April 1, 2003


NEW YORK - San Jose, CA's Adobe recently stopped by Post's offices to show us a pre-beta version of their upcoming DVD authoring software. Titled Encore DVD, the $549 authoring tool is expected to begin shipping this summer, with an update anticipated by the end of the year.

The new authoring tool is a response to Adobe's own research which suggests that 50 percent of its Premiere NLE customers are planning on purchasing a DVD-R drive this year. And with drive prices dropping (some as low as $300), the company feels that percentage could increase.

Encore DVD will initially be delivered as a PC product, with no immediate plans for a Mac version. The tool promises seamless integration with Adobe's Photoshop tool, allowing users to make changes to graphic elements without having to leave the authoring environment. Adobe says Encore DVD is the only DVD authoring application that allows users to alter .psd files without having to leave the application. The tool will also integrate with additional Adobe releases, including Premiere.

Rather than taking a "flow chart" approach to authoring, like many other programs, Encore is instead based on a "list view" approach, allowing users to see lists of all video clips, buttons or graphics at once. The tool also checks for broken links, alerting users to potential problems before they write to disk.

Adobe Encore product manager Giles Baker says the new software tool will be targeted mainly toward event and corporate users, but that film and broadcast professionals will also find applications for it. With its low price point, Adobe expects it to compete with releases from Sonic Solutions, Pinnacle Systems and Ulead.