More news from kuler (kuler.adobe.com), an Adobe web-hosted application for exploring, creating and sharing color harmonies. A new version of kuler desktop is now available, to accompany the official release of AIR , the Adobe development platform to deploy rich Internet applications to the desktop. The Emerging Creative Technologies (ECT) team at Adobe is excited to support the AIR development platform and to extend the current kuler functionality of RSS feeds.
New features include (Feature Guide below:
Browse color themes from the kuler website while offline (up to 100 themes cached per feed)
Drag and drop themes onto your own desktop as transparent “tear offs,” which can be scaled and viewed over any application
Access themes from Mykuler (must be signed in)
Download themes as ASE (Adobe Swatch Exchange) files directly from the kuler desktop (must be signed in)
New RSS feed “Random”
Moving forward, as additional functionality becomes available in the AIR platform, new features will be added to the kuler desktop.
Adobe AIR just went 1.0. As the official Adobe spokesperson for AIR in Canada, I’ve been busy doing over/interviews with journalists across the country in preparation for the AIR launch.. and it’s finally here!
With the announcement, Adobe also added to the already impressive list of customers (eBay, AOL, FedEx, Nasdaq, SAP to name a few). Newcomers include The New York Times, BBC, and Deutsche Bank. Pretty darn impressive for a 1.0 product (whatever happened to waiting for the first service pack, or a 1.1 update??)
Also, Adobe Flex 3, the free open source framework for RIA development, moved from beta to production.. so all in all, a super exciting time to be at Adobe (or to be an Adobe customer)!
Have you checked out MTV Remix yet? The site lets users produce their own music videos for various artists using on a collection of video clips, graphics, transitions, etc. The tunes are courtesy of the musicians, the graphics are probably courtesy of MTV, but the technology is all Adobe. The Remix site is actually one rendition of several online of Adobe Premiere Express.
If you’re interested in checking out a live online seminar on the topic, there’s one happening on February 27th – go to the Adobe event registration page for more information.
Here is some more detail from the invite:
Join us to learn how entertainment and media companies such as MTV, YouTube, and Photobucket are generating more advertising revenue and creating fun, interactive user experiences on the web with Premiere Express, Adobe’s popular online video editing application. With Adobe® Premiere® Express, anyone can make videos that rock in minutes.
Let your site’s users reorder, split, and trim video clips; add music, transitions, and titles; and then make it all their own with a mix of favorite photos, graphics, and animation. Adobe Premiere Express is an easy-to-use, Flash-based, cross-platform application that gives users the ability to mash up and remix user-generated, professionally produced, and branded content, while extending advertising and sponsorship opportunities and keeping your audience engaged longer and returning more often through contests, promotions, viral campaigns, and more.
This eSeminar will feature a guest speaker from MTV Networks to discuss how Premiere Express is used for their remix.mtv.com website.
In case you missed it, Adobe released a brand new version of Director last night at the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco. The official press release can be found here, or you can review the product page to read up on what’s new in this release.
From the product page, here’s a quick list of top features:
Support for more than 40 video, audio, and image file formats
Native 3D rendering with DirectX 9 support
Advanced physics with the included AGEIA™ PhysX™ engine
Support for Adobe Flash CS3 Professional software and video created with Flash
Unicode support, including multimode publishing
Enhanced text rendering engine
Enhanced user interface
The ones I’m most excited about are the support for Flash CS3 and the new AGEIA PhysX engine. Check out the AGEIA site for more info on the PhysX engine.
After one of my CS3 Web Premium sessions at Macworld, I had a customer ask me about Adobe’s plans to integrate Kuler into the other CS applications (it’s already integrated with Illustrator CS3 through a Flash-based panel).. For those of you who may not be familiar with Kuler, it’s essentially a hosted web application from Adobe that allows the creative community to create and share color themes. You can read more about Kuler here.
