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MacRumors
Dec 18, 2003, 06:50 PM
Apple has added (http://www.mac.com/1/memberbenefits.html) two new member benefit for .Mac subscribers.

- $10 discount ($39.99 -> $29.99) for ArcSoft's Panorama Maker (http://www.arcsoft.com/en/products/panoramamaker/).
- Free PhotoStudio X (http://www.arcsoft.com/en/products/photostudio/details2.asp) - a $79.99 value.


Versiontracker description (http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/14133&vid=59417) of PhotoStudio X:

PhotoStudio is a powerful, full-featured, easy-to-use photo editing application. It provides a huge collection of photo editing and retouching tools, plus a large assortment of enhancements and special effects with unlimited levels of modification. A highly affordable package, the program also offers many other high-end features such as image management, multiple undo/redo, multiple layers, editable text, macros and batch-processing

sosumi99
Dec 18, 2003, 06:56 PM
Look at the versiontracker ratings for this thing. Why would anyone want crappy software like this?

sabbath999
Dec 18, 2003, 06:57 PM
Wow, it's been a busy day.

Stella
Dec 18, 2003, 07:07 PM
Instead of bitching, why don't you try it.

Most of the comments in VersionTracker were from people who were pissed about PhotoStudio being listed as freeware, when, in fact, its shareware.

Originally posted by sosumi99
Look at the versiontracker ratings for this thing. Why would anyone want crappy software like this?

ITR 81
Dec 18, 2003, 07:07 PM
Originally posted by sosumi99
Look at the versiontracker ratings for this thing. Why would anyone want crappy software like this?

Yeah but everyone gets a rating like that when they start comparing it to photoshop. Hell paintshop pro is a good app. but it always overshadowed by PS.

Jookbox
Dec 18, 2003, 07:16 PM
they should have just made .mac cheaper

geerlingguy
Dec 18, 2003, 07:25 PM
Downloading now...

Has anybody actually used it? I think we should hold judgement until someone actually sees the software. I think the intended audience is more like the neophyte type, not the Photoshop gurus, so there is no comparison there.:rolleyes:

totally_fly
Dec 18, 2003, 07:32 PM
Did anyone else notice that is says for 10.2?

sethypoo
Dec 18, 2003, 07:35 PM
I'll keep my Photoshop, thank you.

Stella
Dec 18, 2003, 07:36 PM
It works under Panther just fine.

Originally posted by totally_fly
Did anyone else notice that is says for 10.2?

iJed
Dec 18, 2003, 08:16 PM
Originally posted by Jookbox
they should have just made .mac cheaper

I think that this is exactly the point that most people will be making. You also have to wonder how they can claim that something that claims to be freeware (which it is not) and has a 1/5 rating on versiontracker can have an $80 value.

FosterKanig
Dec 18, 2003, 08:43 PM
I certainly am going to judge the merits of this product based on TWO ratings. The most recent being in Feb of this year, and the other rating complaining that is is a Classic Only app - which was rated in May of 2002!!!!!
I don't know if it is good or not, but I will certainly not make judgments based on two ancient anonymous reviews. Heck, the red-eye feature HAS to be better than iPhoto's.

And, yes, I know those are only commented reviews, but I have usually found them to be somewhat representative of the actual reviews.

EDIT: It seems, based on the ratings, that these may be the only ratings for the product. Either way, I'll try it before passing judgment.

QuiteSure
Dec 18, 2003, 08:58 PM
I downloaded the app and opened a photo and then felt a little overwhelmed. I've just invested many hours learning Photoshop, and the Arcsoft app did not appear instantaneously intuitive, so I closed it and decided to stick with Photoshop.

I bring this up not to compare the 2 apps, which is somewhat unfair, but to point out that even the Arcsoft app may have too steep a learning curve to appeal to a pure neophyte.

