Frame.io is a cloud-based collaboration platform that has become a popular choice for creative professionals in entertainment and advertising as well as large corporations. It touts the ability to integrate with post-production software such as Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects, allowing for real time commenting that is accurate to the frame.
However, some user reviews mention that using Frame.io can be confusing, its integrations are buggy, and upload times sluggish.
These shortcomings have sent creatives looking for alternatives to Frame.io that have similar features and possibly offer more. In this article, we’ll go through some of the popular options for remote team collaboration available today.
The shortcomings of Frame.io
In addition to the aforementioned drawbacks, creatives using Frame.io quickly learn that it doesn’t have every feature they really need in order to work together and communicate remotely. Most notably:
- Difficult to perform real-time edits when collaborating
- There is no audio/video conferencing available
- All files must be uploaded to the Frame.io server. While it boasts that 5GB uploads take less than 3 minutes, large batches of files can take longer; plus there is always a delay as everything has to be rendered or output in order to upload. Therefore, there is no real-time streaming of media.
- Maximum of 15 users (unless you pay for custom Enterprise version)
- No Android version
Here are a few other Frame.io alternatives that offer comparable options, while also giving users some of the additional features they’re looking for.
What is it: The only collaborative software that includes audio/video conferencing and is approved by all major studios.
- No hardware needed for most use cases; no uploading or downloading of media files necessary
- Communicate with your collaborators face-to-face as you review footage or files (ideal for remote teams)
- Integrate workflow with Adobe Premiere or any other creative software.
- Less than 150 ms latency for all participants
- Type or draw on screen
- Record sessions and make time-stamped notes
- Games, films, TV shows, web series, etc.
- Live camera feeds from set
- Creative discussions regarding scenes, music, casting, and more
Evercast has a leg up over Frame.io and other apps on this list because it’s a complete suite of tools that address every aspect of the remote collaboration process for one low monthly price. If you can’t be in the same room, Evercast is the next best thing (and, quite frankly, has many advantages over in-person collaboration).
Evercast means the director on location in Indonesia can chat with the production team back at the studio in Burbank. No need to book flights (or put on pants for that matter) to get everyone seeing and reacting to the live camera or rough cuts.
On top of it all, Evercast is built with security in mind (that’s one of the reasons why the studios love us), so you don’t have to worry about hackers or overzealous fanboys eavesdropping on your dailies.
- Our flagship product for all your real-time collaboration needs, starts at $749 per month (per virtual room). Special pricing packages are available for larger studios or teams.
The Creative Pro plan includes anytime support and is great for productions of almost any budget. Evercast has a Creative Pro Max plan for tent-poles or long-term use, and, on the other end of the spectrum, has a custom-tailored plan to suit any budget. Contact sales here for more information.
Final Word: No matter whether you are working on a multi-episode series, interactive game, or mid-budget thriller, Evercast is the complete solution for remote communication or collaboration. See and hear your team members as you all review the same media at the exact same time with no lag.
What is it: Remote collaboration and review platform. Wipster supports all types of media which must be uploaded to their server. Integrates with popular social media platforms.
- Track versions from first draft to final approval
- Comments are threaded for easy viewing
- Great for reviewing at 3a
Use cases: Giant conglomerates like NBCUniversal use it to make their approval workflow more efficient for short videos and ads.
Pricing: $99 year per person for Pro; $549/year/person for Business Essentials
Final Word: Wipster excels at allowing large groups of collaborators to comment and review media at their convenience. If you don’t need immediate feedback, this might work well for you.
What is it: A review/proofing platform designed for use by pharma companies and scientific pubs as well as enterprise and marketing agencies.
- All file types (audio, video, documents) supported
- Drag and drop
- Approval centralization
- Consistent workflows
Use cases: Giant corporations looking to streamline the approval process that involve many stakeholders. Those in science or biotech find the accountability features especially attractive.
Final word: Filestage is a good choice for the medical/scientific industries but not so useful for entertainment.
What is it: Cloud-based review and collaboration tool for HTML, PDFs, audio, and video.
