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Player Instructions, De-cluttered Layout, Quality / Efficiency Toggle, Task Reminders, Copy Scenes

April 12th, 2012 by Seth Kenvin

Market7 Release From April 11 ’12

So much new stuff that this post’s headline wraps to a second line! As we prepare for NAB, we’re releasing a slew of features across multiple modules. And, we have some even newer stuff in development which we can show at the event. Email info@market7.com to arrange getting together with us. What’s available now, and demonstrated below, includes:

  • Clear & present instructions on basics of using Annotative Player to help new users get started
  • Refined layout when adding comments in Player making advanced features more discreet and basic features more obvious
  • Toggle to switch video play between higher quality and better bandwidth efficiency versions including automatic prompting when bandwidth challenges are encountered
  • Schedule reminder emails to be sent in advance of Tasks being due
  • Copy entire scenes of Collaborative Script including any uploaded media within a project or across projects (which can be especially useful to achieve templates on episodic content that tends to follow the same pattern)

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Simple Or Versatile? Flip Demise Indicates Answer Is Now Both

April 27th, 2011 by Seth Kenvin

A Blog Post Too Late To Pioneer Our Own Clever Pun

Since we work in video technologies and publish a blog, it is obligatory that we post on Cisco’s closure this month of the Flip video camera line obtained through its 2009 Pure Digital acquisition, that was followed immediately by an ubiquitous celebrity-driven ad campaign. And now, the product is gone. And we’ve got some thoughts. But since it’s taken us a couple weeks to express those thoughts we can’t pioneer such clever blog puns as “Flipping switch on acquisition”, ”Cisco flipflops” nor  ”R.I.P. F.L.I.P.” — others have beaten us to all of those.

Around the time of the Pure Digital acquisition a lot of credit was directed towards the company for achieving the Flip’s popularity by taking quality equipment, an HD video camera, and refining to an enormously simple experience driven primarily by pushing a dominant centralized red button, on a compact & rugged device, that connects to computer with a buildt-in, flip-out USB dongle.

In video production there’s an oft-cited axiom: “good, fast or cheap — pick two”.  Pure Digital made a similar determination in its positioning by putting together good quality HD with easy use, at expense of providing a versatile device. And that initially worked as people frequently reserved a pocket for constant availability of capturing HD content, offsetting everything else (email, web, music, personal information management, games & more, even photography) being on smart phone on opposite pocket. But all those other things coming together elegantly seem to present Cisco the conundrum for Flip’s future. With increasingly good video capture & management on phones (better resolution, longer footage, immediate ability to sync & upload content wirelessly), just a couple years later consumers now seem to be able to “pick three” among quality, ease and versatility when recording video on smart phones.

The last few years have been breathtaking in the pace of technology impacting life, with Flip / Pure Digital a great case study. A “revolutionary” (per Wired magazine) leader in distilling multi-button handheld cameras to just a few prominent aspects on an even smaller device, seems to get truped within just a few quarters by what may have initially seemed an entirely different category of product.

We can relate to such challenges in building our own business. Market7 brings together applications for the content collaboration involved in pre-production, the content collaboration of post-production, and the project management throughout, believing that media production professionals don’t just want easy and good solutions for each of these in isolation — today’s technology user demands ease and quality for all of their needs integrated together in singular options, whether such considerations relate to handheld devices or collaborative workflows.

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Thorough Review Of video.Market7 In StreamingMedia

January 14th, 2010 by Brian Baumley

We think it’s worth setting some time aside to take this full one in

Back in October, Tim Siglin of StreamingMedia and Braintrust Digital came out to our engineering offices in San Francisco to learn more about video.Market7 in preparation for an upcoming review. When he left to spend some time trying out the service on his own, he did more than just kick the tires – he took us apart and put us back together again! We should have expected no less after the meticulous in-person meeting.

We are pleased that this discriminating shopper seems to have overall liked what he saw. Like many video producers who try video.Market7, Tim seemed especially taken with the annotative player, which he notes, “might be the best thing to come along [last] year.”

A huge thanks to Tim and also to Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen over at StreamingMedia for taking the time to check us out. Check out the review online and in the Dec/Jan issue.

