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Adobe brings audio to Web and video pros

SoundBooth, now in beta, aimed at Web designers, video editors who need a relatively easy audio editing program.

Adobe Systems has released a beta of its new audio-editing program aimed at Web designers and video editors.

Called Soundbooth, the product is designed as an alternative to the company's existing audio-editing product, called Audition. The beta test version of Soundbooth was launched Thursday at Adobe's Max developer conference in Las Vegas.

Adobe decided to create Soundbooth, which will be included in future versions of its Creative Suite, to appeal to people who are not audio specialists, said Hart Shafer, senior product manager for audio products at Adobe.

"Video and Flash (Web designer) professionals are being asked to do more and more with audio," he said. "The person cutting video is being asked to do more audio work before it goes to the audio expert."

Compared with Audition, Soundbooth has a different user interface, borrowing some of the same elements that Adobe uses in its other applications, including Photoshop.

The application is designed around specific tasks, such as changing audio levels for a fade-in. The idea is that the user can learn how to use the program mainly by using it rather than by studying a lengthy tutorial, Shafer said.

Soundbooth will cost less than Audition, which costs $349. It will be available next year and work on Intel-based Macs as well as on machines with Windows Vista and Windows XP.