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Fuze Box Fuze Movie

Jan 26, 2010 12:00 PM, By Dan Ochiva

Realtime remote collaboration.

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Discounted introductory pricing starts at $229 for a two-seat, 3-month license.

Discounted introductory pricing starts at $229 for a two-seat, three-month license.

For editors, realtime remote collaboration not only has the benefit of potentially opening you to more clients, but it might be a growing trend considering the increasing hassles of air travel.

If you're a Mac user, Apple Final Cut Pro 7 (released last year as part of the new Final Cut Studio) added one useful new feature to address just that: iChat Theater Preview.

During an iChat Theater Preview session, the remote user's iChat window displays the media being played in the host's Viewer window (it also works with the Canvas app). If you have a webcam going too, it will inset the remote user's camera image. The remote user can talk to the host user and view the playback simultaneously.

Only the originating editor needs to have Final Cut installed; the user just needs to have an iChat account. The ability to review edits and make changes in realtime is a great benefit.

There are restrictions: Only Final Cut Pro users can make use of the app, both users must be running Mac OS X version 10.5 Leopard or later, and you need a fast Internet connection.

Fuze Box takes up those challenges with the release of Fuze Movie. This realtime collaborative review and approval system actually updates a product I wrote about a while ago, SyncVue. It's not much of a surprise either because SyncVue's inventor, editor Michael Buday, is the San Francisco-based company's chief software designer and the principal developer of Fuze Movie.

Similar to SyncVue, Fuze Movie leverages Skype to handle the realtime voice chat and mark-up ability. This is smart because Skype is almost universally available, cheap, and easy to use. However, Skype can be spotty at times because users might be calling in via slow dial-up lines.

Fuze Movie gets around the problem of slow Internet access the same way SyncVue did: Everyone on a call must first download the working file from the master machine. Local access to a file, of course, is speedy.

Fuze Movie has SyncVue's fast media player with frame-accurate control and audio-video chat enabled by Skype. It can play any codec at any resolution supported by QuickTime 7.1 or newer, and it works with Windows Media and MXF files (via a plug-in from Telestream), the latter providing compatibility with XDCAM formats.

When users load the playlist into Fuze Movie, the media will automatically begin playing, which is a nice touch in the new version. That means web newbies don't need to know FTP logins, passwords, or other security information.

So what can you do with it? How about adding timecode-based text annotations (markers), which automatically propagate to all connected users? You can draw and make notes or annotations directly to the shared media, which all participants can see and add to in realtime. You can also record audio notes to add comments, recommendations, or ideas to recall later or share with a colleague not in the session.

A database keeps track of all assets wherever they are stored (on a server, on a local or networked drive, or on the Web).

You can export printed video frames with graphics, titles, notes, and timecode as HTML files for viewing locally or online. Finally, XML locator annotations can be exported to any NLE that can accept them, which includes most of the popular apps on the market.

 Related Links

Save Time, Edit Online

Apple iChat Theater Preview Collaboration

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