Pilot Seat: How Xinet Pilot Liberates Users From Plugins

Posted by Robert Sullivan on Thu, Jun 06, 2013 @ 11:10 AM

Tags: Xinet, DAM Systems, digital asset management, Xinet Plug-ins, DAM, Adobe, Asset Browser


Xinet Pilot is a Xinet-aware media browser that will replace the Asset Browser plugins, and a quick look shows it works extremely well so far. North Plains describes it as a powerful hybrid of web browser and production navigation technology that provides Xinet-related tools within creative media environments.

Instead of an Asset Browser plugin, Xinet Pilot is a service that runs directly from the desktop. By launching it once, you can use it across Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, or InDesign seamlessly. You can drag and drop files from the Xinet Pilot into the three Adobe programs, but you can also upload files to the server and apply metadata on the fly.

The really exciting part about Pilot's upload ability is that it will respect the Template Permission settings for Uploader, Enabled and "Required". So it will work like the Uploader Application in that respect, that we can set data fields to be required. Great! But unlike the Uploader Application, Pilots uploads are limited to singular assets. That's right, one asset at a time. (So far)

North Plains has said that they’ll be “depreciating” Asset Browser plugins and migrating to Xinet Pilot. North Plains has also promised to evolve Pilot in future releases and it will support Adobe Creative Cloud. I'm speculating that people are going to love Xinet Pilot and the first feature requests are going to be for multiple asset uploads.

There's not a lot of configuration options in this first release, but I imagine that will be coming also. Not everybody likes the 'executive black' background. North Plains is rightly taking the approach of providing the right user experience and tools now, and hopefully providing aesthetics in those later updates.

If you haven’t climbed into the pilot’s seat yet, you should.

Adobe: When Clouds Are Welcome

Posted by NAPC Marketing on Fri, May 17, 2013 @ 11:31 AM

Tags: TWiST, apps, cloud software, Howlr, Adobe, creative cloud, graphics


This is an update to one of our most popular blog posts:

Adobe is embracing the cloud with a streamlined service that issues a monthly charge for its apps. Lots of people aren’t happy, and the other day our COO stepped in to detail his skepticism. 

It’s not all bad news. In fact, some of us love clouds.

There will never be an ideal time to take the Adobe apps to the cloud, and there is always going to be a very uncomfortable transitionary period. Now is as good a time as any, especially when Creative Cloud is hosted on Amazon Web Services. The immediate benefits to the developers at Adobe and their ability to push updates faster is the real sell.

A common complaint is that people don’t want to have a persistent online connection to use Photoshop. You need to be online when you install and license your software, and annual membership users will need to validate every 30 days. Users will still be able to use products for 99 days even if you’re offline. This has proven true, we havent heard any complaints about 'not being able to work without being connected'

When it comes to coordinating with a group or team, files created by the Creative Cloud apps can be shared like any other file. For example, you can share files through Email, FTP, and so on. You have 20 gigs of storage space that you can use to sync files between your devices and access them whenever you want.

Creative Cloud doesn’t wall you off from other users who aren’t members of Creative Cloud either. You can let non-member view the files in a browser. Viewers can view relevant metadata, turn layers on and off and even download files for editing, all without knowing what Adobe Creative Cloud is.

People have been concerned with retaining ownership over what they create through the Creative Cloud, but as the myths article explains, Adobe claims no ownership or copyright over any of your work. It’s all yours.

The biggest issue we've seen is what our biggest fear was- the latency and delay in opening, saving, and working from the cloud is crushing production. Internet pipes are still too costly for anything similar to the experience creatives and studio folks are used to with local high performance file servers. Once the dream of CFOs and financial planners, pushing these assets into the cloud is driving up labor costs due to the sheer inefficiency of trying to access enormous files across the WAN.

At this point, it's clear the CC suite of applications has been a great success for Adobe, and usefull to the end users. Production though, is still being kept local due to access speeds and times

Cloudy Conditions: Adobe Gets Bold

Posted by Rob Steinberg on Tue, May 14, 2013 @ 02:59 PM

Tags: cloud software, Adobe, creative cloud, graphics

Creative Cloud

Adobe is forcing everyone into the cloud. I'm torn, for several reasons.

It's all good for Adobe. It’s a nice, regular, ka-ching. Smoothed revenue generation. As soon as you license, the clock starts. You have to act quickly to get the lower upgrade price. It's still pretty ham-handed, and the replies are not too favorable to Adobe. They’ve been catching heat on Facebook and Twitter too.

The $20 per month for an upgrade from CS6 seems like a good deal. Like the first free sample from your corner purveyor of joy. But no information of what happens once they have you. How much are you interested in trusting them?

Secondly, the feature set across the board is pretty mature. I haven't been overwhelmed by the last two releases. Some "nice to have" stuff, but nothing that's a slap my forehead, how could I have lived without that. A lot of our customers don't upgrade quickly, but wait for things to settle down in a dot release. Many skip a version. That's no longer a money saver.

You could wind up paying for new features you're not ready for. Is there a graceful way to downgrade if things blow up? Or revert?

Lastly, it depends on how well the licensing is executed. Putting production at risk is never a good idea.

Just try explaining to your client you blew the deadline because Adobe had an issue with your license.

I'm quite curious as to others’ reactions. How do <you feel?

