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A New Mobile Experience from latakoo Flight After months of development and testing, latakoo delivers the best version yet of Flight for the iPhone.  Inside the new latakoo Flight for iPhone, you will find a whole new set of useful … Continue reading

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Don’t be a Donkey and Other tips for NAB

latakoo is heading to Vegas, baby!

latakoo is heading to NAB.

By Mark Mensh

I avoid industry conferences. They are largely a waste of time and money with lots of sales pitches and very little real information. The one exception to this is NAB. Compared to every other industry conference I’ve attended, it’s shockingly productive for both attendees and vendors. Instead of attempting to understand this anomaly, I’d like to offer a handful of tips for those of you attending to get the most out of it.

Calendar: This is the most important thing. Prior to the show, you should make it a point to reach your most important vendors or customers and get on their schedule. Have an agenda for the meeting and be sure the right people on both sides are available.

Pro Tip: With so many people arriving from time zones around the world, it is an inescapable probability that somebody’s calendar will be messed up and your 9am meeting on Tuesday will be a noon meeting on their calendar. To mitigate the amount this happens, be sure and include with all of your communications actual text that states the time. For example: Discussion on project status in Avid Booth at 10AM Las Vegas Time on Wednesday. We’re using Calendly for scheduling appointments this year. We’ll let you know how it goes.

Pro Tip #2: The last day of the show is usually slow. For attendees, it’s a great time to visit otherwise busy booths and get the vendor’s undivided attention.

Clothing: I have strong opinions on this but will restrict myself to only one item: shoes. It’s the most important item in your wardrobe. If you’re in a booth, you’re standing for 9 or 10 hours/day. If you’re not, then you’re walking miles on hard floors and standing for much of that. Chairs and tables are expenses for vendors and there are never enough. This is not the time to try out a new pair of shoes.

Pro Tip: If you’ve got an old pair of proven walkers, then shine them up and pack them. Our CEO, Paul Adrian always wears his cowboy boots, but they’re not new. It’s the Texan in him and he says boots are made for walking. Me, I’ll stick to the old brown shoes. 

Lucky and the boots

The latakoo schnauzer, Lucky, keeping watch over Paul’s boots.

Food: There is a never-ending supply of excellent food in Vegas, but it’s not your job to eat all of it. NAB is a marathon, not a sprint. Pace yourself. If you know you’ve got a big vendor dinner at night at a terrific restaurant, go easy on lunch.

Pro Tip: It’s easy at a good show to run out of time for lunch. As a vendor, I can tell you that I’m not going to miss talking to a customer for an exhibition hall hamburger. Pack a snack for the exhibitor hall that will give you enough energy so you can skip lunch if you have to.

Water: This is simple. Always keep water handy. It’s astonishing how easy it is to get dehydrated at the show. Remember, you’re in the desert. Yeah. Vegas, baby.

Pro Tip for Vendors: If you keep a cooler or fridge filled with bottled water, your customers will thank you. It’s thoughtful, useful and makes your booth a welcome respite from the rigors of the floor.

Networking: Behind all the announcements, press releases, seminars, keynotes and new product rollouts are people. Year in and year out, the success of your efforts at NAB rely on what happens with the people you meet. Here are some basics to make the most of that:

  • Business cards. Bring plenty. Give one to everyone you meet.
  • Take notes. You may have 7 or 8 meaningful conversations in a day filled with technology minutiae and you will not remember it. We use several note taking apps. Here’s a list of some of the better notes apps. Going old school ain’t bad either: pen and paper still works in a jam.
  • Be genuine. Treat everyone with equal respect. Staring at someone’s nametag to determine if they’re important enough to talk to makes you a…

Don't be a donkey

…not a donkey. 

Don’t be a…

Don't be a donkey

…again, not a donkey.

  • Be considerate of other people’s time. If you have a 30-minute meeting, you may go for 31 minutes, but not 40. Everyone’s busy. Get the information you need and if there’s follow up to be done, do it after the show.
  • Make introductions. This is a chance to meet and thank the engineer who made your product work or the product manager who expedited the feature your CTO requested.

Pro Tip: Always consider what you can do for the person you’re meeting; not just what they can do for you. Even if it doesn’t profit you, offer to be of help. This is in the “just do good at every opportunity” category, but I can assure you that it comes back to you in the best ways.

“If you don’t want to be there, then don’t go. Cynicism is a turn off and enthusiasm is contagious.” — Laura Lyster-Mensh

Pro Tip #2: This one comes from my bride who’s attended even more conferences than me. If you don’t want to be there, then don’t go. People can tell. Cynicism is a turn off and enthusiasm is contagious.

