REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 5, 1996 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the release of the Microsoft® ActiveMovie
™Software Development Kit (SDK), for developers of real-time, interactive content for the Windows® operating system and Microsoft Internet Explorer. The release highlights Microsoft’s commitment to providing a powerful and scalable set of services and tools for developers targeting CD-ROM, digital video disc or the Internet for the delivery of film- and broadcast-quality digital media.
“We believe that ActiveMovie is an important technology and represents a key element in Microsoft efforts to bring professional media to Windows and Microsoft Internet Explorer,”
said Brad Chase, vice president in the Internet platform and tools division at Microsoft.
“The release of the ActiveMovie SDK underscores our commitment to software developers who want to incorporate ActiveMovie functionality into their multimedia applications.”
ActiveMovie is a cross-platform API for developers of multimedia applications including high-quality digital video, high-fidelity audio and special effects. With close integration with Microsoft DirectX
technologies and support for key industry standards such as MPEG-1 and Intel Indeo Video Interactive, ActiveMovie offers developers an easy-to-use, broadly supported API for developing next-generation multimedia content.
Powerful Tool Set for Incorporating ActiveMovie Functionality
The ActiveMovie SDK allows developers to take maximum advantage of the capabilities and extend the functionality of the ActiveMovie API. The SDK provides a C++ class library for writing filters – ActiveMovie components that perform specialized functions such as retrieving video data from a CD and decompressing it. These filters allow programmers to manipulate, render or add effects to audio and video files in a variety of ways. Using the SDK, developers can modify or create their own filters to suit their particular applications. Sample filters are also provided, along with extensive documentation.
New Streaming Technology for the Internet
For developers of Internet content, the ActiveMovie SDK includes an easy-to-use ActiveX
control that enables progressive playback of audio and video in real time. The progressive download capability of ActiveMovie means that users can enjoy full-motion video and high-quality audio while online, without having to wait to download files for later viewing.
The ActiveMovie SDK allows developers to capitalize on the key ability of ActiveMovie to integrate full-motion video seamlessly into an application, without the need for start and stop controls or separate windows for viewing video clips.
“We used ActiveMovie as the video playback engine for our new ‘Broadway’ product,”
said David Ross, product manager, Data Translation.
“The SDK allowed us to call up ActiveMovie through the application seamlessly. We are very pleased with the results, and our customers are thrilled to have MPEG playback included with the Broadway product.”
“Microsoft has made a clear commitment to deliver Macromedia a comprehensive set of advanced services for next-generation, media-rich interactive content,”
said Phil Schiller, vice president, product management at Macromedia Inc.
“This ensures that future versions of Macromedia’s leading multimedia and Web tools will take full advantage of the tight integration of ActiveMovie with DirectX and the Internet.”
“The ActiveMovie SDK and documentation are excellent,”
said Bob Zigon and Jeff Sylvia, principal software engineers, Truevision.
“We were able to easily build source filters that directly corresponded to our hardware. We built render filters to output broadcast-quality video and transition filters to generate real-time effects.”
Integrates With Future Multimedia Technologies
In addition to present-day applications, ActiveMovie will enable emerging multimedia technologies such as MPEG-2 by allowing developers to use their own filters within the ActiveMovie architecture. This next generation of MPEG video will enable users to view full-length movies from a single digital video disc.
ActiveMovie is included in Microsoft Internet Explorer version 3.0 and allows integrated playback support for popular video and audio formats on the Internet, including MPEG.
The ActiveMovie SDK and additional information about ActiveMovie are available for download from the Internet on the Microsoft interactive media technologies Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/imedia/ .
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