Convert your photos to the universally accepted DNG raw format with Adobe DNG Converter

The Adobe DNG Converter 7.2 is a free service that allows you convert files from over 350 different types of camera into the more usable DNG format.

DNG, or Digital Negative, is a photo format that was created specifically for the purpose of providing photography buffs with a universal single format that can be read on any machine. Having this simplified format allows pictures to be archived and documented all the more easily, while keeping them more secure.

The converter comes with an easy-to-navigate interface that allows for the simple transfer of photos from one format to another. It can also be used with a range of camera and photo files, meaning that all of your pictures, no matter what format they are in, can be protected and stored.

The Adobe DNG Converter 7.2 is an unbelievably useful tool for converting and protecting different types of photo. Yes, at the moment the device only supports 350(!) types of camera, but this is still quite a lot and future updates may include additional camera support. Considering the converter is free, it really is the best tool you can use for editing your photographs into a simpler, easier to use and more secure type of file.

download Adobe DNG Converter

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Can’t Beat the CS6 Beta: Adobe Photoshop Leads the Way

Adobe has done it again. Always at the cutting edge of innovation, they don’t disappoint with this latest advance in digital image editing software. From the reworked interface to the 65 new features, an incredible amount of thought has gone into the Adobe Photoshop CS6. And for the first time, Adobe has released a public beta of the software, meaning everyone can try it out until the official launch later this year.

What strikes you first is the refined, darker-grey UI, looking smart and modern, and making the colours in your photos really stand out. The handling of panels and tools is also extremely logical, with common features more accessible in the foreground and many of the controls moveable straight onto the canvas. The updated Mini Bridge panel now sits horizontally across the bottom of the screen, which, coupled with the darker interface, makes Photoshop not dissimilar to Adobe Lightroom, though both features can be customised to your preferences.

One thing Adobe boasts of with the CS6 is the increased speed of the software, which they hope will have a transformational effect on professional workflows. It looks pretty likely. Powered by the new Mercury Graphics Engine, delivering editing results virtually in real-time via common tools such as Liquify and Transform, and with the additional search tool in the layers panel, the CS6 will save users hours of work. The capacity of the CS6 to save files in the background also means no more sitting waiting for Photoshop to save extra-large files.

Noteworthy new features include additions to the Content Aware tools. Content-Aware Patch allows the user to select an area from an image and then let the computer fill in another image with the chosen section. Content-Aware Move enables users to select an object in a picture and move it to a new position, like magic!

A long-awaited highlight comes in the form of the built-in Lorem Ipsum dummy text generator, which allows the user to add dotted or dashed lines to shapes easily. New type styles provide consistent formatting and let designers apply type treatments speedily to their designs.

One of the major differences with the CS6 is that it includes some video editing tools. The tools are basic, and simple to apply – it’s just a case of pressing the Create Video Timeline button on the new Timeline tab, and off you go. Critics might argue that mobile phone apps can now provide the same tools without the need for shifting images from device to device, but in reality many people don’t use their mobile apps, or want to use a basic form of Adobe Premiere without having to sign up as a Permiere Pro user.

The Photoshop CS6 beta includes all of the features of Adobe Photoshop CS6 and Adobe Photoshop CS6 Extended, and is simple to download. As is common with betas, there are bugs, but it’s worth ignoring these to sample the enhanced design tools, incredible performance and fantastic new features of this industry-beating beta.

Download Photoshop CS6 Beta for Windows | Download Photoshop CS6 Beta for Mac

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Recording, mixing, editing, and mastering – Adobe Audition CS5

When it comes to internet audio, clean, clear and well balanced sound is now the standard, regardless of what you’re doing. Podcasts, internet radio and other streamed audio needs to sound like it was done in a real sound studio, or getting consistent listeners may be difficult to do. This is one of the reasons why I like Adobe Audition. It’s a platform independent audio editing tool.

Adobe Audition CS5.5 delivers the professional tools you need to make your audio and video productions sound their best. It handles a wide range of audio production tasks efficiently, including recording, mixing, and sound restoration. With native support for OS X and windows, you can record, mix, edit, and master your audio with a powerful audio toolset.

Adobe Audition CS5.5 has an improved audio processing engine. With it, you’ll experience greater speed throughout the audio production process whether opening and saving files, processing multicore effects, or simultaneously editing multiple sessions. With roundtrip editing with Adobe Premiere Pro, the audio in your video clips will be greatly improved. You can pass individual clips and multi-track mixes from Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 software to Adobe Audition for editing, or send Adobe Premiere Pro sequences with a reference video to Adobe Audition for complete soundtrack creation.

