Adobe to ship speedier Flash Media Server next year

Adobe Systems plans to release an upgrade of its Flash Media Server in the first quarter, the company said Thursday.

Flash Media Server 3, which streams multimedia content, such as videos, will be faster and make it harder to copy streaming media.

The company previewed the server on Thursday in Amsterdam at the IBC2007 conference for online media.

The media server will allow content producers to stream live video to Adobe Flash Lite 3, the version of the Flash for handheld devices that the company expects to be available by year's end.

The performance is expected to be nearly … Read more

Microsoft and Novell move in together or, how open source helps the also-ran

It's getting to the point that Microsoft and Novell just need to get married and stop shamming the "dating dance." I'm referring, of course, to the announcement today that the two companies are formalizing "a collaboration between Microsoft and Novell with the explicit purpose of bringing Silverlight to Linux and do this in a fully supported way.

What "fully supported" means is a question that Mary Jo Foley asks, and does a good job of answering. (She also points out that this collaboration/development has been much stronger than Novell and Microsoft have been telling us.)

But the most interesting take is Tim O'Reilly's:… Read more

Oh goody: Neutral density filter for Lightroom

In general, I like Adobe Lightroom and the whole-image editing philosophy that it employs--it puts a bit more emphasis on photography and less on diddling endlessly with images on the computer. I don't feel a powerful desire for Photoshop's ability to apply lots of different changes to lots of different sections of an image.

But one feature I'd like to see is the equivalent of a split neutral density filter that could ratchet down exposure for one patch of an image while leaving the rest unaltered. It's particularly useful for sunset shots, where photographers typically have … Read more

Adobe hires a passel of brainiacs

Adobe Systems has hired Shai Avidan, co-developer of a technology to dynamically resize photos in a way that preserves the more important areas of the image, and a couple of other researchers as well.

Avidan's presentation this month at the Siggraph computer graphics show and the accompanying video has ignited a frenzy of chatter from Slashdot, TechCrunch and elsewhere. I first heard about it last week from the blog of Adobe Photoshop Senior Product Manager John Nack, who also brought word of the new hire Wednesday.

Avidan began work at Adobe Monday. Another new hire is Wojciech Matusik, who'… Read more

Adobe: No DNG turf war with JPEG XR

Update 5:15 p.m. PDT Friday: Adobe requested minor adjustments to quotations, and I obliged.

Adobe Systems' Digital Negative (DNG) format isn't a competitor to JPEG XR, a format Microsoft created as a higher-end replacement for conventional JPEG, an Adobe executive has predicted.

"I wouldn't label the two formats as competitive," said Tom Hogarty, product manager for Photoshop Lightroom, in an e-mail interview. He believes that not only is the case now, but more significantly, will be the case in the future as well.

DNG is Adobe's attempt to standardize the profusion of proprietary &… Read more

Inside Adobe's AIR bus (and AIR applications)

BOSTON--As marketing gimmicks go, this one is pretty good: put a bunch of coders and tech evangelists on tour bus once used by The Who and Def Leppard and send them on a cross-country road trip.

That's just what Adobe Systems has done with its AIR Bus Tour, which visited Boston last Friday.

Ten employees of Adobe will making three two-week trips to tout Adobe Integrated Runtime, or AIR, Adobe's software for running Web applications on desktop PCs.

At the Boston event on Friday, Adobe rich-Internet application evangelist Ryan Stewart (and ZDNet blogger) showed off a number of … Read more

Adobe releases RawShooter migration tool

Adobe Labs has released a tool to let customers of the RawShooter software convert image-editing settings to equivalents in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.

The RawShooter conversion tool is a free download and works on Windows systems. However, because the two programs operate differently when it comes to features such as noise reduction, tone curves and color balance, images won't necessarily appear the same, Adobe cautioned.

RawShooter, software used to convert unprocessed "raw" images from higher-end digital cameras into more portable formats such as JPEG, was discontinued after Adobe bought its producer, Pixmantec, in 2006.

Photoshop Senior Product Manager … Read more

A defense of my Adobe-bashing

Note: For readers of this blog, below is the response I posted to a gripe from Adobe Systems' John Dowdell about an earlier blog posting of mine.

As the author of both the headline and the blog, I'm glad you took the time to write down your thoughts, not just curse me inwardly, because it affords me the opportunity to offer the following response. It is, as the blogosphere cliche goes, a conversation.

The headline is perhaps a bit snarky, but I don't think it's wholly inaccurate. John Loiacono took pains to point out the flaws of … Read more

Coming to a Flash video near you: high definition

Adobe Systems intends to add support for a video compression standard that will bring high-definition video to Flash-based streaming content on the Web.

The company on Tuesday announced the release of a beta version of its Flash Player, code-named Moviestar, that adds support for H.264, the video compression portion of the MPEG 4 standard.

The updated Flash Player also will be able to take advantage of hardware acceleration in most PCs' graphics cards and is optimized for dual-core processors, said Mark Randall, chief strategist for dynamic media at Adobe. It will support HE-AAC version 2, a more efficient audio compression standard that is also part of MPEG 4.

The new features will be made available in the fall as part of an update to Flash Player 9.

Support for the H.264 standard will lead to more Web video content being available in high definition, Randall said. He said Adobe chose to support the standard now because it is being adopted more by content producers and media distributors like cable companies. It also used in DVD formats Blu-Ray and Hi-DVD.… Read more