At a launch event last month, New York post house Nice Shoes unveiled Nice Spots, a web-based digital approval and archival system intended to offer ad agencies and the commercials production industry a simple way to store and send media. "It's an application that can be used to streamline the approval process through every step of production and post," says Nice Shoes director of new media services John DiMaggio. "And when commercials are finished, a master-quality file is put on a server for online access." Since Nice Spots is web-based, "The only software you need to run it are standard web plug-ins for QuickTime, Macromedia Flash and Shockwave," says DiMaggio. "And there are no startup costs; it's pay-as-you-use." Nice Spots aims to eliminate some of the most common problems encountered by agencies, editors and clients across the industry. "You won't have to make tons of dubs at the end of a session that have to be shipped all over the world, which are viewed once and thrown away," says DiMaggio. "People can access the material instantly." And with a suite of tools centered on an all-purpose online viewer dubbed Nice View, users can access QuickTime files of spots in progress, go through them frame by frame and leave comments for others to read. "It works like an internet message board. Multiple people can be logged onto the system at once, leaving their opinions on specific frames or scenes. If somebody's shooting a commercial in L.A. and needs comments from people in New York and London, and they can't set up a conference call because of the time differences, they can all leave feedback for each other to read at their convenience." Moreover, finding spots via the Nice Spots interface, says lead programmer Scott Treude, "is similar to a standard e-mail system that you'd have on a Mac or PC, so people will immediately feel comfortable using it."