Read full review Download Adobe Audition CS5.5

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Develop and deploy professional looking, standards compliant websites with Adobe DreamWeaver CS5

Today, it’s all about the internet.  If you’re product, service, or other offering isn’t available online in some way, you’re going to miss out on a great deal of business. It may also be safe to say that your budding business may never get a chance to flourish without a website to help you hock your wares. This is one of the reasons why I like tools like Adobe DreamWeaver. It’s a multi-platform website development tool.

Adobe Dreamweaver CS5.5 is part of Adobe’s award winning Creative Suite.  It’s one of the industry-leading web authoring and editing tools; and it provides both visual and code-level capabilities for creating standards-based websites and designs for the desktop, smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.

Designing for mobile devices and mobile computing is easy with the Multiscreen Preview panel. With its media query support, developers can use DreamWeaver styles and visualization rendering for a wide range of devices in a single panel. This is important as getting the view of your site right for a multitude of mobile devices can vastly effect not only visibility and marketing tactics, but sales as well.  To help improve your mobile interactivity, you can add code hinting with jQuery. It’s an industry-standard JavaScript library, that makes it simple to add a wide range of interactivity to your web site. DreamWeaver comes with a number of different mobile phone templates to help you get a jump start.

DreamWeaver supports Standards and has been updated to support CSS3 and HTML5. Design View now supports media queries and applying different styles as you adjust screen dimensions. DreamWeaver helps you to code for the future with HTML5 via code hinting and Design view rendering support. Its Live View now includes support for QuickTime with its <video> and <svg> tags.  Its updated WebKit rendering engine gives you the ability to check your site on the fly, during development.  You can preview designs for multiple devices with real-time media query,  HTML5 and CSS3 support and capabilities.

read full review | download Adobe Dreamweaver CS5

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Bring out the best in your digital photographs with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

There are a lot of digital darkrooms and photo organizing apps out there with a number of different and overlapping features. If you serious about photography and want to take serious control of your shots, then you really need the right tool for the job. This is one of the reasons why I like Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. It’s a multiplatform tool with the tools that professionals and prosumers need.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom software helps you bring out the best in your photographs, whether you’re perfecting one image, searching for ten, processing hundreds, or organizing thousands.  With it you can create incredible, moving images. One of the best things about it is that you can fearlessly experiment with state-of-the-art, nondestructive, editing tools. If you make a mistake, it’s easy to revert to an unmodified image, or undo the changes.

Lightroom allows you to easily manage all your images, and showcase your work in elegant print layouts, slide shows, and web galleries. You can also upload them to popular, online, photo-sharing sites.  It’s easy to do all of this directly from within this one, fast, intuitive application.

If you’re an advanced amateur or professional photographer, you need a wide range of tools to keep your digital projects creative and organized. Lightroom provides all your essentials in one intuitive package.  It has a wide range of new features and enhanced capabilities, including faster performance, new world-class noise reduction, lens correction, support for DSLR video files, a process to create easy-to-share slide show videos with music, and much more.

In some cases, light, or the lack of it, can create unwanted noise in your photos, even if you know what you’re doing and you meter and light everything as well as you can.  With Lightroom, you can get just the look you want from every shot with state-of-the art image processing tools that let you easily alter contrast, tune color, convert to black-and-white, add grain, reduce noise, adjust sharpness, and more.  Tools of this quality are important, especially if you’re going to go the extra mile and have the photos professionally printed.

read full review | download Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

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Make all your photos the best they can be with Photoshop CS5

With the holidays here and gone, it’s likely that most everyone has more digital pictures than they know what to do with. Once you’ve gone through all of them, you’ve likely found the ones that you’ll keep, the ones you’ll delete, and the ones you want to tweak. This is why I really like tools like Adobe Photoshop Extended CS5. It’s the premier photo editing tool for PC, and it’s a must have, if you can afford it.

Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended delivers all the state-of-the-art editing, composition, and graphic design capabilities of Photoshop CS5.  It also adds breakthrough tools for 3D design and motion editing. Now, it can also be used with creativity-boosting, mobile apps. Working with your pictures away from your computer with CS5 just got easier.

