Support Your local software developer: QMedia
by Alan Zisman (c)
published in Our Computer Player, May 1995
Q-Media ver 2.0 Multimedia Presentation Software
$199 (CDN list price)
Q/Media Software Corporation
312 East 5th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5T 1H4
Buried deep in the heart of Vancouver's Mount Pleasant
is Q/Media Software...
ignoring the battles between the yuppies and the hookers for the future
of their community, they've been quietly working on a software package
to merge the promise of multimedia with the reality of business
Multimedia is hot-- more and more home computers come
sound card+ cd-rom player, and more and more games demand that sort of
hardware. But it still has to make much of an impact on the business
beyond making it easier to install big software packages on cd-rom.
Meanwhile, presentation software packages aimed at the
continue to sell, making it easy to produce slide-shows for sales
and the like. It's a natural extension to think of adding sound and
to these, and in fact, most of the current generation of presentation
such as Lotus Freelance or Microsoft PowerPoint make some token efforts
in these directions.
The wizards of East 5th Avenue want to take you
further. Q-Media, now
in version 2, promises to make it easy to design a presentation around
multimedia elements, and to add these to your existing presentations.
Q-Media takes up 9 megs or so of drive space, and
includes 500 megs
of multimedia samples on an accompanying DigiClips cd-rom disk.
installs easily, and includes an unistall program (something I wish all
Windows developers would think of!)
Unfortunately, it's not as intuitive to use as I would
lots of icons without labels, for example. There's an icon-list in the
help file, but it's hard to track down what an icon means in the slim
Add a few tools and you get a very busy screen-- this
out for a large monitor running at a resolution higher than vga's
so you can see everything on-screen at once.
And there's the Clip List... this lets you import all
sorts of media
objects, then drag and drop them into your presentation-- but it's
to find and use. The program doesn't support direct import right into
presentation. (And by the way guys, calling a presentation a "movie"
it easy to confuse with a multimedia video-clip... especially since
Quicktime also refers to its video-clips as movies).
Finally, while the program suggests you can built on
software files, I found that I could only use my Lotus Freelance files
by exporting each frame individually as a Windows Metafile... Q-Media
import a whole presentation.
Still, after a steeper learning curve that I would
have liked, Q-Media
comes through on its promises. Some adjustments to the TimeLine,
of some transition effects, and you've got a nice presentation, merging
text, graphics, sound, video, and animation.
And the program supports easy-to-add buttons and
links... this lets
the user jump around the presentation-- even jump to particular points
in a single video clip. This interactivity is a big advantange for
materials, or kiosk presentations. With its Photo-CD support, it could
even serve as a front end for a user-friendly family photo album.
A run-time disk is included, letting you share your
to users and machines that don't have the whole Q-Media package. Watch
out, however, multimedia items can get pretty big pretty fast--
digitized sound and video. While I can currently fit a DOS-based
of my Freelance presentation onto a single floppy disk, this isn't an
with its multimedia successor.
Despite some awkwardness, Q-Media is a
reasonably-priced and powerful
way to employ the full range of media in business and home