Premiere Elements 9.0 — Adobe has released Premiere Elements 9.0, the first time the formerly Windows-only consumer video editing software has appeared under Mac OS X. Premiere Elements boasts native AVCHD editing without the need to transcode footage, a Sceneline mode for editing movies in a far simpler manner than the full Timeline mode, integration with the new and included Adobe Elements 9 Organizer application for managing one’s media library, and built-in DVD menu creation and burning capabilities, among other features. Premiere Elements 9 is available now as a downloadable installer (which also serves as a free trial version) or on disc. (For a full review of Premiere Elements 9, see Jeff Carlson’s review in Macworld.) ($99 new, 1.71 GB)
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Photoshop Elements 9.0 — Adobe has updated Photoshop Elements, its consumer image editing software. This new version brings the program closer in line to the Windows software, introducing to the Mac the Adobe Elements 9 Organizer for managing one’s media library. (The Organizer replaces Adobe Bridge for those tasks.) This version finally gains the capability to create layer masks, adds content-aware technology to the Spot Healing Brush for intelligently making repairs, and introduces a new Photomerge feature called Style Match that attempts to replicate the look of one photo by analyzing another. The Guided Edit tools also gain a few Fun Edits presets for creating reflections, pop-art effects, a Lomo effect, and steps for improving portrait photos. Photoshop Elements 9 is available now as a downloadable installer (which also serves as a free trial version) or on disc. ($99 new, 2.01 GB)
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GraphicConverter 7.0 — Lemke Software has released GraphicConverter 7.0, a substantial upgrade to the popular image conversion and editing powerhouse. The new version sports GraphicConverter’s first major new coat of paint in years; it has finally shed the Classic look in favor of a modern, Cocoa-based interface. Beyond the major makeover, GraphicConverter 7.0 introduces a few new features. It now shows images’ embedded geodata on a map, offers a new window for converting multiple files at once, provides stepless zooming of preview images, better organizes the preferences screen, and offers improved support for computers with multiple processors. GraphicConverter 7.0 requires Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard or higher. ($34.95 new, $29.95 upgrade, 100.0 MB)
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Eudora OSE 1.0 — A group of Eudora’s original developers has at long last released Eudora OSE 1.0, an open-source email client based on Mozilla’s Thunderbird email program, but boasting features and interface elements pulled from the classic Eudora that so many people used and liked. Eudora, of course, began life in the late 1980s, but Qualcomm stopped development of the paid version of the software four years ago with version 6.2.4 (see “Eudora Goes Open Source with Thunderbird,” 16 October 2006). Progress on Penelope, as the open-source update to Eudora was code-named, moved slowly, with the first beta release a year later (see “Penelope Project Ships Eudora 8.0.0b1,” 5 September 2007), and the final release after three more years. Many long-time Eudora users have switched to other email programs, but for those who either aren’t happy after the switch or who have held on to Eudora 6.2.4, Eudora OSE is worth a look. The developers advise users updating from the beta versions of Eudora OSE to back up mailbox and preference files before installing the new release. (Free, 21.1 MB)
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Postbox 2 — Postbox, Inc. has released version 2 of its Postbox email software, which gives the open-source Thunderbird email code base a new interface and advanced features. Postbox 2 enables you to create account groups, which are multiple unified inboxes containing just the accounts you specify. Also new is what Postbox calls Conversation View, which will look familiar to Gmail users; it provides additional context by grouping all the messages in a given thread. The new Quick Reply feature lets you compose a response without leaving the message you already have open – you can dash off a terse reply inline as you’re reading a message. Postbox 2 is free to try for 30 days, and family pack licenses are available. Postbox, Inc. also makes the free Postbox Express, which lacks some the features in its big brother, but which gives you an unlimited taste of Postbox’s basics. ($39.95 new, $19.95 upgrade, 12.0 MB)
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Thunderbird 3.1.4 — Mozilla has released Thunderbird 3.1.4, the latest version of its open-source email client. The 3.1 release – which came out earlier in September – made it easier to switch to Thunderbird, whether from earlier versions of the software or from other email clients, thanks to its new Migration Assistant. The new version also introduced tabbed email browsing, mirroring the popular Web browsing feature. Other new niceties include one-click Address Book editing, an attachment reminder (which warns you if you try to send an attachment-free email when your message implies that you planned to attach one), and a Quick Filter search bar for finding messages faster. The 3.1.4 maintenance update corrects a few bugs related to the program’s stability and interface. (Free, 20.5 MB)
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