A few weeks ago, I mentioned that there were a variety of topics I’d be discussing to provide more clarity around my new product - Presio. Well, I’ll be covering Topic #4 - “How it fits in with existing presentation and training tools” in this post.
One critical aspect of building a successful software product is interoperability. Most software products will rarely operate in a silo. In most cases, your product will have other dependencies that, when combined with your application, provide true value for a user. There may be hardware or software dependencies. For example, a word processing program needs to be able to print documents to any printer. Contact management software needs to be able to import (and export) data from common formats or tools such as spreadsheets.
Creating a software package that allows users to create web presentations that combine audio, video and slides certainly has its share of dependencies. Presio needs to not only work with a variety of hardware devices; web cameras, dv cameras, usb microphones, 1/8″ microphones, soundcards, etc, but it must also work well with a variety of multimedia and image formats.
A sofware maker needs to understand that their paricular product is usually a single tool within a larger toolset that their customers pull out when necessary. So, Presio is not the end all and be all for creating rich media web presentations. Instead, it allows you to assemble a set of “assets” (which may come from a variety of sources) quickly and easily. For example, Presio does a good job at capturing talking head type video. Assuming you have decent lighting and a good background Presio will meet your needs. However, Presio is not a video editing application and as such it does not allow you to create fancy transitions or effects. But, Presio will allow you to import an avi, wmv, or mov file and will automatically synchronize it with an existing slide. This allows customers to continue leveraging their investments in existing tools (whether it be previous cost or knowledge gained). So, if you are more comfortable working with video in say, Windows Movie Maker, Final Cut Pro, Premiere, etc., no problem. Just import your clips into an existing slide and you’re good to go. See below:
This is just one example of how Presio “plays nice with others”. For audio, Presio can import wav, mp3, or wma formats as well. So, Audacity combined with Presio provides a very powerful solution for creating audio narrated web presentations. Presio also works nicely with all the major web image formats as well as with Microsoft PowerPoint.
Equally as important as being able to get data into your software application from other sources, you must make it easy for users to get data out. Presio allows any clip (whether recorded with Presio or not) to be exported out to a file as well.
So, keep in mind how your users will use your product within an existing ecosystem of other products and formats.