Home audio for the minimalists: 3 pedestal sound bars compared

Pedestal-style sound bars are the latest evolution in the simplification of home audio. Instead of placing a long sound bar in front of your TV, pedestal sound bars are designed to sit under your TV, for a cleaner look with considerably less clutter. It's by far the easiest way to improve on the sound of your TV with the least intrusion on your living room decor.

The trade-off is that these systems generally don't sound quite as good as traditional sound bars, largely because they lack a separate subwoofer to handle the low end. It's yet another … Read more

Flash deconstructed

If you've ever watched a Flash video and wished that you could save either images or audio from it, Fortop SWF Resources Extractor is the program for you. This intuitive tool makes it easy extract both image and audio files from SWF files, whether you're dealing with a professional presentation or just goofy cat videos.

The program's interface is attractive and intuitive, with graphical buttons representing its major features. Users simply load the SWF file they want to work with, either by navigating to the file or dragging and dropping it into the program's interface, and … Read more

Adobe releases Creative Suite 4

Adobe released details Monday about Creative Suite 4, its first update to more than a dozen design and editing tools since Adobe CS3 some 17 months ago.

The costs of the applications, set to reach consumers in October, haven't changed since CS3, but remain hefty. Should longtime users upgrade?

Of course that depends on the specific tools you need. However, we suspect that only the most well-heeled will jump at the chance, as CS4 shares the majority of tools with its predecessor. Perhaps more dramatic, life-changing alterations will come with the next Creative Suite. That said, time-saving tweaks to … Read more

Adobe's online CS3 tutorials receive more than 5 million plays

So you got yourself some Adobe CS3 products, but you're still trying to get your workspace organized or iron out your cross-product workflow or how to use the Puppet tool in After Effects? Apparently lots of other people are in the same position according to a case study from EffectiveUI, developers of Adobe's online Video Workshop application built using Adobe Flex. The tutorials have seen more than 5 million plays over its first year.

The video tutorials cover 22 of Adobe's products including all the CS3 components and span 47 topics. The information comes from product experts … Read more

Adobe shuttering in-house stock photo service

Adobe Creative Suite users will soon have to turn to other Web-based or local stock photography services to get their stock photo fix.

Adobe on Monday quietly announced the end of its stock photography service. The Stock Photos service has been a part of the popular Creative Suite since the introduction of Adobe Bridge in version 2. The cutoff date is March 31st, giving users a little less than two more months to use the service to acquire legal shots to use in design work.

According to Adobe's FAQ on the matter, the company is getting out of the … Read more

Adobe refurbishes Photoshop, Premiere Elements

Update: Contrary to what Adobe initially said, Premiere Elements doesn't support HD DVD output after all. Sorry for the confusion.

Adobe Systems updated its hobbyist-oriented Elements family on Monday, grafting in some new DNA from Photoshop CS3 and Lightroom into Photoshop Elements 6 and giving Premiere Elements 4 a direct connection to YouTube.

Both the Elements family members, which cost $99 individually or $149 together, sport a new dark interface that resembles Lightroom, Apple Aperture and several other applications that set off images and videos more smartly than the usual Windows software. Less superficially, they also get Lightroom's … Read more

Is a single-size serving of CS3 worth it?

The math is incontrovertible: at $2,500, Adobe's Creative Suite 3 Master Collection non-upgrade is extremely expensive. However, once you start looking at the cost of the individual pieces of the suite, getting more than two of the major components--say, Photoshop and Illustrator--on their own isn't cost effective, either.

Just those two applications together cost $1,600 for their non-upgrade editions, and that same chunk of change will get you the CS3 Web Premium, which contains Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, Dreamweaver, Acrobat Pro and all the little ancillary apps that Adobe has been giving away.

But let's say you're only interested in editing photos, or you think your copy of Illustrator CS2 will work just fine with Flash CS3, but you need that Flash upgrade? Is there more going on than a new palette layout? Let's break down Adobe's powerhouse gestalt and take a look at the more popular parts that make up the whole: Photoshop for image manipulating and printing, Illustrator for drawing, Flash for animating, and Dreamweaver for designing Web pages.

Read more

Adobe completes Creative Suite 3

Adobe is shipping the final two editions of its Creative Suite 3 today, rounding off the first updates to its digital design software since a merger with Macromedia less than two years ago. Both the Adobe CS3 Production Premium and Master Collection (more here) are available for purchase immediately online.

At $1,699, Production Premium CS3 includes upgrades of Premiere video editing and AfterEffects post-production software. In addition, the $2,499 Adobe Master Collection includes 17 applications that encompass the creation of film, video, audio, Web and mobile content. The Adobe CS3 applications run on Windows in addition to Intel-based … Read more

Adobe updating raw-image converter for CS3

Adobe plans this week to update Photoshop's plug-in for importing and editing raw images from higher-end digital cameras, adding support for several new digital SLR cameras and improving noise-reduction and sharpening tools. Raw images are taken directly from a camera's image sensor without any in-camera processing, preserving more detail but requiring processing by a person into a more portable format such as JPEG; raw support is typically only available on higher-end cameras.

But the new version 4.1 of the Adobe Camera Raw plug-in tool works only with Photoshop CS3, the San Jose, Calif.-based company's brand-new … Read more