- Compact review window
- Download files with notes
- White label
Use cases: Creative agencies looking for client feedback and approval on website designs using audio and video.
Pricing: A “forever free” tier gives you 100 mb of storage; tiered pricing/features start at $8/mo and go up to $50.
Final word: If you are designing a website, this could be handy and the free tier makes it worth a try. However, if you are editing/collaborating/communicating regarding film, TV, or games, this isn’t a good fit.
What is it: Formerly YouSendIt, Hightail is a review tool that lets people and agencies share and approve creative projects.
- Real-time conversations
- Side-by-side file comparison
- Task assignment and management
Use cases: Large government agencies looking to approve messaging and branding; also good for very small review projects.
Pricing: Hightail has a free plan with a 2GB storage limit; however real-time conversations don’t kick in until the $24/mo Team plan.
Final word: Organizations not used to creative collaborations may find Hightail a good way to learn.
What is it: Vimeo has expanded their offerings from video hosting to live streaming, subscriptions, and collaborations.
- Anyone can comment without an account
- Secure video file send
- Private links
Use cases: Creatives looking for a quick and easy way to get feedback.
Pricing: Collaboration is offered with Vimeo Pro at $20/mo; Business offers unlimited uploads for $50/mo; to add live streaming, you must upgrade to Premium at $75/mo.
Final word: Vimeo is a popular platform that rivals YouTube; if you are producing content for them, this may be a good choice.
What is it: Production tracking software for creative and digital agencies.
- Crew scheduling
- Track every step of production
- Process automation
- Review anywhere, anytime with a desktop browser or iPhone app
Use cases: Griffith Observatory used it to integrate scientific review and production of their latest 8K planetarium project.
Pricing: Shotgun has (literally) awesome plans, starting with Awesome (basic) at $30/user/mo, followed by Super Awesome at $50/user/mo, which claims to support video conferencing.
Final word: Shotgun has an impressive feature set but the sticker price makes it extremely expensive to support even a medium-sized film crew.
What is it: Cloud-based creative collaborative review software.
- Time-stamped notes on media files or documents like PDFs
- Side-by-side version comparisons
- Integrations with creative software like After Effects and Nuke Studio
- Selective sharing to specific teams or groups
Use cases: Enterprise organizations looking to streamline collaboration with farflung contributors.
Pricing: Lite (5 reviewers, 3 projects) $12/mo; Pro (15 reviewers, unlimited projects) $24/mo; Team (50 reviewers, unlimited projects) $99/mo; Company (unlimited everything) $299/mo.
Final word: LookAt looked promising at one point, but the fact that its blog and website haven’t been updated since 2017 gives us pause.
What is it: A review process and collaboration software platform they claim is used by studios, corporations, and classrooms.
- Shareable links
- Instant updates of comments
- Automated reminders
- Import from Vimeo, Dropbox, etc.
Use cases: Small projects looking to streamline approvals without a lot of hassle.
Pricing: Freelance ($19/month), Studio ($39/month), Agency ($99/month)
Final word: Vidhub could be a possible “no frills” contender for small agencies or freelancers, but it, too, seems to have been abandoned in terms of public updates by its creators around 2017.
What is it: Online proofing software for ad agencies, creative teams, and studios.
- Independent or live review sessions
- Combine files for review
- Assign comments as tasks
- Approval status tracking
Use cases: Ad agencies or creative teams with a lot of small digital assets that need batch approval.
Pricing: Pro $15/mo (1 user, unlimited guests), Team $56/mo (7 users), Studio $124/mo (20 users), Agency $240 (up to 50 users)
Final word: ReviewStudio seems promising for commenting on things like flyers, brochures, websites, PDFs, etc. but not so much for film production.
There are many competitors to Frame.io, offering similar features and pricing structures. However, only Evercast bundles everything you need in one software platform:
- Real-time audio/video streaming, video chat, and annotation
- Integrated workflow with any software (Avid, Premiere Pro, and any other)
- The ability to stream from live cameras on set
- No uploading or downloading media files
- <150 ms delay on average
If you are interested in integrating Evercast into your workflow, get a demo here.