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Canto – a new look

Canto – a new look

Canto – a new look

Today, Jack McGannon, CEO of Canto, announced that, moving forward Canto will now refer not only to the company name but also to their SaaS digital asset management product formerly know as “Flight by Canto” or “Flight”.

We believe it’s an exciting change that will simplify the user experience – by keeping the product and company name as one.

Your trusted digital asset management software you rely on to manage your organisation’s modern media/ image library will offer the same great benefits.

Active customer accounts will shift from companyname.cantoflight.com to companyname.canto.com. You may start to login today to your new shorter .canto.com URL. Please note that both URLs will work in parallel during a transition period.  A series of notifications will be given in advance, prior to sunsetting the cantoflight.com access in the coming months.

Let us know if you have any questions or comments info@databasics.com.au

MA16 | Museums Australasia 2016 Recap

MA16 | Museums Australasia 2016 Recap

MA16 | Museums Australasia 2016 Recap

Museums Australasia 2016 Conference or MA16: Facing the Future: Local, Global and Pacific Possibilities – was the first joint conference between Museums Australia and Museums Aotearoa. Crossing cultures and disciplines, the conference program covered events, tours and activities with a strong emphasis on the cultures of the Asia-Pacific region. Ricky Patten was there and his recap looks at the overriding theme of the conference: museums and galleries fulfilling two roles in society – history and storytelling, storage and preservation.

Museums: storage place of history/culture versus instigator/place for creating future cultures

These two roles do not necessarily resonate with people whose culture provides the collection material. Sometimes the role of museums and even the very establishment of museums is seen to suppress indigenous cultures and to be a colonial process to enforce the conversion of First Peoples to the colonial culture.

The result is a tension between museums as the storage place of history and culture versus their role as instigators and a place for creating future cultures as explored in the two keynote speakers on Day 1.

Keynote: Moana Jackson: Context – the evolving story of Te Tiriti o Waitangi
Keynote: David Garneau: From Colonial trophy case to non-Colonial keeping-house

Part of this is the belief that museums themselves are the knowledgeable authority as opposed to the elders of the indigenous community having a wealth of knowledge that surpasses that of the museum. This is often characterised by the authorities on indigenous culture consulting with the elders of the indigenous community, as opposed to going directly to that community and having the elders provide their own knowledge.

It is therefore of great significance that museums take careful consideration of the collection objects/treasured objects/mana taonga held within the museum/house of treasures/whare taonga and how connections are made to the broader community. For many there is an outstanding issue of returning taonga to the community/wharenui, as within the museum/whare taonga, the mana taonga are sterile.

Digital future

The plenary sessions discussed the future focus and sustainability for museums. Digital transformation versus archival repository – to better place themselves within the community many museums have taken up an open policy of making their collections widely available.  Digitisation assists with this policy and complements direct access to the objects for purposes of research and community interaction.

Digitisation and providing open access needs to be considered in the light of the cost of provisioning such a resource. If this activity can be done at a low cost it is likely to be sustainable, as unfortunately there is little sponsorship available from governments.

In the Day 2 Keynote The Ten Thousand Year Museum, Elizabeth Merritt considered what preservation and interpretation could mean across millennia and within the context of shifting institutional culture.


Community within the museum

There needs to be a more diverse workforce within museums and galleries to reflect the spectrum of the community.

Leadership needs to be collaborative, with fair representation from the community to determine the role of the organisation within the community, and how the collection can best be leveraged for the purposes of the community. The attitudes and processes plus associated skills of museum staff in light of their roles in the interactions with the community needs to be examined.

What needs to be accomplished by the museum to make their collection accessible and what skill sets do they require to achieve this goal? What is the role of cultural heritage organisations and research?

In light of the source of knowledge coming from the community rather than museum based authorities, should research be the domain of the community and facilitated by the infrastructure provided by the museum? Indigenous knowledge of the collection items is often persistent whereas institutionalised research is generally the reclamation of old knowledge.


Funding cuts

Cuts of government funding will be a major challenge for Australian institutions as they will still have expectations placed upon them and limited funds to respond. Survival will be based upon the ability to work with what’s available. In these times of great challenge, it is important to pay more rigorous attention to generosity. The collection must survive as a resource for the community.

Place of the indigenous community

Interpretation is a defining quality of an indigenous culture. It needs to be carefully understood in the cultural context of the community and yet allow the culture to retain a modern context, within an environment affected by many strong influences.

Education will inevitably be the key – interpretation is a communication process and if interpretation is effective, then education can occur about the subject. Formal education will allow the indigenous person to gain power and influence. However, to retain content of the indigenous culture as the secret language of white privilege implicitly denies the heritage of the indigenous people.

Indigenous culture and heritage is what separates yet identifies many of the participants of the conference. Specifically ex-British colonial countries need to hold true to their indigenous culture to retain a unique identity.

Central theme of relevance

With the continued pressure for financial support, new models of planning of events needs to be considered. A focus on the collection and the local knowledge that is embodied in the collection needs to be retained, rather than taking on large spectacles that have little meaning to the organisation itself and will not bring people back after the event is completed.

