Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Shadowland in Beta

A day late and an OS short... Adobe's first new (internal, from scratch) product in yonks is finally out in early beta: Lightroom. Only for Mac, alas. No, it's not a response to Aperture, as everyone thinks on first hearing about it; it's been in development forever, even when I was there.

This is a lengthy story of the dev. history, a bit too starry-eyed, People-magazine-style for me: Photoshop News » The Shadowland/Lightroom Development Story. Pretty much my take on this whole thing is "Don't try this at home," and better yet, "If we try this at the office, can't we all do better?" Is it that hard to innovate, incubate, and manage the release of a new product?

Maybe one of the lessons here is "Make sure you've got a good UI designer on staff during the whole process." But I'm definitely biased on that reading.

2 comments :

steve said...

Interesting and even frightening ... seeing the Kai Krause-like tool brought any number of strange feelings.

For what its worth I had an email chat with a professional photographer friend who went out and bought Aperture along with testing the Adobe beta. The Apple tool is buggy and a cpu hog (he has a dual 1.8 G5 and it clearly isn't enough). To make matters worse the RAW converter for the camera he uses isn't great. He's pissed at Apple for selling him a $500 beta.

He likes some features of the Adobe tool - it is much faster than Apple's and does RAW correctly. He also feels the interface is not in competition with Apple's. His use of Photoshop is similar to mine - eg - a different part of the workflow, so much of what is in the Adobe tool is fluff for him.

It will be interesting to re-visit these products in a year and see how they perform.

Lynn said...

I remember you showing me the Kai stuff at AT&T, so although I was never a big user, I had a similar cool shiver on reading it.

Yeesh. It would be interesting if Aperture and Lightroom accidentally hit the same exact target, but I wouldn't expect it. It sure does look fast and slick in the demo. I wouldn't have believed the video demo if they hadn't explicitly said it was a performing wizard on ordinary hardware.