Category Archives: Arts

Effekt-Etage To launch BMW Individual iPad App

Seemingly real paint samples that react to movements of the iPad, leather that you can actually touch as well as see, and individualised image content in many app areas. A new benchmark for innovation, interactivity and customer communication.

BMW Individual, the most exclusive way to drive a BMW, is now available as an interactive experience on the iPad. Thanks to an innovative user interface, this unprecedented virtual product catalogue enables a breathtaking experience of BMW Individual, the BMW premium range.

The app commissioned by BMW M GmbH and developed by Effekt-Etage had a simple aim: to fully exploit the interactive potential offered by the iPad medium in an innovative way, thus creating a new benchmark. The app developed by Effekt-Etage is set to establish a new trend in the category of interactive product magazines.

Its various chapters relate interesting facts about the BMW Individual philosophy, paint finishes, fine leather upholstery and other equipment options. In addition, users can create a virtual vehicle according to their preferences and view the finished result in a Visualiser.

The app is the first to achieve a near-realistic representation of paint finish samples in a virtual environment. In part this is due to Effekt-Etage’s high-quality 3D renderings, which perfectly communicate the BMW Individual paint finishes’ special appeal. In addition, the virtual paint finishes react to movements of the iPad, so the user has the actual impression of moving a real-life paint sample in relation to a light source. This virtual reality effect has also been implemented for the leather samples, allowing the user to leaf through them and touch them.

The interactive capability of this app means that almost every product image can be interacted with, creating a virtual environment that allows users to experience the look and feel of the various equipment details for themselves.

Another outstanding feature is the way the app combines the product information and vehicle configuration processes.

The conventional approach involves the user finding information about products and features such as paint finishes, equipment etc. in a physical catalogue, or on the web. They then begin a separate step of vehicle configuration in a Configurator, beginning with a default vehicle. The BMW Individual app goes one step further by combining these previously separate steps. While reading the various chapters, users are already able to bookmark paintwork finishes, leather colours or other features they like. They can effectively configure their vehicle while gathering information, performing both activities within a single process. As a result, the vehicle initially shown in the Configurator already reflects the user’s individual preferences.

Users can of course save “their” dream car, share it with friends and acquaintances on Facebook, file it in their personal photo album, or send it off in an e-mail.

The BMW Individual iPad app comes in English and German, is optimised for the iPad and iPad2, and is available free of charge in the App Store.

Via EPR Network

MusiCHI Suite – an innovative app to manage your music files

MusiCHI Suite is the first integrated computer software application to manage your music files, completely dedicated to classical, jazz or other more demanding genre of music. It is the only digital music suite where the user can actually play and organize his music in an intelligent way, allowing him to change the order and number of columns on the screen and find his tracks in the most flexible manner. MusiCHI Suite includes 4 applications (Player, Ripper, Tagger, Library Manager), each optimized for their task, where newly introduced fields, such as Instruments, Composition, Period, Performers, Style, relevant to music classification can be utilized. Unlike other programs, in theMusiCHI Suite any field, any data, you see on screen is written inside the audio files , therefore, reducing the importance of the library, which becomes just the temporarily catalog of the files’ metadata, used only for fast and flexible searches. Bringing back the focus to the music files themselves and freeing you from any proprietary software library database.

Furthermore, we use a database engine that allows virtually unlimited size of libraries. MusiCHI Suite is a multi – library system , allowing for one more level of grouping, for example Classical, Jazz, World Music, etc. According to the library, the user interface, audio tracks data and tagging pick lists can change, since different styles of music have different logic and personalities: with classical music Composer/Composition is more valuable information than Artist/Album, for example.

The Suite is equipped with a complete reference database (MusiCHI Clean ©®) for classical music, where more than 5000 entries (composers, performers, orchestras, etc.) have been properly corrected and normalized with full respect of their local spelling (umlaut, accents etc.), i.e. the program is fully Unicode compliant. Furthermore, it has a composition engine search covering for the moment the integrated music collection of Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and Vivaldi. The composition engine search will soon be completed with the compositions of other famous composers.

