If you were wondering how the cloud was going to magically handle all your high-res media, today has brought an answer. Amazon introduced its latest cloud gateway, called ‘Snowmobile’ – and no, it’s not April 1st nor am I making any of this up. It’s a semi truck housing 100 petabytes of data storage, and it pulls up to your front door, hooks up (presumably via 10 Gigabit Ethernet) and copies all your stuff from your server, before driving off to Amazon’s nearest datacenter. They developed this because, understandably, people were disappointed at the upload times for massive amounts of media and other big data; last-mile bandwidth is still often much more limited than we’d like. This isn’t an argument against the viability and obvious robust health of the cloud IT model, just a reality check that some things, like big collections of media files, still live on and are best managed on actual drive-based storage. Of course, at axle Video all our products are built on that principle, so we’re delighted to see Amazon, uh, driving our way.
December’s Videomaker magazine brings us a roundup of video collaboration tools. The article compares our axle 2016 software to Wipster, Frame.io, and AFrame, and I’m delighted to say that ours was the only on-premise solution that made the cut! In other words, we catalog your media where it already lives, on your networked storage, whereas the others all expect you to upload it to cloud storage. The article is an excellent overview of what’s available on the market, and contrasts the strengths of the different approaches. Interestingly, the other 3 companies have raised a combined $20m+ in venture capital! By contrast, axle Video continues to grow our software business based almost solely on revenue from customers, which may give us some advantages in the long haul.
We’re delighted that sculptor Janet Echelman, who does amazing large-scale installations around the world, was a keynote speaker at this year’s Adobe MAX in San Diego. Janet’s inspiring story and groundbreaking work made a real impression on the more than 10,000 attendees at her presentation. Why axle Video? Unlike most sculptures, Janet’s are designed to move and change colors and patterns based on their environment, winds, and even input from the Internet. As you’d imagine, she and her team at Studio Echelman have amassed many thousands of media assets over the years, both video and photo – from behind-the-scenes footage to gala unveilings. axle 2016 gives her team a way to find just the footage they need.
We spent a fantastic 3 days at the FCPX Summit last week/weekend, which included a visit to the Cupertino campus to meet with the FCPX, Compressor and Mac hardware teams. The sessions at the Summit were super-informative, and the participants (from a good mix of educational and corporate sites) were engaged, knowledgeable and really strong on workgroup and media management topics. We’ll definitely be back next year.
We also got hands-on time with the new MacBook Pros, touchbars and all! I’ll post my report on that soon – having a small, full timeline under your fingertips while you can zoom in on the main timeline onscreen (or go to a full-screen player view) is simply awesome. And last week’s FCPX 1.3 release, which kind of snuck out there with the laptops, has some really impressive advances (including audio ‘lanes’ – kind of smarter tracks) that should go a long way towards bringing FCPX into the mainstream. Its 4K performance is really compelling, which is becoming a very key issue these days!
We’re delighted to report that SMPTE has just announced their first-ever prize for Excellence in Education, and it goes to Baylor’s Michael Korpi – who happens to be an axle customer. Michael’s use of axle extends through Baylor’s pre-editing and editing workflows; they have 150+ terabytes of NAS-based network storage and employ axle 2016.2 to catalog its contents, search for media, and do subclipping and review and approval. We’re thrilled that one of our university sites (which also include Harvard, MIT, UCLA, Sheridan College and Berklee College of Music) has won this prestigious prize, and look forward to a continued great relationship with colleges and universities in the US and abroad. Education is one of the fastest-growing markets for axle’s radically simple media management solution, now installed at over 350 sites worldwide.
Things crank into high gear this week as we demo axle Starter, 2016.2, Edit and Pulse at 3 key events. If you’re in LA, the Bay Area or the Rockies, we hope you can join us. Colin Anderson and I will be available for meetings, so call or email us and we’ll make it happen.
Below is a pre-SMPTE interview I did with Ryan Salazar of Broadcast Beat. If you want to join us at the show, you can pre-register for a FREE Exhibits Only pass online at www.smpte2016.org and use the discount code SMPTE2016X at checkout. Give axle Video (booth 425) as your sponsoring exhibitor.
September was a busy month for us, starting with a packed IBC booth and going on to IBM’s Edge infrastructure conference, in Las Vegas, and Adobe Video World in Bellevue, WA. From our conversations at all these events, it’s clear that a wide range of video teams – from creative agencies, municipal governments, sports teams, universities and broadcasters – are all looking for help in making their video storage more searchable and productive. We’re thrilled that so many of you are picking axle to meet this challenge.
A high point of the Adobe event was getting the chance to talk to key product managers like Al Mooney, below, or the development team at After Effects – who turn out to be the same passionate founders of CoSA in Rhode Island which Adobe bought 20+ years ago!
Adobe’s Al Mooney at AVW