AutoPlay Media Studio 6
Reviewed: Geetesh Bajaj
December 27th 2006
Creating a portfolio of your work and burning it to a CD/DVD is easy. In the same way, you can create a CD of your software application or stock photographs. However, a plain vanilla CD of that sort may not work in a professional environment -- where it is more of a norm these days to be presented with something that has an interface.
A CD interface typically launches itself in conjunction with an autorun feature -- most of us has seen the ubiquitous autorun CD/DVD which plays automatically as soon as it is placed in your computer's optical drive. If you want a quick and professional way to create those interfaces, then you'll love AutoPlay Media Studio 6 from Indigo Rose.
AutoPlay Media Studio is from Indigo Rose Software, a company based in Winnipeg, Canada -- their other products are Setup Factory, Liquid Cabaret, Style Workshop, etc. You can download a trial version of AutoPlay Media Studio from their site...
AutoPlay Media Studio create menus, interactive presentations, multimedia applications, and custom software interfaces with autoplay capabilities, without requiring you to learn a computer programming language.
AutoPlay Media Studio can combine disparate content like pictures, music, movie clips, Macromedia Flash, and HTML pages into completely customized multimedia applications.
My contact at AutoPlay Media Studio for this review was Colin Adams - thank you, Colin.
Download the installer from the link given above, Run the setup routine and follow the instructions. You'll end up with a Indigo Rose Corporation program group in your Windows Start menu (see Figure 1 below).
Figure 1: Indigo Rose Corporation Start menu Group
If you buy a copy of the product, you'll be prompted to enter your unique serial, and thereafter activate the product.
Here's how you could work typically with AutoPlay Media Studio:
- Whenever you launch AutoPlay Media Studio, you are presented with an interface (see Figure 2) that allows you to choose from either of these options:
- A new project
- Open an existing project
- Open the last project
Figure 2: Working with projects
- Select "Create a New Project" to be presented with an array of sample templates -- you can also opt to start with a blank template (see Figure 3). I chose the Scrapbook template.
Figure 3: Templates
- This creates a new scrapbook based on the template design -- now you can change the scrapbook images, the interface background, add some music, change the text, and do other changes. Most of this involves right-clicking the object that you want to change, and then choosing the Properties option, as shown in Figure 4.
Figure 4: Interface
- This opens the Properties dialog box, as shown in Figure 5. The Properties dialog box has several tabs including a Scripting tab -- this doesn't entail any programming since AutoPlay Media Studio writes the scripts for you -- all you might need to do is choose the type of actions you want to take place, and change some settings. For example, I changed the On Enter behavior to show one of my images (see Figure 6).
Figure 5: Properties
Figure 6: Action Properties
- After making the edits I wanted, I just saved the project and clicked the prominent Build button that creates any of these outputs:
- An autorun CD or DVD
- A folder ready for me to burn as an autorun CD or DVD later
- An ISO image file
- An EXE file
- I showed you a very simplistic approach -- at every step, you can customize almost everything.
AutoPlay Media Studio 6 costs $395 for a single-user license.
Support options include a manual, knowledge base, online FAQ and e-mail. In addition, the product itself includes video tutorials that make it easy to get started.
AutoPlay Media Studio is probably the best product in its class -- at version 6, it comes from a lineage of fully featured predecessors. The price is right too, and I have always found the product easy to use.