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With Encore, Adobe Goes After DVD Authors

Adobe Systems , known mostly for its Acrobat and Photoshop desktop publishing software, has set its sights on the high-end DVD authoring market.

The San Jose, Calif.-based Adobe on Monday unveiled Adobe Encore DVD, a DVD authoring application that extends the company's digital video product line. While rival firms like Roxio have integrated DVD burning capabilities to desktop software, Adobe is taking a different approach by targeting professional videographers and DVD authors.

Adobe Encore DVD will feature a slick interface that lets technical users create multi-language DVDs with interactive menus, multiple audio tracks and subtitles. To lure users into purchasing the Encore software, the company has tightly integrated it with Adobe Photoshop, one of the most popular digital imaging tool.

"By integrating Adobe Encore DVD with applications critical to the authoring process -- Photoshop, Adobe Premiere and After Effects -- we have created a superior DVD authoring environment that will enable our customers to take their work to the next level," said Bryan Lamkin, VP of digital imaging and video products at Adobe.

Adobe Encore DVD, which ships this summer, will be pried at $549, the company said.

For Adobe, the move is a no-brainer. Research firm IDC is estimating the number of DVD recorders in homes and enterprises will triple by 2004, creating a ready-made market for DVD authoring software. Recordable DVDs, which have a storage capacity of up to 4.7GB, have grown in popularity because of low prices for the PC-based hardware, IDC said.

The new software lets users combine video, audio and subtitles with up to 8 tracks of audio and 32 subtitle tracks. The interface allows users to view their work in a preview window before burning the DVD.

The company said Adobe Encore DVD would offer playback compatibility with support for all recordable DVD formats including DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW and DVD-RAM. It also promises integrated video and audio transcoding, which converts video source files to MPEG-2 and audio source files to Dolby Digital.