Adobe Systems has begun shipping its enthusiast-oriented Photoshop Elements 7 image-editing software and Premiere Elements 7 video-editing software--and is offering a promotion to try to lure users to its online Photoshop.com site as well.
The Elements software costs $99.99 each or $149.99 as a bundle. New with this version, Adobe also is offering a $179.99 price that includes a one-year Photoshop.com Plus membership. Ordinarily, a Photoshop.com Plus subscription costs $49.99 a year, so you're basically getting a $20 price break, at least until the time comes to renew for another year.
Photoshop.com offers tutorials, online albums for backing up and sharing your shots, and access to the Photoshop Express online editing tool. The free basic version comes with 2GB of storage, and the Plus level comes with 20GB of storage.
Pricing isn't the only promotion. CNET reviewer Lori Grunin found it annoying how prominently Elements touts the online option in the software itself.
All this to-do is evidence of how hard Adobe is trying to catch up to rivals with years-long head starts on the Internet.
Adobe remains the leading seller of photo editing software, but the San Jose, Calif.-based company is arriving late to the Internet. Yahoo's Flickr has long been a hub for photography enthusiasts who like to share pictures and discuss their photography interests, and even relatively straightforward photo hosting sites such as SmugMug have a long lead. Microstock companies such as iStockphoto have been blossoming with online sales models even as Adobe shuttered its own stock art business. And start-ups such as Picnik moved much faster into the world of online photo editing.
The standout feature of Premiere Elements is support for the AVHCD format used by many video cameras, though I'm interested in the Smart Tag feature that labels videos with computer-generated tags such as "shaky" or "in focus." It's an example of the gradually more sophisticated autotagging concept, which can make the computer do some of the onerous work of labeling photos, videos, or other files so they can be found more easily later.