Clear Fusion - Iterated System
ClearFusion offers the perfect solution for Internet surfers hooked up to a normal telephone line who wish to preview an AVI video without waiting for the end of the full download. The plug-in starts playing an in-coming film as soon a 1% has arrived. If you choose to receive the entire file and your system has sufficient memory, it is possible to pass to another application and work while downloading the file in the background.
Once the entire file has come in, it is possible to reproduce it smoothly, and, if so desired, save it on disk. Once the file is present on the system, ClearFusion can regulate the audio volume, rewind, move fast forward and adjust screen size up to and including a full-sized window.
Unfortunately in practical use, ClearFusion proved to have problems showing many of the AVI files situated in some of the Web's most famous sites. While downloading files compressed in the CinePak format, ClearFusion failed to reproduce the audio trace and would on occasion freeze on a single frame. Nevertheless, these visualization problems never interfered with the downloading process and we were always able to play the AVI films seamlessly once they had come in.
ClearFusion is distributed freely by Iterated Systems, a company which is presently developing a new compression format for AVI called ClearVideo. The company hopes that the attention attracted by the ClearFusion player will spill over to ClearVideo and establish it as the new standard of compression. ClearVideo is based on "fractal" techniques which, according to Iterated Systems, on certain files are able to reach compression ratios up to 1,000: 1. Though we have tested some pre-release versions of ClearVideo and have found it promising, the product still isn't ready for reviewing.
Until ClearVideo is accepted as a new standard, viewing films will entail downloading Iterated Systems' ClearVideo player. When working properly, ClearFusion is very useful to have a preview of an AVI file, before a full download, all the more so when a common telephone connection is being used.
Last updated 28-Dec-96
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