Years ago we recognized that new operating systems for both Macintosh and Windows would change different core components as the state-of-the-art progressed. We wanted to be sure the components Merlin uses are the most modern, and also wanted to incorporate features for video and a more modular development structure, so we committed years back to a ground-up next generation of Merlin client software. So began the Merlin 5 project.
Our goals were simple: improve on the already excellent user experience of Merlin 4 digital asset management system (DAM) with a more modern appearance, and take advantage of the newest user interface advances, while making the code more modular so we can add new features and new workflow capabilities swiftly.
With about 5 person-years (I was told it is not politically correct to call them “man-years” any more) of development, we are able to release a complete client. Many of our customers have already been using earlier versions of M5 in beta mode as they helped us test it, and we have all benefitted from their feedback, so our thanks!
Also, because their workflow required video tools, Merlin video-enabled sites have used the M5 client from the beginning because it has all the video tools. Neither had the full set of M4 client features (we had spent 10 years enhancing it, and it takes a while to port all those features!), so we are happy that now we have brought M5 to the point where it is a superset of the M4 features.
So what’s new you ask? As a result of the “from-the-ground-up” rewrite M5 has a more flexible interface and preferences are saved on the server giving users a traveling profile. No matter what physical system you sit down in front of, Merlin will provide the same configuration you previously used, so, for instance, you no longer have to open the projects you are working on each time you login. Enhanced color-coding to provide faster visual recognition of assets is also among the new features. Any part of the display area may be resized or totally hidden at the users discretion and templates designed to reduce mouse clicks are available for cropping, searching and editing content. So lots of really cool stuff is at your fingertips, all designed to make digital asset management even easier.
If that is not enough, Trax (our assignment management system) was recently refreshed, with a look that is better matched to the new Merlin 5 client. And around the corner, Trax users can look forward to a further update that includes some new views and get this: Trax will now send an “ICS” file with email assignment notifications. This will allow photographers to add Trax assignments into their calendar program, whether it be Outlook or iCal.
But wait, there IS more!! (I feel like Ron Popeil or the late Billy Mays. )…Merlin web client (Webmaster) users have not been left out either. An upcoming Webmaster refresh includes better project management (you can even add to a project from a project), batch download, web upload, and the ability to choose a resolution on output when downloading JPEGs or TIFF files. Isn’t that great!
DAM shoppers looking for a world-class DAM solution have found the right place: the Merlin DAM system is used by some of the largest organizations around, and is used to manage millions of items in some of the most demanding environments.
So, how do you get these great new DAM tools? Existing Merlin users can contact MerlinOne customer support. Contact me, or anyone else at MerlinOne for more information or to arrange a demonstration of Merlin 5.
Posted by David Breslauer