OTOH, if I was a complete mac newbie and I bought .mac and didn't have PS or PS Elements or anything else besides iPhoto, the Arcsoft app may be a worthwhile benefit. It probably doesn't have quite the learning curve of PS, so maybe it's a good thing. However, it makes it even more clear that .mac is for total beginners; I wish that it offered something for a more experienced user.

me_94501
Dec 18, 2003, 09:04 PM
First impressions: It has some decent tools, but a crappy, un-Mac-like interface.

Powerbook G5
Dec 18, 2003, 09:07 PM
It's funny that so many people are complaining about something that Apple is offering .Mac subscribers for free. It's not like they are forcing you to stop using Photoshop or to even download it. This is insane, I for one have found .Mac to be one of the best things I've used with my Mac and every so often Apple throws its users a bone and give us yet another goody that it did not have to do. I love when Apple releases new benefits, it just goes to show that I got some good value out of my $70 investment on top of all of the awesome features that I originally bought it for. I've gotten 4 free games, two free utility programs, a load of discounts, and now a free photo editing program. Sure, it may not make me ditch Photoshop Elements, but I for one am looking forward to taking it for a spin and seeing what its like.

carta
Dec 18, 2003, 09:21 PM
I don't know about using PhotoStudio--I'm a Photoshop and Painter user. But I can't deny the fundamental usefulness of my .Mac subscription.

It's saved me its sign-up costs in FedEx savings. I use it as an easy FTP site. Uploading <100MB graphics files that my broadband customers can download at their convenience has been a small boon to my business workflow.

The other goodies--Virex, Backup, etc.--are nice-to-haves but not real necessities.

The quickie website is somewhere in-between nice-to-have and necessity.

Powerbook G5
Dec 18, 2003, 09:28 PM
My primary reason for getting it was for the .mac email address. I was getting rid of AOL and wanted a new permanent email address that was more professional and not prone to spam like hotmail or yahoo. I then discovered how insanely easy making a webpage was and then I got into using my iDisk, which is just beyond awesome and invaluable for sharing data among computers and locations, plus there are all of those other tools such as Backup and then when you add in the free stuff I've gotten since I became a member in September and I can't even think of a reason not to have it. Between all of the free software I've received from Apple because of my membership, it adds up to about $250 or so, which I cannot complain about.

Duff-Man
Dec 18, 2003, 09:35 PM
Originally posted by QuiteSure
However, it makes it even more clear that .mac is for total beginners; I wish that it offered something for a more experienced user. Duff-Man says.....that is ridiculous. I am *far* from a beginner, very very very far....and I find my .mac account extremely useful and convenient, worth the money easily to me....being a professional, my *time* is worth $$ and .mac features like isync save me more $$ in unwasted time. As for this piece of software, it's just a little bonus, not likely to make me ditch photoshop elements or anything, but I'll give it a look......oh yeah!

Powerbook G5
Dec 18, 2003, 09:44 PM
I agree, I am not a beginner, either, and love .Mac. Just because Apple isn't giving you a $500 photo editing program for free doesn't mean .Mac is for beginners.

As far as the program goes, it looks very similar to Photoshop Elements with the same basic interface layout and feature set. It just seems to have a more elementary GUI design. It's not bad by any means, in fact, if I didn't already have Photoshop Elements, this would definitely be my primary program for simple editing.

TomSmithMacEd
Dec 18, 2003, 09:53 PM
Originally posted by Powerbook G5
It's funny that so many people are complaining about something that Apple is offering .Mac subscribers for free. It's not like they are forcing you to stop using Photoshop or to even download it. This is insane, I for one have found .Mac to be one of the best things I've used with my Mac and every so often Apple throws its users a bone and give us yet another goody that it did not have to do. I love when Apple releases new benefits, it just goes to show that I got some good value out of my $70 investment on top of all of the awesome features that I originally bought it for. I've gotten 4 free games, two free utility programs, a load of discounts, and now a free photo editing program. Sure, it may not make me ditch Photoshop Elements, but I for one am looking forward to taking it for a spin and seeing what its like.

