Adobe announces Windows-only Encore DVD

More than a year after Adobe Systems Inc. announced the acquisition of DVD authoring technology from Sonic Solutions, the company today announced Encore DVD, a Windows-only DVD authoring application. Adobe will debut the product next week at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada. To find out more about both Encore DVD and Adobe's Windows-only strategy for the software, MacCentral recently spoke to Giles Baker, Encore Product Manager at Adobe.

Baker confirmed that Encore DVD is Windows-only, at least for the moment. When asked about Macintosh compatibility, Baker noted that Adobe hasn't announced a Mac version of the product.

"We've made the first version Windows-only because that's where most of our Premiere users are," Baker told MacCentral. Premiere is Adobe's digital video editing software. While Premiere remains popular among Windows users, it's been supplanted on the Mac in recent years by competing products like Apple's Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Express and Avid Xpress DV.

In fact, there don't appear to be any plans to bring Encore DVD to the Mac yet. When asked about the possibility, Baker explained, "It's a market-driven decision. Adobe isn't seeking to alienate the Mac users we already have, or the Mac platform in general."

Baker noted that Sonic Solutions' underlying DVD authoring technology is cross-platform compatible. If there was enough of a demand, would Adobe bring Encore DVD to the Mac?

"We're always interested in hearing feedback from our clients, and from users of other products," Baker responded.

Adobe is leveraging its suite of professional imaging, compositing editing projects in Encore DVD by tightly integrating with Photoshop, Premiere and After Effects to provide menu editing, motion menu creation, chapter point importing and more. The integration goes both ways, according to Baker, with users able to instantly edit elements in Encore DVD with their native Adobe applications -- not unlike what Apple has accomplished with iDVD and its integration with other iLife applications.

iLife is $50 and also comes bundled on new Macs, while DVD Studio Pro costs $1000. DVD Studio Pro offers a host of added features and integration capabilities with products like Final Cut Pro and Photoshop, for producing professional-quality DVDs. Encore DVD, meanwhile, costs $550, which may give the best idea about its position -- more as a low-level professional or prosumer product, according to Baker. Potential applications cited for Encore DVD include burning corporate training videos, wedding videos and other similar content onto DVD.

"Encore DVD is aimed at professionals who are now working in video and are interested in using DVD as a publishing medium," said Baker.

With products like DVD Studio Pro in the Macintosh market, does Adobe perceive Apple as a competitive threat? Baker downplayed the suggestion. "We see DVD Studio Pro as a complementary product in the DVD authoring space," he told MacCentral. "And since we're a Windows-only product, Encore DVD and DVD Studio Pro will not compete."

"I think that every product that's out there adds something to the DVD authoring market" Baker went on. Citing the anticipated growth of DVD authoring in the PC space in the months and years ahead, Baker added, "We're only scratching the surface in terms of commercial possibilities."

Adobe anticipates shipping Encore DVD in the third quarter of 2003.

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