Adobe Plans Its OS X Premiere

Adobe, one of the Mac's most important developers, isn't one of those companies that publicly charts out detailed plans for supporting OS X. In fact, Adobe's recent public statements about the new operating system will only confirm that the company plans to release OS X-native versions of its major applications -- it just hasn't said when.

Still, if you were looking for OS X-related developments at the National Association of Broadcasters trade show, Adobe had the most exciting news to offer -- a demonstration of Premiere running in OS X.

The sight of Adobe's video-editing and compositing program running on the next-generation operating system for the Mac had to be a little bit embarrassing for Apple. After all, Apple has yet to show off an OS X-native version of its own video-editing program, Final Cut Pro.

Adobe has a slight edge in updating its application to run in OS X. Adobe's code for Premiere is relatively new; it underwent a major rewrite when version 5 came out. In contrast, Final Cut made its debut in 1997, when Macromedia unveiled it at the NAB show running on a Windows machine.

During its Premiere 6 demonstration, Adobe said the OS X version rendered up to twice as fast as the OS 9 version that currently ships, thanks to the increased I/O underpinnings of the new OS. That should help close the performance gap between Premiere 6 and Final Cut Pro 2.0, which is said to render much faster than the OS 9 version of Premiere. (Adobe's demonstration also included a beta version of Premiere 6 running in OS 9 with the Matrox RTMac card for real-time effects.)

Adobe told demonstration attendees that Premiere for OS X should come out in summer or fall 2001. Apple plans to release Final Cut Pro for OS X this summer, setting up an interesting race to see if Adobe can beat Apple out of the starting gate in the race to develop software for Apple's own operating system.

Adobe wasn't the only company to show off a product primed for OS X at the NAB show. Electric Image showed an internal engineering build of its recently launched Electric Image Universe 3.0 for OS X. Although Electric Image developers were able to Carbonize the application fairly quickly, some of the code base consists of 11-year-old legacy code. That requires Electric Image to work very closely with Apple to achieve the performance levels it expects from the product. As with Premier, developers who have revamped their code more recently are better prepared to make the transition to the new OS.

Other OS X-related NAB show announcements included:

  • the debut of the ATTO ExpressStripe for Mac OS X RAID software package from ATTO Technology. ATTO also began shipping its AccelWare 3.0 dual-platform SAN volume management software;
  • the announced July release of FilmBox 3.0, a 3-D content authoring and delivery tool from Kaydara; and
  • support for the new OS from Media 100, which said its Media 100 i digital media creation system will support OS X later this year. Media 100 introduced version 7.5 of Media 100 i and rolled out its latest MPEG-2 encoding systems at the NAB show.
  • Other Mac product news at the NAB show included the shipment of Boris Red 2.0, an upgrade to Boris FX's compositing and titling application. Pioneer announced that it would ship its DVR-A03 DVD/CD recordable drive by the end of May. LaCie plans to ship a DVD-R/CD-RW drive of its own in June; the company also announced a new CD-RW drive and a combination DVD-RAM/R drive during the trade show.

    Several companies announced support for Apple's QuickTime multimedia format. Chyron said its CoreStream streaming media deployment system would support a number of formats, including QuickTime, while Anystream announced that its Agility Enterprise encoding platform now enables simultaneous output of QuickTime along with other formats from live Webcasting events. Zentropy Partners showcased Media Skins, a new QuickTime 5 feature that lets multimedia authors control the shape and size of the media player.

    MacCentral.com's PETER COHEN and DENNIS SELLERS contributed to this report.

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