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If you’re looking for video archive software to replace Apple’s now defunct Final Cut Server, check out our digital asset mangenent software: Portfolio Server 10.

Since the demise of Final Cut Server we’ve helped a number of companies make the switch to Portfolio Server and have helped the process by adding support for Apple’s ProRes video format as well as support for WMV. In Portfolio Server 10, you can instantly playback video and audio in both our Web Client and native Mac and Windows Desktop Clients. Video support in Portfolio has been further extended in NetMediaMAX, a media-processing module for Portfolio Server that allows for multi-threaded, video transcoding on-demand.

We’ve also enhanced our metadata support with the ability to embed XMP metadata to video files. If you need to migrate assets from an existing Final Cut Server, just point Portfolio Server to an existing Final Cut Server device for automatic cataloging and synchronization of media files.

To learn how video production agency 50 Kaliber Films easily made the switch, you can watch this webcast recording:

Images, Videos, PDFs and More:
Multimedia Agency Finds Numerous Uses for DAM


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In the outpouring of Steve Jobs tributes and analysis, most have understandably focused on bigger and broader questions of his impact on technology, society, and popular culture. But Digital Trends published an interesting piece last Friday just about Jobs and his impact on typography. After being interviewed for that, I decided I would like to expand on my comments there a bit. (If you’ve ever been interviewed, you know how it is—a tiny fraction of your comments usually make it to print or video. That’s just the normal and expected result, how reporting goes.) By now you’ve probably already read several, maybe even dozens, of articles about Steve Jobs life and impact (see Levy in Wired, or NPR as one of the many trumpeting the centrality of design in his technology). This is a narrower and more focused look at just one aspect of Jobs legacy: typography.

Steve Jobs holding an iPhone 4. Photo credit: Matthew Yohe. Licensed under CC-BY-SA 3.0.

Steve Jobs holding an iPhone 4. Photo credit: Matthew Yohe. Licensed under CC-BY-SA 3.0.

Before the Mac, there was digital printing and publishing, but it was far from WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get). It was a grim world of cryptic codes embedded in text to produce visual results in print, but not on screen. I imagine we would have gotten WYSIWYG publishing eventually (it was already happening at Xerox before the Mac), but how mainstream, and when?

When the Mac shipped in 1984 with built-in proportional fonts that you could see on screen (remember Chicago, Geneva, Monaco and friends? Designed by the same woman who did the original Mac icons, Susan Kare, later adapted as scalable outline fonts by Bigelow & Holmes), with printers that printed the same fonts you saw on screen, it was an immediate impact on typography for everyday computer users. When the Mac shortly thereafter (1985) combined with Aldus (later Adobe) PageMaker and the Adobe PostScript page description language (Warnock and Geschke’s brainchild), with PostScript supported both in the LaserWriter personal laser printer (even if it did cost 3x as much as a Mac) and Linotype’s Linotronic 300 imagesetter, desktop publishing arrived. Suddenly people could design and proof on a desktop hardware that was affordable to a professional or business user—and soon thereafter even to hobbyists. Compared to previous dedicated publishing systems, the ability to see what you would get, and the cost difference, were nothing short of revolutionary.

Jobs soon was drummed out of Apple for a decade, and went and did NeXT Computers instead (and Pixar, but that’s another story. By integrating Display PostScript as an integral part of the NeXT operating system, he created a computer system where for the first time WYSIWYG worked practically seamlessly and included fonts scaled on screen from the same outlines used to image them in print. NeXT never did terribly well, for a variety of reasons, but some of the ideas in it went very far (and indeed, eventually Apple bought NeXT and made the underpinning of that OS the core of OS X).

So Jobs wasn’t at Apple in the late 1980s, but I credit Apple’s next typography move in part to the example of NeXT. On the Mac (and Windows), fonts still looked like junk on screen, even if they were nominally WYSIWYG. Previews for PostScript fonts were still achieved in the 1980s by scaling bitmap fonts on screen. Other fonts were bitmaps only. For either, at a different zoom level or at any size that didn’t have a hand-tuned bitmap, they looked awful. Even at designed sizes they were jaggy. There was no system level support for scaling outline fonts on screen.

