MovieWorks offers entry-level multimedia

Interactive Solutions Inc. is releasing this week an easy-to-use suite of multimedia tools for PC users who want to create Web videos, CD-ROMs and professional-looking slideshows.

MovieWorks Deluxe 5.1, which debuts Tuesday, is the latest edition of the company's flagship multimedia product. For a suggested retail price of US$149 (street prices are expected to range from $120 to $130) you get a CD-ROM containing video, sound, animation, paint, and image-editing tools. Also included is a time-based, object-oriented sequencing and authoring program that makes multitrack recording a snap.

The five applications work together so you can build multimedia presentations with analog or digital video, photos, graphics, animations, 3D, narration, MIDI, MP3, CD music, text and titling, and virtual reality movies, says Bill LaCommare, president of Interactive Solutions.

He describes the product as a beginner's version of pricier professional-level editing programs from companies like Macromedia Inc. and Adobe Systems Inc.

Multimedia 'Light'

"It's a multimedia works package that's like the Microsoft Office of multimedia," he says. "It's like a light version of Macromedia Director, Adobe Premier and Photoshop, and Macromedia SoundEdit. What we have is a light version of all these guys."

While most professionals won't be interested in his product, LaCommare expects pent-up demand from novice multimedia users who have been spooked by the high cost of acquiring different editing programs for different media.

"Up until now, the only way to create multimedia productions of this caliber was to spend $1000 and invest weeks in learning complex software," LaCommare says. He positions the package as well suited for schools, families, and small businesses that want to experiment with multimedia.

LaCommare believes most users will probably start off doing simple slide shows. Once they are comfortable with the system, they can move on to video editing, CD-ROM authoring, and presentations.

Multitrack Capabilities

"We are leveraging QuickTime architecture to address some of the quality problems, like things falling out of sequence with music and narration," he says. "The multitrack sequencer that we have is really magic. With this sequencing capability, you can manage up to 100 tracks of information in one scene."

Previous versions of the Interactive Solutions software were available only to Mac users, with a big push to supply the education market. In January, the first Windows-based product (MovieWorks Deluxe 5.0) was released.

"We found our path of least resistance through the education market," LaCommare says. "We had a lot of kids and teachers pounding on it. Now, we thought it was time to bring it to the home and consumer market."

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