Spike solves the stutter and glitch playback problems of CD-ROM and Web-based QuickTime files. Given a batch of QuickTime movies, Spike determines which among them will provide optimal playability from a range of deployment platforms and media. Many people mistakenly look at the average datarate of a QuickTime movie when making decisions about the suitability of compressed video for their playback targets, but files with perfectly acceptable average datarates often contain data spikes that seriously disrupt playback on any machine. Spike identifies these problems and offers a suite of options for controlling their detection. Other features include detailed datarate graphs, "Spike Alerts" and reports in frames-per-second and SMPTE, several preview options, and batch processing.
Spike automates techniques that YAV developed while compressing more than a million frames of QuickTime for the award-winning LEGO CD-ROM released earlier this year. According to Christopher Yavelow, co-author of "Mastering the World of QuickTime" (Random House) and lead programmer for Spike, "Our decisions have been guided by a year of evaluating suggestions from our users. We've added longevity and the guarantee that people will have a useful tool whether they register or not, with the trade-off of a lowered batch file-count in the lite version, compensated for by a lowered registration fee. We believe that these compromises will address the needs of the majority of Spike's users."
The "lite" version of Spike is available for download from http://www.yav.com/docs/SpikeDL.html, AOL, Compuserve, and many popular ftp sites such as AMUG and Info-Mac mirrors. Spike has been tested with and found to be compatible with all versions of QuickTime from 1.0 through the current 3.0 public beta.
The following URLs provide additional information:
Spike URL (with tutorial, docs, and screen shots): http://www.yav.com/docs/Spike.html
Spike 1.2.5 Press Release: http://www.yav.com/docs/SpikePR2.html
Spike 1.0 Press Release: http://www.yav.com/docs/SpikePR.html
World Wide Web site of YAV Interactive Media: http://www.yav.com
Representative Interactive Media Portfolio: http://www.yav.com/docs/Media.html
YAV Client List: http://www.yav.com/docs/Clients.html
Spike and YAV are trademarks of YAV Interactive Media. QuickTime is a trademark of Apple Computer, Inc.
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