So around 1989-91 Apple developed TrueType, which they immediately swapped with Microsoft in exchange for a PostScript language clone (which was pretty awful, Microsoft got the best of that deal by far). Suddenly we had really good-looking scalable fonts on screen! Adobe responded to Apple’s announcement by making PostScript fonts also render better on screen with the “Adobe Type Manager” add-on (which would be integrated into operating systems a decade later), and even got to market first with. Between these two moves, a second typography revolution occurred in the early 90s. Suddenly fonts looked great on screen and you could print them at full resolution to just about any printer.

There have been assorted improvements since, but many key elements of modern typography were brought to the mainstream by Jobs. Being able to see what fonts look like on screen. Showing proportional fonts on screen. Scaling the same font outlines for screen as for print. Putting a “font” menu in applications, and having all applications share a pool of fonts installed at the system level (instead of associated with some specific printer).

In another company one would not necessarily credit the leader for so much. But Jobs legendarily ruled such details, and even smaller minutiae. By all accounts he was often hell to work with, and his singlemindedness caused plenty of problems. But I can’t even begin to guess how long modern digital typography would have taken to reach its current state without him, and whether so much of it would be available to the average computer user. Even 15 years ago a person on the street could have a “favorite font,” and we can thank Steve Jobs for being one of those who made it so.


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UPDATE: Learn how video production agency 50 Kaliber Films easily made the switch from Final Cut Server in this webcast recording: Images, Videos, PDFs and More: Multimedia Agency Finds Numerous Uses for DAM

With the introduction of Final Cut Pro X, Apple has discontinued its Final Cut Server media asset management software . If you’re now looking for a Final Cut Server alternative, we suggest taking a look at our digital asset management software – Portfolio Server.

In Portfolio Server 10, you can instantly playback video and audio in both our Web Client and native Mac and Windows Desktop Clients. We’ve enhanced our metadata support with the ability to embed XMP metadata to video files, and added the ability to transcode video in our NetMediaMAX solution pack. If you need to migrate assets from an existing Final Cut Server, just point Portfolio Server to an existing FCSvr device for automatic cataloging and synchronization of media files.

Want to see for yourself if Portfolio Server is a good Final Cut Server alternative? You can learn more about Portfolio Server or download a free 30 day trial.

If you’re a Final Cut Server user, we’d love to hear from you in the comments section. What do you plan do to with your Final Cut Server implementation? If you are looking for a replacement, what features and capabilities are important to you in a media asset management system?


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Today Apple released the latest and greatest version of their operating system, Mac OS X Lion (10.7). Now that the cat’s out of the bag, here’s the scoop on Lion compatibility with Extensis products:

[NOTE: Updated versions now available of Suitcase Fusion and Universal Type Server]

Suitcase Fusion
We plan to release a Lion compatibility update for Suitcase Fusion 3 within the next few weeks.

Universal Type Server

Universal Type Server 3 is compatible with Lion, but requires the separate installation of Java runtime because Lion no longer ships with Java pre-installed. We plan to release a Lion compatibility update for Universal Type Client 3 within the next few weeks.

Portfolio Server
The Web Client is Lion compatible, and viewing NetPublish sites from a web browser running under Lion is also compatible. We plan to release a Lion compatibility update for the Desktop Client (v10) this summer followed by a Lion compatibility update for Portfolio Server 10, NetPublish (v10) and the NetMediaMAX External Media Engine (v10) in autumn.

Portfolio Standalone
Portfolio Standalone (v8.5) users should download the v8.5.6 update.


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i.Business Magazine, a new Apple-related business publication, has just released their premiere issue featuring an article I wrote on digital asset management.

