Software

Adobe Posts Its First Billion-Dollar Quarter

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Great news for those who rely on Adobe software... according the Associated Press:

"The software maker Adobe posted quarterly earnings on Monday that exceeded analyst expectations and provided a rosy outlook.The company’s shares rose as much as 5.7 percent, to $30.85, in extended trading, after closing at $29.19 in the regular session."

To put this in perspective, "adjusted earnings were 56 cents a share in the latest quarter, surpassing the average forecast of 52 cents a share among analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters. Revenue rose33 percent to $1.01 billion from $757 million last year. It was Adobe’s first billion-dollar quarter."

Here's the whole story –
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/21/technology/21adobe.html?_r=1&src=tptw#

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Free Windows Media Encoder


Windows Media Encoder is dead... In it's place is the Expression Encoder 4. There's a ton of new features, but the biggest for me is that it finally recognizes QuickTime files. If you are on a Mac, you'll need to run it under VMWare or BootCamp. But it's a free application (with a more advanced version for free). Be sure to check it out —
http://www.microsoft.com/expression/products/Encoder4_Overview.aspx

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Safari 5 is Released

While the iPhone announcement got most of the press today, Apple also released Safari version 5 today. Here are the highlights of the new version:

  • 30 percent performance boost over Safari 4
  • Addition of Bing to the Google and Yahoo! options.
  • Addition of Reader option for websites with news articles. Just click the Reader icon in the Smart Address Field to display the entire article for clear, uninterrupted reading with options to enlarge, print or send via email.


  • Runs JavaScript 30 percent faster than Safari 4, three percent faster than Chrome 5.0, and over twice as fast as Firefox 3.6.
  • Full screen playback and closed captions for HTML5 video

Safari 5 is available for Mac and Windows as a free download at www.apple.com/safari.
The Safari Developer Program is free to join at
developer.apple.com/programs/safari.

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New Podcast Featured on iTunes



Our new podcast, Video Made on a Mac, is in the New and Notable section of iTunes.

Richard Harrington and Robbie Carman show you how to create professional video on the Mac. In this series, they share videos and project files using real world examples in Final Cut Studio and Adobe Creative Suite. From pre-production to post, and accomplishing it all within a tight schedule, this podcast series gives you a sample of what you can learn using their book, Video Made on the a Mac.

Be sure to visit the site to get the
free downloadable files or order the book. Be sure to use the code VMMBOOK at checkout to receive a discount.

The new podcast is brought to you by the fine folks at Peachpit Press.
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Scott Kelby's Holiday Gift Guide is Great


Noted author Scott Kelby has released his annual gift guide. What’s great about the list is that there are some really cool tools on there for photogs and even hobbyists. It’s nothing but the coolest photography and Photoshop gear.

“Since many of you are new to the gear guide, I wanted to let you know how I make my picks each year, and why I think it’s different than most other guides you’ll find out there these days. Put simply, every item in here is stuff I actually use, it’s stuff I’m crazy about, and now it’s become stuff I can’t live without (which is sad, in a way), and it’s the same stuff I recommend to my friends (well, my friends with room on their Visa cards).”

I agree with several of his picks, already using things like the Hoodman Loupe and Boda Bag myself. Be sure to check it out.
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Photoshop CS4 – Video Improvements



Richard Harrington shows you how to size pictures for video and work with video files in Photoshop CS4 .

Want the videos in HD?  Then check out our
iTunes version.
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Want to Win Photoshop CS4 or Other Cool Prizes?

So... we’ve been running a contest to win free stuff (we’ll be drawing in late November).

So far we’ve got three copies of
Adobe Photoshop, an assortment of Joby Gorillapods, and copies of Nik Software and Digital Anarchy plug-ins.

Cool right? Its easy to win (and your chances are very good). Simply watch the videos at
CSFour.com or any of our embedded players.

With each video you’ll see a pencil shaped button. Click it to take a short (and I mean :45 seconds or less) survey.

