Macromedia Studio 8
Macromedia Studio 8 is a complete toolkit for Web designers and animators, and it introduces new features that will make creative mouths water. Many digital content makers can find their way around Macromedia software in their sleep, but the upgrade to Studio 8 makes common tasks easier to execute for those without coding expertise. The suite wraps together an animation tool, Dreamweaver 8; and a graphics editor, . Also included are the PDF maker and the Web site manager . Vector graphics app FreeHand MX has vanished from the suite, partly because it duplicated functions offered by Fireworks. The most tantalizing new product in this bundle is Flash 8, particularly because it introduces alpha channel video creation and provides abundant new effects that animators can manipulate in real time. To shrink the file sizes and hasten the playback time of Flash animation on end-user desktops, Macromedia gutted and rebuilt its popular Flash Player. And Flash, Fireworks, and Dreamweaver now optimize multimedia content for cell phones, PDAs, and other mobile gadgets yet to come. Just don't expect Adobe's plans to buy Macromedia to result in hybrid Adobe-Macromedia software quite yet; Studio 8 offers no such surprises. Studio 8 costs $999, or $399 to upgrade from Studio MX 2004 or earlier versions.; a Web design app,
We installed the entire Macromedia Studio 8 suite in less than half an hour without problems on our test Windows XP computer. To make room for the suite, Macromedia recommends freeing up 1.8GB of free hard disk space on a PC running Windows 2000 or higher. Once you open the programs, their well-organized interfaces look similar to those in version Studio MX 2004.