About i.Business:

The only Apple-related business magazine. We focus on vertical markets such as Retail, CAD, Real Estate, Legal, Manufacturing, Shipping & Transportation, Scientific Computing, Medical, Automotive, Manufacturers, Accounting/Finance, Print & Graphics and Security & Surveillance. Our content focuses on a solution-based approach to productivity, workflow management and tips & tricks. Magazine articles are contributed from a plethora of industry experts with years of experience.

You can preview the first issue of i.Business magazine and my article on Zinio


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snow leopardYes, Snow Leopard is coming (early!) We have been testing our products for several months now, but always have to verify them against the FINAL software release.

For those who are wondering, here is our (abbreviated) plan regarding Snow Leopard (Mac OS X 10.6) compatibility:

  • Updated version of Suitcase Fusion 2 (Mac) is expected within 30 days of Snow Leopard shipping.
  • Updated versions of Universal Type Server 2 components are expected within 30-60 days.
  • Updated versions of Portfolio 9 Server and clients are expected within 30-60 days.
  • Portfolio 8.5.4 client and standalone are compatible with Snow Leopard.
  • Portfolio Server 8.5.4 is not supported under Snow Leopard.

We will post more detailed information on our web site shortly.

UPDATE: the full compatibility page is now live.


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Yesterday I made a quick trip down to San Francisco to visit Macworld 2009, and attend a little party with many of our customers, VARs and other Extensis fans.

After a short trip around the show floor, Max Kerning was off to take care of some important meetings, so I was left to wander the show floor on my own. Here are a few select items that could be seen at Macworld 2009.

TechRestore had an actual Delorean time machine from Back to the Future in their booth – complete with flashy lights, dials an such.

A company called Focal XS had these smokin’ speakers that you could jack your iPod into. Though, I really never really understood why they had a mini-geodesic dome in their booth.

Microsoft always has nice, swanky stuff at Macworld, and this year was no exception with their more open and slickly designed blogger’s lounge (rocker Mac fanboy not required).

Our friends over at Morrison SoftDesign had a good looking booth, and some very popular “Font Problems Suck” t-shirts.

This cute little diorama is made up entirely out of USB jump drives. Yup, those penguins are memory sticks.

Probably one of the strangest things that I saw in a booth this year was a guy who’s sole job was to ride an exercise bike all day long. I think that they were selling the bike that had a jack for a iPhone that could be used to track your progress.

Oh, and despite what you might hear from people preaching doom and gloom for Macworld now that Apple will no longer have a booth, there was still quite a few people hustling and bustling around the show floor.


Hope to see everyone at Macworld next year!


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Max Kerning is down at Macworld Expo for the day. He took a short tour of the Expo Hall show floor with me to check things out.

The Canon booth had an wonderful array of cameras and items, and a very kind, informative and welcoming staff to boot!

Max was impressed with the items that he saw in the Apple booth, but were promptly shooed from the booth, so we didn’t get to see much.

Here we are checking out another part of the Expo Hall.

Overall, Max and I are really enjoying our time at Macworld Expo 2009. More stuff to come!


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Well, you might not have gotten here in time to get one of our Macworld Expo free passes. Even if that’s the case, we’re still able to hook you up with a discounted rate to get into the Expo Hall.

Click here to register for Macworld and get into the hall for $25. That’s $20 off the original price of $45, so it’s not too shabby.

Oh, and if you’re there on Wednesday afternoon, be sure to drop by our little cocktail party.


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Going to Macworld 2009 this week? We’re having a small party for all of our customers, resellers and fans, and would love to have you attend.

The party is at the Moscone South Hall on Wednesday afternoon, so you won’t have to walk far to get your party hat on. To keep it exclusive to just our fans, I’ll give you the full details when you direct message (DM) me on Twitter or shoot me an email using our blog’s contact form.

If you’re a newbie to Twitter (you should check it out, really!), all that you need to do is:

  1. Create a Twitter account
  2. Follow Extensis – I’ll follow you back
  3. Shoot me a direct message.

Hope to see you at the shindig!


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