IBM introduced a spruced-up HotMedia authoring tool on Wednesday offering improved speed and performance and adding several features including support for QuickTime files, which enables Windows and Macintosh users to directly transfer videos to the Web.
In Version 3.5 of the product IBM also included a "smart packaging" capability that lets users load much more quickly a variety of multimedia files, such as images, videos, and sound. The new product also features a smoother presentation of videos thanks to a reduced buffering capability, and offers users more panorama and synchronized audio options.
Some users of the product, such as Yomega, welcomed most of the new features, particularly the ability to transfer videos to the Web.
"[Version] 3.5's support of QuickTime files allows us to transfer our training videos straight to the Web. This process enables us to increase the number of tricks demonstrated on our Web site," said Alan Amaral, president and CEO of Fall River, Mass.-based Yomega, creator of high performance yo-yos. "We think this version will keep enthusiasts coming back to our site wanting to learn new tricks and perfecting old ones."
IBM officials said other users who have been beta testing the new product have used it on their Web sites to do online tours of museums, to rotate objects 360 degrees to encourage online sales of various products, and for users to view and reserve rental properties.
HotMedia is designed as an integrated authoring environment that allows developers and corporate users to create a range of rich media, resulting in a single file with multiple interactive elements that can be added to a Web page, company officials said.