Finally, we need to address a persistent local myth you’ll undoubtedly hear at NAB 2016. “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” If you’re heading to NAB with this refrain in your head, then be advised: “Nothing stays in Vegas.” And yes, strange things happen. Cameras work in Las Vegas, phones work in Las Vegas and tongues wag in Las Vegas. Ad to that the fact that you’re surrounded by people who work with you, buy from you or sell to you. If you’re planning to get into mischief during your week at NAB, then don’t be surprised if that legacy haunts you for the next ten years. Or, to quote my wife “Honey, what happens in Vegas, better not happen in Vegas.” Not sure if this is the same as “You know why!”

Pro Tip: Take a book. I’m currently reading three: “Unfinished Business: the Life and Times of Danny Gatton,” by Ralph Heibutzki, “Influence” by Robert Cialdini, “Stranger in a Strange Land” by Robert Heinlein (re-reading this one). Paul is reading “All the Light We Cannot See,” by Anthony Doerr and “Gathering Prey,” by John Sandford.

(Mark Mensh is latakoo’s Vice President of Sales. He’s attended NAB seven times in the last ten years. He would love to meet you at NAB. He and Paul Adrian will be in Avid’s booth SU902. Please reach out to Mark or Paul if you would like to connect.)

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Managing Big Groups Made Simple

We know managing a big account in any system can be real time killer. We’re changing that by building better administration tools into latakoo. Group-based permissions make latakoo administration for large accounts almost as simple as the latakoo Flight app. Just drag, drop and go.

The latakoo team took a major step on July 21, 2015, by beginning the transition to a new administration system. Hopefully, the main thing you noticed was that some of the colors changed slightly on the latakoo website.  While the new admin code impacts almost every facet of the website, the goal of this initial roll out was to get it up and running on the Live site without causing any negative impact.

It is possible that you may see some funkiness with the system  as we complete the transition. Please let us know if you spot anything that impacts your normal latakoo functions by sending us an email at

This new administration system fundamentally changes the way latakoo permits users to access content. Previously, latakoo granted individual access permissions to each content network in the system.  This works fine for small groups, but some latakoo customers granted access permissions to more than a thousand users for just one network. That is difficult to manage.

The new admin system no longer predominately grants network access to one user at a time. Instead, it will grant people membership to an organizational group, and it is the organizational groups that will get access permissions to the networks.  This way adding a person to an organizational group will instantly give them access to every content network that grants the organization access.  Deleting a user from that organizational group will immediately and simultaneously remove the individual’s access from every one of those networks.


The new admin tool is specifically designed to make it easier to manage your latakoo account regardless of the size of your organization.  From one user sharing video with clients to thousands of users in a corporation who need to share content with each other, latakoo’s new admin system will simplify the managing of your account.

There are many more details coming regarding this system upgrade and what it means for you, which we will share with you over the next few days.  Most importantly, the latakoo team will work with each of our customer organizations during this transition to the new system to get your admin system setup perfectly to support your workflow. You will be hearing from us soon. If you want to get started immediately, feel free to give us a nudge.

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latakoo Flight 5.1.1 release

We’re pleased to announce the immediate release of the latest version of our Flight application for Windows and Mac computers. Click here to download.

Because this release contains a large number of fixes and workflow improvements, we recommend that you upgrade as soon as possible, from all previous versions. Downloads, uploads on poor Internet connections, handling of filenames with non-Latin character sets, and audio synching are all significantly improved. Windows users will see improved transcoding to DV 25 and DV 50 formats. Finally, we fixed an issue with uploading certain kinds of XDCAM MXF files.

We’ve also added the ability to transcode between resolutions. That means that if you’ve uploaded an HD video clip, but need it in an SD format, you can download it straight from the website. We’ll handle the formatting for you, so you can get editing faster.

Click here to download the latest version.

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Teaming Up: latakoo and University of Texas

It’s nice to get a mention in The Sparefoot Blog. And, congratulations to Sparefoot on the “best places to work” status. The Austin based startup is making noise in a lot of ways these days. Sparefoot is the HomeAway for storage units and they just made it on a list of best places to work – a list that specifically considered only young companies.

The Sparefoot Blog recently took a look at how the University of Texas is rooting for young entrepreneurs and new technology, including latakoo.

In 2010, the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) opened their New Venture Incubator to sponsor research and development in their labs, expand incubation activities that build regional commercialization, and partner with growing businesses. Dozens of startups are part of this system, including latakoo. As one of these companies currently in the New Venture Incubator, latakoo has received investment from the UT System Horizon Fund to aid in the development of the company. This investment is aiding further development of data compression and encryption technology for use in video applications that latakoo is known for, and continues to fund development in faculty labs.

