Before we can discuss how to make the most of BlackBerry’s rich media capabilities, it’s important to have a firm understanding of what rich media is and how it’s characterized. We'll start with an explanation of what it is exactly, and then go on to cover what you can do with the Plasmic Content Developer's Kit.
The term “rich media” is used to describe a wide array of digital interactive media, which can be downloaded or embedded into a web page. If the content can be downloaded, it can also be utilized offline with various media players, such as Microsoft Media Player, Real Networks' RealPlayer, and Apple's QuickTime, among others.
The single most defining characteristic of rich media content is its dynamic motion, which can either occur over time or as a direct result of user interaction. Examples of this “dynamic motion” include streaming newscasts, which occur over time, and webcasts that include a synchronized slide show, which require user interaction.
Obviously, rich media content is also increasingly associated with handheld devices. Understanding how to utilize BlackBerry’s rich media content features will enable developers to create interactive themes, mobile web sites, graphics, splash screens, and other animated content that can be optimized for specific use on BlackBerry devices.
Now that we’ve got the specifics of rich media covered, we can discuss what exactly BlackBerry offers its developers in terms of rich media capabilities. Developers will surely be glad to hear that it’s a lot.
BlackBerry’s Plazmic Content Developer’s Kit
The Plazmic Content Developer’s Kit is a free suite of graphics design tools offered by BlackBerry. These tools enable both designers and developers to create mobile web sites, interactive themes, splash screens, and graphics, among other content. Even more impressive, the suite of tools also assists developers in creating custom themes and multimedia content.
BlackBerry’s kit also includes utilities that assist in the conversion of various file formats into a format that can be optimized for delivery and use on handheld devices. BlackBerry’s smartphone simulator also comes into play here, as it allows developers to test and debug their themes, animations, graphics, and other rich media content before they distribute these apps to other devices.
The Plazmic Content Kit includes a theme builder, which enables developers to design custom BlackBerry themes; it also comes equipped with a composer, which is an illustration and animation tool used for designing SVG content. Let’s discuss some of the specifics concerning these two very important features, which give developers the opportunity to create cutting edge, unique rich media content for their BlackBerry apps.