The DAM Lowdown is back with an overview of H.264, a new version of TACTIC 3.5 from Southpaw, Evolphin Zoom 2.8 fills a gap left by Adobe Version Cue, Henry Stewart announces dates for DAM conferences in Europe and Los Angeles and the debut of Quick Hits.

What is H.264?

While we primarily focus on the systems and software that manage digital assets, it's also important to have an understanding of the assets themselves. Arguably, the most important form of digital asset is video and the most widely used codec in the world is H.264.

Jan Ozer at offers another in a series of "What is..." columns, this one focused on the H.264 codec. In the piece, he begins by covering the history of the H.264 specification and how different vendors have implemented the spec.

Ozer goes on to cover details such as:

  • Profiles, levels and other encoding parameters
  • Royalty status
  • Support and adoption
  • Comparative quality

He concludes the article with a focus on "why H.264 is important to you." If your organization uses a digital asset management system, there is an excellent chance you are managing H.264-encoded video. Regardless of your experience, this piece is a must-read.

Southpaw Launches TACTIC 3.5

Not content to offer just another DAM platform, Canadian Southpaw Technologies has released the latest version of what it calls a Production Asset Management system, or PAM.

TACTIC 3.5, a web-based system, offers features intended to improve the user experience and speed up the production process, including:

  • User Interface -- Multiple views can be contained within one TACTIC session, alleviating the need for screen refreshes
  • User Work Area -- A central location for managing task information, metadata and versioning
  • Visual Project Schema Editor -- The core elements of a project can be defined, thus speeding the workflow creation process
  • Project Workflow Editor -- Workflows can be created visually and enhanced with event triggers and notifications

If you plan to be at NAB this year, you can see a demo and talk pricing.

Evolphin Releases Zoom 2.8

With the release of Creative Suite 5, Adobe sunsetted Version Cue. Although graphic designers and Flash developers are not as maniacal about versioning as their software development counterparts are, a ripple was felt throughout the creative community nonetheless.

Evolphin comes to the rescue with the release of version 2.8 of the Zoom asset versioning and workflow platform. The new version of Zoom includes over 500 updates, including: