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Information Today, Inc.

June 08, 2009

Table of Contents

Got the Date on the Golden Gate: Re:Frame San Francisco Dates and Details Revealed
Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 Version 4.1 Update Now Available
WEVA Expo Pre-Registration Now Open
Matrox CompressHD H.264 Accelerator Card for the Mac Now Shipping
Illinois Videographers Association Announces Jeff Wright Two-Day Workshop, July 20 & 21, 2009
New Century Accessories for Sony HVR-Z5U and HDR-FX1000
K-Tek Introduces Kwiksock
Music2Hues Renovates Website, Adds New Titles
Panasonic Ships New Lower Cost 16GB And 32GB E Series P2 Cards
Adobe Unveils BrowserLab in Free Preview for Web Designers

Got the Date on the Golden Gate: Re:Frame San Francisco Dates and Details Revealed

Day Three of Re:Frame Austin was kind of like those season-ending cliffhangers that have become a staple of primetime TV: The Re:Frame Collective announced a location and a month for the next Re:Frame event, but precious little else. With the launch of the new Re:Frame website (www.reframecollective.com) this morning, the Collective revealed dates, location, a (nearly) complete speaker roster, and some tantalizing details about what RF:SF 09 attendees can expect for the three-and-a-half day event, which will take place at San Francisco's toney CLIFT Hotel in the heart of the city's historic Union Square shopping district, from October 19-22, 2009.

For those not familiar with the Re:Frame Collective, it's a group of four leading wedding filmmakers--Julie Hill of OC-based Elysium Productions, Kristen* of San Francisco-based Bliss* Productions, Bruce Patterson of Vancouver-based Cloud Nine Creative, and Jason Magbanua of Makati City, the Philippines--that set out 18 months ago to introduce a sort of videographer education hitherto unseen in the industry, and have done so (with a few personnel changes along the way) in two groundbreaking events to date, the first in New Orleans in October 2008, and the second in Austin, Texas in April 2009.

The Collective describes the RF:SF experience as "4 days of intense shooting techniques, business management, HD workflow, branding and marketing, creative storytelling techniques, and more," and promises attendees the opportunity to "break bread with international innovators of the wedding and event video world in an intimate setting." The bread-breaking is actually a signature component of the RF:SF event; attendees who elect to stay at the Clift (optional, and not included in the registration fee) will enjoy a full, sit-down breakfast and lunch in the hotel restaurant each day.

But naturally, education and networking are the main courses of the event, and the heart of the RF:SF 09 announcement is the speaker list. The program breaks down into 3 categories: Creative, Business, and Elective. On the Creative side, speakers include Moscow-based cinematographer Oleg Kalyan, making his stateside speaking debut and presenting a seminar on "creative innovation"; Pacific Pictures' Kevin Shahinian on "Weddings as Feature Films"; Joe Simon of Joe Simon Productions discussing shooting tools ("Simon says: Shoot It"); and Jason Magbanua, newest member of the Re:Frame Collective, with a presentation titled "behind the scenes of a Filipino empire."

Business track presentations include Elysium Productions' Alex Hill (making his long-awaited Re:Frame debut) on growing your business into a high-end, volume enterprise; David Robin of "Hayden & Madison-Magical Mystery Tour" fame on how to stay in the game (and stay on top); Dennis Lennie of UK-based tapelessmadeeasy.com on tapeless workflow; and L.A.-based wedding publicist Leila Khalil on strategic marketing.

Rounding out the speaker roster are two presenters of "elective" sessions (which allow attendees to choose one more creative seminar or one more business seminar): Red 5 Studios' Loyd Calomay on concept films (From Pitch t Production to Presentation), and Angela Desveaux of Cloud Nine Creative and WedLuxe Magazine (and the graphic designer responsible for much of Re:Frame's branding) speaking on design principles. The Collective describes the electives as "mini hands-on tutorials you can choose depending on your interests." There's one addition speaker slot on the schedule that remains TBA.

Re:Frame San Francisco speakers

Also tapped for RF:SF 09 is DoP extraordinaire Philip Bloom, who spoke in Austin, and has been brought back for a return engagement to orchestrate the RF:SF 09 Shootout (a hands-on shooting experience in the streets of the host city that debuted in Austin). The Shootout is only one of several networking and community-building events that will be part of RF:SF 09; others include breakout rooms, the in-hotel breakfasts and lunches, and the signature Tuesday night event.

