Adobe picks up video software maker

Acquisition of Serious Magic's lineup adds to the Flash specialist's portfolio of video production tools.

Candace Lombardi
In a software-driven world, it's easy to forget about the nuts and bolts. Whether it's cars, robots, personal gadgetry or industrial machines, Candace Lombardi examines the moving parts that keep our world rotating. A journalist who divides her time between the United States and the United Kingdom, Lombardi has written about technology for the sites of The New York Times, CNET, USA Today, MSN, ZDNet, Silicon.com, and GameSpot. She is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not a current employee of CNET.
Candace Lombardi
2 min read
Adobe Systems announced Thursday that it has acquired Serious Magic, a privately held maker of video production software.

Folsom, Calif.-based Serious Magic's product line includes Vlog It, a Web video tool; Video Communicator, presentation clip production software; and Ultra, a keying technology. These applications include capabilities already found in Adobe's video editing products, but the desktop publisher said it has no immediate plans to roll the technology over into its current product lines.

Adobe said it will continue to sell the Serious Magic software in its current form. It will be offered as an alternative to people who may have outgrown Adobe Premiere Elements, but are not yet ready to jump into Adobe After Effects, said Simon Hayhurst, director of product management for dynamic media at Adobe.

In addition, the Serious Magic software will help wedding photographers and marketers who want to handle production themselves, he said. It should also be useful for video bloggers, Hayhurst said, noting that Adobe's Flash plug-in for video playing is gaining fans online.

"Flash video is becoming the communication vehicle of choice for video on the Web," Hayhurst said. "We've done surveys with YouTube and (other video site) users and see a tremendous amount of Adobe usage, but we want to give them more opportunities," he said.

Adobe, based in San Jose, Calif., has made moves to keep up with the growing demand for video on the Internet, which has been powered in part by YouTube. On Wednesday, Adobe released a beta, or test version, of its Flash Player 9 software for Linux .

The financial terms of the Adobe-Serious Magic deal were not disclosed.