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Adobe Launches Cross-Platform Premiere Elements 9 and Photoshop Elements 9 Bundle

Adobe has brought Premiere Elements to the Mac with the launch Tuesday of a major revision to its Premiere Elements & Photoshop Elements bundle. The update brings both versions up to release 9 on both Windows and Mac OS X.

Photoshop Elements is Adobe's consumer/hobbist-level photo editing and manipulation tool. Premiere Elements is the company's consumer/hobbist-level non-linear editor (NLE). The two have been bundled together since 2004, but this is the first time both have been available natively on the Mac OS X platform. (Photoshop Elements was briefly a Windows-only application as well, though it returned to the Mac in 2008. Premiere Pro, Adobe's professional NLE, has been available for the Mac since 2007.)

Aside from cross-platform compatibility, the new releases add several enhancements to creative functionality, as well as an integrated Organizer for managing files and an option to purchase a hosted service that provides storage, training, and other features.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 9
Photoshop Elements 9 has added content-aware technology to its Spot Healing Brush. Adapted from Photoshop CS5, the enhanced tool allows users to remove elements from an image, replacing them automatically with content extrapolated from the surrounding image.

Version 9 also adds Photomerge Style Match, a technology that attempts to apply characteristics from one image to another. The tool is designed to enhance photos with poor color or contrast by replicating the qualities of a superior image.

Other new features include:

  • Support for layer masks;
  • "Guided Edits" for creating special effects;
  • Support for creating interactive online albums;
  • Image analysis in the Organizer; and
  • Support for uploading images to social networking sites.

Adobe Premiere Elements 9
Besides its new support for the Mac platform, Premiere Elements 9 adds new drag and drop effects, including Cartoon Effect, which is designed to make live-action footage resemble animation. It also gains performance optimizations and adds support for a wider range of devices, including Flip VIdeo cameras and videos captured on DSLR cameras.

Other new features include:

  • Video clip management via a new media management hub in the Organizer;
  • Automatic analysis of clips, which applies quality ratings to footage to help users identify the highest-quality clips; and
  • Sharing via YouTube and Facebook, with support for creating interactive albums.

Both also support Plus, Adobe's hosted service that provides 20 GB of storage,automated backups, sharing, tutorials, and creative extras. It runs $49.99 per year.

[Update Sept. 23, 2010] For education users, Adobe is offering the Photoshop Elements 9 and Premiere Elements 9 bundle for $119. Individual products are available for $69. Both are available now for Mac OS X and Windows. In addition, Adobe is making online training available free for educators. Additional details about the products, as well as links to download trial versions of the software, can be found on Adobe's site here. Information on professional development resources can be found here.

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