Part of the attraction of every Re:Frame event thus far has been the location and the atmosphere in which the event occurs. The RF:SF 09 event boasts a 4-star hotel in the CLIFT, with rooms available at a rate of $190/night (which appears to be roughly a $110 discount from reserving a room through the hotel), including a hot breakfast and lunch at the CLIFT's Asia de Cuba restaurant. Past Re:Frame events included lodging in the price of registration; with the costs separated out this time around, the registration fee has also dropped, even with the additional full day of seminars. A seat at Re:Frame Austin went for roughly $1,400. For RF:SF, "early bird" registration (before Aug. 1) costs $1,150, with a regular, post-Aug. 1 rate of $1,275. Re:Frame Alumni--anyone who attended Re:Frame New Orleans or Re:Frame Austin--can register for $975 until July 31. Registration for RF:SF 09, which is available now on the Re:Frame website, is limited to 150.

There's one more way to get into RF:SF 09: the event's "win a seat!" promotion. Would-be free attendees are invited to create a 30-second (or less) "creative film ... to tell the world why you want to attend" and submit it for posting on the Re:Frame blog. The clip that receives the most "unique, verified comments" will win. Details at www.reframecollective.com.

Re:Frame San Francisco is HERE!! Sign up today! from Julie Hill on Vimeo.

The other key element of RF:SF 09--and the one for which details remain largely TBA at this juncture--is Re:Frame's inaugural awards program, The Academy of Event Filmmaker Awards. The Collective promises details on the awards program within a few weeks. Stay tuned.

Stephen Nathans-Kelly (stephen.nathans at infotoday.com) is editor-in-chief of EventDV and programming director of EventDV-TV.

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Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 Version 4.1 Update Now Available

Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 version 4.1 is a free update for existing customers of Adobe Premiere Pro CS4, Adobe Creative Suite 4 Production Premium and Adobe Creative Suite 4 Master Collection software. Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 version 4.1 provides a host of updated compatibility that advances Adobe's leadership in enabling open, flexible post-production workflows. The update is now available via the Adobe updater and Adobe.com.

Adobe Premiere Pro 4.1 offers several important updates, including:

  • More Efficient Tapeless Workflows-with No Transcoding or Rewrapping
  • Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 version 4.1 supports changes in an updated RED plug-in (soon available at http://www.red.com/support) to provide improved compatibility in native RED post-production workflows and more control over RAW settings:
    • Better compatibility with native R3D content using fractional resolutions to support editing and finishing workflows on lower-powered systems, including laptops.
    • R3D file format support in the Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 Media Browser panel, allowing customers to view RED clips directly without having to navigate through multiple folders.
  • Both Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 version 4.1 and Adobe After Effects CS4 version 9.0.2 provide a true file-based workflow for RED R3D files, without transcoding or rewrapping, when used in conjunction with RED's beta plug-in available at www.red.com/support. Native handling of RED R3D augments Adobe's existing support of Sony XDCAM EX and HD, Panasonic P2, and AVCHD tapeless formats, providing users with software-only HD workflows from capture to output.
  • RED has made a number of changes to its plug-in to coincide with the release of the updates to the Adobe products. These changes include:
    • Ability to adjust white balance and color matrix settings on RED R3D clips, enabling users to create the right look and feel for viewing and editing native RED content.
    • In addition to downloading the RED plug-in, customers must update their software to Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 version 4.1 and Adobe After Effects CS4 version 9.0.2, accessible for free through the Adobe update manager in the Help menu of the applications.
  • Interoperability with Avid Media Composer software
    • Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 4.1 provides improved interoperability with Avid Media Composer software through AAF bug fixes and compatibility with content in the commonly-used MXF-wrapped IMX format. The changes in the 4.1 update allow editors to import Avid projects without recapturing media files. This builds upon Adobe Premiere Pro's open, flexible workflow with 3rd party software. Editors who are using Final Cut Pro, Digidesign Pro Tools, and Avid solutions can now more easily tap the high level of integration and unique features offered in Adobe Creative Suite 4 Production Premium. In addition to the additional AAF project interchange options, Final Cut Pro users can transfer projects directly to Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 version 4.1 without conversions or re-rendering, preserving commonly-used effects and transitions.
  • Once files are in Adobe Premiere Pro CS4, features such as Adobe Dynamic Link provide tighter-than-ever integration when moving assets among Adobe After Effects CS4, Adobe Premiere Pro CS4, and Soundbooth CS4, saving invaluable time that would otherwise be spent in intermediate rendering. To help users manage footage, Speech Search in Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 turns spoken dialog into text-based metadata that makes video searchable. Project output can be delivered virtually anywhere, including exporting through Adobe Encore CS4 to Blu-ray, DVD, and the Web. Customers can also streamline audio editing by exporting audio in OMF for interchange with audio workstations, and then importing the final mix back into Adobe Premiere Pro CS4.
  • Broader Support for Leading Post-Production Hardware
    • More options to accelerate and extend the post-production workflow.
  • Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 version 4.1 includes software fixes for a number of compatibility issues, which enables full HD workflows on leading post-production hardware - including AJA Video, Blackmagic, and Matrox video cards. These products allow customers to extend the capabilities of Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 software to handle any post-production workflow. As an open, customizable system with broad support for leading post-production hardware, Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 gives you more options to accelerate and extend your editing workflow.
  • Customers can add uncompressed SD and HD acquisition with a choice of hardware cards from third-party vendors (such as AJA, Blackmagic Design, and Matrox.)
  • Faster performance and responsiveness
  • With full support for 64-bit computing platforms to accelerate compute-intensive post-production tasks, Adobe Premiere Pro CS4takes advantage of the additional memory available in 64-bit systems. Version 4.1 includes numerous bug fixes in all areas of the workflow, including a number of changes to address slow project load times. For more information about using Production Premium applications on 64-bit systems, please refer to the whitepaper.