This sums everything up. I mean it is a FREE software! If it is half-ass good it is still good. AT least you can do things you couldn't before.

jettredmont
Dec 18, 2003, 09:59 PM
It would of course be unfair to compare this to Photoshop, but, given that both this and Photoshop Elements 2.0 list at $99, a comparison with Photoshop Elements seems fair.

So: Any comparisons? Without playing with it in detail it seems PhotoStudio is more along the lines of PhotoDelux from Adobe, maybe slightly more advanced, but nowhere near Elements' market ...

Makes me wonder why Apple snubbed Adobe and went with ArcSoft for a promotional deal ...

amberashby
Dec 18, 2003, 10:24 PM
Since we are on the .Mac topic I have a question. I've asked this before in other forums but didn't get a response. I remember reading somewhere that I could somehow "trick" idisk into using my my web server space? Does anyone know how to do this?

I have a .mac account, but would like to increase my 100meg space by using my web servers space.

Anyone? Thanks.

Powerbook G5
Dec 18, 2003, 10:38 PM
Originally posted by jettredmont
It would of course be unfair to compare this to Photoshop, but, given that both this and Photoshop Elements 2.0 list at $99, a comparison with Photoshop Elements seems fair.

So: Any comparisons? Without playing with it in detail it seems PhotoStudio is more along the lines of PhotoDelux from Adobe, maybe slightly more advanced, but nowhere near Elements' market ...

Makes me wonder why Apple snubbed Adobe and went with ArcSoft for a promotional deal ...

This ArcSoft programs gave me the impression of a poor man's Photoshop Elements. It has the same basic tools and same basic interface, heck, it even has it all arranged in the same way as Photoshop Elements. It just doesn't seem as well integrated or developed. I'd say if you were to look at both side to side at the store, that you'd be hard pressed to pick this above Elements, though. If it were maybe $20-30, then I could see it offering people something, but considering that you can find Photoshop Elements in many places for around $50, it just won't hook many. But as a free program, I'd have to recommend anyone who has .Mac and doesn't already have Photoshop to give this a try.

SeaFox
Dec 18, 2003, 11:39 PM
Apple must have gotten a REAAALY good deal from ArcSoft for this one.

I was in Wal-Mart the other day and they're selling Photoshop Elements for $58. Now, if Wal-Mart can sell PA for $58 and still make a profit off of it (then again they may not be selling it at a loss given it's Wal-Mart) Why does Apple have to take another image editor (a crappy one) valued at $80 and give it away.

Powerbook G5
Dec 18, 2003, 11:46 PM
I got Photoshop Elements for $45 back in October and I've seen it many places for $50-60, so I have to assume the actual program isn't that costly, but just marked up by resellers.

Squire
Dec 19, 2003, 12:27 AM
Originally posted by Powerbook G5
It's funny that so many people are complaining about something that Apple is offering .Mac subscribers for free. It's not like they are forcing you to stop using Photoshop or to even download it. This is insane, I for one have found .Mac to be one of the best things I've used with my Mac and every so often Apple throws its users a bone and give us yet another goody that it did not have to do. I love when Apple releases new benefits, it just goes to show that I got some good value out of my $70 investment on top of all of the awesome features that I originally bought it for. I've gotten 4 free games, two free utility programs, a load of discounts, and now a free photo editing program. Sure, it may not make me ditch Photoshop Elements, but I for one am looking forward to taking it for a spin and seeing what its like.

Totally agree.

I wasn't expecting a Christmas gift from Apple and then...boom...I opened Mail and saw this.

I played around with it, resized some photos, added "artistic" touches to exisiting photos, etc. It was fairly easy to use and let me do things that iPhoto can't do. And it was free! (Well, you know.)

Thanks, Apple.

