DaVinci Resolve developer slashes network storage costs

Blackmagic Design has announced a major price drop on its range of network storage solutions. 

Aimed at film and TV professionals such as video editors, colorists, audio engineers and VFX artists, Blackmagic Cloud Store devices lets multiple users quickly share media files – “Hollywood feature film size,” says the company – for editing, VFX work, and other post-production processes. 

The developer behind DaVinci Resolve, one of the best video editing software on the market, cited recovering supply chains and cheaper high-speed flash storage components as driving price reductions of up to $ 7,000 on the higher-end models.  

A creative cloud solution 

The Blackmagic Cloud Store line-up includes three models: the mainline Cloud Store alongside the Mini and the Pod – and it’s the former two that are seeing the big discounts. 

Blackmagic Cloud Store is pitched at production houses needing capacity for business and operational files, alongside media storage. The device comes in 20TB, 80TB, and 320TB models, each equipped with a M.2 NVMe SSD in a RAID 5 flash memory configuration. According to the company, “the internal memory core is so fast it can saturate the 10G Ethernet ports to their theoretical maximum speed.” 

The 20TB model sees a drop from $ 9,595 to $ 7,595 (approx. £6,335 / AU$ 11,250), with the 80TB Cloud Store moving to a price-point of $ 22,995 (approx. £19,195 / AU$ 34,065)..

The portable Cloud Store Mini, meanwhile, with its 8TB storage capacity and four internal M.2 flash cards in a RAID 0 memory configuration, is targeted at television production. Its price has been cut from $ 2,995 to $ 2,355 (approx. £1,965 / AU$ 3,490).

Running on macOS and Windows, the network storage syncs large files – and that includes 12K Blackmagic RAW digital cinema files – with two of the best cloud storage services out there: Google Drive and Dropbox. Although other providers are not supported. In a move to future-proof the devices, users are able to expand storage capabilities, upgrading as larger M.2 cards release. The set-up also boasts no subscriptions or licenses, with users purchasing the physical device outright. 

“The new prices will help to make high performance network storage more affordable for anyone who wants to distribute large media files globally in minutes,” said Blackmagic Design. 

Keen creatives can see the full Blackmagic Cloud Store specs by clicking here

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Microsoft Office update will resolve a problem that never should have existed

Microsoft is preparing to roll out an update for its office software suite that resolves a small but frustrating issue.

As explained in the latest addition to the Microsoft 365 product roadmap, the Read Aloud feature for the Office app will soon allow Android users to listen to their documents while their device screen is locked.

The update is currently under development, but should take effect for all Android users by the end of April. TechRadar Pro has asked for clarification as to whether the iOS app will receive a similar fix.

Microsoft Office accessibility

The Read Aloud text-to-speech service for Microsoft Office is useful on a number of levels. Most importantly, it acts as an accessibility feature for those with sight impairments or conditions such as dyslexia. But separately, it can be used to good effect in multitasking scenarios, when someone is on the move or otherwise engaged.

The inability to utilize the Read Aloud feature when the device screen is locked is a needless source of frustration that Microsoft is looking to remedy with the upcoming update. The fix will allow users to pocket their device without having to worry about accidental interactions with the screen, and should have a positive effect on battery life too.

The text-to-speech tweak is the latest in a number of accessibility-focused updates for the Microsoft Office suite, all of which share a common goal: to level the playing field for all users.

Last week, for example, Microsoft published a separate roadmap entry detailing an update for Outlook that will allow users to ensure their email messages live up to accessibility standards.

“We are expanding the functionality [of the MailTips help service] to automatically prompt you when an accessibility violation is detected while composing an email to large audiences or external users, for example, and help you fix the issue,” the company explained.

And in January, Microsoft announced a new add-on for Word, Excel and PowerPoint that lets users notify colleagues of any additional needs they may have. The idea was to create a non-confrontational way for someone to remind co-workers for their accessibility needs that didn’t involve sending a dedicated email or instant message.

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