GraphicConverter X 7.6 -- After two builds focused more on maintenance, Lemkesoft’s GraphicConverter X 7.6 rings in the new year with several new features. Additions to the well-regarded graphic conversion software include shadows and highlights, color balance, histogram equalization, and batch processing for sepia adjustments. Support for Mac OS X 10.7 Lion has been improved with recognition of your “natural” scrolling selection plus the option to disable the reopening of last windows at launch. This version also adds improved metadata and search features, support for scanning from network scanners with image capture, Russian translation, and a variety of bug fixes. ($39.95 new from Lemkesoft or from the Mac App Store, free update, 124 MB, release notes)
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BBEdit 10.1.1 -- Bare Bones Software has released BBEdit 10.1.1, a worthwhile update to the beefy HTML and text editor whose few feature changes revolve around the program’s Projects and Open File By Name features. The numerous small changes and bug fixes are individually too minor to get into here (a new Command-/ keyboard shortcut linked to the Un/Comment Selection command for consistency with Xcode is a good example), but it’s well worth reading the comprehensive release notes if you’re a dedicated BBEdit user. If nothing else, they are a good glimpse into just how fussy it is to write professional-level software these days — can you imagine tracking down crashes caused by a bug in the old Flip video codec or by using a font with defective font metrics? ($49.99 new from Bare Bones or the Mac App Store, free update, 7.2 MB, release notes)
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Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 Public Beta -- Continuing a successful tradition started with the first version in 2006, Adobe has released a free public beta of Photoshop Lightroom 4. Version 4 of the professional photo cataloging and editing application adds a new map module for tracking geotagged photos, enhances its support for video files, and incorporates a photo book creation tool. On the editing front, basic adjustments have been simplified, highlight and shadow recovery tools are improved, and a soft proofing feature is now incorporated. The Lightroom 4 public beta is free to use and will expire on 31 March 2012. Note that it won’t convert existing Lightroom catalogs (you don’t want to throw an existing photo library at beta software anyway). (Free during the beta period, 430.3 MB)
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