You can take a survey one time only, that’s one time per video. Each survey counts as one entry. This means you have up to 15 chances to win prizes.

What are you waiting for? Free stuff is pretty cool.

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Photoshop CS4 – Adobe Output Module




Richard Harrington shows you how to use the Adobe output module in Bridge CS4 to make websites, PDF slideshows and web galleries of your images. This technology is slick and easy to use.

Want the videos in HD?  Then check out our iTunes version.
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Cool Video Prodution Widgets for Your iPhone or Laptop

I often find I have too much information to remember (and for some reason people expect me to be able to spout pixel aspect ratio numbers like a multiplication table). Fortunately the fine folks over at Digital Rebellion has solved this (and for free). They offer several video widgets that do important math, these run on a web browser or iPhone (and a couple can run offline as well).


Video Footage Calculator – Calculates how much storage you'll need for your footage type and duration.
WebiPhone versionOffline version

Film Rate Calculator – Determines how much film you need for a particular scenario.
WebiPhone versionOffline version

Aspect Ratio Calculator –
Determines the aspect ratio for different footage formats.
WebiPhone version

Depth of Field Calculator – Calculates depth of field for many camera sensors.
WebiPhone version

Pixel Aspect Ratio Calculator – Determines relationship of Pixels for many digital formats.
WebiPhone version

Lens Angle Calculator – Helps calculate the lens angle for a given sensor size and focal length.
WebiPhone version

Power Load Calculator – Calculates the load on a circuit to see if it is excessive. You can also calculate the minimum circuit breaker size for the given load.
WebiPhone version

These tools are cool, free, and useful.... three points that make them a must have for my iPhone.


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Analyze Video Files on a Mac with Video Spec

Looking for a useful application to tell you more about your video files? Mac users should check out the free (and still in pre-release) Video Spec software tool. The tool is a little rough around the edges (it has one major bug which is the aspect ratio of DV and HDV is not reported accurately) but it is still truly useful.

• The latest version has been tested on Mac OS X Tiger and Leopard.
• It is compatible with PowerPC and Intel Mac (Universal Binary).
• This version is localized in english and french.


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The Mac OS X 10.5.3 Update – What it Means to Media Folks.

I know a lot of folks who are hesitant to upgrade.... I admit, I've been burned by installing updates as soon as they come out... but hey, that's why I'm an early adopter. The latest Mac update looks to include several important bug fixes and enhancements. Here's a few that tip the scale in favor of installing.

  • Addresses an issue with stuttering video and audio playback in certain USB devices.
  • Fixes an issue in which certain attached hard drives may not show up in the Finder.
  • Includes additional RAW image support for several cameras.
  • Improves 802.1X behavior and reliability.
  • Improves reliability when using Time Capsule.
  • Fixes reliability issues with authenticated RSS feeds.
  • Addresses compatibility issues with Aperture 2.
  • Addresses reliability issues when performing a full restore from a Time Machine backup.

You can access the update through your Apple Menu.... I’ve been running it for several days and all seems happy. Additionally, several new pro digital cameras were added for Raw support.



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Soundbooth Beta Open to Public from Adobe


Adobe Soundbooth is a great tool to fix everyday audio problems and production workflows. It works well for video or Flash workflows and is built around a fairly intuitive set of task-based tools. Adobe is giving its customers a chance to play with Soundbooth CS4. If you are already a CS3 owner, the beta works until after CS4 is released. If you don't own CS3.... then it only works for 48 hours.

Here are some of the core features worth checking out:
  • Arranging audio files on multiple tracks
  • Making quick edits and applying fades
  • Matching volume levels with a single command
  • Removing unwanted noises and background sounds
  • Adjusting tempo and pitch
  • Recording and polishing voice-overs
  • Adding effects and filters
  • Previewing MP3 compression quality
  • Easily creating customized music — without musical expertise
  • With the new Adobe Sound Document file format you can take “snapshots” of your work-in-progress and undo changes made to your audio assets.



