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Inside Adobe's AIR bus (and AIR applications)

Adobe sends a bunch of its developer evangelists on a road trip to show of AIR applications.

BOSTON--As marketing gimmicks go, this one is pretty good: put a bunch of coders and tech evangelists on tour bus once used by The Who and Def Leppard and send them on a cross-country road trip.

That's just what Adobe Systems has done with its AIR Bus Tour, which visited Boston last Friday.

Ten employees of Adobe will making three two-week trips to tout Adobe Integrated Runtime, or AIR, Adobe's software for running Web applications on desktop PCs.

At the Boston event on Friday, Adobe rich-Internet application evangelist Ryan Stewart (and ZDNet blogger) showed off a number of applications already using AIR.

The FineTune music player can look at the listener's local iTunes file to suggest music from its Web radio service. And Adobe's Media Player can download videos to have them ready for playback.

As the screenshot above shows, AIR applications are integrated with the desktop operating system so that they have desktop icons and work with the local file system.

AIR is now in beta. A second beta is expected to be released at Adobe's Max conference in Chicago in October and a final release is scheduled for the first quarter of next year.

During the East Coast trip to Boston, Adobe employees wrote about a dozen applications, including several mashups that use geospatial data from the bus' GPS receiver. So even the bus is programmable. (Here are the bus' APIs.)

Living, coding, and driving with your colleagues for two weeks is probably not the most fun way to spend your summer. But how often can you live like a rock star on tech evangelist's salary?