If you’ve ever had a really tricky shape or area you wanted to select, but had trouble getting it just right, you’re going to like what you see in Photoshop CS5 Extended.  Now you can get better-than-ever results when selecting these tricky image elements, such as hair. You can also eliminate background color around selection edges and automatically vary selection edges and perfect masks using PS’s new refinement tools. You can also create photo-realistic, high dynamic range (HDR) images quickly and with unprecedented accuracy. You’ll get stunning results thanks PS’s automatic ghost removal; and have greater control of  tone mapping and adjustments.

Photoshop CS5 Extended is perhaps the most advanced image editing tool available on the internet today. With it, you can do almost anything that you can imagine with your digital photos. Its tools are state of the art and top of the line, which provide not only its strength, but its weaknesses as well. As much as EVERYONE will want to use it, the tools are often not the easiest to learn and use.  Many of its features require a great deal of skill and a steep learning curve to master. However, once you do master them, you’re going to find that this is THE tool to have, provided you can afford to purchase it in the first place.

read full review | download Adobe Photoshop Extended CS5

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Get ready for HD video and 3D gaming with Adobe Flash Player 11 and Air 3

Just a few days back, Adobe announced Adobe Flash Player 11 and Adobe AIR 3 software to be released in the in early October.  The new browser plugin promises a platform that will bring up to 1000 times faster 2D/3D rendering performance over Flash Player 10, thanks to the new full hardware acceleration, plus full native 64-bit web-browser support. In addition to that – as presented by Adobe – the new platform will create the perfect environment for developers to build “console-like quality” games for Windows, Mac OS X  and Internet-enabled televisions. Also, Flash Player 11 will bring features such as HD video quality through the Web, in mobile apps, and even surround sound for connected TVs.

With this milestone release Adobe pushes the envelope of what is possible on the Web with a typical PC and opens up a new world of immersive, high-performance gaming experiences,” said Danny Winokur, vice president and general manager of Platform, Adobe.

For further details, take a look at this video…

Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 features:

  • Accelerated 2D/3D Graphics: Full hardware-accelerated rendering for 2D and 3D graphics enable 1,000 times faster rendering performance over Flash Player 10 and AIR 2. Developers are able to animate millions of objects with smooth 60 frames per second rendering and deliver console-quality games on Mac OS, Windows and connected televisions. A pre-release brings these same accelerated 2D and 3D capabilities to mobile platforms including Android, Apple iOS and BlackBerry Tablet OS. A production release for mobile platforms is expected in the near future.
  • AIR Native Extensions: With support for thousands of highly-optimized, open-source libraries, developers are able to tap into unique software and hardware capabilities including access to device data, vibration control, magnetometers, light sensors, dual screens, near field communications (NFC) and more. Native extensions also allow developers to more deeply integrate AIR applications with other business software.
  • Captive Runtime: Developers can automatically package AIR 3 with their applications to simplify the installation process on Android, Windows and Mac OS in addition to Apple iOS. Users no longer have to download and update AIR separately on any of these platforms, or BlackBerry Tablet OS, which includes AIR built in. In addition, with the captive runtime option developers can manage version updates to their application independent of general AIR updates by Adobe.
  • Content Protection: Premium video content can now be protected using Adobe Flash Access 3 across all supported platforms, including new support for mobile platforms.
  • HD Video Quality Across Platforms: Full frame rate HD video can now be displayed within AIR applications on Apple iOS devices using H.264 hardware decoding. Rich applications on televisions are also able to deliver HD video with 7.1 channel surround sound.
  • Rental and Subscriptions Support: With support for Adobe Flash Access and Adobe Pass, content publishers can take advantage of rental and subscription options for more flexible business models and offer TV Everywhere content to more than 80 percent of U.S. pay TV subscribers.
  • Compatibility: 64-bit support on Linux, Mac OS and Windows ensures a seamless experience with the latest 64-bit browsers.

Adobe AIR 3 Release Candidate can be downloaded from here and Adobe Flash Player 11 Release Candidate for Desktops from here.

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Sumatra PDF small, fast and reliable PDF viewer

Viewing PDFs these days is an elementary procedure. You just have to install Adobe Reader and you are ready to view any files with the pdf extension. But what if, instead of installing this huge application, you can use a similar product which is much lighter and much faster? Well, you can choose from a plethora of these type of applications, but Sumatra PDF is the one that meets both important characteristics: small size and fast displaying operation.

read full review | download Sumatra PDF

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