So what is it?
Content Studio is basically like iTunes on steroids. The software takes what iTunes (or any other media player) has done for the music industry and applies it to Revit Family libraries:
Instead of Genre, Artist, Album etc. you now get for instance; Category, Version, Author etc. which means you don't have to worry about which folder your files are stored in anymore, just add it all in there! You can search and filter by fields to find what you want in a single library with no folders and no fuss (all the usual search tools really).
The Single-user edition has recently been released for those who don't necessarily need a networked (shared) company library of Revit families (or want permission based quality control features).
I could go on here but there's a short 2 minute video on the www.cs4revit.co.uk home page which summaries the product much quicker than I can. You can also view it below on YouTube.
How does it work?
The application indexes any families you add into it including Type parameters and Type Catalogues. Revit families are added to a work in progress area where you can add more keywords, descriptions etc before submitting the files to the main library. In the Content Studio Multi-user edition, the main library is shared across a network and sits on the companies own file server. In the Content Studio Single-user edition, the library is stored locally in your documents.
The software is a standalone app but it also comes with a plug-in to integrate it with Revit 2011 and 2012.
There's a slick search pallet which is accessed from within Revit to make searching and using content extremely quick.
The software adopts a 'search once find all' policy by holding everything on one single library. In the pallet you search, select, then load. That's it, straight forward. Its a far cry from the current family load process in Revit; navigate the ribbon, click Load family, then browse the Company library for a family, then the Autodesk library, then the multitude of project specific libraries, load in the family, choose the type from the dropdown...
How long does it take to setup?
The software takes less than a few minutes to install and register. The next task is to add some content into the library. You can do this from your desktop, from projects, from the family editor, or if your feeling lazy there is an import tool. There are some pre-indexed libraries being built on the Content Studio website which allow you to get up and running with the software even quicker (although only Revit Architecture Metric is available at the moment).
A free trial is available from the Content Studio website for both the single-user and multi-user editions (and the file is around 40mb so doesn't take long to download).
Content Studio also has a blog site which contains news about new features and latest activity.
Check out the blog site here: www.cs4revit.blogspot.com
or the main website here: www.contentstudioltd.com
Go check it out.