Sonic Foundry Mediasite 6.1 Simplifies Multimedia Presentations

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Sonic Foundry is moving presentation recording out of the appliance and onto the desktop with the upcoming release of Mediasite 6.1 due early this summer. The company announced a new web-based Mediasite Desktop Recorder as part of that update at its Unleash user conference in May. The recorder is intended to simplify the creation of user-generated rich media presentations, combining video and visual aids. Presentations can then uploaded to and managed by the Mediasite EX platform.

This feature marks another step towards Mediasite being an online video management platform, growing from its lecture capture and event webcast roots. Other 6.1 features further show this trend. A new web-based Mediasite Editor will provide editing to administrators and users without the need for a desktop application. Collaboration workflows are designed to let administrators review and edit user-created presentation before they are distributed.

The upcoming release also will provide more Mediasite Player customization options, including the ability to turn every player function on or off, resize the video and slide areas, and choose from a broader palette of theme colors. In the current version of Mediasite content catalogs may only be created manually or by linking to a specific folder. Version 6.1 will allow catalogs to be created from search terms.

Version 6 of Mediasite was released at the beginning of the year, and brought with it a thorough redesign of the platform. Mobile device support for iOS, Blackberry, and Android was added, along with the ability to import, transcode, index, and catalog outside video content.

ERP software company QAD used Mediasite 6 to webcast and record its recent Explore customer conference in Atlanta. According to Scott L. Lawson, director of IT architecture, this was the first use of version 6 for his company, which permitted them to stream the event globally to mobile devices for the first time.

While the move to 6 is a major and somewhat complex upgrade for existing Mediasite users, Sonic Foundry promises simplified upgrades for the future. Of particular interest for schools and enterprise with a large installed base of recorders is the plan to have updates pushed automatically to recorders over the network. As well, Sonic Foundry is moving towards more frequent point releases, introducing new features frequently, rather than pushing big annual upgrades.

Sonic Foundry will be at InfoComm, where the company will be demonstrating the Mediasite Desktop Recorder.

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