Avid introduce new Pro Tools licensing, Standard Support

Avid introduce new Pro Tools licensing, Standard Support

Avid have announced that every upgrade or new purchase of Pro Tools 11 from November will be even better value for your cash. Not only will you get world-beating DAW tools and sound quality, but also new cloud collaboration functionality, and a full year of Avid Standard Support too, so your software’s always up to date with all the latest updates and upgrades. 

What does that actually mean for you? You get groundbreaking new features, 24/7 professional support, all your Pro Tools upgrades/updates into 2016, access to how-to videos, troubleshooting articles and other great resources from Avid Customer Care. They say those new extras will let you collaborate in the cloud, sell your music, and more.

Chris Gahagan, senior vice president of products and technology at Avid, said: “Pro Tools is the most frequently used and highly trusted digital audio workstation in the industry because of its unrivaled sound quality, power, and versatility for music and audio post-production. Now we’re making it easier for all customers to elevate their music and audio production immediately — and then take it to a higher level as cloud collaboration and other new features become available later.”

 Upgrade/crossgrade from previous Pro Tools and save

If you own Pro Tools 9 or Pro Tools 10, any version of Pro Tools Express (from Avid or InMusic1), Pro Tools LE 82, Pro Tools M-Powered 6-8, or Pro Tools MP 9, from November you can upgrade or crossgrade to Pro Tools 11 and receive Avid Standard Support, which includes all Pro Tools updates and upgrades, plus access to professional support around the clock, for one full year from the time of purchase. You’ll also be saving a massive 60% off the usual upgrade price if you go down this route.

The same goes for upgrading from HD 9/10 to HD 11, with savings of up to 40% off previous retail pricing. Plus, you can continue receiving support and upgrades into the future by simply renewing your plan, so you can always stay current and have the latest tools and features.

Purchasing new Pro Tools software

If you’re buying Pro Tools software brand new, you’ll be happy to find that will also include future upgrades. From November, customers can purchase Pro Tools software with a one-year, renewable subscription support plan that includes all Pro Tools software upgrades throughout the duration of their plan, as well as one year of renewable Avid Standard Support, and Avid Marketplace features.

Best of all, if you buy or upgrade by 20th December 2014, Avid will extend your support plan to 31st March 31, 2016, meaning you get up to 17 months of Pro Tools upgrades, updates, and support instead of 12, depending on when you purchase. You’ll of course continue receiving support and upgrades to stay current by renewing your plan annually.

Let me at it!

Patience is a virtue… the above upgrades and Pro Tools “stay current” offers will be available for purchase come November, from Avid authorised resellers (that’s us). In the meantime, you can always check out our full Avid Pro Tools lineup here.

Want to know more about Avid Pro Tools? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email audio@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Audio on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.


Update on fire at University of Nottingham building

Update on fire at University of Nottingham building

You may have heard in the news about the fire that tore through the University of Nottingham’s GlaxoSmithKline-funded new Carbon Neutral Laboratory for Sustainable Chemistry, which was still under construction. Luckily, no-one was hurt, but the building was completely destroyed.

University of Nottingham registrar Dr Paul Greatrix had the following statement…

“We are incredibly grateful to our staff and students for their fantastic response in dealing with this major incident and would like to express our gratitude to both Notts Fire Service and Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service. It was the quick action of their fire crews which prevented this incident from being much more serious. We have also been extremely touched by the messages and best wishes from our close neighbours out in the community.

“We would like to thank the wider higher education community across the UK for its support – we have had many offers of help from other universities around the country, for which we are extremely grateful.

“To put this loss into perspective, we need to remember that this was one building, that thankfully no one was injured and that the fire was prevented from spreading further on to campus.

“We want to stress that it is business as usual at The University of Nottingham. We were able to ensure that Open Day 2014, went ahead as planned and was unaffected by the incident — we welcomed thousands of prospective students and their families to our campuses to enjoy a packed programme of talks and activities demonstrating our high-quality teaching and facilities.

