Feeds

A picture paints a thousand words

Moving multimedia into the mainstream

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

In Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, Douglas Adams' main character's claim to fame is that he coded a facility into his employer's business software to convert the contents of a spreadsheet into a music score and then play it back via MIDI.

This addition to the application turned it into a bestseller as large corporations used it to create company songs based on their yearly accounts. While this is pretty frivolous it does illustrate how a multimedia feature could give a product an edge in a crowded marketplace.

It's been over 10 years since multimedia facilities were incorporated directly into the core of Windows and Macintosh operating systems, so where are the multimedia features in commercial applications?

This might seem to be an odd question if you think of your average spreadsheet or word processing application, but we've had the "Windows, Icon, Mouse Pointer" human interface model on our PC's desktop for more than two decades. So why hasn't any of this touchy-feely philosophy leaked into the programs that we use to run our businesses and write our code?

Perhaps the slow take-up was originally due to the lack of "rich media" resources. There's no point in having a database that can handle video if there's no footage available. However, this no longer holds - the tools to actually create the light fantastic and the cheerful noises are now freely available. In fact, it's never been easier to create video, audio or high quality graphics and photography.

So regardless of whether you use the latest high technology digital video camera or the recorder you find in your mobile phone, there are a large number of media production applications with varying levels of complexity available at affordable prices – or even for free.

There are plenty of paths into adding multimedia features to applications, either using the built-in features of the standard operating system API or by using the services of third party vendors. On the mobile device front, companies like Tao Group provide a middleware platform and an SDK to help applications developers.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.