December 22, 2020 | For years, video professionals have
had to navigate the treacherous woods of DVD authoring with little
more than a map and supplies. The journey can take a toll on some
authors, costing in both time and frustration. Now, thanks to
Gnome Digital Media, DVD authors are getting guidance from a new
companion. The DVD Companion, that is. The DVD Companion is an
interactive help system geared toward helping DVD authors and,
says Bruce Nazarian, president of Gnome Digital Media, the first
of its kind in the field.
According to Nazarian, the program will be sold electronically
from Gnome Digital's Web site (http://www.gnomedigital.com), as
well as on CD-ROM for about $100. In addition to being sold as
a standalone product, Nazarian says that it's possible that the
DVD Companion will eventually be bundled with DVD products from
Apple and Sonic.
The DVD Companion is installed as part of the Macintosh help
menu. Users can either browse authoring topics, or type in a question
to which they need answered. The DVD Companion explains authoring
procedures, and on occasion even provides illustrated demonstrations.
Nazarian says that the demonstrations may sometime in the future
develop into video presentations.
In addition to acting as an instructional guide, the DVD Companion
provides a basic guide to the various DVD formats and authoring
techniques, as well as an extensive glossary of DVD jargon. "It's
a very easy, real-time, on-your-desktop hand holder," Nazarian
says about the program.
Not to neglect any non-Macintosh users who may require a little
help, there is also a PC version of DVD Companion, which consists
of a large number of HTML documents. "It's kind of like a tiny
Web site," says Nazarian. "We will try to format the reference
materials as Web pages, so it can be as cross-platform as possible.
Even so, there is not much of a reason to put Sonic DVD Creator
or Fusion-specific tips on a Windows platform--they're Mac-only
applications. We may do a Windows version for [multi-platform]
The target audience of the DVD Companion is, believe it or not,
professional DVD authors. Nazarian has spent more than two years
training people in DVD authoring, and half of the requests for
help that he gets are from professionals. "I imagine that a fair
percentage of professional authors are potentially fair game for
this product," he says. "DVD authoring is a very complicated and
technical endeavor, but it's relatively easy to do if you have
a guide through the wilderness."
Nazarian believes that there is a potentially huge consumer
market for DVD authoring, and that Apple is ready to tap into
it. "There's already consumer interest," he says. "More of it
will be done when the tools are relatively well available and
Apple has spent the past year ensuring its continued dominance
in the professional authoring market, beginning last spring with
its acquisition of Astarte's intellectual property--including
the acquired but as yet unassigned DVDirector authoring solution-as
well as the software company's engineering team.
Apple has also formed partnerships with Pinnacle Systems, a
provider of digital video editing tools, and graphics hardware
specialist Matrox to develop new products for the content authoring
markets. The deals with Pinnacle and Matrox marked a departure
from a trend in recent years, when companies were more often focused
on bringing Windows-based products to market first.
Nazarian anticipates that Apple will set its sight on the consumer
market soon, which will mean an increased need for DVD authoring
help products such as the DVD Companion. "I believe that Apple is
going to amaze and astound us," Nazarian predicts. "The forces are
gathering, and it's only a matter of time."