MusiCHI Suite Version 2.1 comes with step by step tutorials and help files leading the user to learn the program and its powerful features quickly and easily. In Version 2.1, new capabilities have been added such as the possibility to play music files without them being part of a music library, the possibility to see the album/compositions covers in a graphical carousel view, the possibility to change the fonts sizes so that the user can play with the software remotely from his couch, the possibility to extract the content of the music library for printing via a spreadsheet. Furthermore, the player can read directly the CD booklet (in pdf format) with a single click, can browse any relevant internet pages linked to a track (Wikipedia etc.), potentially transforming the application to be a front-end to a music knowledge based system. Via the Windows clipboard, the Ripper can use, for its metadata, pretty much any source coming from the WEB or other documents. The playlists are now compatible with the m3u and m3u8 formats. In order to explore the numerous capabilities of the software, you can download from http://www.musichi.eu/index.php/en/downloaddemo, the free trial version (the full featured program with a limited activation time). We have also, included a demo librarywith prepared musical clips (courtesy of Hyperion Records), that can show how classical music can be tagged, “the MusiCHI way”. With these files you can experiment with the other tools of the Suite, especially our tag editor that is considered undoubtedly one of the best (if not the best) of its kind.

MusiCHI Suite Version 2.1 can play FLAC files up to 24 bits/ 385.2 KHZ, and offers additional support for MP3, MP4, APE, WMA and M4A. As we do not offer volume adjustment within the player, we do not add any digital distortion. MusiCHI Suite is ASIO Drivers compatible, including ASIO4ALL, allowing to by-pass the video sound mixer of Windows and achieving bit perfect digital output (we have passed bit transparency tests with a Weiss DAC202). MusiCHI Suite is designed to run on Microsoft Windows (XP, Vista or 7).

MusiCHI Suite is available in 3 versions: MusiCHI Studio (launching price 39 euros, approx. 54 US$) which includes the 4 applications (Player, Ripper, Tagger, Library Manager), MusiCHI Portable (launching price 19 euros, approx. 26 US$) a unique application that allows the user to transport and play all his digital music libra on any other PC without any further configuration than plug a USB drive and MusiCHI Ultimo(launching price 49 euros, approx. 68 US$) which apart from the 4 applications, includes also the Portable Edition.

MusiCHI Suite is available through the website address: www.musichi.eu.

Via EPR Network

Wix.Com – An Online Web Design Platform That Lets Non-Tech Savvy Musicians Create Dynamic Flash Website

How are up-and-coming bands marketing themselves more effectively than signed artists–and putting the final nail in the record company coffin in the process?

The answer: new online web design platforms like Wix.com that let non-tech savvy musicians create dynamic flash website and MySpace pages (for free) that not only rival, but exceed the quality of professionally made websites.

As I’m sure you know, record companies have been taking it on the chin the past few years with music sales drying up. But their saving grace has been their powerful marketing arms, which for top artists has always been the best way to achieve market penetration. No longer.

Web 2.0 has leveled the playing field. Musicians can send e-flyers with embedded music about upcoming gigs, create customizable widgets for their MySpace page, and create band Flash websites that match the artistic value of their music.

The result: young and up-and-coming bands are now marketing themselves more effectively than big name artists. That’s why in just a few months nearly 200,000 musicians have already signed up with Wix.com web design platform.

About Wix

www.wix.com is a free, DIY and easy-to use Web design platform. Wix is the only web publishing platform that allows users to create stunning and completely original Flash websites. Founded in September 2006 and launched in open beta in April 2008, Wix was born out of the founders’ frustration with creating dynamic looking Websites that didn’t involve coding or programming. Wix has received $8.5 million funding from Bessemer Venture Partners and Mangrove Capital Partners. and is headquartered in New York and offices in Tel Aviv. www.wix.com.

Via EPR Network

Apparently not all companies find April Fools Jokes funny

This is certainly the case with Bill Gates’s privately held company Corbis Corporation. The company’s PR guys out there have certainly taken them far too serious and have last week threatened a tiny Norwegian micro stock photography agency called Crestock with legal action over an apparent April Fools joke made by the company in a recent press release.

