What’s New In Third Light IMS v6.0?

Third Light Intelligent Media Server v6 was released in summer 2011. If you're still using IMS v5, its venerable predecessor, we'd like to encourage you to update. Here are some reasons to use IMS v6, to help you transition to the latest version.

Here are the headline features that are new to IMS v6:

  • Totally fresh, new user interface throughout
  • Faster, smarter and more interactive user experience
  • Enhanced workflow tools for uploads and downloads
  • Easier to use downloads with cropping and conversion features
  • Powerful new console view for files and metadata editing
  • New conversational sharing features for collaborating on lightboxes
  • Search engine with intelligent guidance as you browse
  • Free iPhone / iPad photo upload application
  • Ability to be used as a file server (ie. network disk share)
  • Integrated Social sharing

Sharing And Conversations

One of the most important requirements for a digital asset management system is to be able to share files easily - even if the original content is too large to attach to an email. To do this, Third Light uses lightboxes (collections of files that have been dragged-and-dropped into a temporary area).

In Intelligent Media Server v6.0, lightboxes can have conversations attached, too. This is designed to help in situations where a discussion is being held between different users, for example, designers and their clients - or internal teams with a shared interest in some new content. Most importantly, conversations are easy to use, quick to set up and work in a simple and productive way.

Conversations in IMS v6.0 lightboxes include email alerting and a familiar "chat window" style discussion area. Click on the preview below to enlarge the screenshot if you'd like to see more.

Sharing and collaboration

Duplicate Image Detection

Detecting duplicate images is one of the most powerful and useful features in IMS v6.0. Any collection of digital media is likely to contain some duplicates, and the time and effort spent on tagging the same file (or the risks associated with fragmented record-keeping) makes this a high priority for any manager.

With our updated user interface in version 6, you can find and manage duplicates quickly and choose which files to keep or discard using visual tools. If you are looking for a return on investment when purchasing a new digital asset management system, this feature is usually high on the list.

Notice the use of visual graphs to try and quickly indicate which files to keep. IMS is calculating the relative merit of each duplicate file and summarising in a graphical way which attracts your attention.

Duplicate image detection

Upload Approvals Workflow

New content is valuable, but without metadata it is unlikely to be used.

When users upload files, you first need them to supply metadata and choose where to store the content. Without any controls, it's easy to create a system which is little more than a file server. With this challenge in mind, IMS v6.0 has a new and improved user interface for handling upload approvals, so that when valuable new content is being uploaded you can be sure that the standards and information that you need are being supplied too.

After the upload approval workflow, the files move to a nominated approver to complete the upload.

Third Light IMS v6.0 screenshot - upload approvals workflow

Search Engine

The search engine in IMS v6.0 includes faceted search filters (meaning the interface adapts to show you different views of the data depending on the situation). IMS considers other possible related searches and presents them dynamically with your search results. For example, if you are looking at results of aircraft registration numbers, IMS might suggest other aircraft-related metadata filters like manufacturers or airlines. This is done by considering other searches that might be relevant to your results. It makes even quite complex searching a 'point and shoot' process in IMS v6.0, since most filters are offered as links to click.

Third Light IMS v6.0 screenshot - search

Main Thumbnail Browser

Navigating thumbnails and accessing batch editing features is simpler and more attractive in IMS v6.0. As well as retaining all of the powerful tools (now listed vertically on the right) the thumbnail containers allow more text to be displayed, with hover-based tools. By default the thumbnails are also larger to suit new widescreen displays. At the top of the page you can see a new breadcrumb tool and the new search engine, with full support for faceted searching.

Third Light IMS v6.0 screenshot - thumbnails

File Console

Third Light IMS is a hub for files and content, but also for metadata. To search and manage a large media library requires a lot of information to be stored and organised, so in IMS v6.0 we have completely overhauled the way the metadata is displayed. We now use a separate panel on the console page, with tabs to allow you to conveniently switch between different kinds of information (such as technical data and text records).

In the screenshot below you can also see that IMS v6.0 has new visual cues to help make the system easier to navigate, such as the film strip (which can be dragged left and right to move through the folder).

Third Light IMS v6.0 screenshot - console

Small details can make a big difference, especially when a task is repeated often. In IMS v6.0 we've taken care to reduce the amount of labour involved in completing common procedures. One of the ways we do this is to use in-line forms (small popup windows) which allow you to complete tasks without leaving your place in a longer form.

In-line forms in Third Light IMS v6

To upgrade to IMS v6 for free, simply open the upgrade tool inside your V5 administration pages.

DAM - Digital Asset Management Hints and Tips Image Search Engines Metadata