RealTime IT News

Digital Lava Helps Bring Streaming Media Publishing to Desktops

Communications ASP Digital Lava Inc. yesterday announced the availability of HotFoot for Microsoft PowerPoint and HotFoot Host, tools that combine voice and graphics into an interactive and on-demand presentation using Microsoft Windows Media Techniques.

HotFoot is an add-in for PowerPoint 97 and 2000 and enables users to easily narrate and edit their slides and then package them with a single click into a browser-based file that can be distributed either via e-mail or through a self-managed, hosted Web site.

The integration of HotFoot with PowerPoint is a very interesting combination. "HotFoot resides in the tool bar of PowerPoint," Bob Greene, chief executive officer, explained. "We designed HotFoot to provide millions of PowerPoint users the ability to create interactive streaming media content right on their desktops."

"PowerPoint presentations are very large and take time to download," Greene said. "If you send a PowerPoint presentation created in version 2000 to someone running 97, it won't open. The recipient of a HotFoot presentation doesn't need PowerPoint or HotFoot. They just need a Windows Media Player."

Greene told ASP-News that HotFoot is a derivative of Digital Lava's (Marina del Rey, Calif.) publishing and presentation software that is used in the B2B system today. "We were able to take that, find the components to put in an easy user interface and tie it to Windows Media Player. Now people can create streaming media."

HotFoot, priced at $49.95, is downloadable from the Digital Lava Inc. Web site and on more than 100 software sites like Staples.com and egghead.com..

HotFoot Host is a subscription-based service that provides users with a password-protected online location to store, manage and deploy HotFoot presentations for access from any Internet-connected computer with a Web browser and the Windows Media Player.

Currently, Digital Lava is offering free access to HotFoot Host through May.

When asked for specifics on the pricing model, Greene compared it to that of a cell phone. "There will be three to four levels of subscription," he explained. "Each level will have a flat monthly fee for a defined number of streams of the presentation. Once the user goes over the allotted number of streams, they will be charged on a per-stream basis." Digital Lava plans to announce the pricing structure mid- to late-May.