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Get Photos from Aperture to Final Cut Pro

Sometimes third-party plug-ins fill obvious holes... this is truly the case here. Wouldn't it make sense to be able to quickly send photos from Apple Aperture to Final Cut Pro? You'd think that sort of thing would be built right in (its not). Fortunately the fine folks over at Connected Flow over an elegant (and free) solution.

“The Aperture to Final Cut Pro plugin lets you take your images stored in Apple's professional photo management application and send them directly to a video sequence in Final Cut Pro. From within Aperture, you can select photos, set their order and duration and select transitions between frames.”

The Aperture to Final Cut Pro plugin is a
free download and is provided on an as-is basis.


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Two More Classes on Kelby Training


Two more of my classes are now online at Kelby Training.

Photoshop for Video - Working With Photos
Richard Harrington uncovers techniques essential for video editors who are working with Photos in Photoshop. He shares his best practices for working with graphic and still images in a video environment.

Photoshop for Video - Technical Essentials
Join Adobe Certified Trainer Richard Harrington, as he uncovers the Technical Essentials of Adobe Photoshop CS3 for video professionals and enthusiasts.

You can access all the classes online for only $19.99 per month (besides mine there's a ton of great stuff up there).


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Troubleshooting Apple Compressor

A lot of folks use Apple's Compressor to create podcast video files. That is when its running. I use Compressor all the time and think its a great application that harnesses the power of Apple hardware and software... but it can be a bit buggy.

Apple has posted a useful article on what to do when Compressor isn't starting up properly or performing normally.They offer basic troubleshooting steps to remedy the situation. This is the right place to start if you are attempting to to submit a batch and you see the following message:
Unable to submit to queue. Please restart your computer or verify your Compressor installation is correct.

Check out the whole article here.



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Adobe Updates Device Central

Adobe offers a great application called Device Central as part of their Creative Suite bundles. The application makes it easy to test graphics, Flash, and video content and simulated mobile phones and other devices. Adobe just published another update that adds support for more phones and devices.

You'll need to log on with your Adobe ID (they're free). This is important to check out for mobile content creators.
If you are not familiar with Device Central, be sure to
check out this overview.


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New Plugins for Broader DVCPRO HD and P2 Support

This is just awesome, Calibrated Software has a bunch of new plug-ins on tap that make it possible to work with MXF and DVCPRO HD codecs. This will streamline P2 workflow for both Mac and Windows users, as well as make it easier to move DVCPRO HD material to a PC. I promise a detailed review soon. The codecs cost $49 each. Here's the info.

QuickTime P2 MXF/DVCProHD Decode Components for Apple
For playing P2 MXF Files and QuickTime DVCProHD Files on Mac OSX (Intel) and importing native P2 MXF Files into Final Cut Pro Studio 2 Applications (see Read Me)
Please note: The P2 MXF plugin has NOT been tested in long form projects in FCP Studio 2 Applications and the DVCProHD Codec should NOT be installed if the Apple DVCProHD Codec is already installed.
Download BETA 1.0.0 (Build 18) for OSX 10.4 (Tiger) - Intel Only
Download BETA 1.0.0 (Build 18) for OSX 10.5 (Leopard) - Intel Only
Download Read Me
Download License Agreement


QuickTime P2 MXF/DVCProHD Decode Components for Windows
For playing P2 MXF Files and QuickTime DVCProHD Files on Windows (see Read Me)

Download BETA 1.0.0 (Build 18) for Windows
Download Read Me
Download License Agreement


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Apple Updates QuickTIme

Lot of bugs lately with QuickTime (especially in pro video applications). We've personally seen issues in both Final Cut Pro and After Effects.

Apple has released a new update to QuickTime... lets hope it's elusive “improves compatibility with third-party applications” actually means something.
Visit
http://www.apple.com/support/quicktime/ for more information.


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