Despite a slowing economy, UT and UTSA continue to keep their research spending strong and show no sign of slowing down. This means more and more of the products and services we will see in the future will be the result of these collaborations and investments in companies like ours.

You can read the article in its entirety here and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter here!

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latakoo’s Video Stitching Simplifies Transfer From Video Capture Cards

latakoo is pleased to release our patent pending process that enables video files created from P2 and SD cards and other recording media to be transferred over the Internet and stitched together in the cloud according to time code.  Latakoo app 4.3.1, now available after login on the latakoo site, contains a number of improvements and bug fixes. Please make sure to upgrade your latakoo app now. 

Video stitching
Video stitching, video grouping, or the concatenation of related files usually happens on a timeline in an editing suite. From the SD card or the P2 card, most people are forced to move the files into an editing program, stitch portions together, export a new file, then transfer that file over the Internet. latakoo now gives video professionals the ability to drag, drop, and send fast with one-click compression. On the receiving end, latakoo can deliver the original files and stitched files.

How Stitching Works: 
When two or more videos are added to the latakoo app, a toggle switch appears that shows Grouping OFF.  In order to group the videos together as a single file on the server, the user would toggle the switch to “Grouping On.”

  • Grouping can be achieved with related or unrelated files.
  • Related files will have the option to stitch based on time code.
  • No Enhanced Upload available with grouping at this time.
  • For grouping, the selection drop downs for Networks and Bitrates for each video will always match anytime a change is made to any video in the queue.

Other Improvements & Additions:

  • XDCAM 50 HD / MXF (OP1a) transcode with timecode
  • DVCPro 50 SD / MXF (OP1a) transcode with timecode
  • Updated Proxy link on dialogue box to more prominent blue to resemble an active link.
  • Added Software Terms of Service agreement to installer.

Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed the naming convention for download/transcode.  Download /transcode will now name the file to Filename_koo_timestamp.ext to prevent the file from being overwritten by the app if the video with the same name and extension are downloaded twice.
  • Improved handling of loss of Internet connection during file uploads for both Standard and Enhanced uploads.
  • Fixed DVCProHD transcode for source videos with variable frame-rates.
  • Fixed MXF audio mapping for videos with non-standard video / audio sequencing.
  • Corrected aspect ratio for certain MXF transcodes that would show incorrectly as 4:3 even though the video was 16:9.


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latakoo app release 4.2: now we’re flying

I’m incredibly proud of the work the whole team has put into latakoo app 4.2, and in particular Joe Pelayo, who has led its development. This is a big step towards fulfilling our mission of making large file transfers as fast and easy as possible.

In addition to the fast video transfers that we’ve always provided, here’s what latakoo subscribers can expect to see in the latest version:

Added timecode copy support. The app will now maintain the source video timecode track and transfer to the final encoded MP4 video file.

You can now send your videos without compression. The app will now allow the user to select No Compression which will bypass the video encoding. The original video file will be uploaded, with its existing codec and container format (and file size). The unaltered video will be available for download from the latakoo website.

The app will upload to the default network if the user does not select a network. The app will also display the name of the default network selection in the drop down even if no networks are selected. As a fail-safe, the app will upload to the first assigned network if no default network is assigned in the user’s account. No more rogue uploads to users’ private spaces instead of their company hot folders.

On top of that, there are countless other improvements to video encoding, transfer and upload speed. The new latakoo app is available now.

Not yet a latakoo subscriber but need to send video fast? Check out our plans.

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Punching above your weight

I wrote about the experience of working for latakoo over on Quora:

The engineers reading this will know there’s a lot involved in that description. (Did I mention our app comes for Windows, Mac, iPhone and iPad?) And believe me, from obtuse enterprise firewalls to hilarious video codec / wrapper interactions, we encountered it all. At latakoo, any one of us is often debugging TCP round-trip times with satellite modems in Afghanistan and designing HTML5 video player wrappers in the same afternoon.

It works. Just today, a journalist told us: “I’m going to name my first child latakoo”. Hey, we’ll take it. In fact, we get a ton of compliments, and we’ve been able to be useful in hurricanes, political conventions, sporting events, conferences … you name it. If someone calls us and asks us for help, we’re usually up for the challenge.

You can read the whole post over here. If you like it, don’t forget to upvote! Don’t forget, you can always follow us on Twitter here.