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WEVA Expo Pre-Registration Now Open

Countdown to the WEVA 19th Annual Wedding & Event Video Expo starts June 5, with the opening of WEVA's 2009 PRE-Registration Special. Watch http://www.weva.com for details.

The PRE-Registration Special Discount is available to all members and non-members for a limited time. Full conference registration for non-members is currently priced at $364, while WEVA members pay $274.

WEVA EXPO 2009, the biggest convention & trade show for wedding & event video producers worldwide, runs September 14-17, 2009, at the Hilton Orlando.


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Matrox CompressHD H.264 Accelerator Card for the Mac Now Shipping

Matrox Video Products Group today announced that Matrox CompressHD, the first implementation of Matrox MAX technology in an H.264 accelerator card for the Mac, is now shipping. Matrox MAX technology uses a dedicated hardware processor to accelerate the creation of H.264 files for mobile devices, the web and Blu-ray discs. By using specialized hardware acceleration, jobs are finished with amazing speed and system resources are liberated for other tasks. Very affordably priced at just $495 US (£375, €449) not including local taxes, Matrox CompressHD works in systems with or without a video I/O device. Ease of use is ensured through direct integration with Apple Compressor on the Mac. As an added benefit, the Matrox MAX technology allows direct export to higher-quality H.264 Blu-ray compliant files from Compressor. 

"Professional content creators have discovered that H.264 compression technology delivers a high-quality video experience at low bit rates for a variety of devices ranging from iPhone to Blu-ray, but they have had to constantly make compromises, trading off quality for encoding speed, or paying a high price for equipment that can give them both," said Wayne Andrews, Matrox product manager. "Matrox CompressHD removes all the hurdles, providing incredible encoding speed and quality at a very affordable price point.