“The new building wasn’t due to be opened until next year and, as such, our chemistry department, while understandably disappointed by this loss, won’t be affected either from a teaching or research perspective in the immediate future.

“This is a setback for us but one from which we have no doubt we will recover. The University of Nottingham has an international reputation for scientific excellence, underpinned by the world-leading expertise of our academics. It is upon those strong foundations that we will rebuild and renew for the future.

“The GlaxoSmithKline Carbon Neutral Laboratory for Sustainable Chemistry is a landmark building which is the embodiment of the University’s commitment to sustainability in all its forms, particularly in the area of green chemistry and we will be working closely with our partners at GSK, and the contractors Morgan Sindall, to develop a positive plan of action for rebuilding.

“At this stage, we have no idea what caused the fire and may not know for some time until the Fire Service has been able to fully investigate the incident. The building was designed to meet stringent fire regulation requirements.”

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email autodesk@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and tips follow us on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

5 ways iBeacon can improve your customer loyalty

5 ways iBeacon can improve your customer loyalty

You’ve probably seen iPad being used in retail environments for all manner of things from digital signage to till systems. But with iBeacon, it also has a nifty little trick up its sleeve for improving customer loyalty over wireless, with bespoke notifications, contextual special offers and more.

How does iBeacon work?

Apple’s iBeacon uses Bluetooth low-energy (BLE) wireless technology to create a different way of providing location-based information and services to nearby iOS devices. When a device is in range of a beacon (essentially a small, inexpensive Bluetooth transmitter), an app on the customer’s iPad or iPhone will pick up the signal from the beacon and respond accordingly.

How can beacons be used?

Say you’re a customer, and you pass a beacon in a particular store and have the app installed, that retailer could push out specific special offers, loyalty schemes and promotions, or more information around a particular display, to you. Strategically placed, this means you can also work out where your premium shop space and ‘hotspots’ are, enabling you to analyse and monetise your store. Customers feel like they’re getting a more personalised shopping experience, which all helps promote loyalty around your brand.

Apple, naturally, have been using iBeacon in their Apple Stores for a while, letting them pinpoint a customer’s location in the store and enable Apple to present relevant sales information. The Crown Estate, which owns Regent Street, is also dabbling with iBeacon technology; Regent Street resident brands, including Hamleys, Armani, Longchamp and Hackett have all installed to help push exclusive and personalised marketing messages to shoppers via a mobile phone app (Marketing Week).

I’m sold. Can I have some more beacons ideas, please?

There are endless ways you could use iBeacon to provide information to customers, but here are a few of our favourites as a jumping off point:

1. Entice new customers with time-sensitive deals. Whip up a bit of urgency by pushing out a limited time offer to customers as soon as they step in your store, eg “Jim’s crazy deals: Get 50% off all underwear for the next hour!!!”. This would be especially effective around seasonal periods, blue cross sales and similar.

2. Help customers navigate your store. Tell your customers where they are, and direct them to where they want to be, using beacons. Ideal for large department stores, and multi-storey shops, eg “You’re now on the homeware level”.

3. Engage customers with in-store games. This is a bit of fun, but holding something like a store-wide treasure hunt using beacons (with a small incentive up for grabs) can really help engage customers, and even get them to visit parts of the store they may not have originally intended to.

4. Get feedback from customers. As well as giving customers information, you can also use beacons as part of your mobile strategy to get feedback from customers.

5. Give customers a joined-up shopping experience. As the Regent Street brands are doing in the article above, beacons can be used to promote multiple stores, or let you work in conjunction with other nearby stores to offer deals that are specific to a certain area.

Looking to learn more about iBeacon? Download our iBeacon in retail pdf here.

Want to find out more about improving your customer experience with iPad for retail? Give our team a call on 03332 409 306 or email b7@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook


What does the future hold for retail technology?

What does the future hold for retail technology?

The face of retail is changing, with more and more retailers now looking to innovative new technologies to help increase sales conversion, reduce time at tills, and generally improve overall customer experience and engagement.