Anyway, I didn’t have a definitive answer for the customer in terms of what Adobe’s plans were, but I know of a number of third-party extensions that enable some integration between Kuler and our web apps.
Pixelfumes released a couple of (free!) extensions for Fireworks and Flash last year – check the links below:
And more recently, WebAssist launched a Kuler extension for Dreamweaver that allows you to pull Kuler colour schemes directly into DW. This is definitely an improvement over taking a screen capture of a colour scheme and manually entering the hex colour values into a site’s CSS.. and best of all, it’s free!
While you’re at it, check out the Kuler Desktop application built using Adobe AIR. The download link is near the bottom of the page.
It’s been a harsh winter in Toronto this year (although this week has been very mild), and since I could never bring myself to wear a toque (Canadian for winter hat) lest it ruin my hair, I decided to buzz it off a couple of weeks back.
Ok, so maybe not the best segue to talk about Buzzword, by far the best online word processor on the planet, but you’ll just have to forgive me. Naturally, this stunning Rich Internet Application (RIA) was developed using Flex (by a small startup called Virtual Ubiquity, one of the original recipients of funding from Adobe’s $100 million venture capital fund announced at MAX 2006). Fast forward to MAX 2007 last October, and we had Adobe announce that it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire Virtual Ubiquity. Yay for us!
I think this acquisition could prove to be a game-changer for Adobe as it dives deeper into the ‘knowledge worker’ market, currently dominated by Microsoft. Not an easy task, but considering the sheer size of this market, it’s certainly worth the old college try. Plus, the trend of people increasingly making use of online applications in favour of desktop applications (I’m thinking of Facebook here) bodes well for RIAs as a whole.
To actually get to my point: if you haven’t already, try Buzzword today. I think you’ll be amazed! Aside from the brilliant interface, one of the things I really like about Buzzword is that it is truly a collaborative authoring workspace.
And while you’re here, check out SlideRocket, a Flex-based RIA for building presentations. Now, if somebody can just develop an Excel-like RIA, I think we’ve got a little suite on our hands.
Adobe announced the Flash Media Server 3 family of products yesterday (link to press release). Essentially, there are now two flavours of FMS available – Flash Media Streaming Server 3 and Flash Media Interactive Server 3. In addition to a whole slew of new features, the price and licensing for FMS has been drastically changed.
For example, the Flash Media Streaming Server has been priced at $995 USD with no limitations in terms of bandwidth and number of concurrent connections. By contrast, the price of FMS2 Pro Edition was $4,500 with three available profiles including one for a 150 concurrent connections. If all you’re looking for is to step up your progressive download video deployment to streaming video, or you want to broadcast live events, the interactive server may fit the bill at a fraction of the cost of deploying FMS2.
One important distinction between FMS2 Pro Edition and FMSS3 is that FMSS3 is a video streaming only solution. In order to build multi-way applications, cluster servers, record video, enable server-side playlists, etc., you’ll need to move up to the Flash Media Interactive Server 3, offered at $4,500 USD. FMIS3 basically combines the old Pro, Origin and Edge servers into one. You buy the same FMIS3 and choose to deploy it as either a Pro, Origin or Edge server.
A developer edition is also available which has all the features of FMIS3, but is limited to 10 concurrent connections. A comparison of the editions is available on Adobe.com (link).
The new pricing, features and performance improvements really make the technology accessible to a much wider audience and position FMS for wide adoption. Pretty exciting times for Adobe and customers alike!
For those of you interested in how I shared my presentation slides below, I used SHARE. SHARE is a free web-based service from Adobe that allows users to share documents while controlling who gets to access your files. Once you upload your files, you can choose to enter a recipient’s e-mail address, and specify whether the file will be available publicly or restricted to the recipient(s) only. The recipient then gets an e-mail with a link to download the file. Online previews are rendered using Flash (currently only available for PDF and Flash documents), but other file types can still be shared (without the online Flash previews). You can also embed these shared documents into websites or blogs, like I did. There is a limit of 1GB per user account.