Acquire Digital Multimedia has spent the last 12 months adding more features and plug-ins to its Editor suite than in any previous release.
Having one of the most feature rich digital signage software packages available obviously is not enough for the in-house programming team at Acquire Digital Multimedia. The team has a policy of continually responding to feedback from users of their software so that what might seem a minor software update, from 3.3 to 3.4, is actually pretty major in terms of ease of use and added functionality.
So what can we expect to find in Acquire 3.4? Well, as with every new version there are even more ACQs and Helpers. These are the plug-ins that add an extra dimension to Acquire's functionality. In fact, the sheer number of ACQs available has led to the addition of a categories section on the ACQ chooser page.
The RSS functionality in Acquire has been updated. This has been completely rewritten so that the plug-in will now ‘pull down' any RSS or Atom feed, for example MRSS (Media RSS) feeds, usually used for podcasts. This is ideal if you want to make your players collect different feeds for their locations. It saves a user from having to make lots of different deployments throughout the day. And, images can be made to change as different RSS text scrolls along the page. According to Wikipedia, the following sites all make use of MRSS :- Bing, Brightcove, blip.tv, Blinkx, Bebo Open Media Platform, Cooliris, deviantArt,Flickr, FriendFeed, Gmail, Kaltura, PicasaAPI, SmugMug, the Platform,Wikipedia, Yahoo! Search, Crackle, YouTube GData API (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_RSS). So MRSS is a very powerful way of spicing up content by downloading, not only images and graphics, but videos, vodcasts and podcasts.
Another way to spice up RSS feeds is to use the new TextAnimate ACQ plug-in. Instead of just a straight forward scroller, the text is animated into a graphic design but it can also present a seamless tickertape across multiple pages.
‘Drag-and-drop' media control has been added.
It's not exactly a revolutionary idea for Windows users, but it is now available in Acquire for the first time. Media files can be copied from anywhere in Windows
Explorer simply by using a mouse e.g. from the Windows desktop into the ‘media selector' or directly onto a page. Not only is this a time saver when creating content playlists, but it differentiates Acquire even further from browser-based, digital signage programs.
A bunch of new system variables are now available.
The use of variables in Acquire can be a little confusing if you are not an experienced user. Variables are really just ‘place holders' but they expand the power of Acquire far beyond just a simple playlist based media player. For example, instead of making a page for each player showing a message such as ‘ Welcome to this store in LEICESTER', your store manager is JULIE SMITH', and then keeping track of all the pages for each and every player, simply replace the words in capitals with a variable and use just one page which will show something different on each player. Or it can be used so that each player can collect a different RSS feed based upon its location, or to keep a count of how much money has been inserted, or to change animation settings in a Flash graphic...the possibilities are endless.
A fully functional support ‘ticketing' system has also been added to ‘Site Manager'.
Site Manager is the remote monitoring and access tool provided with the Acquire suite of products. Acquire users no longer have to worry about buying a support system or integrating with an existing support system because all subscribers to the PLUS! Network will get free access to a fully featured, ticket-based support system. Much more than a simple change of status, this ticketing system provides a full history of tickets raised, SLA timers, and can even integrate with some existing ticketing systems to allow automated status changes.
But that's not the only new feature in Site Manager. Users now have the ability to use Google Maps to pin-point their sites. Players are simply added to physical locations (sites), and information such as the site owner's telephone number, details of the installation, and the address are then available to the users' support teams.
Another unique feature is ‘reverse access'. This is the one that mobile 3G or Edge connected players have been waiting for. Thanks to this innovative new feature, players can now be remotely accessed even if they don't have fixed line connectivity. Imagine Acquire being used in a taxi cab, or bus, or any mobile installation - content downloads will work fine using the PLUS! Network, but now remote support can be done too. But that's not all ‘reverse access' is capable of. If a player is located on a LAN behind a firewall or a series of routers, and ‘port forwarding' has proved to be a nightmare to setup ‘reverse access' can use an outbound port instead (note: needs a signed acceptance form prior to activation)
Finally, look out for the new Mini Ad Manager - For customers who purchased Acquire since July last year, a new ‘Mini Ad' Editor Feature allows them to automatically create playlists by combining ‘adverts' and ‘filler'.
For more information call on +44 (0) 116 231 8921 or email [email protected], or go to http://www.acquiredigital.com for information about Acquire and http://www.working-solutions.co.uk for information about Working Solutions (Creative IT) Ltd.
For Media and Sales Enquiries in USA:
Vice President - Business Development
Key Biscayne FL 33149
Tel: + 1 (786) 564-5279
email: [email protected]
For all press enquiries please contact Paul Mayer, Sales & Marketing Manager, Working Solutions (Creative IT) Ltd. email: [email protected] or tel: +44 (0) 20 8133 9960
NOTES TO EDITORS
About Working Solutions (Creative IT) Ltd
Based in Leicester, England, Working Solutions (Creative IT) Ltd has been providing award winning solutions to the digital signage and kiosk market segments for more than 12 years. So much more than just another media player, the AcquireTM range includes software products and player devices that combine power and functionality with the ability to control and manipulate content to create unique digital signage and interactive kiosk projects. AcquireTM software is already powering more than 15,000 players and kiosks worldwide and has the flexibility to support multi-nationals corporations and small ‘start-ups' alike.