October 5, 2003 9:00 PM PDT

Adobe offers free Photoshop Album

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Software maker Adobe Systems is set to release new editions Monday of its Photoshop Album software for digital photography, including a free stripped-down version.

Adobe released Photoshop Album early this year in an attempt to grab a bigger chunk of the booming digital camera market.

Album includes a few one-click touchup tools based on Photoshop, Adobe's market-leading image editing application, but the product's main focus is on organization. The software uses a timeline-based interface and user-defined tags to give photographers a more intuitive way to find images than rooting through complex directory structures.

The new version 2.0 of Photoshop Album, available starting today, will include an enhanced calendar-based interface, plus new tools for sending photos to mobile phones, Palm-based handhelds and TiVo video recorders. Touchup tools will also include a new batch feature for one-click editing of multiple images.

Adobe will continue to sell the full version of Photoshop Album for $50, with a $15 rebate for customers with a competing product or ugrading from the original version of Album. A new package with Photoshop Album and Photoshop Elements, which includes more detailed editiing tools, will sell for $129, with a $30 rebate. Finally, the new Photoshop Album Starter Edition will be available as a free download from Adobe. The free version uses the same basic interface as the full product but has more limited sharing and touchup tools.

"It's really a good solution for people just getting started on digital photography who want something beyond the free software that comes with the camera," said Jim Mohan, senior product manager at Adobe. "Our philosophy is to try to get it out to as many people as possible, and hopefully they'll stick with Adobe when they're ready for something that does a little more."


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