Museums and galleries need to see the opportunity in collection exchanges rather than hoarding the collection. Curators need to have broad knowledge of their community as a source of collection items and to be researchers of local knowledge from the field. A balance between the collection activities of an organisation and front of house activities needs to be achieved.

What can a museum or gallery achieve that others cannot do?
• Build collections and making them accessible.
• Build on the uniqueness of the collection.

The final Plenary on Future possibilities and leading the journey, asked the audience to consider What’s your prediction for the future of our sector ? and What do we need to equip ourselves for the journey.


The conference was a great experience and I learnt much from the many speakers and colleagues alike. Overall there was a great feeling of optimism and vitality.

Many of the challenges facing cultural heritage organisations were already understood and the conference allowed for them to be voiced in a communal discussion and thus be recognised. From this process I believe that many solutions to the challenges museums face have their genesis at this conference and will stand them in good stead for future growth in the broader public community.

Thanks to the conference organisers who have worked hard to make the whole event come together.


Images courtesy of Pixabay and Adobe Stock.

See also:

Museums & Galleries of NSW – Michael Rolfe‘s wrap-up.

Vernon Systems  Paul Rowe‘s post-conference notes.


DAVS for Audiovisual Playback

DAVS for Audiovisual Playback

DAVS for Audiovisual Playback

What is DAVS?

cinemaDataBasics Audio Video Solution (DAVS) is a Cumulus add-on or plugin. With DAVS, a customer can upload any audiovisual file into Cumulus and it will be converted to a format that will play in the Cumulus web apps such as Sites, Web Client and Portals.

This may seem to be a simple definition of what most customers would want. What if you have more complex needs, which is almost always the case? Below are some of the questions we have been asked by users wanting to extend the AV experience in Cumulus.

Possible Extensions for DAVS

    • Video trimming between predefined time periods, such as start at 23 seconds and stop at 3 minutes and 12 seconds
    • Overlaying of the final with a watermark which may show branding or to cover areas not to be seen
    • Converting the aspect ratio as some cameras work in a specific ratio and the desired outcome is for all video to be of a standard ratio
    • Convert pixel dimensions to achieve network-friendly overall size of the video to conserve bandwidth 
    • Removing audio track
    • Adding pre/post roll
    • Providing transcoded versions for download
    • Integration with CDN delivery platforms for global distribution.

DAVS is available as a low cost add-on to the Roboflow automation tool to provide basic functionality, i.e. play in web portal front ends. However, DataBasics Professional Services team is happy to consult with you to determine your desired outcome and deliver a solution to match.


Cumulus iOS Mobile App

Cumulus iOS Mobile App

Cumulus iOS Mobile App

Cumulus on any iOS device

Packaged with the new Cumulus X comes a brand new iOS Mobile app. Built from the ground up, it is designed to match the modern feel of the Cumulus Portals interface for public access, and with the same powerful functionality.

The application gives the user all the read and write functionality of the desktop application whilst mobile. You can upload, download, comment on your assets, search, crop and share your assets, all on your mobile devices.

The Mobile App can also be branded to your organisation’s specifications, allowing for a slick personalised experience for you and your clients. Download it from the App Store – search for Cumulus Mobile App to get the latest version.

Find out more – call us on 1300 886 238 (in Australia) or email info@databasics.com.au

Canto Cumulus 10.1 with InDesign Client

Canto Cumulus 10.1 with InDesign Client

Canto Cumulus 10.1 with InDesign Client

Look at what you can do

The Cumulus InDesign Client is engineered to save time and streamline workflows. Multiply the time spent by many designers and many complex documents across the organisation, and we’re talking about tremendous savings.

  • Search, preview, access and work with assets catalogued in Cumulus, directly from within InDesign
  • Connect to as many Cumulus catalogs as you like
  • Check-out documents and check them back in when updated
  • See only the content that you have permission to access
  • Customise the metadata fields you want to see, via Record View Sets
  • Write back metadata to Cumulus, from within InDesign (with permissions).

Images placed into your InDesign layout are stored as individual assets in Cumulus when the .indd file is added to Cumulus. No relinking of assets is necessary when colleagues later open the file. Cumulus handles it all. It includes four InDesign panels that you can customise as you would any standard InDesign panel, eg resizing and repositioning, then saving the arrangement.

Find out more in Canto’s blog and in their Press release.

That’s not all!

The new InDesign Client allows you to drag and drop assets from Cumulus into your project, using Cumulus panels in InDesign.

  • The “Add to Cumulus” button lets you save your work directly into the DAM – without leaving InDesign
  • Cumulus catalogs the entire layout, single pages, and embedded assets as records
  • PDFs generated are stored as related assets of the source .indd document.

Focus on creativity while Cumulus handles assets linking, variants and versioning. Browse through your content housed in Cumulus directly from a native InDesign palette. It supports both Windows and Mac versions of Adobe InDesign CC2015 and CS6.