Adobe Lightroom Public Beta

Direct competitor to Aperture, available for download as a free public beta that expires in June (intriguingly, only for Mac — support for Windows is coming later). Don’t miss the video tour of Lightroom’s features and interface.

Lightroom is a product of Macromedia Labs, so it’s something Adobe picked up with they bought Macromedia. It looks great, so it may well be one of the reasons they bought Macromedia.

Update: Lightroom has been under development at Adobe for about four years, under the code-name Shadowland — many of the engineers previously worked on ImageReady. That the download is available on the site is a side-effect of Adobe using the former “Macromedia Labs” group and moniker as a testing ground for cutting-edge software.

Also noteworthy are the system requirements, which are much less than Aperture’s:

Adobe Lightroom Beta requires Mac OS X version 10.4.3 (Tiger) or higher, a 1GHz or faster PowerPC G4 or G5 processor (including iBook G4 or PowerBook G4), and 768 MB of RAM (although more is recommended), and 1 GB or more of free hard drive space.

At the very least, we can abandon any thoughts that Adobe will cede anything at all to Aperture. Aperture-v.-Lightroom is going to be a good old-fashioned arch rivalry.

(Via John Siracusa via AIM.)

Monday, 9 January 2006