As Adobe launches its latest Photoshop and Premiere Elements editions for Windows &mdash still $99 each or $149 as a combo &mdash there was plenty of talk why it chose Blu-ray over HD DVD, and about the return of a low-end product for the Mac OS aimed to challenge iLife at a moment of vulnerability.
A version of Photoshop Elements will ship for Mac OS in "early 2008," says senior product manager Mark Dahm, who said that instead of an iPhoto-like album organizer similar to the one in the Windows version, a Mac PSE would have something like the Bridge application that comes with full-fledged Photoshop CS3.
More tantalizingly, a Premiere Elements for the Mac is not such a far-fetched idea, says Mike Iampetro, senior product manager for consumer video. Citing critical disappointment surrounding the latest, completely redesigned iMovie, Iampetro told me:
"With iMovie 08, there is a better opportunity for us on the Mac than ever before."
Iampetro also confirmed that only Blu-ray burning would be supported in Premiere Elements, because Adobe didn't think there was enough player support for HD DVD, or as many titles available for it.
But let's not let the politicking get in the way of today's improvements:
• Photomerge, in Photoshop Elements, lets you take multiple shots and combine them seamlessly. Panoramas and collages look great, but a smart feature lets you combine the best parts from different group shots for one perfect image. (See the three kid shots in the gallery: the third is a "best of" version of the other two.)
• Automatically generate an SWF Flash gallery for your photos, like the one in the gallery below: a simple tool lets you select how many birthday candles and what number should be on the cake. There are plenty of other super interactive themes like that.
• In Premiere Elements, there are now quick and easy movie themes that automatically shake up your clips and apply transitions and effects. All of that is editable once it's in place. You can also upload a song and the software will analyze its rhythm, snapping photos or clips to the nearest beat.
• In today's YouTube obsessed world, it would be weird if the announcement didn't include an easier way to upload video, and also use mobile devices to capture content, not to mention view and share it. [Adobe Consumer]