Mobile technology, for example, is massively on the rise, with devices like iPad now ubiquitous amongst consumers, who expect that level of engagement from retailers too. So they’re having to think about how to integrate these technologies both in-store and at headquarters too.

To find out more about the challenges retailers are facing, and what they really want from technology, LightSpeed (who create clever point of sale and ecommerce solutions for retailers), posed a few questions to their customers. The Lightspeed Annual Retail Tech Forecast 2014 (downloadable by clicking on the image below) from earlier this year polled 640 small to medium-sized businesses from across the globe about their retail technology buying habits, from clothing and apparel stores to home and garden retailers.

Download Lightspeed's Annual Retail Tech Forecast 2014

Download Lightspeed’s Annual Retail Tech Forecast 2014

The ultimate takeaway from the survey, it seems, is that retailers want “innovative inventory management and predictive analytics solutions above all else.” Of the biggest inventory challenges, keeping inventory stocked without over-ordering topped the list with 47% of respondents (single site, 35% multi-site location), salespeople’s lack of inventory knowledge in second (24%, 23%), then keeping checkout lines short (11%, 7%) and tracking inventory across stores (10%, 28%).

eCommerce and mobile technology forecasts

Being iPad nuts, we were particularly interested in seeing what impact mobile devices were having in-store, as POS or kiosk systems. According to the survey, 80% of those retailers who currently use mobile devices in-store report that they have increased sales, and apparently there’s a massive upward spike of uptake predicted by the end of 2014 too, with the percentage of retailers using tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices in-store expected to double.

You can check out the full lot of survey results by downloading LightSpeed’s Annual Retail Tech Forecast 2014 here, but we’ve picked out a few more choice cuts for you to skim over below…

– 43% of respondents want to improve the customer experience using mobile checkout; 34% want to improve mobile inventory lookup.

– 54% of retailers derive 1-10% of their total sales from eCommerce on the web.

– 38% of those retailers currently offer eCommerce, while 38% plan to offer eCommerce in the future (that’s a whopping 100% increase…).

Get your very own bespoke app

One of the best ways for retailers to get the most out of mobile tech is with a bespoke app, and we’re ideally placed to help. If, for example, you’re looking at getting your own app, and have salespeople out on the road and conducting meetings, we offer our free b7 app and iPad trial scheme, designed to improve field operations and make your team more productive and better equipped.

If you’re looking for something more specific to you, while also reducing costs, then talk to us about developing your own bespoke app. We recently worked with Welcome Furniture to develop their own custom app, and they’ve since seen a massive £130,000 saving per annum on logistics purely because of the app (check out the Welcome Furniture case study here).

Find out more about the b7 programme, and how we can help you get the most out of iPad, by giving our team a call on 03332 409 306 or emailing b7@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook


Interview: Apple Mac Pro one year on, with Sanjiv Sathiah

Interview: Apple Mac Pro one year on, with Sanjiv Sathiah

It’s hard to believe Apple’s Mac Pro is now a year old, having been first unveiled at last year’s WWDC. With the new Mac Pro now working its way onto desktops across the creative industries, we caught up with Sanjiv Sathiah, news editor at MacNN.com and Electronista (and devoted Apple fan!) to find out his thoughts on the mighty Mac Pro a year down the line, and why it still reminds him of a Sith Lord…

It’s been a while now since you originally reviewed the Mac Pro for Electronista/MacNN. Have your opinions changed at all?

“Like all Apple enthusiasts who first saw the new Mac Pro teased at last year’s WWDC, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on one. It radically reimagines workstation computing in a way that no one else but Apple could have delivered. I’m just as excited about it today as I was the day I saw it; it really is an amazing piece of technology.

“For me, it is an embodiment of the Apple design and engineering philosophy. If you look at previous Mac Pros, it’s like Apple just instantly jumped ahead a decade in terms of workstation design. It is the ultimate in refinement, stripping away everything that could be considered non-essential, leaving behind only exactly what is needed to power professional workflows right now.

