FireCore, LLC, founded in 2007, is a leader in creating home entertainment solutions for a wide range of Mac, Apple TV, and iOS based devices. These products allow users to get the most from their hardware by providing an elegant, user-friendly way to enjoy existing media while at the same time fostering the discovery of new content.
FireCore was working on incorporating new features into the development of its aTV Flash player to align with the release of the new Apple TV 2G. Demand from current users for a new player was high. In particular, users requested support for multimedia formats like MKV, AVI, and MPG, as well as support for remote AFP and SMB shares to enable use of the Apple TV with NAS drives minus the reliance on another workstation running iTunes. The company was operating on tight timelines to meet customer availability for the 2011 holiday season. To ensure the product would meet the release schedule, James Abeler, FireCore's Director of Business Development decided to seek outside assistance to augment the company's development capacity.
FireCore needed a team of experienced iOS engineers with the ability to integrate with the company's current development staff with a minimal learning curve. After learning about Mercury Development's deep custom software development expertise and extensive multimedia experience and capabilities, Abeler made the decision to test their talents.
Mercury Development's first step was to quickly perform a detailed review of the aTV Flash Player code to understand the solution's current state. Extensive testing and review confirmed the high quality of the original code, but Mercury Development discovered areas that warranted improvement, including playback engine optimization to increase FPS and add support for supplementary formats. The company created a detailed report outlining these opportunities for upgrading the software. Proactively, Mercury Development also suggested features worth consideration for future releases. Abeler, impressed with the comprehensive nature of the report and Mercury Development's dedication and commitment, selected the company for the project.
“Mercury's involvement in the project was invaluable. We had a firm deadline to meet and needed to complete a specific set of features without sacrificing quality. Mercury's systematic approach, detailed project management process, and superb communication ensured that we were able to exceed our already high standards. Amazing job!“
Mercury Development assigned its best architects and engineers to assist FireCore in constructing a lightweight, yet scalable architecture to serve as a foundation for future player updates and enable continuous in-house maintenance. The Mercury Development staff worked closely with FireCore's in-house team, maintaining consistent communication via efficient issue tracking and project management tools throughout the partnership to maximize opportunities for collaboration.
During the multiple stages of the project, Mercury Development kept a sharp eye on key metrics, including effective FPS, memory footprint, CPU usage, and overall resource utilization efficiency, to perfect the solution. Of particular note was Mercury Development's focus on maintaining the API of the existing playback engine to reduce the modifications required for its integration.
FireCore's newly optimized, lightweight architecture was a tremendous success. The modifications implemented by Mercury Development and the FireCore team resulted in exceptional playback quality, improved ease of use, and several valuable supplemental features. The application was completed in time for holiday shoppers, resulting in increased sales and thousands of satisfied customers worldwide.
FireCore is committed to delivering powerful, yet easy to use, media center software for users of Apple products. By working with a highly skilled and exceptionally reliable partner like Mercury Development, the company was able to deliver its signature quality software on time and within budget.