Companies are rushing to announce support for the new multi-media extensions to Microsoft Corp’s Windows 3.0 (CI No 1,566) and Fremont, California-based Media Vision Inc says it has developed a family of upgrade products for using multimedia extensions to the Windows environment, beginning with an audio upgrade kit consisting of the Pro AudioSpectrum audio card […]
Companies are rushing to announce support for the new multi-media extensions to Microsoft Corp’s Windows 3.0 (CI No 1,566) and Fremont, California-based Media Vision Inc says it has developed a family of upgrade products for using multimedia extensions to the Windows environment, beginning with an audio upgrade kit consisting of the Pro AudioSpectrum audio card and a CD-ROM drive, for delivery in the first quarter of next year: the Pro-AudioSpectrum is a professional level audio adaptor for Micro Channel and AT bus machines, and will enable stereo pulse code modulation recording as well as playback and will feature on-board MIDI Musical Instrument Digital Interface – and it claims that it will be unique in its ability to mix CD audio, PCM, and FM synthesised audio, eliminating the need for an external mixer.
And Sausalito, California-based Autodesk Inc says that it will make FLI files produced by its MS-DOS-based two- and three dimensional animation programs accessible under the multimedia extensions to the Microsoft Windows environment: Autodesk is developing a Windows player that will enable FLI animation files created in Autodesk Animator or Autodesk 3D Studio to be played back in a window under Windows 3.0 – the Windows Player is implemented as a Dynamic Link Library, which means it can be accessed by other Windows 3.0 applications, including multimedia authoring tools and if used with the multimedia extensions, the Windows Player will support simultaneous playback of digitised sound and FLI animation files whereupon the final product can be played back from any mass-storage device – including magnetic, optical or CD-ROM disks – so that cheapo 80286 computers without large amounts of memory can be turned into powerful multimedia computers.
Also leaping aboard the Windows multi-media bandwaggon is San Jose, California-based Headland Technology Inc, which says it has developed a ready to go board and CD-ROM package that upgrades an AT bus personal computer to meet Microsoft’s specifications for a Windows multimedia system: the Video Seven board integrates a CD-ROM interface with audio and video capabilities, provides a 512Kb Video Graphics Array capable of 256 colours in 640 by 480 resolution, with a CD-ROM drive and controller, on-board FM synthesiser, Musical Instrument Digital Interface support, joystick port and an audio mixer; it will include a single CD-ROM drive, the Windows multimedia environment and other titles; it will be distributed through existing Video Seven retail channels as well as OEM, with delivery beginning in the first half of 1991; no price given.
Bull SA’s Zenith Data Systems Inc is also in on the game, saying it is developing a desktop personal computer built around the multimedia extensions to Windows: the 80386-based machine is planned for the first half of 1991 and will have both the Windows multimedia environment and an updated version of MS-DOS installed on its hard drive, with Asymetrix Corp’s Toolbook 1.0, which can be used as a multimedia programming tool; the thing will initially be aimed at training and other simulation-oriented applications for the company’s primary markets, large businesses, government, and education; it may also be used as a front end to the ImageWorks server-based document management system offered by another Groupe Bull company, Bull HN Information Systems, Billerica.
MacroMind Inc is offering the Windows Player Development Kit and the Windows Player Licence Pack for both Microsoft Windows 3.0 and Windows with multimedia extensions, which will enable developers to convert MacroMind Director interactive multimedia documents created on the Apple Computer Inc Macintosh for playback under both systems; in March, Microsoft announced that it was licensing MacroMind Director’s player technology to go into Windows with multimedia extensions; the Windows Player Develo`ment Kit will be available this month from MacroMind for $1,000 to registered users of MacroMind Director 2.0; also available from MacroMind, the Windows Player Licence Packs in quantities of 1, 20, or 1
00 are $75, $900 and $3,900 respectively.