Digigami's Cineweb


CineWeb is a multi-use video reproducer that claims to handle the three most famous video formats, QuickTime (MOV), Video for Windows (AVI) and MPEG, without requiring special software for the server. This Navigator plug-in for Windows 95 and NT offers a range of functions to regulate the way in which the films are reproduced and can be used after downloading. MPEG support requires the installation of Microsoft ActiveMovie.

The program requires the most recent versions of the Intel video driver and of Apple QuickTime; happily, the company provides a direct link to these files from their Web site, and so updating the drivers doesn't require much work. Though Digigami intends to fix the bugs that we encountered, the product has some serious structural drawbacks. Quite often we have had to wait up to a minute before previewing the films that we were downloading and a Digigami spokesman informed us that in all likelihood this defect won't be corrected in the near future.

It's a real shame, because for other aspects, CineWeb is overall an excellent tool for the visualization and management of films. The CineWeb interface, requiring Windows 95 or NT, uses an exclusive menu for controlling the video reproduction. Among the product's most important functions are the ability to modify audio volume and regulate the dimension of the viewing window while downloading and playing a film. Skipping to a particular frame of a film is also simple with CineWeb.

It is possible to drag the play button to move forward or backward through a film as well as to alter the speed of reproduction. These functions are interactive and it is possible create ones own special effects by rapidly advancing or backstepping through the film. CineWeb memorizes the films in its own cache (separate from the browser's cache). It is possible specify the quantity of disk space devoted to this cache or eliminate it outright at any moment. Furthermore, it is possible to save the downloaded films in a specified directory.

If, while surfing, the visitor encounters an Autodesk FLI animation file, CineWeb is able to play it. Digigami hasn't yet established a price for CineWeb, which is presently available for free evaluation. The product will be interesting for all those people who are looking for a single film player to replace the separate AVI, MOV and MPEG players. It offers superior control compared to the better part of film players, including Netscape's LiveMedia. But if you are looking for the advantages of instant visualization through video streaming, you had better continue your search.

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Last updated 7-Jan-97
Webmaster Elsy mail to: elsy@interbusiness.it