Automatic Cinema aims at an artistic audience. The software can be used for exhibitions or installations, where a variety of media are served on various screens and channels – syncronized or not. Since all media assets are stored in a database, Automatic Cinema is also useful for documentarists and researchers with a structural approach to their material. And last but not least, Automatic Cinema is open source and can be developed by anybody.
Instead of cutting a bunch of videoclips the hard way, Automatic Cinema generates countless versions based upon predefined styles. Probably, you'll end up seeing a movie you've never been thinking of — serendipity in it's best way.
Data Server, Playback Server, Player, Controller: Automatic Cinema is a modular, distributed set of applications. It does not matter how large an installation is or how many screens you're trying to serve: The parts communicate over the network. Of course, you can run all parts on a single computer too. Each player synchronizes the media from the server and keeps a cached copy. This reduces the used bandwith on the network, distributes cpu loads and makes room for accurate triggering.
Currently, Automatic Cinema supports video, audio, images and text.
Once the system is set up, managing content is a simple task just by dragging and dropping files into the browser. Controlling the show is done in the same place, by setting time and style. Every story needs a start – this can be done by setting a narrative "target". Once a show is running, all channels are restarted when changing a parameter.
Compared to conventional movies, Automatic Cinema follow a different notion of time. Time is not used to generate a show of a specific length. Automatic Cinema shows always run forever. Time is only used to interpolate a value over a certain duration. Most parameters accept an initial and end value.