SOURCE: Metabeam

November 14, 2006 11:00 ET

New Standards Body Forms on World Usability Day to Establish User-Friendly Specifications for Digital Media

Usability Group, Called Media Experience Trade Association, Now Accepting Members to Define Design Standards for Advanced Interactive, Mobile and Networked Media Applications

SEATTLE, WA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 14, 2006 -- Coinciding with World Usability Day, a one-day event focused on raising awareness and visibility of usability engineering and user-centered design, award-winning DVD producers and menu artists have joined forces with entertainment technologists and executives to form the Media Experience Trade Association (META), a new organization dedicated to improving user experience in metadata rich digital media.

The META will promote more usable and consistent interface standards, and establish a library of functional specifications that describe a universal set of controls, actions and responses corresponding to a set of common user scenarios in home networked and mobile environments. The design library will be peer reviewed and updated regularly to increase consumer satisfaction. The result is much more user-friendly digital media, which will improve consumer satisfaction and increase adoption of new media technologies.

"Personal media audiences will increasingly demand total access to both their own media collections and dynamic, online content," said Randy Malinoff, a META organizer and formerly the head of Online Marketing for Universal Studios Home Entertainment. "The META will provide a basis for a new class of production, design, workflow and marketing tools that benefit the industry at multiple levels. And, since it's all based in usability science, consumers will benefit the most."

The first META specifications are expected in Spring 2007. Technology platforms supported will include a variety of mobile and networked formats, especially those that utilize machine-readable data embedded or logically attached to digital media (aptly known as "metadata"). Both high-definition rivals Blu-ray Disc and HD-DVD will likely be supported.

"From a usability perspective, standards need to exist. That said, artists shouldn't be limited to templates either," said multimedia artist Scott Bates, another META organizer who has worked for all the major studios on hundreds of blockbuster titles for DVD, UMD and HD-DVD. " META will create standards so the artist can freely create compelling new features, but do so in a sandbox that has some consistent structure to it. With standards optimized to specific platforms and common tasks, the META library should become a valuable resource to all artists in digital media."

Annual membership dues will vary based on membership level, and will finance shared usability research and iterative design costs. For more information or to join the META please visit www.mediaexperience.org.

Entertainment technology leader Metabeam Corp. (www.metabeam.com) is underwriting the META and contributing initial designs and foundation technology for its formation.

About the META

The Media Experience Trade Association is an organization of producers, artists, executives, authors, engineers and other professionals engaged in the business of user experience design for digital media. The META advocates and promotes excellence in user experience design, and seeks to improve end-user satisfaction through research and development, common design standards, applied best practices, and consumer outreach. The META establishes common means of trade, promotes competitive growth in the media design industry, and cultivates fellowship among members. www.mediaexperience.org

About Metabeam

Metabeam™ conceives, develops, produces and promotes new forms of entertainment with unprecedented audience control and ease of use. Founded in 2005, the company delivers entertainment technology to the world's leading digital media artists. Metabeam invented the Metamenu™ system, a production method and consumer interface that sets a design standard for mobile and next-generation home media. The Metamenu method is currently contributing to the production of multiple projects on DVD-ROM, HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc. Hollywood has chosen Metamenu technology for a diverse set of blockbuster titles including Academy Award® winner "Crash," and science fiction classic "Terminator 2."

Located in Manhattan Beach, CA and Seattle, Wash., Metabeam is privately held.

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Jennifer Karkar Ritchie
    REVOLUTION PR on behalf of Metabeam
    206-932-2454
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