March 30, 2003 9:00 PM PST

Adobe delves into DVD authoring

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Publishing and graphics software giant Adobe Systems plans to enter the market for high-end DVD authoring software.

The company plans to announce on Monday the upcoming release of Encore DVD, a collection of tools for organizing video and other content on a DVD, creating interactive menus and burning the final product to a disc.

Adobe has offered basic DVD authoring tools in some of its video-editing products, including Premiere. But with recordable DVD drives becoming increasingly common in new PCs, the company saw a need for a full-featured application that integrates easily with other Adobe products, said Giles Baker, an Adobe product manager.

One of the main advantages of Encore DVD is that it allows people to easily move content back and forth between it and Adobe's Photoshop image-editing application, the most common program for designing the interactive menus DVDs use for navigation. "We've basically taken the guts of Photoshop and put it into Encore," Baker said.

"Adobe is already pretty embedded in the DVD process," Baker added. "All the menus you see are created using Photoshop. We own the work flow pretty much--we just don't have the final product."

The market for Encore will be a notch above the amateur end of the DVD market, which uses software from companies such as Roxio and Sonic Solutions that typically comes bundled with the DVD drive. Baker said key target customers will include professional wedding videographers, and marketing and advertising pros who need to produce promotional DVDs.

Encore DVD is set to go on sale this summer for $549. The software will be Windows-only, partly because the vast majority of Adobe Premiere users have centered on Windows, and partly because Apple Computer already has its own widely distributed DVD package, DVD Studio Pro, Baker said. "It's a market-driven decision," he said.


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