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Making enterprise software that people can actually use

Software is opinionated. This is natural: it’s made by real people, who have opinions, to tackle problems that they think they can solve using a particular line of thought. All of the best software packages – from Lotus 1-2-3 all the way down to Gmail and node.js – have been created with a strong opinion about how their particular problems should be solved.

The same goes for latakoo. Here are some opinions that we had while we were building it: Moving video is too hard. You shouldn’t have to post your content publicly to host it in the cloud. Web applications are the future of user interface design. Video professionals deserve better management tools.

Here’s another opinion: Enterprise software shouldn’t try and radically change the way people work.

“What?!” might be a developer’s reply. “Then how are we supposed to innovate?”

Here’s the thing, though. Enterprise organizations are large, and immediately changing their existing workflows often carries with it a massive real cost, on top of the price you’re charging for your service. That comes in training, support and maintenance, even when you’re dealing with a cloud application where they don’t have to actually install anything on their servers. If their workflow is essential to the running of their organization – which is a smart place to start when you’re building an enterprise software business – then any loss of productivity along it will put them at risk. No manager will agree to that.

So, you need to look at those workflows and augment them. You’re finding ways to supercharge those workflows, not replace them with something that you consider to be more efficient. For one thing, remember, you’re opinionated: no developer is an objective source. But for another, you’ll never understand the intricacies of their business as well as they do.

An example: at latakoo, we let people send video fast using our desktop and mobile apps, and then manage it privately using our web service. But some of our enterprise customers already have their own, sometimes very costly, media management solutions. We could make a case for replacing those solutions entirely. latakoo’s features would certainly support that. But it’s more meaningful for those customers to use the fast sending app, and synchronize their video from latakoo’s infrastructure to their own, automatically.

Of course, we chose to support this. So our enterprise customers can request that video is sent to their existing infrastructure on upload via tools like rsync, SFTP, Signiant, and so on. Over time, some of them may wish to migrate to using our web service – and we still keep a copy of their video there, so it’s always available to them. This turns out to be really useful for television journalists out in the field, who need to access old video but don’t have a secure connection to their company’s servers. It’s also good for when content companies wish to accept or collaborate on video with outside contributors without having to create local accounts for them. In these situations, latakoo acts as a kind of DMZ, and it works well. But there’s no need for those customers to use these features if they don’t need them.

The result is that latakoo enterprise customers often see a 9x return on investment, through time savings while using both the app and the web-based management service where appropriate, and their own tools and infrastructure when they need to. We’re opinionated developers, and our opinion was, we can make better video management software. But our opinion that software should be useful from day one rode out. And that meant reigning ourselves in, and understanding that the customer knows more about how they work than we do.

Words by Ben Werdmuller. 

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latakoo Releases New Desktop App: Version 4.0

latakoo Video Desktop Tool (4.0) is now available for download.

latakoo is happy to announce the release of its latest desktop video tool for both Mac and Windows OS. This update provides bug fixes from the current 3.3.2 release along with a few additional enhancements, which includes an upgraded upload process and the availability to download HD video using the XDCAM HD 422 format. Here is a more detailed description of the new features:

latakooing: Simultaneous Encode/Upload (Beta)

latakoo has added a feature that replaces the standard encode first then upload process with a revolutionary enhanced upload. This upload that we call latakooing can dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes to transfer a video up to the cloud. Performance rates will vary depending on computer CPU processing power, bandwidth and original file type, but tests have shown the total time to process video can be reduced by as much as 40% over the standard encode and upload process.

To enable the new enhanced option, simply click the Options button to go to the Options section, and then select the Use Enhanced Upload checkbox. Click OK to return to the main screen. You can then add or drag and drop videos to you queue and process them as with the previous apps. The only difference that you will notice is that instead of having a progress bar for Encoding and then Uploading, you will only see a single progress bar that shows the total percentage until completion. Once the bar reaches 100% you are done.

Note: The Enhanced Upload is still in a beta mode so use at your own discretion. The process is currently limited to video with a single-track and 2 track audio, but 2 track audio will be mixed to a single track with the left and right channel containing track one and track two respectively. Audio tracks beyond the second track are not processed. In addition, P2 video files are currently not supported. The full support of multi-track audio and P2 video files will be available in the next release of the tool. The use of the Enhanced Mode is available for Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7, and Mac OSX 10.6.8 or above.

Download XDCAM HD 422 Files on

The XDCAM HD 422 download option is now available for 720 and 1080 video resolutions. As with the other download options on the latakoo site, this feature is available from the video page. Select the ‘Choose Other Format’ from the dropdown selection and then click the XDCAM HD 422 selection. The tool will automatically open with your selection in the queue. Simply click the Start button to begin the transfer.

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