Author Topic: Writing CDs/DVDs with cross-platform previews  (Read 5162 times)

Offline Hydester

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Writing CDs/DVDs with cross-platform previews
« on: July 03, 2006, 01:25:59 PM »
Hi

Preamble:
This is a 'big ask' which as far as I know only Extensis Portfolio has a go at (with limited success) but which is incredibly important.

The Challenge:
Most photographers end up writing a collection of hi-res usable images to CD/DVD for their clients. Some photographers make 'Contact Sheets' which they print out to show the images. I don't do this on the basis of it being costly/time consuming/against the simplicity of digital. What I would like is a cross-platform customizable preview-system which design-professionals & lay-people alike would use to preview the hi-res images without having to open up the hi-res files.

Possible Strategies:
1. Make an Html preview system
2. Make a Flash Preview system
3. Make a Quicktime Preview system

Important Note:
The preview system must NOT involve installing anything on the host's computer -unlike iView Media Pro which offers a free browser but which must be installed- (IT managers foam at the mouth at this prospect) & accordingly must take advantage of widespread technologies which are already on most systems (we must assume that most people are up-to-date however ...we don't want to compromise a great solution just to support dinasaurs.)

Current Fudge:
I currently make discs using Extensis Portfolio which includes their bespoke browser system as an application which runs straight from the disc. This is not ideal but it works. As a Mac person I don't know much about PCs but get the Portfolio Browser to spark-up automatically using a .exe file on PCs. I would rather not do this.

In an ideal world:
I would have probably have a program which mounted the disc in an elegant way giving the recipient TWO icons whatever platform they were on. (Maybe a third could be a Readme)
1. The first would be 'LoRes' which would spark up (lets say) an HTML gallery of Low resolution shots just so that the client could review the shots
2. The second icon would simply be a 'HiRes' icon which would be an alias to the folder containing the High resolution images

In effect this is what I actually already do but it involves a lot of work & I make disc images using Roxio Toast so that the window opens in just the way that I want it to.

If you could devise a program that does this in a customizable way with minimum fuss you could give every developer a bonus that would guarantee them a place in the sun ...we would all be buying it.



Best ...Steve

PS I could send you a disc of my inadequate (but better-than-most) solution if it would help you understand what I meant

Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: Writing CDs/DVDs with cross-platform previews
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2006, 01:54:59 PM »
Hi Steve,

Preamble:
This is a 'big ask' which as far as I know only Extensis Portfolio has a go at (with limited success) but which is incredibly important.

The Challenge:
Most photographers end up writing a collection of hi-res usable images to CD/DVD for their clients. Some photographers make 'Contact Sheets' which they print out to show the images. I don't do this on the basis of it being costly/time consuming/against the simplicity of digital. What I would like is a cross-platform customizable preview-system which design-professionals & lay-people alike would use to preview the hi-res images without having to open up the hi-res files.

Possible Strategies:
1. Make an Html preview system
2. Make a Flash Preview system
3. Make a Quicktime Preview system

Important Note:
The preview system must NOT involve installing anything on the host's computer -unlike iView Media Pro which offers a free browser but which must be installed- (IT managers foam at the mouth at this prospect) & accordingly must take advantage of widespread technologies which are already on most systems (we must assume that most people are up-to-date however ...we don't want to compromise a great solution just to support dinasaurs.)

Current Fudge:
I currently make discs using Extensis Portfolio which includes their bespoke browser system as an application which runs straight from the disc. This is not ideal but it works. As a Mac person I don't know much about PCs but get the Portfolio Browser to spark-up automatically using a .exe file on PCs. I would rather not do this.

In an ideal world:
I would have probably have a program which mounted the disc in an elegant way giving the recipient TWO icons whatever platform they were on. (Maybe a third could be a Readme)
1. The first would be 'LoRes' which would spark up (lets say) an HTML gallery of Low resolution shots just so that the client could review the shots
2. The second icon would simply be a 'HiRes' icon which would be an alias to the folder containing the High resolution images

In effect this is what I actually already do but it involves a lot of work & I make disc images using Roxio Toast so that the window opens in just the way that I want it to.

If you could devise a program that does this in a customizable way with minimum fuss you could give every developer a bonus that would guarantee them a place in the sun ...we would all be buying it.



Best ...Steve

PS I could send you a disc of my inadequate (but better-than-most) solution if it would help you understand what I meant

Please do.  Contact me privately for a snail-mail address.  If I were to implement such a feature, I would likely do it with HTML since it is so universal.  Flash requires a plugin and believe it or not, some people haven't installed it.  QuickTime is native on Mac OS X, but has to be installed on Windows.  HTML just requires a browser, which everyone has.

-Kirk

Offline RobertE

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Re: Writing CDs/DVDs with cross-platform previews
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2006, 03:35:39 PM »
Hi Kirk,

If I were to implement such a feature, I would likely do it with HTML since it is so universal.  Flash requires a plugin and believe it or not, some people haven't installed it.  QuickTime is native on Mac OS X, but has to be installed on Windows.  HTML just requires a browser, which everyone has.

I recommend HTML galleries to photographers who want a cross platform browser solution for delivery to clients (along with a README). FWIW Windows XP and Mac OS X come with Flash installed, so you'd only need to depricate it to an older version of Flash Player. That only leaves OS 9 and WIN98 ;). If you script to drive Flash all then bets are off.

You mention in this thread PM4.5 will use Peter Berger's EOS Templates. One EOS template allows client feedback - even when run off a read-only CD. Instead of exporting a Breeze Browser text file could it export a Photo Mechanic compatible file? It relies on javascript, as does the Adobe web template that offers feedback.

-- Robert Edwards.

Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: Writing CDs/DVDs with cross-platform previews
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2006, 10:17:19 PM »
Hi Robert,

If I were to implement such a feature, I would likely do it with HTML since it is so universal.  Flash requires a plugin and believe it or not, some people haven't installed it.  QuickTime is native on Mac OS X, but has to be installed on Windows.  HTML just requires a browser, which everyone has.

I recommend HTML galleries to photographers who want a cross platform browser solution for delivery to clients (along with a README). FWIW Windows XP and Mac OS X come with Flash installed, so you'd only need to depricate it to an older version of Flash Player. That only leaves OS 9 and WIN98 ;). If you script to drive Flash all then bets are off.

You mention in this thread PM4.5 will use Peter Berger's EOS Templates. One EOS template allows client feedback - even when run off a read-only CD. Instead of exporting a Breeze Browser text file could it export a Photo Mechanic compatible file? It relies on javascript, as does the Adobe web template that offers feedback.

Let me be clear about what the new HTML export will do in relation to Peter Berger's EOS Templates.  Currently our HTML exporter has no scripting capability.  The new HTML export will have a very rich scripting engine that will enable Peter to write an EOS Template for Photo Mechanic.  I will give him prerelease versions of PM so that he can get his templates done before we ship 4.5 and if all goes well, his templates will be available for sale shortly after the availability of 4.5, possibly even in the public beta stage.

-Kirk