Empressr – Online Rich Media Presentation Application
With the advent of broadband Internet has come a plethora of new online applications best known as “software as a service” which have many distinct advantages over the traditional delivery systems of software sold on a compact disk, installed on a computer and having its password entered to unlock it. Whereas that traditional model was always limited by home many computers the license user could access the program on and from, software as a service has the copy of the software online hoisted on a cloud computer solution of significant power that can handle many people logging into their own license version. That is, software as a service means you can used what you have paid from home or the office, any other computer and depending on the application itself, you probably can access it from smart phones and iPhones too.
This all means that the data file that users creates also gets stored on the cloud computing solution so that all users can access their own work from any location without having to remember to save their work to a thumb drive or other device to reload back up into the cloud computer later. Users can get their work at anytime from anywhere and this alone makes it a vastly more function software delivery system that traditional desk top installations done the old way. And this also means that the software developer only needs to maintain the one instance of the software installation; the copy that runs on the cloud computer solution used by all users. This means that all users are using the same version of the software, and there are no version issues to worry about at technical support levels of services; because everyone uses the same version.
Empressr is a Presentation Content Creation Service Online
Empressr is one such software as a service program. And it is designed to help users to author or create and manage rich media presentations online that can be shared with the public or kept locked away for private viewings only. People upload their own media assets including video, audio, images and animations to their Empressr rich media library and they can achieve this by importing them directly from other sites like. That is, Empressr has been designed to make it easy to important content from sites like Flickr, Google, Yahoo and PhotoBucket to name a few. Alternative, users can link to other digital assets from around the web.
Empressr supports the main file formats of JPG, GIF, BMP, and PNG for images; MOV, FLV, and AVI for video files; SWF being recommended for animations and of course MP3 for audio content. Individual file sizes are limited to ten megabytes, though they do recommend to users that they limit the resolutions on images to be no more than 1,920 times 1,200 pixels so that presentation materials load promptly when they are needed. Separate to that, there are currently no limitations on the total data storage users can avail themselves of until Empressr later introduces premium payment plans and options when they commercialize or monetize their web site business model and come out of their beta testing phase.
Empressr Must Resolve Users Being Able to Download Their Files for Offline Use
While the idea of the Empressr is sound, and with it competing with the ever popular Microsoft PowerPoint presentation software, in fact Empressr does still feel like it has a long way to go to maturing its product offering. For example, yes you can import a PowerPoint presentation into Empressr, with each slide representing one picture saved to the user account. But Empressr has no download functionality and so it cannot be saved to a compact disk and used where there is no Internet connectivity. They do have plans to develop this most basic and critical functionality, but it does beg the question as to why it is already possible to download and save your work. This being particularly true given Empressr’s lack of certainty about backward compatibility of user content when Empressr releases subsequent versions of their software as a service offering. Clearly they still have a lot of the fundamental issues to iron out and the time line for moving out of the beta phase is unclear.
Users can make use of their presentation materials by sharing with others, but only if the audience is somehow online. A link can be emailed to others, or an embed code can be copied into any other web page; but all of this methods required Internet connectivity, and that simply does not represent the real world of business situations. And implicit in this is that should a user ever decide to close their account, there is currently no way for them to take their data files with them.
It is the normal functioning of the Empressr online application that users must “publish” their work before it is viewable outside of the presentation creation suite of tools. And that simply means that the user sets the permission levels on the content to either be public or private when they do publish it, so that only authorized audience members can have access to the materials.
All in all it remains to be seen just how well Empressr will fair in the rough and tumble world of software as a service going up against the big guys like Microsoft and PowerPoint. Certainly Microsoft rarely releases highly functional product, but historically PowerPoint has always been generally quite well received in the market place. There is always room for product improvements, and that is where Microsoft is always vulnerable to more nimble and innovative software developers such as Empressr who are not so constrained by management by committee. Just the same, Empressr does still have a long way to go to resolve their content downloading side of the application because it is simply unconscionable that users not be able to take their data files with them for use offline. When they get that aspect sorted out, they’ll be that much closer to commercial success.