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Apple And Rich Media Production

January 31st, 2012 by Seth Kenvin

Some enticing tools for beautiful content, and some striking oversights

Apple’s launch of iBooks Author ups the ante for what’s achievable in content creation. It appears to be a fluid and elegant tool for bringing together text, animation, video, images, audio and interactivity. Certainly seems more fluid and elegant than my use of WordPress right now to craft this blog post. Providing environments for content creation, we at Market7 are pleased by enhancement of how people can extend rich, media-based experiences to other people. Yet, the iBooks Author launch also exposes several areas that could be improved:

  • There is the well covered limitation of distribution techniques via iTunes and to iPad devices for consumption. It is indeed ironic to leverage technological advances in order to elegantly bring multiple types of media together, and then unnecessarily restrict how the results can be consumed.
  • Collaboration is vital in bringing together substantial works, and especially in mixed media situations because of the varieties of skills and perceptions related to the different kinds of content, but currently collaborating on iBooks Author requires saving and sending files for teammates to work on in isolation.
  • While iBooks Author may be great for bringing media together, it’s more for high-level assembly of content built in other applications, and is not a comprehensive or consistent suite for the different types of content in isolation. Granted this is an unfair criticism of a new environment sure to take on more context and deeper functionality over time, but this tool coming from Apple does cast highlight on the fact that the same company has gutted its Final Cut franchise that had emerged as the leading environment for accessible work on video content, and that never seemed to benefit from the same stewardship prioritizing great usage experience that seems clear in the results of Apple’s newest applications.

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