Beta version released

The beta version of Synaesthesia has been released. In many ways this marks the beginning of something new, but for me it marks the end of several things too. With beta version now being installed onto macs around the world, it means we solved many of the technical issues hampering us for the last few months, from the mundane (how to get Apple’s PackageMaker to work properly) to the critical (how to automate upgrading FileMaker data structures).

The core application hasn’t changed very much in the last few months whilst we’ve been working out these issues. There a couple of small things that didn’t make it into this version, but on the whole, there’s nothing that really detracts from the underlying principles of the software. As it is a beta version, I don’t recommend relying on it for critical production work, but by all means give it a trial run on the occasional shoot or prep meeting.

Any new software requires a bit of a learning curve. We’ve tried to make Synaesthesia as self-explanatory as possible, but ultimately some of the things it can do are quite sophisticated and thus deserve a little more contemplation. Our plan is to provide online documentation via our wiki, adding more information as we go (and as people request it). But to help you get started, as well as provide a hands-on overview of Synaesthesia’s capabilities, I’ve written a short guide that covers the main points (and to give you some idea of just how quickly you can dive in, the entire Die Hard project used for the guide was created in under 20 minutes).

We have a ton of ideas of where to take the software next. We’ve got plans to integrate with software you already use, such as Final Cut Pro and Shotgun, and to export data to formats like Excel. Those are what we think are the most important things right now, but we want to know what you want. Maybe you think it’s more important to have more fields on the character breakdown, or you can’t live without a Final Draft importer. Maybe it’s already exactly what you want. Either way, we’d like to hear from you.

Posted: February 12th, 2010
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