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Informix Media360: Multimedia Management, Not Mere Storage

  • September 24 1999, 1:00am EDT
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This month, Informix Corporation announced Media360, a new product for multimedia information types. The initial offering of Media360 will support audio and video. Later releases will expand support to other multimedia types.

Some similar solutions merely store media objects in a database. Media360, however, provides tools for managing multimedia objects throughout their life cycles. For example, it supports workflow, versioning, distribution, bulk loading and other management features specific to multimedia objects.

Informix Media360 has unique features for describing events within time- based multimedia objects. For instance, the meta data for a multimedia object can describe the entire object, as well as events within the object such as - in a single video object - a scene in the White House, a scene on Capitol Hill and a scene at a presidential press conference. Hence, multiple events within an object are subject to query, cataloging, indexing, retrieval for reuse and other database and life cycle functions.

THE HURWITZ TAKE: Informix already has a considerable customer base in broadcast and print industries because the unique hybrid of relational and object technologies in its database products (now called Internet.Foundation 2000) is ideal for managing multimedia information for reuse. Object capabilities enable the database to store multimedia information efficiently, while relational capabilities provide a familiar mechanism for organizing and querying multimedia information.

The beta program for Informix Media360 begins in November 1999, and the beta sites include the Associated Press, BBC, CNN and Time. These sites reveal that broadcast and print media companies constitute the target audience for Media360. Broadcast and print media companies are drowning in information, just like most corporations today. But their problem is special in that their information is largely in multimedia data types.

However, many types of corporations have massive multimedia collections and therefore need a sophisticated system to manage them. Without such a system, companies waste time and money recreating multimedia information because they are unable to find and reuse previously attained assets. I recommend that organizations shopping for a multimedia management solution select one that supports events within time-based multimedia objects and life cycle functions designed specifically for multimedia information.

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