Macromedia Overhauls Director Authoring Tool

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2002-12-02

Macromedia Inc. last week announced a new version of its multimedia authoring platform for building interactive content and applications for CDs and DVDs, kiosks, and the Web.

Macromedia Director MX features include integration with the companys Flash MX product line, enhanced workflow support, Mac OS support, accessibility features and new debugging capabilities.

Content authors will be able to use Director MX to create content once for several different media, including the major audio, video, bit-map and vector formats, officials said. The product supports QuickTime, RealVideo and AVI formats. It also features Lingo, an object-oriented scripting language from Macromedia. However, new developers alternatively could use Director MXs drag-and-drop features to develop content.

"Director MXs [user interface] overhaul is more than skin-deep," said beta tester Brett Stewart, a senior digital artist in ESPN MIS Web Group, in Bristol, Conn. "The text tools are more robust, the score response is quicker and the dockability of the palettes streamlines my work space. Having to create over a dozen interactive CD-ROMs for worldwide distribution a year, I need my authoring tool to be efficient and stable. Director MX was the upgrade Id been looking for."

Debugging capabilities in Director MX include an Object Inspector feature that cuts back on development time, the company said. Director MX content is delivered via the Macromedia Shockwave Player.

Beta tester Nino Del Padre, president of Del Padre Visual Productions Inc., said his company is using Director MX to build an interactive CD with ordering capabilities that will act as a virtual showroom for The Lego Group Inc.

The CD will "offload orders right to [Legos] SAP [AG enterprise software] system," Del Padre said.

Del Padre Visual Productions, of East Longmeadow, Mass., also uses MPEG videos, Flash videos and Flash presentations. Director MX has afforded the company a 50 percent increase in speed over earlier versions, Del Padre said.

Rocket Fuel