Adobe Anywhere Preps for Primetime Release Following NAB 2013

Adobe’s highly anticipated Adobe Anywhere platform will get one step closer to hitting the market at NAB 2013, when Adobe will give attendees a deeper look at the cloud-based collaborative platform. Adobe Anywhere promises to allow producers and editors that use Adobe video tools (primarily Premiere Pro and Prelude) to access, manage, and edit centralized media and assets across virtually any network, even standard Ethernet or Wifi.

“As we talk to our customers, we are becoming more and more aware that the network is becoming the new platform; that is what Anywhere is all about,” says Senior Product Manager, Collaborative Workflows, Michael Coleman. “Collaboration is a really hard thing to do right. We’ve spent two years researching and developing this platform, and we really feel like we have something special.”

More than ever, sports networks are looking to produce more content at home than on-site for live remote productions (NBC’s London Olympics, ESPN’s X Games, and Fox Sports NFL productions). File-based editing platforms like Anywhere (along with Avid’s Interplay Sphere and EVS’s efforts) promise to break down location and connectivity barriers, cutting costs and increasing creative freedom for content producers.

The Collaboration Hub
Adobe Anywhere essentially ties together the creative (Premiere Pro) and ingest/asset-management (Prelude) sides of the production process to create a single Collaboration Hub, where the entire production team can access and edit hi-res media files over a single network.

“It ties together two very important parts of the workflow,” says Coleman. “On the one side, we have the enterprise infrastructure — things like storage, asset management, and archive systems. And, on the other side, you have creative apps. It’s always been up to our customers to tie those two things together in an efficient workflow. Now we have created the Anywhere platform to tie those two together.”

Rather than working on different projects in Premiere and, say, After Effects, Anywhere combines them into a single “production” in which multiple users can work concurrently using various Adobe software platforms.

“This is different than just handing around project files that are locked. Everyone can see the same assets at the same time. So you don’t have to have any handoff time: one second after you finish your work, it becomes available to everyone else. We also make sure there aren’t conflicts and that people can work on the same files.

The Mercury Streaming Engine
Anywhere does not require heavy file transfers and does not rely on proxy files, enabling producers and editors to work directly with hi-res media files remotely. This is made possible by Adobe’s GPU-powered Mercury Streaming Engine, which allows remote editors to simply send edit instructions to the server, which completes the actual file manipulation and playback.

“Anywhere is a real-time system that provides a viewing stream across the network so that you are always working with the hi-res,” says Coleman. “You are using the real media with full resolution. It is really a transformation in how you work across a network.”

Seamless Integration
In the name of security, Adobe Anywhere is hosted on-premises with other enterprise media-storage and asset-management infrastructure. Adobe Anywhere’s open-platform architecture includes use of existing infrastructure and integration with standard IT hardware, software, and network processes, reducing the need for additional capital expenditures and resources.

In addition, Adobe says Anywhere works seamlessly within Premiere and Prelude, allowing editors to retain current workflows.

“If you already know Premiere Pro and Prelude, then you already know almost everything you need to know for Anywhere,” says Coleman. “I like to joke that all you really need is a password [to start working]. We designed it to slipstream right into existing workflow.”

Adobe expects Anywhere to be available for sale in May. Pricing has not been announced.

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