Ok, what’s the story all about after all. Lets put it that way: Crestock has put up a press release announcing the acquisition of Corbis in a deal valued over $600M rebranding their logo and giving Corbis independency after the deal closes. Here is the original press release as it initially appeared on Web.  Today there is clarification on the web site

Bill Gates’ Corbis Corporation is one the worlds largest stock photography sites and being acquired by a small player in the sector was kind of distasteful for them to see and they have reacted almost immediately by threatening the tiny company with legal actions.

We think Corbis has gone too far and the “megalomanic” press release, as the Norway company describes it, is more suitable as label for the Corbis’s behavior.

On the other side there is something that bothers in the press release on first reading – its seriousness and a few high-profile investors and institutions claimed to have been involved into the acquisition. Compared to Corbis with its $250M revenues per year Crestock appears quite a start up like company and perhaps no one would have taken their announcement for real if it was not the claim there are some large-scale and high-profile organizations and investors being involved in to the foolish press release such as “Scandinavian group of investors”, the Norwegian government fund organization: Innovation Norway and the European Union’s Media II Programme, whose purpose is to encourage the development and distribution of European audiovisual works. 

We think this is what made the press release read and look beyond the common April Fools jokes and have Corbis’s lawyers and PR guys pissed off.

Over the past several years corporate April fools jokes became a trend among rivals. Around April 1 every year there are thousands of April fools press releases and announcements about potential deals, acquisitions and beyond, but perhaps none is ending up in the court, if any.

Not long after the press release was posted, Corbis Corporation was notified about the story. Dan Perlet, Director of Communications, promptly went to action, emailing Crestock Public Relations representatives:

“On behalf of Corbis Corporation, I strongly suggest that you remove the April Fools press release on your website that suggests Crestock has purchased Corbis. We ask that this release be removed from your website immediately, or we may be forced to consider legal action.”

“We in no way intended to mislead or otherwise conduct ourselves in an illegal or inappropriate manner,” Crestock CEO, Geir Are Jensen stated in a statement early today.

“Receiving emails like this spices things up in your everyday work routine” Jensen, Crestock CEO continued, “Of course we didn’t remove the obvious April Fools joke, but in case the second richest man in the world comes after us with his pack of lawyers after him. We’ll have to set aside a monthly sum to cover the expenses.”

More about Creystock

Crestock`s aim is to play a leading role in the micropayment stock photo business.

The photography trade is undergoing a revolution as digital cameras and internet distribution lower the prices to a minimum. There are a few succesful companies in this particular sector of the photo business. Our goal is to be among the most sucessful  – as soon as possible. And then move further.

We emphasize:

– A high level of image quality – in fact the highest in the business
– An inspiring, fast and utterly relevant search experience for buyers
– A strong and vibrant community, based on forums and the unique and personal member console
– A friendly and warm service, even though we are the northernmost photo bureau we know of

More about Corbis

Corbis is a creative resource for advertising, marketing and media professionals worldwide, helping to bring creative work to life with the highest quality photography, footage and rights services. Corbis offers a preeminent collection of more than 100 million creative, entertainment and historic images, a comprehensive footage library, the world’s deepest rights and clearances expertise and an award-winning media management solution, as well as empowering SnapVillage, an innovative microstock web site. Based in Seattle, Corbis serves more than 50 countries worldwide. Corbis is privately held by its Chairman Bill Gates, who founded the company in 1989.

Story picked from EPR Network

More

http://www.crestock.com/news/crestock-stock-photos-acquires-corbis-for-625-million-175.aspx
http://express-press-release.com/48/Corbis%20threatens%20Crestock%20with%20legal%20action%20over%20April%20Fools%20Joke.php
http://www.crestock.com/
http://www.crestock.com/blog/
http://www.corbis.com/
http://www.crestock.com/news/corbis-threatens-with-legal-actions-over-april-fools-joke-176.aspx
 

Page creator Jimdo landed the Samwer Brothers as investors

It has been so much noise around Facebook lately and whose their next investor is going to be so that great small start-ups have naturally been overlooked. One of those is a tiny German based start-up called Jimdo. What is in common between Jimdo and Facebook, you may ask? There is nothing in common aside the fact that they have an investor in common – The Samwer Brothers. Just two months before they invested in Facebook with plans to take the company to Europe, the brothers have poured money into Jimdo through their European Founders Fund. The Samwer Brothers are Jimdo’s first large-scale investor. The amount of the investment is not publicly disclosed.