Key features of Matrox CompressHD for the Mac

  • Faster than realtime creation of H.264 files using Matrox MAX technology
  • Low profile, half-length PCIe x1 card that fits into all Mac Pros and Intel-based Apple Xserve systems
  • Works in systems with or without an I/O device
  • Three-year hardware warranty and complimentary telephone support

Key features of Matrox MAX technology

  • Faster than realtime creation of H.264 files, for resolutions ranging from iPod to HD, at bitrates up to 50 Mbps
  • A specialized, dedicated hardware processor liberates system resources for other tasks
  • Accelerated encoding for Blu-ray, PS3, Apple TV, YouTube, Flash, web formats, and mobile devices including iPhone and iPod from various video sources including 2K files
  • Direct integration with Apple Compressor to simplify workflow
  • Creation of Blu-ray H.264 files that can be authored in Adobe Encore CS4 or Roxio Toast 10 and burned without re-encoding
  • Support for Apple Qmaster to take advantage of multiple systems with a Matrox MAX processing engine for distributed encoding across a network

Price and availability
Priced at $495 US (£375, €449) not including local taxes, Matrox CompressHD with Mac drivers is now available through a worldwide network of authorized dealers. Windows drivers will be available free of charge to registered Matrox CompressHD owners in July 2009.


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Illinois Videographers Association Announces Jeff Wright Two-Day Workshop, July 20 & 21, 2009

Jeff Wright IVA WorkshopThe Illinois Videographers Association is proud to announce an amazing "hands on" learning experience. Jeff Wright from Blue Skies Cinema is coming to Chicago for a two day workshop July 20 & 21, 2009. The IVA is excited to offer its members, and other videographers from throughout the Midwest, the opportunity to learn from one of the most creative forces in the industry. To experience the artistry of Blue Skies Cinema, visit www.blueskiescinematraining.com.

"For the last couple of years, Jeff and his wife Andee have been helping hundreds of videographers from around the world, reach their goals through their intimate hands-on workshops at their southern California studio," said IVA president Keith Anderson of All Occasions Video. "My wife Jennifer and I were lucky enough to attend one of Jeff and Andee's workshops, and I left the workshop with the understanding and ability to develop much more creative shot composition. More importantly, I learned what was necessary to take my business to the next level. I found a new level of confidence that changed my financial future! I can honestly say that attending Jeff and Andee's workshop was the best money I had ever spent. For a fraction of the cost of traveling to California," he added, "you have been given the opportunity to learn from one of the best (and nicest) in the business! Jeff's curriculum will include shooting at multiple locations in the Chicago-land area with live models!"

Covered Topics Include:

  • In Depth Cinematic Shooting & Editing Techniques
  • Artistic Shot Composition
  • Creating film like wedding productions
  • Marketing to High-End Brides
  • Company Image & Branding
  • Come away with amazing demo footage
  • Much, much more!

For lodging, the IVA recommends the Doubletree Hotel, Wood Dale/Itasca IL. The IVA has secured a rate of $109.00 per night if you mention the IVA workshop when booking. In order to obtain the discounted room rate, all rooms must be booked by midnight on July 6th. The Doubletree is conveniently located near Woodfield Mall, which is one of the largest retail shopping malls in the country. The two-day workshop concludes on the evening of July 21st with the monthly Illinois Videographers Association meeting at the Doubletree Hotel. Of course, everyone who attends Jeff's workshop is welcome to attend!

Click here to register.


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New Century Accessories for Sony HVR-Z5U and HDR-FX1000

Schneider Optics introduces Century HD accessories for the new HVR-Z5U and HDR-FX1000 camcorders. Many of the Century lens add-ons created for Sony's HVR-Z7U and HVR-S270U are also a perfect match for the HVR-Z5U and HDR-FX1000.

Attaching neatly to the camera's lens front, Century Pro Series HD accessories are designed to help the user shoot wider, reach further, and move in closer than the lens alone will allow. These state-of-the-art optics produce crisp, high-resolution images with low distortion, and superior contrast edge to edge. Multi-coated glass elements provide sharp images free of unwanted distortion or chromatic aberration. Most units are equipped with a bayonet mount for quick, secure installation and easy removal.

Century HD accessories that are compatible with the HVR-Z5U/HDR-FX1000 include the .6X HD Wide Angle Adapter, .75X HD Wide Angle Converter, Fisheye HD Adapter, 1.6X HD Tele-Converter, and Achromatic Diopters in strengths of +2.0 and +3.5.

U.S. List price starts at $490.00.


