Saturday
November 1, 2014

2012 Multimedia: Product Guide

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2012 Multimedia: Product Guide

You may have to invest more time than money in your multimedia development tools. Here’s a look at products at all price points, including free solutions.

In this guide:

 

Free

Basic tools with some sophisticated creative options are bundled with computer operating systems or available free online.

Google Docs Presentations

Google

Free with Google account

The presentation component of the Google Docs productivity suite provides templates and tools for creating, organizing, and publishing a presentation. It includes themes, graphics, animations, and transitions that can be combined with your content and supports team collaboration and editing. Completed presentations are stored in the cloud for anywhere, anytime access from any Web-connected device.

iLife 11

Apple

Free with new Macintosh computers; applications for iPhone and iPad $4.99 each

The most recent version of Apple’s creative suite offers integrated products for creating and combining content in a multimedia project. iPhoto is a digital image-management system with basic photo editing and publishing tools. GarageBand can be used to record and edit a soundtrack or podcasts. iMovie provides the tools, templates, and special effects for combining content created in other apps with video.

Movie Maker

Microsoft

Free

This tool, along with Windows Photo Gallery, gives Windows users a basic tool for creating multimedia presentations. Photo Gallery can be used to organize and edit photos and combine them into slide shows. Movie Maker provides tools, templates, and special effects for combining photos, video, and audio into a file that can be shared online or saved locally.

 

Budget

At a modest price, choices include more specialized options with additional features and some specialty solutions for real estate.

Keynote

Apple

$19.99 for Macintosh computers, $9.99 for iOS for iPhone/iPad version.

This software provides 44 customizable themes and 25 transitions for building a multimedia presentation. You can drag and drop content from iLife applications when creating slides, and the software provides tools for editing slides, adding special effects, creating 3-D graphs, and recording audio narration. The optional Keynote Remote app lets users control the program and view slide notes on an iPhone or iPad while the presentation plays on another device.

Photo & Video Suite X5

Corel

$129.99

This suite gives Windows users an affordable step-up alternative to Microsoft’s free but more limited options. PaintShop Pro X5 is an intuitive digital image-editing program with sophisticated tools and effects. Video Studio Pro X5 provides tools and templates for combining photos, video, animation sequences, titles, graphics, and audio as multimedia presentations. Completed movies can be saved locally or published to the Web.

PowerPoint 2010

Microsoft

$139.99 as standalone product; also bundled with other applications in Microsoft Office productivity suites

This is the latest version of the most popular Windows presentation program. It provides themes, templates, and tools for building a multimedia slide presentation. Slide content can include photos, video, text, graphics, animations, and transitions. Users have the option of printing the entire presentation or select slides for distribution to an audience and publishing the presentation to the Web.

Prezi Pro

Prezi

$159 per year

With this cloud service, subscribers can combine images, video, and text into a multimedia presentation with pan and zoom effects. It supports online collaboration when building presentations, which can be hosted in the cloud for viewing on any Web-connected device or downloaded directly to a computer or iPad. Includes 2 GB of cloud storage.

TourVista

TourVista

$20 per month for an unlimited number of tours

This virtual tour solution combines stills and videos of a home with an interactive floor plan. Floor-plan icons light up to indicate which room is shown in displayed stills or video. Viewers can also navigate through a home tour by clicking on room icons. It includes a branded Web page for tours hosted on the site and templates for promoting listings on Craigslist.

Animoto Pro

Animoto

$249 per year

This cloud service provides tools for easily building multimedia presentations from your content. Subscribers upload photos or video or import them from online accounts, and select a musical soundtrack. The service combines them into a video presentation for personal distribution or sharing on social networking sites. It generates code for embedding productions on a Web site and provides an app for viewing on an iPhone or iPad.

Listing Presentation Plus

Borino Productions

$249

This listing presentation can be customized in PowerPoint or Keynote with the purchaser’s content and information. Slides include audio, video, and color graphics. Users can customize or add personal content as needed. It includes slides for four versions of a listing presentation, a guide book, and instructional videos on how to effectively use and customize presentations for different types of sellers.

Camstasia Studio

TechSmith Corp.

$299

This software, available in versions for Windows and Mac, lets users build a multimedia presentation by editing then recording content as it’s displayed on the computer screen. Content can include photos, video, text, slide presentations, screen captures from a webcam, audio, and any actions taken on screen. It includes libraries of graphics, audios, animations, and visual effects and transitions. It also formats completed videos for sharing online.

 

High End

Higher-priced products include specialized solutions for real estate and fully integrated multimedia production suites.

FusionHD+ Interactive Virtual Media

RealTourVision

$99 for the software, then $29.95 per month to host an unlimited number of tours

This tour and marketing platform provides the software for combining photos, panoramic images, and full-motion video into an interactive tour. It includes EX Planner for adding an interactive floor plan so viewers can easily navigate to content relating to different areas of the home. Tours are rendered in versions for viewing on both computers and mobile devices.

Imprev Virtual Tour Plus

Imprev

$299 per year

Subscribers can create and host an unlimited number of multimedia home tours. Tours can contain up to 30 images, descriptive text, animation, and contact information. Services also include Express Vignettes for creating multimedia projects about neighborhoods or the sales associate. It includes tracking services to provide information on tour views and those distributed in e-mail. Options include the Build Your Own Videos program for creating multimedia video tours exclusively.

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Systems

$49.99 per month

The highest-priced solution here includes the full catalog of Adobe’s CS6 suite of creative products for multimedia production and distribution. Subscribers get cloud access to the latest versions of such popular programs as Photoshop for photo editing, Illustrator for graphic design, Flash Editor for Flash content, Dreamweaver for Web sites, and Premier Pro for video editing and production. It includes cloud-based storage of completed projects.