Jimdo is an AJAX-based web pages creation tool similar to Google Page Creator, allowing users to create homepages completely over the Web, without any knowledge of HTML. Jimdo is perhaps most popular with the fact that you can easily grab a design from any site and apply to yours in a couple of steps. Jimdo is available in several major languages such as Deutsch, English, French, Chinese, Italian and Russian

Jimdo is really easy to use as the company’s web site claims. Once you’ve registered for your own JimdoFree-Page, they will immediately send you an e-mail with a link to your Page. After logging in to the admin mode, you’ll discover Jimdo’s greatest innovation: you practically won’t notice a difference between the site as it appears online and the site as it appears in admin mode!  You can also integrate photos, videos, RSS feeds and downloads just as easily! Your visitors will immediately be able to see any changes that you make.

More about Samwer brothers

After selling the German Internet auction site Alando.de to eBay for $50 million in shares, the brothers have made names for themselves and have become even more involved with startups since. After a brief spell working for eBay, they then set up ringtone firm Jamba, which they sold to the U.S. company Verisign for $273 million in shares and cash in 2004. Little later they have also invested in the German Twitter clone, Frazr, and a handful of other startups. Interestign fact to note is that the Samwer brothers also invested in the Facebook clone StudiVZ, which was sold about a year ago for $112 million. Taking these facts and achievements into consideration we would not be that far in our conclusions if we say the guys are successful serial entrepreneurs and they have something to do with the social networking, at least in Europe. It already comes as no surprise they are interested to bring the most popular social site into Europe and lock down exclusivity for the market.

The Samwer brothers have become the strategic partners for Facebook in Europe. In 2006, they established the European Founders Fund to invest in promising Internet companies.

More about Jimdo

In 2004 we founded NorthClick on an old farm. Without a cent we moved in at Fridtjof’s home and developed the online-software that now is the core of Jimdo. NorthClick distributes this software to small and medium sized enterprises who can use the software for updating their websites really easily. Short after the founding we won a business plan competition, which gave us approximately 20,000 USD.

In combination with some basic agreements and our first customers we had enough money to move to Hamburg and rent our first office. Since then, we already moved into a bigger office and have a rising number of customers and colleagues!

During the last four years more and more of our friends asked us whether they could use our system for private stuff. We were so fascinated by the cool pages they created! Some used the system for pages about themselves, three guys used it to document their sailing trip from Germany to Sydney, some to promote their bands… and the feedback was just unbelievable!

That’s when the idea was born to give Pages to the People!

The team (the founders)

Matthias Henze
Marketing, Distribution
1979. Matthias has a diploma in business studies. He studied at the universities of Kiel, Germany and Goteborg, Sweden. In 2004, he was one of the founders of NorthClick, and of Jimdo in 2007. Almost every evening he puts up a good fight against Fridtjof and Christian (it’s all about being the best in Atomic Bomberman).

Fridtjof Detzner
Interface Design, System Development
1983. Fridtjof and co-founder Christian founded his first company, web agency dream-up.de when they were still going to school. Later he founded NorthClick and Jimdo together with Christian and Matthias. At the moment, he practices handstand-running and furthermore he is innovator of the so-called “salary-golfing”.

Christian Springub
Programming, System Development
1982. Christian founded with Fridtjof the web agency dream-up.de, later with Matthias and Fridtjof NorthClick and Jimdo. If Christian is not in the office, the noise level decreases at once!