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K-Tek Introduces Kwiksock

K-Tek introduces the Kwiksock. This fast and easy-to-use method of wind noise reduction is specifically designed for recording scenarios when it is not possible to carry or there is no time to locate a bulky, full-size windscreen. What's more, the Kwiksock can be used to provide an additional layer of wind protection underneath an existing Zeppelin. Featuring a short-hair faux fur exterior and lined with top-quality fleece, the Kwiksock rolls up tightly and packs easily into a small bag or pocket for easy carrying. Each unit comes with a convenient carrying pouch. Available in short, medium and long sizes, the K-Tek (K-WIK) comes in either 21mm diameter (wide) or 19mm diameter (narrow) to fit most shotgun microphones.

U.S. MSRP price for the K-WIK is $55.00 (carrying pouch included).


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Music2Hues Renovates Website, Adds New Titles

Music 2 Hues, a leading supplier of Production Music & Sound Effects to the, Film, Video, Animation, & Multimedia Industries has just completed a major renovation to their website adding over 2000 music WAV file tracks for instant online download.

Andy Wells, president of Music 2 Hues adds, "With our new Download Center's final phase now complete, clients can purchase individual tracks from all of our current Flagship Series Audio CD's, or entire Audio CD categories with just one click, and have the option to download all tracks instantly in either Mp3 or Wav file formats. For just one price, clients will get all the edited versions of any one music track, including the full length theme, and any 30 and 60 seconds versions when available". New production music will be added monthly.

ALSO JUST RELEASED: Our newest Flagship CD title: "Cutting Edge Sports" is now shipping worldwide.
"This release satisfies the needs of our clients that have been asking for a CD of aggressive and edgy upbeat music beds, for visual and multimedia support".

Visit our website for more information on these products: http://www.music2hues.com.

Music 2 Hues is a leading supplier of Production Music & Sound Effects to the Pro Sound, Film, Video & Multimedia Industries.

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Panasonic Ships New Lower Cost 16GB And 32GB E Series P2 Cards

Panasonic announced the immediate availability of its new 16GB (model AJ-P2E016X) and 32GB (model AJ-P2E032X) E Series P2 cards at low costs of $420 and $625 respectively. The E Series P2 cards provide high quality recording for an average of five years with normal operation.

Incorporating a newly-developed memory technology, E Series P2 cards transfer recorded content at a faster rate (up to 1.2Gbps) than professional solid-state memory cards offered by other manufacturers. For example, users can transfer a full 16GB E Series card's content (any format) in less than two minutes. E Series cards offer the same high-quality recording and capacity as standard Panasonic P2 solid-state memory cards, and feature Panasonic's signature aluminum die cast casing for exceptional durability compared to plastic-based memory card products.

Unlike other disc-based or solid-state recording systems, P2 cards are a high-speed bit bucket, offering high-quality video recording and optimum flexibility, including reliable performance, instant access to content and compatibility with all P2 camcorders, P2 recorders and workflow tools and all major nonlinear editors and servers. P2 cards store content in the complete range of P2-supported frame rates and formats, from high definition to standard definition and from DVCPRO to AVC-Intra 100. P2 cards offer recording of video, audio, and metadata in any environment, even in challenging conditions of extreme temperature.

E Series P2 cards are reusable for up to five years when recorded on once daily, at full capacity (100%); when used at half capacity (50%), the cards can continue to record for up to 10 years. A notification is given (in the camcorder's LCD/viewfinder or the card reader's display) as the card approaches the end of its life cycle.

The E Series cards are designed to work with Panasonic's full line of P2 camcorders, recorders and workflow tools. A free E Series firmware upgrade for P2 equipment is required for optimum performance.* Additional free downloads available via Panasonic's website include the P2 Driver upgrade (required for operation of cards on Mac or Windows platforms), and the P2 Formatter, a computer software that allows users to display and track the P2 card's capacity and life.

Panasonic P2 memory cards can be connected instantly to laptop and desktop PCs and are supported by major non-linear editing systems. For connection to laptops with ExpressCard slots or desktop computers, professionals can utilize compatible third-party PC card-to-ExpressCard adapters or the Panasonic's
AJ-PCD35 five-slot P2 solid-state memory card drive.

The 64GB E Series P2 card will be available in August at a suggested list price of $998. The E Series will be offered with Panasonic's standard extended lifetime 16GB, 32GB and 64GB P2 cards (A Series).

