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Sonic Foundry Launches Mediasite 7

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At the InfoComm 2013 show this week in Orlando, Sonic Foundry launched a significant upgrade to its Mediasite rich media recording platform. Version 7 contains key features that position Sonic Foundry to move deeply into the enterprise market.

For starters, the company is offering the ability to expand its hallmark synchronization option. The multi-window Mediasite Player has traditionally included a single video stream, as well as a secondary window that displays still images, such as PowerPoint slides or web pages. Now, however, Sonic Foundry is expanding with the ability to sychnronize multiple video signals.

"Two or more videos can simultaneously stream within its intelligent multi-window Mediasite Player," says Sonic Foundry vice president Sean Brown, "as the most efficient and effective way to capture and live stream multiple camera angles, complex procedures, simulations or training."

Brown noted that Mediasite is far removed from the days of Microsoft WMV, which caused issues when multiple video streams were being synchronized, and he also alluded to the fact that Sonic Foundry delivers much of the content in the Mediasite Player via an HTML 5 player using the H.264 video codec.

"Mediasite customers have legacy content," said Brown, noting that Mediasite recordings from more than a decade ago are still routinely accessed. "To make the legacy content playable on devices ranging from desktops and laptops to mobile devices, the Mediasite solution transparently transcodes legacy content into the newer formats."

In addition, Mediasite 7 also has what Sonic Foundry calls a "full spectrum recording model" where it automatically extracts video from non-traditional encoding sources such as IP cameras and videoconferencing units.

"We felt the need to be able to ingest content from multiple content sources," said Brown, "bringing them into Mediasite’s Centralized Recorder to combine and synchronize with visual aids for a classic Mediasite Player experience."

In addition, given the ubiquity of mobile recording, Mediasite 7 also has mobile upload capability.  Content from a mobile device—including Adobe Flash, QuickTime, AVI, Windows Media, and MPEG-4—can be uploaded and synchronized to visual aids to create rich video files.

While the Mediasite Centralized Recorder is software, Sonic Foundry also launched another portable high-definition webcasting appliance, though it didn't update the name. The Mediasite ML HD Recorder, according to Sonic Foundry, is "fifty percent smaller than its predecessor the ML HD Recorder."

All of these options for ingest of disparate video formats and codecs can be managed through a single interface known as My Mediasite. Brown says it includes options to create, upload, manage, and share rich media video content. In addition, approval workflows provide, according to Brown, "a layer of control for enterprises with multiple content producers and knowledge-creation environments, allowing for management and scalability of online knowledge libraries."

Finally, Mediasite 7 also boasts a number of indexing functions, including voice search capability and a robust optical character recognition for still images including PowerPoint slides and web pages. We'll explore this key functionality as part of a larger article on Big Data, set to publish in the August/September Streaming Media magazine.

"All in all," said Brown, "we see Mediasite 7 as a natural progression of our technologies, as well as a return to our roots as an indexing, search, and retrieval company. We see key business benefits for both our education and enterprise customers."

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