DAM NY 2013: The Art and Practice of Managing Digital Media

Posted by Michael Carusi on Wed, May 01, 2013 @ 06:20 PM

Tags: digital asset management, DAM, North Plains, Adobe, conference

digital media

Calling all New Yorkers! The Art and Practice of Managing Digital Media 2013 conference series begins in the Big Apple on May 2 and May 3. This program is built by and for the digital asset management community. Media, entertainment, advertising, healthcare, retail, government, and education are among the industries represented, and with 500 professionals already registered, it's a great opportunity to network and learn.

Some notable topics throughout this two day event:

-Telling your Brand Story: DAM's Evolution in 2013

-The Impact of New Meaning Based Computing on Understanding Rich Content – Why Does This Change How We Interact with Our Customers?

-Seven Secrets to Making the Most of Your Digital Assets 

Sponsors include NAPC partners North Plains and Adobe, and the speaker lineup includes DAM veterans such as David Lipsey of Optimity Advisors, Tracy Askam of HP Autonomy and Holly Boerner of American Express Publishing.

Good DAM contributes directly to the bottom line. Whether you're new and looking to develop a sound business case or want to share your vast DAM knowledge with colleagues, this is an event you won't want to miss. 

If you happen to drop by the event, be sure to look for us! 

Xinet WebNative Suite 17 released - want it?

Posted by Rob Pelmas on Thu, Dec 01, 2011 @ 08:23 PM

Tags: Xinet, DAM Systems, Adobe, Asset Browser, Searching with DAM

Exciting news this week from the DAM front: Xinet released their much awaited upgrade, WebNative Suite 17. It seems every nook and cranny of the product has something new and luscious in it. Details here, but I gotta give an overview:

  • Massively reworked search engine, producing both faster results and more flexible criteria
  • Text content searching across a wide variety of document types
  • Richer Asset Timer, with even more built in functionality
  • Fine grained administration delegation, allowing security and delegation (all within the familiar Xinet GUI)--Screen Shot 2011 12 01 at 8.21.19 PM
  • 3D CAD file support 
  • Versioning from within the Adobe Suite
Great stuff, and we're pumped. As always, we're looking for smart early adopters; customers who want to get their hands dirty and finish quicker than the competition. 
If you're interested, give me a call at NAPC HQ and we can discuss moving ahead with the latest and greatest dynamic Digital Asset Management software out there. If you're not an adventurous soul, we'll start a push to get everyone upgraded and reach out to you as the year goes on.
We'll also start populating our online training site, flatheadu with videos describing the new functionality in WebNative Suite 17 , and how to get the most from it. We look forward to our second hundred videos on the site!

Staying Current on Support

Posted by Robert Sullivan on Tue, Oct 13, 2009 @ 11:28 AM

Tags: support, Xinet, XMP, Adobe, metadata

I ride dirt bikes and recently incurred a 700 dollar repair bill on my sons bike.
What? What was the cause of this? It's a two stroke motocross and the engine had
seized up, which is not all that unusual, but we had done a new top-end not all that
long ago. So why had it blown again so early?

The 'real mechanic' I brought it to explained that pump gas has changed drastically
from what the engine was designed to run on. But the bike is only four years old..!
Pump gas these days is going Greener with at lease 10% ethanol or more, and is so
oxygenated that it burns hotter, expanding the rings tighter around the piston...
you get the idea. Ring-ding-a-ding, goes to bwop-bwooooop... silence.

As back yard mechanics working on dirt bike engines we hadn't done anything wrong with
our top-end. The gas we run had changed and we didn't ever realize the consequences.

I had an issue last week that drove home the importance of staying current
with system wide support. My customer was having difficulty with XMP metadata
that was not showing up in Venture. This was for XMP fields that were working
correctly not that long ago. Venture syncs were also not showing the field values
either. The first instinctive question is "what changed?" And the answer is
"we're not doing anything differently." Like me with my dirt bike.

Xinet engineering had me activate fpod vlog per a specific tech note which will
create a special output file. Copy on a questionable file again and watch for it to
show up in the log. Verify that the XMP data is not showing in the browser and then
run the syncxmp command in debug mode to capture what the sync is actually doing,
or having issues with. Verify if the data still doesn't show up and send the logs and
sample file in to them for analysis.
They came back with a new syncxmp binary file to slip in, and this was the resolution
to the problem.

I inquired with Xinet engineering about the 'why' and 'how' questions having to do with
the metadata not showing up in Venture. Xinet replied that from their perspective,
the issue had to do with a non-compatible file: specifically,  the jpeg image that I
had sent, which caused syncxmp to fail with these errors:

syncxmp(87535) malloc: *** error for object 0x512060: Non-aligned pointer being freed (2)
syncxmp(87535) malloc: *** error for object 0x512390: double free

Now this error is gobbly-gouk to me. I would have thought a pointer being freed was
a good thing, but I'm not a code writing engineer for several reasons, which is why I
have a very defined escalation path.

The way they "fixed" this was to test my sample file against a newer build of syncxmp,
from the new Suite 16 code, which incorporates some newer XMP libraries provided by Adobe.
In short, the newer Adobe libraries resolved the issue.

So as far as my customer was concerned, they were "not doing anything differently"
But apparently Adobe was. The problem came from the fact that Adobe doesn't stand
still. Ever! They continue to evolve and improve their XMP libraries and those
changes were not recognized by the Xinet version my customer was running.
This is the intrinsic value of having support. We were able to update to a newer
binary to stay current with the ever changing world.

So even though you may not be doing anything different... Change Happens!
My dirt bike solution is to run race gas. The world keeps changing around us without our
consent or input and will not wait for us to adapt or catch up. The leading edge is really
not all that far ahead. But by falling behind, the distance becomes huge and costly.
So stay current with good support.
And if you ride dirt bikes, check your gas.