Graphics & design software

Adobe manager on Soundbooth's lack of PowerPC support

Posting to his weblog, Adobe’s Senior Product Manager for Photoshop, John Nack has posted an opinion on Adobe’s recent introduction of Soundbooth — an audio application targeted at creative pros, currently in beta-testing. It’s Adobe’s first app to lack support for PowerPC processors (it runs natively on Intel-based Macs instead) — Nack addresses the issue.

Soundbooth’s lack of support for PowerPC processors has raised the ire of some Mac users and pundits alike: Although Apple’s transition to Intel processor-based Macs is complete, the vast majority of Mac users still have PowerPC-based systems. Critics suggest that Adobe’s decision to make Soundbooth an Intel-only app is premature.

Nack offers a different point of view. From his perspective, if Apple hadn’t switched to Intel processors, Soundbooth might very likely be a Windows application only. Apple’s migration to the Intel chip architecture “makes Mac development more attractive,” said Nack.

“Here’s the reality: Apple’s migration to Intel chips means that it’s easier to develop for both Mac and Windows, because instead of splitting development resources optimizing for two different chip architectures, you can focus on just one,” he wrote.

To assuage concerns that Soundbooth is a harbinger of things to come for future versions of Adobe applications that PowerPC-based Mac users have already grown dependent on, such as Photoshop, Illustrator and so on, Nack adds, “To put the freaking out to rest: the next versions of the CS and Studio apps are being built as Universal apps, and they’ll run great on PPC.”

Nack reserves particular criticism for pundits who have suggested that Soundbooth is an example of Adobe “abandoning” PowerPC Mac users.

“Doesn’t it seem like something would have to exist before it could be abandoned?” he asks. “Soundbooth is a fresh start, not a migration.”

Nack — a professed “die-hard” Mac user — also refers to “that vocal little group of zealots and forum trolls” he sees as particularly damaging to Mac users’ reputations as a whole.

“You’re hurting the Mac platform. You’re hurting the Mac community. You need to crush a little aluminum foil against those antennae of yours, because you’re hurting everyone concerned. You’re making it harder (and less appealing) for people of goodwill to make the effort to support the Mac,” he said.

A disclaimer on the blog site notes that the views expressed on Nack’s pages do not necessarily reflect the views of Adobe Systems.

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