NAB 2023: meet the next Hedge, and a lot more!
Spring's here, and that means we have been building a lot of exciting new technology to share with you this week.
We're showing all of this at NAB, so if you're in Vegas this week, be sure to drop by N3174 👋
Today marks the biggest moment in our history — this NAB, we're announcing the next generation of Hedge.
And that's not all: we also bring you native Amazon S3 uploads, Connect 3.0, a lot of Canister and LTO news, the FoolCat update everyone has been waiting for, and a major innovation for Media Composer users.
Let's dive in!
What's in a name
It's about time we fix the most-asked question we get: is Hedge an app or a company? Well, it's both. But not for much longer: together with its next release, our flagship app Hedge gets a new name 🥳
We present to you:
Having your product named after your company works fine if you do just one thing (iconik, Frame.io, CatDV). But with apps that are just as strong brands on their own (PostLab, EditReady, Canister) it quickly gets confusing.
Now that Hedge, the company, has grown into an industry-leading and technology-driven company, the Hedge moniker has become synonymous for our vision: carefully designed, easy to use, and affordable software that removes friction from your day-to-day life. Like a twig branching out of a hedge, OffShoot is a true, ehm, offshoot of that vision.
OffShoot is not just a new name; it's also a paradigm shift in licensing. We're leaving behind our model of seats. Instead, we’re moving to a floating license. Historically only an enterprise feature for large-scale deployments, we’re democratizing this model and bring it to all our apps and licenses. You’ll be able to activate your OffShoot license on as many computers as you want, with the amount of activations on your license deciding how many you can use simultaneously. Just activate all your machines once, and never fiddle with license keys again.
Every license that is eligible for updates and support when OffShoot is released, a few weeks from now, automatically rolls over into an OffShoot license.
Because we feel this new license model is so much better (“smooth like butter,” our test customers have told us), we want to give as many people as possible a chance to make the switch. That's why anyone buying or extending a Hedge license between today and the day OffShoot is released gets a free upgrade. And everyone that does so, gets 30% off.
Don't miss out, as this will be the last promotion we'll do; no more Black Friday – we're stepping away from that madness altogether.
Our new license model will be rolled out to all our apps over the course of the year, so everyone can benefit from it.
Thanks to the maturity of Hedge, many features we've been working on since last year are not for everyone - they're for the proverbial 20%. Yet, those features come with significant support and development costs. We think it's not fair that all users carry that burden, so we're separating Hedge into two versions: OffShoot and OffShoot Pro.
To thank all our long standing users for the support getting us this far we'll be sending every Hedge user a once-in-our-lifetime OffShoot Pro deal; be sure to check your inboxes in the coming weeks 📨
OffShoot Pro is a high-end version of OffShoot, a home for those features that are just not that useful to all of you. A great example of that is scripting: we love to help out with scripts you write to automate Hedge, but the amount of hours we have to spend to do so eat away many of the hours we have available for customer support. That's not exactly fair to those that don't need scripts. The same is true for Codex - very likely only 1% of you ever works with a Codex + ARRI system, but those that do, do so very often.
That's why we're moving these two features into OffShoot Pro, together with what was already available in Hedge Pro: Clip Review, the API, ASC MHLs, the Preset Builder, and our brand new Pro-only feature:
Amazon S3 native integration
COVID-19 lead to many productions relying on consumer clouds like Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive, to shuttle data. But they're all slow, have massive latency, and have usage caps. That doesn't work for serious workloads. But professional clouds are just not that convenient, as they are all API-based; you can't use S3 or Frame as cloud drive. Also, cloud workflows do not offer the level of verification that you’re used to from local storage. That's a bridge we have been wanting to cross for a long time, and we're doing that with OffShoot Pro.
With OffShoot Pro's Amazon S3 integration, productions are now able to get their media into the cloud in a safe and verified way. Already being one of the very few apps that's approved by Netflix, it's the sole app that can offer an identical workflow for cloud as for local, disk-based, productions, while adhering to the strict checksum verification needs of this industry. Paired with EditReady’s transcoding power, OffShoot Pro offers an amazing way to easily offload OCF locally, create proxies, and push those to S3 for editorial.
Bring you camera workflows up to date with out having to change your hardware. A complicated step made easy, copy to cloud like it were to a standard hard drive, and make your choice of cloud storage provider that offers S3 support.
Also part of the upcoming OffShoot release is the third iteration of Connect, Hedge's push notification system to keep tabs on your transfers.
With the original Connect a iOS-only affair, and the second Connect instalment available for iOS and Android, with this third generation we're bringing Connect to the cloud:
All OffShoot users are able to see all their transfers on connect.hedge.video, with push notifications available on Macs, PCs, and of course iOS and Android devices. On top of that, OffShoot Pro automatically brings together all transfers from all computers without needing to connect them first - much easier for facility usage and remote teams. The new Connect platform was built to allow us to do more integrations with our whole suite of apps, and built features on top of. More news soon!
As always, Connect is free for all users with an up-to-date license, meaning it’s eligible for updates and support. For those with a license purchased or extended over a year ago the same 30% discount will be available.
Connect 2.0 will remain available for the Summer.
The all new FoolCat — it's finally here. After a long hiatus, touched upon in our 7th birthday retrospective, we are bringing EditReady's wide range of codec support to FoolCat. And because speed is always our focus when building stuff, besides adding a slew of additional codecs to FoolCat, we also sped up report generation by 300% 🚀
As this is a massive project, we're first releasing a new FoolCat for the Mac; that covers about 70% of you. In the mean time we're already working on the Windows version, which will be released with a staggered approach: first, Sony, then Canon, and then we'll update the RED, BRAW, and ARRI to support all latest cameras.
