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Multimedia Corner

Worth a Thousand

Multimedia Corner Written by C. W. Mann

Stock photo companies have long been in the business of selling and reselling the rights to their photographs for use in various forms of print media. The advent of the computer and computer programs for manipulating photo images changed the distribution media from actual photographic paper to digital CD-ROM images. The digital images have long carried a royalty free redistribution right for print media, but other CD-ROM uses were restricted. According to Carol Reid of Digital Stock, multimedia licensing is included for most uses with the basic purchase of their products. Upgrades are now available for all other uses of their 30 CD- ROM library of photos.

The company offers two extensive libraries for potential multimedia use. Both series can be viewed on their $40 catalog and demo CD-ROM. This product includes viewers for the Macintosh and Windows 3.1, and low resolution versions of their 3,000 photo library. The product also includes 10 full resolution images you can use to test your product in-house. The demo images, unlike their full resolution brothers, may not be distributed.

Digital Stock has a series that includes 21 CD-ROMS. This so-called Professional Series includes titles such as "Active Lifestyles", "Babies & Children", "Buildings & Structures", "Families & Seniors", "Indigenous Peoples", "Men, Women & Romance", and "Sunset, Skies, & Weather",. as well as travel photos for the British Isles and Central Europe. Additional CD-ROMS are available covering animals, business and industry, flowers, landscapes, transportation, trees, and undersea life. Other digital collections include: "Mountains & Waterfalls", "Oceans & Coasts", "Space and Spaceflight", and "Textures & Backgrounds".

The Signature Series features complete CD-ROMs from a single photographer. Emmy award winning National Geographic photographer Marty Snyderman has a title called "Sharks, Whales, Etc". Abstract painter and computer artist Greg Ochocki brings the experience of his more than 30 solo museum expositions to the "Painted Backgrounds" title. A renowned New York photographer brings his city to life in "New York City". Guggenheim Museum exhibitor and photojournalist, Mario De Biasi, covers his native land in "Italy".

Digital Photo also has "Food" by Joshua Ets-Hokin, "Western Scenics" by Mike Sedam, and "Undersea Textures" by Robert Yin. The firm has a historical series containing photos from the "American Civil War" and "World War II". The Profession Series and the Historical Series have suggested retail prices of $249. The Signature series CD-ROM's sell for $349. All discs contain 100 photos each.

Use of photos from traditional stock photo houses can cost from $200 to $1,200 per photo. Multimedia use for a corporate in- house use or limited distribution product is limited to five photos from a single CD-ROM and fifteen total from Digital Photo products. Additional licensing can be negotiated by calling 800-545-4515.

All CDs are Kodak Photo CD format products. The original transparencies are scanned at 2048 X 3076 pixels and digitally recorded. The products can be used on Macintosh or IBM-PC compatibles. For a Macintosh, you need a CD-ROM drive, a Macintosh LC III or newer, and 8 MB of RAM. For a PC-compatible you must have a 80386 or better, a CD-ROM drive, and 5 MB of RAM. Some files are as large as 22 MB, therefore, more memory and large hard disks should be considered. Software capable of reading .pcd (Kodak) file types is needed to process the images on the discs.

The photo sets include a simulated contact sheet on the inserted booklet. These photos can be viewed easily on paper before they are loaded into your photo or graphics software. The artwork is all of exceptional quality and it is easy to use in any appropriate multimedia presentation. If you need photos for your next project, get the "Catalog and Demo Disc". You can view all photos here before you make any budget decisions on your required artwork.

Contributed by C. W. Mann, who also writes the syndicated computer column, BuzzBytes.

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