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Adobe Releases Creative Suite 5.5

Adobe has released its Creative Suite 5.5, a year after the release of CS 5 (see earlier post). This is a new direction for Adobe, which typically releases major new versions of its CS line every couple of years, followed by interim updates to the individual tools.

With CS 5.5, Adobe is releasing a point upgrade to its full CS Design, Web, and Production suites (and the full Master Collection with all the applications), with significant updates to some -- but not all -- of the key applications:

  • Design - InDesign
  • Web - Flash Pro, Flash Catalyst, Dreamweaver
  • Production - After Effects, Premiere Pro, Device Central, Media Encoder

The other big change is the replacement of Soundbooth with the full Adobe Audition application for audio recording, editing, multitrack mixing, mastering, and sweetening with noise reduction and effects.

The CS 5.5 Design and Web suites feature support for developing mobile and tablet applications that run on iPhone, iPad, Android devices and the BlackBerry Playbook, as well as new HTML5 support.

And while Photoshop was not updated, CS5.5 supports building tablet applications that interact with Photoshop from Android, BlackBerry and iOS devices. Adobe has released demonstration iPad applications including Adobe Color Lava, Adobe Eazel, and Adobe Nav for Photoshop.

For the Production suite, CS5 featured performance improvements from 64-bit support in Photoshop, Premiere Pro, and After Effects, plus the Mercury Playback Engine in Premiere Pro for GPU-accelerated real-time editing and playback (see earlier post).

Besides the addition of Audition, CS 5.5 extends this GPU acceleration, and enhances file-based workflow for RED and other tapeless cameras and project exchange support for Final Cut Pro and Avid Pro Tools. After Effects adds powerful Warp Stabilizer, Camera Lens Blur and Light Falloff effects. Media Encoder also steps up to 64-bit, with background rendering and watch folders.

The price for the suites and individual applications remains the same as CS 5, with upgrade pricing for previous versions of the suites or applications. But with CS 5.5, Adobe also is introducing subscription access to the CS suites and individual applications. This should be particularly useful for a short-term project, or a peak in staffing, or to try out to the latest version of the software. You can install the applications and use them month to month, paying for the specific software that you need, when you need them.

A subscription for the entire Master Collection for $195 a month (or $129 with a one-year commitment), the Design or Web or Production suites for around $135 ($90) a month, or individual tools including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Flash Pro, Dreamweaver, After Effects, and Premiere Pro for around $35 - $50 ($50 - $75).

See my article, Summary: Adobe Creative Suite 5.5, for a breakdown of the tools and suites, and highlights of what's new with the CS5.5 applications.

See my Video Editing Software Gallery for more on consumer and professional video tools.

Find Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5, CS5.5 Production Premium, and CS5.5 Master Collection on Amazon.com.

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This entry posted on May 5, 2011.

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