The new FoolCat will be available soon after NAB. As you're used to from us, all existing users will receive an upgrade discount in their email.
Mimiq for every type of storage
Mimiq is industry-leading in bringing bin-locking to Media Composer editors that work with non-Avid shared storage like QNAP and Synology, or with LucidLink.
With the upcoming 23.1 release, we're upping the ante: Workspaces, the new feature available to Mimiq Pro users, allows you to turn any folder, locally and also on a SAN into a Media Composer-compatible volume. With Mimiq Pro's serverless architecture and built-in floating licensing, no changes to infrastructure are required, ensuring a low cost of ownership and unseen flexibility in license.
Workspaces makes every system an Avid-compatible shared storage system, whether it's your RAID, Thunderbolt-shared storage like iodyne's ProData, and even your internal SSD. Also, it's now finally possible to use any cloud drive with Media Composer: store your projects and bins on Box, Dropbox, or Google Drive folder through a Workspace and, voila, bin-locking works for all users on the team.
First off: Connect 3.0 is also coming to Canister. With LTO transfers taking hours, if not days, it's super valuable to learn how far a transfer is done, and when it finished (or not, that's just as important). Connect for Canister goes live on the day OffShoot is released.
Because a percentage doesn't tell you much when speeds is not a given, like with LTO, we're adding our ETA technology to Canister. As of today, you'll be able to see how long an Archive or Retrieve is likely to take, with an algorithm specifically tuned to LTO's mechanical ups and downs.
Also new in Canister is support for NanoPure tapes, an industry-first. NanoPure is a technology developed by MagStor, aimed at reducing the failure rates of new tapes. It's like a hard disk's S.M.A.R.T functionality, but for LTO tapes.
New LTOs are literally quite dirty — a tape's surface is littered with particles that wear off only by sticking to the tape head, introducing errors. That's why new tapes have a fairly high write failure rate compared to "broken in" tapes. NanoPure tapes have been cleaned, and are calibrated. Canister can read that calibration data, and compare that to the error rate of each transfer. When it's too high, Canister will alert you.
Last but not least, this NAB we're announcing Canister for Windows! In development for over a year, we're ready to get ready for launch. Having tested Canister for Windows extensively with Symply plus a few key users, we're ready to open the gates. If you're on Windows 10 or 11, email us for beta access.
Transcoding is an essential part of any post-production workflow, but it's quite a large leap from transcoding your BRAW clips for FCP to having an automated transcoding ingest pipeline to ensure all incoming media is accessible by all departments. Different needs, same transcoding.
That's why we're releasing a third version of EditReady, alongside the regular EditReady and EditReady Pro: EditReady Server. It's built for headless automation, and ships with an API that allows it to be part of a larger system.
One of the first partners to make use of EditReady Server is the cloud MAM vendor iconik. Most MAMs are happy to show you a thumbnail or preview for a MPEG based file, but few offer support for camera originals or RAW codecs. With EditReady Server fully integrated with iconik's Storage Gateway, iconik users gain thumbnails, web proxies, and metadata while uploading their media.
Besides bringing back the capital L in PostLab, we’re going to make life really easy for all Final Cut Pro editors that have a hard time managing their color pipeline: the next PostLab update will include Colourlab.ai’s FCP plugin.
With the Colourlab Ai plugin for FCP, one person on your PostLab team can use Colourlab to manage color for all your productions, and all other members can view that color management directly in Final Cut Pro without needing a Colourlab installation or license. Colourlab’s color metadata is saved within the FCP library, and automatically carries over to all other team members through Postlab.
The Colourlab for PostLab plugin will be available to all PostLab users, for free.
Of course, that's not all we'll be bringing to NAB. With twice the booth size, and thrice the demo setups and team members, besides showing all that's new, we have a range of hardware partners that we work closely with on new gear and features. Especially exciting this year are Sandisk Pro, Symply, and ioDyne:
We’ve been working closely with SanDisk Pro on the new PRO-BLADE line-up, as we advocated for years to come up with a more portable travel drive system. The result is amazing, both for speed and footprint. You can shoot longer takes, back up more data thanks to the four-slot PRO-BLADE STATION, and ship them across the country without hefty UPS or FedEx fees - a padded envelop is all you need. It’s the ultimate secure, fast, and portable workflow.
Definitely not shippable in a padded envelope, but equally impressing is ioDyne’s Pro Data. It’s the world’s first native Thunderbolt RAID that doubles as shared storage, and it’s crazy fast. That’s of course awesome for offload and ingest, but it packs enough punch to serve three more people the data you’re backing up - at the same time. On-set editing, anyone? Come check it out at our booth, and see for yourself why this device is groundbreaking.
Symply have been on a roll too the last year. Having launched a range of very solidly built LTO machines, they now released Transporter: on-prem S3 object storage. Working out of the box with OffShoot Pro to get media into this beast, it makes it a breeze to move to a cloud-native storage device.
That's all for this month, folks! First, we're going to be busy at NAB, and then we'll use the coming weeks to roll out these updates. Then, it's onto the next big thing!
If you can't make it to NAB, be sure to reach out to use anyway — we're always happy to chat, and keep those feature requests coming 🙏