“The new Mac Pro is a stripped down and lean machine, designed for both speed and heavy lifting. There is not a single component that could be considered a bottleneck, with optimal bandwidth a key consideration right throughout its system architecture. It really is a joy to use, and of course, it looks simply stunning.”

What’s the general reception been like with staff at Electronista/MacNN?

“Like me, I think everyone in the team loves what it has to offer the Apple power user. It is the most expandable Mac Pro yet, but at the same time it is just 1/8 the size of the previous generation and also manages to be substantially more powerful across the board. Some of the team miss the chassis space of the older model, but this was not always fully utilised by Mac Pro owners in the past.”

Has uptake among professionals and consumers matched your initial thoughts?

“I haven’t seen any official sales figures that break out Mac Pro sales on their own. However, Apple’s Mac revenue was up in the last quarter year-on-year by 5%, and it seems likely that the new Mac Pro played some role in that.

“The fact that it took Apple over six months for supply to catch up with demand shows that it has been hugely successful. Some of that was due to pent-up demand, no doubt, as a new model was overdue. But, it would seem that the wait was well and truly worth it.”

Are there any specific tasks that you think have seen the best performance uplifts since the upgrade?

“The new Mac Pro has incredible CPU, RAM, GPU, storage and connectivity bandwidth. Even the entry-level model fitted with quad-core Intel Xeon E5 CPU and dual-AMD FirePro D300 GPUs offers serious computing power.

“You have to remember that the new Mac Pro is optimised to utilise both the CPU in combination with the GPUs for computational processes in a number of OpenCL-compatible professional applications like Final Cut Pro among many others. The GPUs alone provide between 4-7 teraflops of processing power, depending on model configuration.

“Mac OS X’s support for OpenCL benefits users in all types of pro applications, including those using 3D intensive modelling CAD applications, through to realtime 4K movie editing, photo editing and music making. Scientific applications also benefit tremendously from the new Mac Pros. I use Logic Pro a lot and have enjoyed nothing but smooth sailing since upgrading to the Mac Pro myself.”

And have you seen any particularly clever Mac Pro setups or uses?

“I have seen one hooked up to six Thunderbolt displays, which was cool. The potential is definitely there for some incredible setups thanks to the six Thunderbolt 2 ports that Apple has built into the device. With the daisy-chaining capability of Thunderbolt, you could actually hook in another 30 Thunderbolt utilities in addition to the six Thunderbolt displays, which is pretty wild.”

What about that design? Still love it?

“Oh yeah; it is the coolest-looking computer I’ve seen in a long time. It reminds me of Darth Vader in the way that its case lifts away to reveal its inner workings. Very Sith indeed. I’m looking forward to seeing the same polished anodised Space Grey finish applied to some other products from Apple – perhaps it might appear on the rumoured MacBook Air redesign…?”

Are there any accessories you definitely recommend?

“Yes actually. While I can’t wait for Apple to release its own Thunderbolt 2 displays, LG has made an outstanding Thunderbolt 2-equipped QHD IPS UltraWide monitor. The 34UM95 is 34-inches on the diagonal and is packed with 3440×1440 pixels for a total of nearly 5 million pixels. It’s impressive and makes for a nice companion to the Mac Pro.”

What improvements, if any, could you see Apple still make to the Mac Pro?

“My list of grievances with the Mac Pro is very short. I simply wish that for all its incredible connectivity, Apple had included an SD card slot in the machine, even if people can still connect a camera to it over USB. Some users might have preferred six USB 3.0 slots and just four Thunderbolt 2 ports. Other than that, for me, it is absolutely perfect.

“I think Apple has ticked all the right boxes with the new Mac Pro. It is a bandwidth beast. If you need a machine that will crunch through processor intensive tasks, the Mac Pro exists for that very purpose. It’s perfect for prosumers too, who might do quite a bit of general computing as well. And although the AMD GPUs are optimised for parallel processing tasks, they still perform really well for a bit of Mac gaming in your downtime – each of the GPUs in even the entry-level model has more grunt than the latest Xbox One or PS4.”

