03.20.2013 11:03 AM
Latest edit-friendly version of cloud-based Aframe unveiled
Aframe 2.0 delivers the capabilities of higher-end on-premises media asset management systems and a competitive edge.

Aframe, a UK- and Burlington, MA-based company that for the past two years has provided cloud-based storage and media management subscription services, has now refreshed its remote-access post-production platform to streamline the editing process for it clients. Indeed, Aframe 2.0, according to the company, offers a quicker way for video professionals to share and import al types of content directly into their edit suites without leaving their desk.

Version 2.0 includes a newly designed Web-based user interface, an API library and tight integration with Panasonic’s popular AVC codec. Mark Overington, president of A-Frame North America (who’s based in Burlington), said the new version delivers capabilities of higher-end on-premises media asset management solutions and a competitive edge to its users — organizations like Veria TV, which creates and stores a lot of holistic-living programming, the BBC and ESPN. The latter uses the Aframe platform to upload pre- and post-game interviews from remote venues. A reporter will do an interview on-site in Chicago, for example, and then upload the footage (as a full-resolution file) to the A-Frame cloud, where it becomes immediately available to editors at ESPN’s Bristol, CN, headquarters. The interview can then be finished and the package on the air within minutes.

Among the newest production feature of Aframe 2.0 is Edit Flow, which allows users to export their metadata out of the Aframe platform and directly into the three major NLE platforms — Avid Media Composer, Apple Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere. The Edit Flow feature dramatically accelerates the early stages of productions and reduces total editing time.

With Edit Flow, the timecode-specific metadata that users generate when commenting, logging, subclipping and collecting clips in Aframe can be transferred directly from the cloud into an NLE platform. Once there, the metadata relinks with the original media, retaining all user changes automatically.

“People are finally realizing that the cloud and [Software as a Service] SaaS models are now viable and the Internet speeds are there to do whatever you need to do,” Overington said. “Sharing content among staff and clients is more and more important than ever to ensure a successful business model. Moving large files around is a challenge, but it is becoming more and more practical and cost-effective. This was not always the case.”

The new Edit Flow feature was developed in part by Aframe software engineer Jeff Bedell, a technical Emmy award winner who, as an early Avid Technology employee (#2), wrote the initial code for the first Avid Media Composer. Avid is also headquartered in Burlington, MA.

With Edit Flow, multiple edits formats can all co-exist on the Aframe interface, enabling support for native camera rushes, high shoot ratios and multiple format projects, while including timecode extraction, metadata handling and export capabilities.

Overington said his design team has worked hard to ensure security and unlimied access to content across the Aframe platform, something clients are naturally concerned about. To this end the company has established remote data canters in Los Angeles, New York, London and Northeastern UK. Where a client uploads material to its data center in New York, the facility makes a clone copy in New York, before it goes out to wherever it needs to go. The architecture also streams another H.264 proxy copy out to Aframe’s LA facility. This protects against disaster in either locations while ensuring that clients have a full copy locally and can always get access to the media elsewhere is necessary. The system also employs a multi-layered user authentication process and a special encryption system that requires a password to access.

“It’s very robust and we make it a challenge for hackers,” Overington said. “And we’ve never have had anyone try.”

The overall look and feel of the product is very intuitive and, according to Overington, the software is like using a social media application. It’s definitely designed for the non-technical user.

“We have established upload center partnerships around the country, most with 100 Mbps connections, so if you don't have a good connection, they will do it for you,” he said. “The point is to make this a seamless process that does not get in the way of creativity.”

The new version of Aframe will be on display at NAB Show, in the “Cloud Pavilion” in the North hall (stand #CP13-15).



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