media Player and more. If the required product is not detected, the user will be alerted to the problem and conveniently directed to the appropriate website for download and installation.

NEW! Windows Object Styles

In order to enable you to create applications that can look and feel exactly like those created using traditional Windows platform SDK development tools, we went through all of our existing objects and updated them. For example, objects like the Checkbox, Radio Button and Progress Bar will now take on the look that users expect to see on their operating system. On Windows 7, they'll look consistent with the standard operating system theme. On Windows XP, they'll look like XP – and so on. The best part though is that they'll also now respond correctly to changes in the application theme or MSSTYLES skin files that are supported in AutoPlay Media Studio 8. It all adds up to a 100% professional look!

NEW! Visually Identify Plugin Actions

The Action Wizard now marks any actions that are contained in Action Plugins with a "plugin" identifier. This makes it much easier to quickly identify what is built-in to AutoPlay Media Studio and what you've added later through 3rd party additions. It's especially handy when you're looking for documentation, help files, samples and technical support.

Improved! Video Object Transport Skins

The Video object has been modernized with a variety of new graphic styles. Choose from attractive new blue, green and gray skins. If you don't find a style you like, it's super easy to create your own video transport skins using Photoshop or any other graphics editor. We've also made the skin format more flexible, removing the constraining height restrictions that may have hampered your creativity in the past.

Improved! Paragraph Object Scrollbar Styles

The Paragraph object in AutoPlay Media Studio 8 has been updated to default to Windows 7 style scrollbars. This will give any of your scrolling textboxes a much more up-to-date visual appearance. Of course, you can still make your own scrollbar styles from scratch (or download shared skins from or choose from old favorites such as Chrome, Euro, Corporate, Charcoal, Industrial and more.

Improved! Application Startup Dialog

AutoPlay Media Studio 8 is all about helping you get things done faster and easier. Even small things like the startup welcome screen have been improved! The startup screen now gives you fast access to multiple recently used projects, one-click restore of the last used project, or simply creating a new project using a template or blank project. Additionally, an integrated RSS feed keeps you updated on product improvements, updates, bug fixes and news!

Improved! Project Explorer Window

The Project Explorer in AutoPlay Media Studio 8 has been revamped to give you a better overall view of your project. Things like better icons, collapsible Dialog and Page categories and better visual indications for hidden and locked objects will be much appreciated. Additional context-sensitive right-click menus have been added and reworked to present you with only the most appropriate commands for working with objects, pages, dialogs and events.

Improved! Quick Script Snippets

A variety of changes were made to the script editor to help more quickly write your code. Of course the popular Action Wizard, Code Completion and Intellisense are still there to guide you. We've also expanded and reorganized the one-click "Quick Script" feature. Many common programming "snippets" are included, making it super easy to add loops, control structures and other often-used bits of script. Additionally, "object tables" have been moved into their own category in order to help you find what you’re looking for at a glance.

NEW! Centralized Repository for Plugins, Templates and Addons

With all the new possibilities available to AutoPlay Media Studio 8 developers, we've put together a centralized archive to help organize everything. At you'll find an easy-to-navigate repository for everything related to AutoPlay Media Studio. You'll find action plugins, object plugins, application themes, Lua modules, video transport skins, scrollbar skins, MSSTYLES skins, custom .BTN format button files, background images, project templates, example projects, scripts, audio files, tutorials, tools and lots more.