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More

http://www.jimdo.com/
http://www.jimdo.com/blog.php
http://howsyourburger.jimdo.com
http://cornelia-travnicek.jimdo.com
http://mashable.com/2007/10/16/jimdo-samwer/
http://web2innovations.com/money/2008/01/21/after-samwer-brothers-nokia-is-also-going-to-invest-in-facebook/
http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/08/15/steal-this-template-with-jimdo/
http://venturebeat.com/2007/08/15/jimdo-lets-you-create-a-website-or-clone-someone-elses/
http://www.downloadsquad.com/2007/04/04/create-websites-easily-with-jimdo/
http://webware.com/8301-1_109-9704384-2.html?tag=blog
http://blog.outer-court.com/archive/2007-03-16-n33.html
http://ajax.phpmagazine.net/2007/03/jimdo_pages_to_the_people.html
http://themarketingblog.wordpress.com/2007/07/29/people-pages-and-fun/
http://www.genbeta.com/2007/03/15-jimdo-y-noovo-servicios-de-creacion-de-sitios-web-de-forma-facil
http://nioumedia.com/?p=158
http://www.europeanfounders.com/

Sharing digital media start up has raised $2.5M

A couple of months ago a tiny start up called Treemo has taken its first round of funding in the $2.5M range. The funding was led by JK&B Capital. The company is a media sharing service for the Web and mobile phones service and like many other players in the space Treemo looks to appeal to musicians and artists and build online communities around them. The company recently held a contest with Sony featuring the band Velvet Revolver.

The site’s users can chose whether to allow advertising on video and audio pages and receive part of the revenue derived therein or decide to keep ads off their video pages. Company founder Brent Brookler says that revenue sharing will start once a critical mass is reached and that the split will probably be 50/50. Beyond advertising revenue, some sort of premium service level will be made available. There is also drag and drop file management, flash embedding and public or friends network permission levels.

Treemo has secured deals with a few US mobile carriers including AT&T.

The company plans to use the additional funding to help expand its entertainment partnerships as well as gain further distribution with mobile carriers. Known angel investors in the company include Intermix/MySpace co-founder Brett Brewer.

The company, known prior to launch as HyperMob, is made up of executives with extensive experience in mobile technology. The company’s founder is Brent Brookler.

We have consulted with Quantcast to see how popular the site is today and it turns out to be not popular one reaching less than 10,000 American visitors. The site is not quantified so that this traffic number might not be accurate.

More about Treemo

Treemo is an online and mobile community dedicated to sharing digital media, empowering self-expression, and transforming creativity into action. By offering an ever-evolving gallery of video, audio, photography, words, and visual art, Treemo inspires visitors to create their own digital expressions, and to share those creations with the world – on the web and on mobile phones.

The Treemo team is comprised of passionate individuals, pioneers in creating Internet and mobile applications with companies like Mobliss, MountainZone, MSN, AT&T Wireless, Cingular, McCaw, Lucent, and a wheelbarrow full of others. With our combined know-how, we’ve built a flexible, intuitive platform to usher in the golden age of ubiquitous broadband; an innovative infrastructure that enables everyone everywhere to broadcast their unique life experience to the whole wide world.

Treemo believes in the freedom of expression, the sanctity of diversity, and the brain-boggling possibilities inherent in new technology. We also have a yearning for learning, a desire to oblige our planetary obligation, and a drive to do our part for art. We believe in the Accountability Trifecta: people, planet, profits – in that order.

Let’s work together and harness all that creative energy. Let’s share stories, energize our communities, and preserve this perfect planet.

Treemo is located in Seattle, WA.

Similar companies include Mobango, Juice Wireless, PixSense and Zedge.net, which was rumored to have been acquired by a telecom company called IDT.

More

http://treemo.com/ 
http://blog.treemo.com/
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2003284456_btinterface02.html
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2006/09/treemo_transfor.php
http://mashable.com/2007/10/16/treemo-funding/
http://mashable.com/2007/07/10/treemo/
http://mashable.com/2006/12/17/zedgenet-acquired-by-idt/
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/284106_treemo08.html
http://mobilecrunch.com/2006/09/07/treemo-launching-today-new-mobile-content-network-opens-public-beta
http://www.techcrunch.com/2006/09/07/treemo-to-build-a-home-for-concerned-multimedia-producers/
http://www.crunchbase.com/company/treemo
http://www.quantcast.com/treemo.com
http://mashable.com/2006/09/07/treemo-launches-youtube-plus-photobucket-on-your-phone/