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Advanced multimedia authoring system with AV optimised removable storage


The objective is to develop an advanced system for authoring video and multimedia. The target is to offer a low-cost, modular platform that uses existing and emerging industry standards to create analogue or digital video objects at a price affordable by all multimedia authors. Analogue video format includes Betacam SP, Hi 8, S-VHS and VHS. Digital computer format includes Quicktime, AVI and MPEG.

The key design objectives in regard to the architecture are to:

- use standardised, affordable PC technology
- offer a modular structure, permitting the user to start small with the option of upgrading later on the same system (for example, from S-Video to component)
- ensure that the purchasing, training and operating costs for the system are low
- support a choice of all four different editing modes (linear off-line, non-linear off-line, linear on-line and non-linear on-line) for every project, thus permitting mixed operation of tape and hard disk editing ("hybrid editing")
- provide the benefits of non-linear editing (with its typical advantages, such as random access, copying without losses, etc.) with variable levels of quality (from off-line to on-line component video quality)
- provide frame-accurate control of a wide range of consumer and professional tape machines, permitting use of tape as an affordable storage and distribution medium when required
- support the performance required for real-time editing and DVEs for maximum productivity and fast trial and error cycle times
- include high speed, AV-optimised removable storage.

AMAS is a collaboration between Fast and Nomaï/Myrica. Fast is the European leader in computer-based video editing systems. Nomaï/Myrica is the only removable cartridge storage group in Europe.

The project builds on the MagDrive project (EP 9257, ESPRIT III), which has developed a high-capacity removable magnetic cartridge drive for all forms of computer. MagDrive is being marketed as the MCD (Multimedia Cartridge Drive), and was specifically designed to service the multimedia field, where file sizes are typically very large.

To allow real-time digital audio and video recording with high quality, a disk drive must be able to sustain a very high data rate, since any drop in data rate could result in improper delivery of the audio-video stream and cause jumps, gaps and stutters in the motion and sound. The only devices currently able to offer this type of performance are specialised hard drives. It is essential for success in a wide market to offer storage based on inexpensive cartridges.

Fast and Nomaï/Myrica have decided to collaborate to offer truly inexpensive digital video, for both conventional post-production and multimedia authoring applications. This is feasible because the storage medium of the MCD is a removable cartridge.

Nomaï and Myrica will take advantage of Fast's experience in the manipulation and storage of audio and video information to develop an AV-optimised version of their product. By cooperating with Fast in this way, they will be able to develop a product which they can also exploit as a standalone product in the multimedia field.

Fast will be able to develop a video and multimedia authoring system which takes best advantage of the capabilities of a removable magnetic cartridge storage system, thus enhancing the exploitation potential of Fast's products.

The main exploitation for this project will be done by Fast, who will market several different configurations of the AMAS components and system, as an extension of their current computer-based video product line.

Nomaï's exploitation of the results of the project will be to offer the world's first high-capacity removable storage platform optimised for use in the digital video and audio market. The product will be offered through Fast's dealer network as part of their multimedia authoring product range, as well as through other manufacturers of video and multimedia editing stations. Nomaï will also look at the opportunity to offer it for use in the booming new 'video server' market.

Call for proposal

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Fast Multimedia Ag
Landsbergerstrasse 76
80339 Munchen

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EU contribution
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