Multimedia Workshop 



Mar 9, 2000

ASK THE GURU: Whatever happened to Surround Video? Cue points in AVI supported in Director?

Q: Do you know what's up with Black Diamond and their Surround Video product. I while ago I produced some VR videos using the Surround Video 2.0. Shortly after the 3.0 was released their web disappeared and I got no replies when mailing them.


A: Surround Video was originally developed by Black Diamond under contract to Microsoft. Microsoft lost interest in it not long after announcing it; some would argue they only used it to force Apple to drop it's licensing fees on QuickTime VR; so maybe we can be happy about that! They then gave it back to Black Diamond who set about reselling it themselves.

I saw a demo of 3.0 just before it was released. At the time the person from the company that showed it to me explained that they were primarily a consulting company and were funding development and sales from the money being made consulting. He said that meant they had a lot of freedom, but I really wondered if this was a model that could survive very long (either they'd run out of money, or just not have enough to get the business going.) At the same time there were several other technologies all competing for the same market space. At least one of these other technologies has essentially been discontinued.

Like you, I lost track of Black Diamond after their website stopped working. But a posting to the QuickTime VR mailing list elicited this information from a reader: Surround Video was purchased by Jutvision. Jutvision became or merged into Bamboo who recently merged with IPIX.


Q: I am using premiere 5.0 to make small 20 second video clips, that are then imported into director (7.0.2), the movie has cue points at the start and end. When it is saved in QuickTime format Director recognizes the cue points (i.e. wait for cue point). But when the same movie is saved in the AVI format the cue points are no longer recognized by Director. Am I missing a step or doing something wrong?


A: Okay, so I'm making this up as I go along because I haven't done it, but on Macromedia Technote: ID 13781 "Director 7.0.2 sound playback options comparison" there is a chart which says that cue points are not recognized with AVI files played back through VFW, but are recognized if the AVI file is played using QuickTime. Of course, if you're using QuickTime to play your AVI files, why not use QuickTime as the file format? (About the only reason I can think of to use AVI and VFW is if you don't want a Windows user to have to install QuickTime.)

Hope that's the answer; I'd be interested to know if it's true the cue points do work if played back under QuickTime.


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