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Building Software To Be Both Easy And Sophisticated

October 9th, 2009 by Seth Kenvin

Convenience or Quality: A False Choice

The Good Enough Revolution” in Wired Magazine‘s September issue has sparked a meme. I have recently noticed people increasingly touting the merits of cheap prices, minimalist functionality, and straightforward usage as key attributes to get into users’ hands. We contend that just as important as feeling intuitive upon immediate usage, great products should also not feel limiting with more usage.

Above is an image of the Annotative Player module of video.Market7.com. This is our environment for collecting, presenting and assessing feedback about video footage during editing and post production. Most people find its usage easy to comprehend even though from first glance it’s clearly more than simply a video player or a messaging system. Largely that is because it fundamentally and clearly incorporates elements of both with attributes like conventional play control, timeline and volume settings in the expected places of a video player; and familiar messaging presentation like temporal stacking of comments along with the commenters’ avatars, names and relevant metadata such as when comment occurred. With dominance of these familiar motifs, more sophisticated data can be secondarily incorporated, like the fact that the top comment of the stack shown here has attachments indicated by a recognizable file folder icon, or that the comment currently highlighted, through which the playhead is passing, emphasizes a portion of the screen with a rectangle much like seen in photos on Facebook or Flickr.

When first timers use our Annotative Player they generally don’t pay mind to those more advanced features but naturally identify how to play video and watch the comments scroll. And when the thought of leaving one’s own comment enters the mind, we’ve tried to make that immediately accessible through the generous and bold “Add a comment” area, with “type comment here” shadow font in the player’s lower-right. Clicking that pauses the video and expands the lower right area to what’s magnified below. The user gets a blinking cursor in a teal-highlighted space and the most clear thing is to start typing a comment. The eyeball naturally proceeds down to OK or cancel the comment. If curious, or perhaps upon a subsequent use of the module, a user may notice some buttons above, which avail the more sophisticated additions comments can get such as the highlight rectangle, free-hand drawing and file attachment. Availability of these becomes even more clear if one mouses above the area of typing the comment and gets those buttons’ tooltip instructions.

Back when he was a consultant to us and before becoming a full-time employee, Shannon famously (at least in Market7′s corporate lore) advocated that we should endeavor to provide users with a small pond of infinite depth. The perspective of a swimmer surveying such a pond’s surface is that it’s a manageably sized area in which to wade. But once in the water and ready to check out something new, this swimmer realizes that there’s as much water to cover as desired for exploration. Similarly at Market7 we try to provide the most basic features in ways that they’re easily accessed first and have more sophisticated tools put into positions where a little more exploration reveals them, with all leveraging established motifs for quick learning curves.

During the past week I demonstrated the annotative player to a new customer after which I was asked if it wasn’t too much functionality to provide out of the box to users. After explaining our approach to how our software presents itself I received some tentative head nods, but a few days later can gladly report that this particular customer is confirming that all new users are able to be productive with video.Market7 immediately, while the most constant users are getting even more mileage by familiarizing themselves with more sophisticated features. The right presentation of functionality can reveal the apparent dilemma between ease and sophistication to be a false choice. Pick both and do better than “good enough”.

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Web2Review Checks Out video.Market7

September 12th, 2009 by Seth Kenvin

They Like Us! (but we gotta keep getting easier)

It’s Saturday night & I’m making the weekly effort to achieve inbox equilibrium by Monday morning. One message indicates that www.twitter.com/marketseven is now being followed by @web2review. Not familiar, I check out the site, www.web2review.com, and we fill the recent activity feed items there!

Our profile on the site is http://www.web2review.com/site/4178-Market7/, and video.Market7 gets strong reviews from both Jeff & Josh of web2review, based on their using us to produce a video. Reviews include insights about how it’s tough to master the time variable when communicating about video, with appreciation of our approach to that. They also like some of our recent power-user functionality, attaching files to comments about video. Praise is nice, but it’s also always good to be kept humble, and both reviewers mention that we should keep striving for ever greater ease of use (we do! but, thanks!).

Web2review lookslike a nice site & service itself. I’ll shortly get to uploading some screenshots & otherwise populating the entry about us. (& if that site’s ease-of-use is an issue, I’ll be sure to report)

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