So can you see Mac Pro on many Christmas lists this year?

“Absolutely. And the Jigsaw24 Mac Pro configurator is a great place to start when looking to build your dream machine!”

– You can read Sanjiv’s full review of the Mac Pro for Electronista/MacNN here.

Jigsaw24 Mac Pro configurator

Want to know more about Apple’s Mac Pro? Email sales@Jigsaw24.com or call 03332 409 306. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

ATTO release new firmware for HBA and RAID adaptors

ATTO release new firmware for HBA and RAID adaptors

This week, ATTO have unleashed a whole host of firmware updates and drivers for many of their 12Gb and 6Gb host bus adaptors (HBAs) and 6Gb RAID adaptors. To top it off, there’s also a new version of the ATTO ConfigTool.

The releases, which are all available to download from ATTO’s site now, include brand new features as well as general maintenance fixes. These include:

– Enhancements to RAID 50 and 60 capabilities. These RAID levels are now fully supported in 6Gb RAID adaptor hardware acceleration architecture with no additional software required. Users will now be able to create larger RAID groups with better performance and top-tier reliability.

– Several performance enhancements added across all product lines.

– General updates to improve overall operation and stability.

ATTO recommend that all users update their ExpressSAS products for optimum performance and reliability. Updated software and product release notes (PRNs) are available on the ATTO web download pages.

Want to know more about ATTO adaptors, interfaces and RAID controllers? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Update your Autodesk subscription and skip the late payment fee!

Update your Autodesk subscription and skip the late payment fee!

Autodesk have just announced that anyone who’s let their Maintenance Subscription contract expire, those on current releases who didn’t purchase a subscription at the time of release, can now pull their socks up and buy or renew their sub, and Autodesk will kindly waive the late payment fee.

From 7th August 2014 through to 31st October 2014, Autodesk customers with expired Maintenance Subscription contracts that are 31 to 364 days past expiration may renew their Maintenance Subscription and Autodesk will waive the traditional late fee. The offer applies to all Autodesk products (3ds Max, Maya, AutoCAD etc), including AutoCAD LT and the Autodesk LT portfolio of products.

With Autodesk upgrades soon to be a thing of the past, this is an ideal opportunity for anyone umm-ing and ahh-ing about re-subscribing to get back in the subscription saddle, keeping up with all the latest and greatest versions of their Autodesk software, and reap all the benefits that come with a Maintenance Subscription.

Tell me more about these benefits…

Autodesk Maintenance Subscriptions are the most cost-effective way to stay current and competitive in today’s market – as a subscription customer, you’ll continue to receive enhanced value and services, including automatic upgrades to new releases, cool new features in Autodesk Service Pack releases, support, flexible licensing and access to select additional Autodesk 360 cloud services.

The fact that as of 1st February 2015, Autodesk will be discontinuing upgrade purchase options for all non-current product versions should act as a stimulus to even the tardiest of folks too. If you’re reading this and don’t currently have an Autodesk subscription, here’s what you need to do.

Want us to quote you on upgrading and subscribing your Autodesk licences? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email autodesk@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and tips follow us on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Atomos create new HDMI pro video standard with triggering and timecode

Atomos create new HDMI pro video standard with triggering and timecode

SDI has long been the industry standard format for the professional video industry, but Atomos are challenging that with a new standard that looks set to finally bring some of SDI’s former advantages – auto triggering and timecode communication – to HDMI. 

As more and more new camera designs including Canon’s wildly popular 5D Mark II/III DSLRs, Nikon’s D800 and more recently Sony and Panasonic’s revolutionary 4K mirrorless cameras, start to use HDMI as the default connection, it was about time someone stepped up to bring its feature set in line with SDI. And Atomos were the ones to do it.

