Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 168 / SEPTEMBER 1994 / PAGE 68

New multimedia products. (Buyers Guide)

Kids Go Multimedia

Here's a product that lets you create published documents and multimedia presentations using video, photos, sound effects, music, and printed elements. Intended for students ages 10 and up, The Multimedia Workshop has three integrated components: The Writing Workshop, The Video Workshop, and The Paint Workshop. It also lets you create five libraries of sounds or images with categories such as history, the family, holidays, food, animals, around the world, and sports.

"The Multimedia Workshop follows The Cruncher in Davidson's line of ~Power Tools.' These tools are designed to empower students to think, analyze, and communicate," says Jan Davidson, president and founder of Davidson & Associates. its goal is to build writing, creativity, planning, and communication skills.

The program can be used to create video book reports and photo essays, where the photos. video clips, sound, music, and narration can be presented on a computer or exported to videotape. It can also be used to produce desktop-published newsletters, fliers, greeting cards, illustrated reports, and magazines. For example, students could create a video yearbook combining school events, a theme song created by the music department, narration by faculty and students, and title slides and illustrations from the art department, Similarly, you could use the program to chronicle a field trip, create a family-history year in review, or prepare a birthday greeting.

The Thrill of Victory

Talk about instant replay. Now you can view 1993 sports events again and again. Sports Illustrated 1994 Multimedia Sports Almanac is the first multisport CD-ROM with 40 minutes of entertaining highlights and an entire year of Sports Illustrated magazine.

View highlights from the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA finals, and NCAA Final Four. In addition, there's a sports almanac with more than 1200 pages of team and individual records, statistics, and trivia, as well as over 450 color photos from Sports Illustrated photographers.

You'll see Michael Jordan lead the Chicago Bulls to their third world championship, as well as the personal triumph of New York Jets player Dennis Byrd as he walks back onto the gridiron after having been paralyzed ten months earlier. You can also test your knowledge of sports with a sports trivia game.

Multimedia on America


MPC Headquarters is one of the newest electronic forums on America Online. Sponsored by the Multimedia PC Marketing Council, it's designed to answer questions and stimulate discussion about the MPC platform.

One of the key features found in this forum is Multimedia PC Titles Catalog. It offers descriptions and screen shots of more than 150 MPC titles and includes audio and video demos of many of them. The forum also offers information about the MPC Level 1 and 2 specifications, Council and MPC licensee news, and product announcements, Plus, it provides bulletin boards that you can use to post technical questions, offer comments about MPC issues, and make suggestions about the future of the MPC specification.

FM on PC

Listen up, radio fans. Now you can use your computer screen to tune in your favorite songs. With RadioActive, you can listen to your favorite radio station while working on your PC.

Through an easy-to-use graphical interface, this product features point-and-click control for all functions, such as volume control, manual or autoscan tuning, the ability to store as many as 100 radio stations and display each station's name and frequency, eight preset station buttons for your favorite radio stations, a mute function, clock or frequency display, and a fine-tune adjustment.

RadioActive's scheduling function can be programmed to turn on and tune in to your favorite station at a certain time, and when the window is minimized, the icon displays the radio station that's currently being played.

The product consists of a half-size internal circuit card, which fits into any available slot in a PC. The software interface provides all of the user controls and radio features. RadioActive won't interfere with other applications or slow down your system.

That's Entertainment

Now you can follow the cartoon adventures of Bugs Bunny, Popeye, and Porky Pig from your desktop. QuickToons II: What's Up, Disc? from Wayzata Technology brings a compilation of classic cartoons to your PC. it contains six digitized cartoons, complete with audio, for a total of 74 minutes of film.

Included on the disc are Falling Hare, The Case of the Missing Hare, Parlez Vous Woo, Cooking with Gags, Toyland Caper, and Who's Who at the Zoo. Pull up your ergonomic chair and travel back to yesteryear!

Another product from Wayzata Technology, Sound Library Pro, is a compilation of more than 1200 digitally recorded sounds, featuring a vast array of media effects. Navigate your way through a myriad of high-quality digitally recorded sounds that are easy to copy and copyright-friendly.

The disc features six main sound categories (animals, household, instruments, nature, special effects, and voice) and over 30 subcategories with 300 megabytes of sound. It can enhance your desktop presentations, or you can use it to create a more enjoyable Windows audio environment.

A third product from Wayzata Technology brings you the latest in computer animation. Tony Quinn's Virtual Worlds is a journey to the limits of computer animation. It contains full-screen animations in 2-bit, 4-bit, 8-bit, and 24-bit color versions that are designed to push the limits of your desktop.

This CD-ROM has an easy-to-use interface which connects you to hundreds of digitally created color illustrations and animated sequences. While traveling through Virtual Worlds, you can view three-dimensional images, fly through virtual landscapes, visit the robot planet, and experience the limits in computer animation.

Free Advice

Everything you always wanted to know about buying a CD-ROM drive - but were afraid to ask - is now answered with a free booklet called 15 Questions to Ask Before Purchasing a CD-ROM Drive. It's designed to give you an objective guide through the myriad of choices you face as a buyer.

The booklet provides a detailed discussion of questions that CD-ROM drive shoppers need to ask, including the following: Does the drive use a SCSI or proprietary interface board? What's the data transfer rate of the drive? Does the drive use a tray or caddy mechanism?

Although the booklet is written on a technical level that should be easily understandable for those new to CD-ROM and multimedia, there are also revealing insights for even the most technically sophisticated readers.

"Too many people think of a CD-ROM drive as a generic item. But with single-speed, double-speed, triple-speed, and soon quad-speed drives on the market, nothing could be further from the truth. Throw in the need to consider standards such as MPC-2, SCSI-2, Photo CD, and XA, and you're left with a situation where consumers could easily become confused and wind up buying the wrong drive for all the wrong reason," says Plextor's vice president, Robert Tatar.