Sonic releases server for multimedia presentations

Sonic Foundry has released a new, enhanced version of its Mediasite EX Server software that is designed to be more robust and support an enterprise-wide deployment with such features as LDAP integration, improved scalability and better accessibility for the blind and deaf.

The original Mediasite LX server software was designed for more departmental use and did not support integration with existing directory services. Mediasite servers get content from Mediasite VL and ML capture devices, which combine audio, video and data into a single presentation. LX could only handle one capture station per server, says Rimas Buinevicius, chairman and CEO of Sonic Foundry.

With EX, multiple content ingestion engines can be supported on a single server platform. Also, an organization can run multiple instances of Mediasite for different departments without the use of additional hardware.

For the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions at Central Michigan University in Mich., the EX platform and its ability to integrate with LDAP directories means that Gary Wroblewski, applications coordinator for the department, no longer has to maintain a separate set of usernames and passwords.

"Students and faculty already have a global identification and EX lets you use the global ID to [enter the system]," Wroblewski says.

Wrobleski also likes the beta version of EX he is testing because it allows people in far-flung departments to manage their own catalog of media and presentations on the server. And, he is now able to leverage the school's SQL Server database infrastructure, which as a more familiar GUI, rather than the command-line accessible MySQL database that ships with Mediasite.

Sonic Foundry customers that support users with disabilities will have some new features in EX to work with as well. The company has added closed captioning support, text description of slides that work better with screen readers and the ability to toggle from icon to text titles in the slide preview area.

Mediasite EX is available now and runs on Windows 2000 and 2003. It starts US$45,000.

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