By implementing auto start/stop trigger and timecode over HDMI, users can now connect using HDMI and automatically trigger functions on external devices from the camera itself, just as with SDI. Their new HDMI cables also come with more tight fitting connections and coiled cable lengths that allow for less clutter on the tripod and less force pulling at the HDMI connection. Our only wish was that Atomos had followed the naming conventions of their fantastic Ninja, Samurai, Ronin and Shogun recorders (we’d particularly enjoy plugging in a ‘Shuriken’ cable…).

Creating an open standard for pro video

Jeromy Young, CEO and founder of Atomos, said Atomos were proud to be defining a new standard in such an established market place. “We love HDMI, but as it gets more popular on the camera side we need to help make it work in the pro world. Historically this has only been achieved in the tech industry by creating an open standard… which is what we’ve done.”

He added: “Initially we developed these cables purely to support the Ninja Star, our lightweight, pocket size ProRes recorder, but after consulting with our user base we soon discovered no one had yet developed a complete range of HDMI cables purely for pro video users in our space.”

Availability and pricing

Available from 15th August, the range of HDMI cables includes a right angled HDMI micro to micro/mini and full coiled cables in lengths of 30cm (45cm extended), HDMI mini to full and full HDMI to full HDMI connections in lengths of 30cm to 50cm (65cm extended). We’ll have full pricing up soon.

Want to know more about Atomos pro video hardware? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Free MSA or 25% off CINEMA 4D and BodyPaint 3D

Free MSA or 25% off CINEMA 4D and BodyPaint 3D

Maxon are now offering a free Maxon Service Agreement (MSA) with every new order of CINEMA 4D and BodyPaint 3D. Or upgrade your older software to the latest release, R15, with an MSA right now and you’ll save 25%.

Basically, there’s never been a better time to get yourself on the latest version of CINEMA 4D or BodyPaint, because as well as making sure you’re using the most up to date toolset, you’re getting a massive discount too. The full details on the deal from Maxon are below:

– Any full licence, multi-licences or sidegrades are discounted by the price of your respective MSA when an MSA is taken.

– Any upgrader gets an upgrade at a discount of 25% when taking an MSA.

– C4D Lite upgrades are also included in the deal.

What is an MSA?

A Maxon Service Agreement (MSA) is basically a subscription fee that entitles you to free software updates for 12 or 24 months depending on which contract you choose. For that time period any updates Maxon release for your software – from bug fixes to point releases to full new versions – are yours for free, and you don’t have to worry about finding the money to pay for upgrades throughout the year.

Any software licences covered by an MSA can also be installed on a second computer, so you can have Maxon on your office desktop and your laptop or home computer at no extra cost.

Maxon CINEMA 4D on Jigsaw24

Want to know more about Maxon CINEMA 4D? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Looking ahead to BETT 2015

Looking ahead to BETT 2015

It may seem like an age until 2015, but here at Jigsaw24 we’re already psyching ourselves up for our appearance at BETT 2015. With the speed this year’s gone so far, it won’t be long before the next show (21-24 January at Excel, London), is upon us.

BETT – the UK’s largest education expo – is often a pretty accurate bellwether of the biggest up and coming topics in education. Last year’s show, for example, saw crowds flocking to the stands that had 3D printers up and running to get a peek, vendors showing the latest interactive touchscreens – such as CTOUCH – being kept busy, plus continued interest in iPad and mobile device management (read more about our highlights from BETT 2014 here). We’ve since found that these are some of the topics we’ve been asked about most by customers.

This year at BETT 2015, you can bet it’s going to be another very interesting one for technology in education, what with a brand new curriculum that now includes computing as a subject instead of ICT, not to mention a brand new education minister coming in.

Register for BETT 2015

So why not be super-organised and register your interest for BETT 2015 right now? It’s one less thing to worry about next term! Just drop your details to the BETT organisers (social meadia-savvy educators can register via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+ too), then when the complimentary event badges are ready to register for, you’ll be contacted directly. Visit BETT’s registration page.

Want to know more about the latest technology trends for education? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333, email learning@Jigsaw24.com, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.