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1. Summary

Accessing the right information at the right time is central to creative production. DF Studio has zeroed in on this concept in this development cycle, and, in the upcoming weeks, will be releasing a software update filled with several in-demand feature sets. Its core focus is to expedite workflow by providing more relevant information at first glance, streamlining metadata writing, and simplifying content publishing.

This season’s update contains a new Approvals interface that displays assets’ approval status using unique color-coded overlays. In conjunction with a comprehensive History tab, users will be able to see instantly whether an image has been approved or killed, used in a Messenger, and/or published. Information about who performed each action and when it occurred is also readily available in this new History tab.

To streamline workflows by keeping vital information close at hand, a new feature called “Edit Metadata Terms” has been added. This powerful tool allows users to enter keywords, names, or Project information that will appear as options when editing in type-ahead metadata fields. Importing metadata using a .CSV file is also possible with this latest release.

Last, but certainly not least, DF Studio has created an Asset Publishing tool that seamlessly pushes content to clients’ WordPress sites. Asset Publishing can not only help track assets and their usage histories, but will also save countless hours of downloading, uploading, and retagging metadata for published assets.

All together, these exciting new features add up to a more versatile, convenient, and easy-to-use product. Please read on for more details about DF Studio’s latest and greatest offerings.

2. Approvals User Interface (UI)

The Approvals User Interface (UI) is a great way to track the status of approvals effortlessly. It features a convenient color-coded overlay on all assets that have been included in Approval Messengers.  A green overlay is used to illustrate approved assets, yellow indicates assets in the pending state (signifying that at least one recipient has not yet approved or killed the asset), and red serves to inform that the asset has been killed. Users can also filter by approval status using the “Feature” dropdown menu above the DF Studio workspace.

Further information regarding asset approvals can be found in the Inspector panel. Whenever a selected asset has been sent out for approval, recipients of Approval Messengers containing that asset will be listed by name or email address. Beside each recipient is a colored circle that indicates whether he/she has approved (green) or killed (red) the asset, or has not yet reached a decision (yellow). The date when each recipient closed his/her Messenger is also recorded here.

The Approvals UI can be easily toggled on and off: to remove the background colors on images, click the thumbs up/thumbs icon to the right of the bottom toolbar. Information about approval status will remain in the Inspector even if the UI has been turned off.

3. Enhancements to Metadata

Edit Metadata Terms: Editing Metadata Terms in DF Studio empowers accounts to control the metadata vocabulary used in any Project, folder, or entire Library. Values entered into the “Edit Metadata Terms” panel for any Library item will be accessible in that item’s metadata editor via type-ahead functionality. Effectively, this puts an end to typing the same information for each individual file: no more manually tagging thousands of files individually. This feature has many useful applications: it prevents mismatching information, misspellings, and typos, and saves editors hours of valuable time on each editing project.

Import CSV file: Any .CSV file with columns for metadata fields can now be directly imported to DF Studio and mapped to the appropriate files and fields. For editors used to copying and pasting metadata from a spreadsheet into DF Studio, this affords a much faster and more streamlined workflow. In conjunction with DF Studio’s Export As Text feature, this new import option presents an easy, convenient way to update file metadata by batch: simply export metadata to a .CSV, find and replace as desired, and re-upload the file to import the updated metadata. When using this new import feature, be sure to include all file names in the .CSV document.

New Cast and Talent Field: There is a newly added cast and talent field in DF Studio’s default metadata template.

Find in Project: Users can now search for files within a single Project. Find in Project allows searching by term as well as creating a custom search. A custom search finds results from one particular field, but multiple fields can be searched within the same query for maximum accuracy.

4. Inspector Updates

This release debuts a completely refreshed Inspector panel designed to present comprehensive asset information in a contextual, easily navigable way. It is broken down into 4 tabs: Info, History, Metadata, and Conversations. The Inspector is dynamic, with data and actions that change based on the selection.

Info: The info tab contains basic information about a selected asset (or group of assets), including name, Project, and file size(s). Below this is a menu of available actions based on the current selection. This section also includes sections for Approval Status and Usage.

History: The history tab provides a convenient breakdown of any major activity a selected file has undergone. For easy reference, the History tab contains a timeline of when each action occurred, with disclosures for changes made this week, last week, or earlier.

Metadata: The Metadata tab brings the entire metadata editor directly to the Inspector panel. Utilize this new feature by tagging or editing up to thousands of files at once without losing navigation or context.

Conversations: A newly updated Conversations tab conveniently lists and tracks all comments DF Studio users and Messenger recipients have made on files. Multiple conversations can be associated with an asset; to keep information organized and readable, conversations are presented chronologically and easily expand or collapse. Conversations and comments on an asset can be seen in all viewing modes under the Conversations tab, whenever that asset is selected.

5. Asset Publishing

Asset Publishing enables DF Studio users to send assets to their remote WordPress site automatically, without the added steps of downloading and re-uploading the files. This process also maintains a publishing history for each asset. Asset Publishing is ideal for organizations that manage images within DF Studio, but need to share images with a team or department that already uses WordPress.

This new capability represents a big step toward integrating DF Studio’s asset management features with clients’ external workflows. Users can select assets to be published, choose to send masters or customize image size and watermarking, and publish assets directly to WordPress without leaving DF Studio. These activities are recorded in DF Studio’s audit log for tracking, and are visible in the History tab. More detailed information about published assets can be found in the Publish tab.

After installing a plug-in for an account’s WordPress site, DF Studio users can easily incorporate Asset Publishing into their workflows. The integration can be accessed from any Project or Collection by simply clicking the “Publish” button in the bottom toolbar. Or, select specific assets from a Project or Collection and click “Publish”.  An account administrator can set up and oversee their account’s WordPress integration. Please contact DF Studio support to configure Asset Publishing for your Enterprise account.

6. Other Enhancements

  • A “New” panel in the lower left-hand corner of the application replaces the separate “New Project”, “New Collection,” and “New Folder” buttons. Hovering over the panel will display options for creating each of these items.
  • The “Bin” is now located beside the “New” panel.
  • The Publish tab has replaced the Web tab and offers additional functionality. The tab now shows details about published assets as well as Portfolios.
  • DF Studio now uses Amazon Web Services’ KMS (Key Management Service) to keep user credentials secure for all accounts using WordPress integration.

7. Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a bug that hid the “Text Export” button when a single image was selected.
  • Increased the maximum file size of the web uploader from 50GB to 200GB.
  • Removed an error message when adding more than 50 items to the metadata keywords field.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented sorting in the User and Teams list; currently, the list is sorted by last name.
  • Fixed a download issue in Messengers that would cause unselected file types to download.
  • Optimized drag and drop functionality in the Arrange in Collection/Messenger feature in Chrome.
  • Fixed an issue that allowed users to select a single asset multiple times when holding down the shift key.
  • The “Add to Collection” button now displays when a single asset is selected in search results.
  • Fixed a syncing issue between the bookmark in the Inspector and the bookmark on an asset during the initial bookmarking.
  • The “Viewing Preferences” button now displays correctly in Firefox.
  • Turning off the badging preference now removes the badge filter bar.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented Users from downloading the transcoded video files that DF Studio creates.