Tag Archives: online

Aviary – tools for people who create

Aviary is a suite of web-based applications (RIAs) for people who create. From image editing to typography to music to 3D to video, they claim to have a tool for artists of all genres.

RIAs are Rich Internet Applications.

Still in beta development mode, you can get an early bird invitation here. Note the early bird invitation. All of the applications are named after birds, hence the name Aviary. For example, the image editor is called Phoenix and the video editor, Starling.

My invite gave me access to Phoenix and Peacock, a computer algorithm-based pattern generator. I am not sure if this is because I indicated that image editing would be my focus when I signed up for the invite or whether it is just what everybody gets…

So how does it rate? There are plenty of alternatives out there for online image editing such as Fotoflexer or Photoshop Express. Initial reactions are mixed. The interface and styling are kind of funky, a bit like SlideRocket the online presentation tool. I had a few issues with uploading my own images as the process kept stalling but all the other features worked without any problems.

Phoenix was straight forward to use for anyone who has used any Photoshop like editor. Hummingbird took a bit of playing around with to learn what was for me a new work flow to create the patterns.

The concept is awesome and the list of features and tools is very impressive, and as far as I know is not matched by any other developer, certainly not with all those tools in one place. I am totally for supporting this type of development especially if it remains free, as the developers possibly indicate in the FAQs. The list of features for the fully fledged product is very cool, with options such as AIR versions and API app accessibility.

Overall, it is a bit early to say definitively if this is a winner for me. More playing is required when time permits! Why not have a look yourself and sign up for your invitation. Or let me know if you would like one of my remaining invitations, (nickrate at gmail dot com).

More digital storage

My earlier praises of divShare have lost their shine due to the ongoing frustration of pop-up adds. Simple enough to block, especially using a browser like Firefox, but no user should have to worry about them, especially students focused on their learning. So instead I have begun using Vimeo, a fast and sleek video sharing site with a little social networking thrown in for good luck.

I can upload mov and m4v files which is perfect for a Mac user and upload up to 500MB per week including HD movies. The quality and speed is excellent and the interface user friendly. Additionally I can embed movies in any ePortfolio using the excellent Video Embedder plug-in.

At this stage, highly recommended.