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Another method of OS X installer extraction Install
[Editor: There's a posted tip about extracting files from the OS X install CD. Here's another take on the process, as applied to the OS X Public Beta CD, but it should work on the final version as well. It's different and complete enough to merit its own thread.]

There were a number of posts on various OS X forums a while back asking where Music Player from the OS X Beta had gone. I was never able to install OS X Beta on my machine, but I had seen screenshots and really liked the look of Music Player. I decided to try and get it off the OS X beta CD. Here's how I did it...

Read the rest of this article for a detailed set of instructions on extracting files from the OS X installers.

1) Shove that old OS X Beta CD in your Mac and wait for it to appear on the desktop.

2) Close the "Welcome to Mac OS X" window that pops up and double-click the Mac OS X Install CD icon.

3) Navigate to System/Installation/Packages, where you will find three files; BSD.pkg, Essentials.pkg and OSInstall.mpkg.

4) Right mouse click or control-mouse click on Essentials.pkg and choose "Show Package Contents."

5) Drag the copy of "Essentials.pax.gz" onto Stuffit Expander or double-click it, whatever. If it moans that "The disk with your preferred destination folder is locked.", just click OK and it will give you the chance to choose a new folder. Choose somewhere on a hard drive with at least 500MB free space and wait. You can whistle a happy tune if you like.

7) When Stuffit Expander is done you will have a huge 434.6MB file called "Essentials.pax".

8) Pax is some kind of weird UNIX archive format. You can expand this file in one of two ways.

The easy but slow way is to use a utility called "OpenUp" by Scott Anguish, available at and other places. Launch OpenUp and set its destination directory (from Preferences), then just drag, drop and wait and wait and wait. You will need a long tune to whistle this time. Maybe a few tunes. Or an overture.

The alternative is to open up a Terminal window, change to the directory where the "Essentials.pax" file is and type:
pax -r -f Essentials.pax -s '/Applications//g' './Applications/Music'
This will extract the Music Player app only and is much quicker than using OpenUp to extract everything, especially when you don't have to spend two hours working out the syntax for the -s option like I did (if you are wondering, it simply strips the "/Applications" from the output pathname "./Applications/Music" leaving "./Music").

If you want to extract all the apps from the archive, try:
pax -r -f Essentials.pax -s '/Applications//g' './Applications/*'
To list the archive contents use:
pax -f Essentials.pax
Although you'd probably want to pipe it to a file and look at it in TextEdit:
pax -f Essentials.pax >toc.txt
Before you rush off to try this, be aware that Music Player will not run under OS X 10.0.x! I knew this before I decided to rustle it off the OS X Beta CD but I had hopes I could open it up in Interface Builder and make an Audion skin from it. Turns out this wasn't possible either. If anyone still has OS X beta running, I'd love to get screenshots of Music Player, email me at Even better if anyone has DP4 I'd love the source code/project files.

{Music for this hint was provided by THIEVERY CORPORATION : THE MIRROR CONSPIRACY.}
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Extracting the Images
Authored by: _merlin on May 08, '01 09:01:51AM

The Music Player resources can't be read by Interface Builder because they are in Macintosh Resource Manager format, rather than NeXT nib format. You can't open them directly with ResEdit, either, as it looks at the resource fork of the file, while the Music Player resources are stored in the files' data forks.

The trick is to use a hex editor (HexEdit Carbon, available from VersionTracker, is my first choice) to transfer data from the data fork of the resource files to the resource fork of a new file. I've done this, isolated the images, alpha masks and fonts, and posted the results on one of my web sites. You will need Stuffit Expander (free from Aladdin Systems) to extract the archive, and ResEdit (free from Apple) to open the resource file. I've also included icon files (viewable with icns Browser or IconComposer), and a PDF of the window image and mask (viewable in Preview).

You can grab the archive from or e-mail me at with any further queries.

Vasantha Crabb

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