About P2 HD
P2 HD all solid-state products offer high definition recording without the mechanical wear and environmental limitations of tape, hard disk, and optical disc based systems. P2 HD ensures the highest reliability, especially in challenging conditions of extreme temperature range, shock, and vibration. P2 HD products provide a significant reduction in maintenance costs, longer useful product life, and immediate access to recorded video (no need to digitize, ingest or create proxy video files) and metadata. P2 HD provides the reliability of solid-state production; the immediate connectivity to existing IT infrastructures; the speed, ease of use and portability of P2 cards; and the interoperability with leading NLE systems. Currently, more than 110,000 P2 units are in use around the world.

About Panasonic Broadcast
Panasonic Broadcast & Television Systems Co. is a leading supplier of broadcast and professional video products and systems. Panasonic Broadcast is a Unit of Panasonic Corporation of North America. The company is the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation (NYSE: PC) and the hub of Panasonic's U.S. branding, marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. For more information on Panasonic Broadcast products, visit http://www.panasonic.com/broadcast.

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Adobe Unveils BrowserLab in Free Preview for Web Designers

Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today unveiled a free preview of Adobe BrowserLab, a new hosted service that enables Web designers to quickly view and test their sites on a wide variety of browsers and operating systems. Previously code-named Meer Meer, Adobe BrowserLab provides Web professionals with real-time accurate screenshots of browser renderings and includes multiple viewing and diagnostic tools to help designers pinpoint compatibility issues that can compromise the design and layout integrity of a Web site or page.

"Cross-browser testing has been one of the biggest challenges for Web designers because it is such an arduous and time-intensive task," said Lea Hickman, director, Creative Solutions Business Unit at Adobe. "Now with Adobe BrowserLab, designers have a simple solution that enables comprehensive browser compatibility testing in just a matter of minutes, leaving Web designers with more time to be creative and deliver the high-impact sites customers are demanding."

"We hear from many design shops who simply don't have the resources to be able to support all the browsers and it's very difficult for them to be able to standardize designs which can be damaging to a brand," said Melissa Webster, vice president and program lead for IDC's Content and Digital Media Technologies Research Team. "Adobe BrowserLab is a simple solution that can empower the designer and be a big cost savings to the client."

Key Features of Adobe BrowserLab include support for all modern browsers and operating systems so that Web designers can see how their Web pages will appear across multiple browsers and on a variety of platforms. The initial set of browsers that are supported include Windows® Internet Explorer® 6.x and 7.x; Firefox® 2.x and 3.x; and Safari® 3.x. This capability is enabled by virtualization technology, hosted through a cloud-based application, which eliminates the need to have browsers installed on a system before testing a site. Adobe BrowserLab lets designers compare and contrast browsers via an interface that works on any Adobe Flash Player 10® enabled operating system, making it compatible with Mac and Windows.

In addition, Adobe BrowserLab includes multiple viewing and diagnostic tools to help Web designers easily spot potential issues. For example, designers can view two screenshots from different browsers side-by-side, or they can use the "onion skin mode" to overlay screenshots on top of one another with variable opacity. There is also a zoom function to help zero-in on bugs. Testing preferences can be customized and saved with Browser Sets, for designers who work with specific platforms.

While Adobe BrowserLab can be used by any Web designer it provides Adobe® Dreamweaver® CS4 users extended capabilities to also test Flash technology-based and interactive site elements, including dynamic widgets, rollover effects and AJAX driven content. The direct integration with Dreamweaver CS4 streamlines workflows and allows designers to preview both local and remote Web content without the worry of firewalls or publicly posting confidential client projects.

Pricing and Availability
Adobe BrowserLab is available now in English only as a free preview on a first-come, first-serve basis. It is a tiered release. International versions and the list of supported browsers and operating systems that can be previewed with BrowserLab is expected to grow over time based on customer feedback and demand.

System Requirements
To access the BrowserLab Web site and take advantage of the service users must run: Microsoft® Windows® XP (SP2 Home & Professional or SP3), Windows Vista® or Mac OS X (version10.4 or later); Adobe Flash Player 10; as well as a modern browser such as Firefox version 3 or later, Safari version 3 or later and Internet Explorer 6 or 7. For additional information or to access Adobe BrowserLab, visit http://browserlab.adobe.com.

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