Macromedia Studio 8

Macromedia this week delivered Studio 8, basically an upgrade to Flash and Dreamweaver. Macromedia offered a pre-sale for this upgrade and anyone who pre-ordered the Studio 8 also got a Studio 8 backpack. I pre-ordered the software mainly because the Macromedia suite of apps are crucial to my business. There is rarely a day that goes by when I don’t use Flash or Dreamweaver, so for me this was a given that I’d upgrade, and for a free backpack – why not?

Funny thing is, it’s a nice backpack! It’s perfect for the mobile computer user. It has a padded spot for a laptop, it has side pocket for an iPod and a cell phone. It has a spot in the back for CD’s and even a Palm Pilot or Pocket PC. Now I can go mobile and look like a geeky dork like all the rest of the backpack wearing fools!

Back to Suite 8. As I stated, it came with an upgrade to Flash and Dreamweaver. My previous version of Flash was Flash MX 2004, and I don’t believe it was the “Professional” version. The new Flash is the “Professional” version. It includes a nifty additional app called the Flash 8 Video Encoder. Now it is so much easier to add video to Flash projects. Very exciting. It’s also nice to see them dropping the MX + year, and go back to straight version #’s. Did the addition of MX increase sales?

I haven’t had much time to play with the new features, and there are some fun ones! But I am very happy with the subtle enhancements they made. The Mac version of Flash never had the ability to open multiple documents into one tabbed window. If you wanted to open more than one Flash doc, it opened in a separate window, and you had to keep going to the Window menu to select the document you wanted to edit. Not horrible, but the new tabbed appearance makes it so much easier to work with a number of documents. The biggest annoyance in the old Flash was that the Library palette would never remember its placement. Every doc I opened in Flash always reset the Library position to the exact center of the monitor. I’ve tried everything to fix that. The new Flash has fixed that and now the Library palette behaves! Wee!

As for the Dreamweaver updates, I’ll have to get back to you on that. I’m currently swamped with so much Flash work that I have only opened DW a few times for basic HTML edits. I will say that the interface looks much much friendlier. I’ll cover more on this as I explore it.
The Studio 8 upgrade came with a couple other applications too:
Contribute 3 – don’t know if I’ll ever use it…
Fireworks 8 – looks promising…
And…

Exploring Studio 8 Documentation. I need to make time to go through this to see how to best use the new features. Weeeee indeed.

The real question I’ll have to answer later – was it worth $399 for the upgrade?

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