Squire

sjk
Dec 19, 2003, 12:35 AM
And Adobe PSE 2.0 comes bundled with some scanners, like the Canon LIDE-50 which sells for ~$87 on Amazon.com right now.

MacFinn
Dec 19, 2003, 02:28 AM
OK so I'm no Photoshop user, that's not how I make a living.
I've had .Mac for more than a year and was really expecting a Christmas Gift from Apple. I've been looking into low end image editing (used ColorIt 4.01 for years). Now I got it, for free. I paid for .Mac for other reasons.
I've tried this a bit on a pretty ghastly picture and it made it better, fast and easy.
So I could get Photoshop Elements for 99 (no 50 bargains here) or bundled with a scanner. I already got a scanner (which I don't use much), remember this is FREE. I'd pay 50 for this, not 99.

homeshire
Dec 19, 2003, 05:08 AM
so here's what i wanna know -- i'm no graphics pro, and i don't make a living with my mac. i do have the gimp, and i love playing with it. where does photo studio stack up to the gimp? i'm gonna try it and form my own opinions, but i'd like to know what others think. thanks

geerlingguy
Dec 19, 2003, 07:33 AM
Originally posted by me_94501
First impressions: It has some decent tools, but a crappy, un-Mac-like interface.

The interface was pretty bad (just used it last night), and the help was downright stupid (also took about two minutes to show up), but it is a pretty good *free* alternative to Photoshop (if you don't have the money, like me). Of course it won't be as intuitive or fast or helpful as a $700 professional graphics application.

I kinda like it. :)

geerlingguy
Dec 19, 2003, 07:34 AM
Originally posted by homeshire
so here's what i wanna know -- i'm no graphics pro, and i don't make a living with my mac. i do have the gimp, and i love playing with it. where does photo studio stack up to the gimp? i'm gonna try it and form my own opinions, but i'd like to know what others think. thanks

On my G4/400, it's a little bit faster than the GIMP in processing time, looks a little cleaner, and doesn't require opening X11 (not that there's anything inherently wrong with that).

I would give it a shot if I were you.

homeshire
Dec 19, 2003, 07:46 AM
ok, so i've tried it, and i gotta say i like it. otoh, i may only be showing my ignorance with that statement. but for me, it's gonna be a ball to play with.

i was initially less than impressed when i first saw the download because these are (if i'm not mistaken) the same people who provide the software for epson's scanners, and i've always been underwhelmed (to say the least) with that. but my short time with this was fun enough.

most importantly, it's free for my kids to dive into and grow up with, especially in light of the fact that these apps are always very similar. learn one, and you've gone a long way toward learning the paradigm followed by all. when they turn professional at this stuff, they can buy their high-end, high-dollar software and that's fine. but i don't wanna be compelled pay for the option for them to learn. :)

sketchy
Dec 19, 2003, 08:45 AM
Originally posted by geerlingguy
The interface was pretty bad (just used it last night), and the help was downright stupid (also took about two minutes to show up), but it is a pretty good *free* alternative to Photoshop (if you don't have the money, like me). Of course it won't be as intuitive or fast or helpful as a $700 professional graphics application.

I kinda like it. :)

Student discount. High school and college - photoshop is 299, the creative suite premium is 399 vs 1229

If you or anyone you kow is a student -- use that to get the good stuff

Photorun
Dec 19, 2003, 08:53 AM
Originally posted by Duff-Man
Duff-Man says.....that is ridiculous. I am *far* from a beginner, very very very far....and I find my .mac account extremely useful and convenient, worth the money easily to me....being a professional, my *time* is worth $$ and .mac features like isync save me more $$ in unwasted time. As for this piece of software, it's just a little bonus, not likely to make me ditch photoshop elements or anything, but I'll give it a look......oh yeah!

I like this guy!

Powerbook G5
Dec 19, 2003, 09:42 AM
Originally posted by sketchy
Student discount. High school and college - photoshop is 299, the creative suite premium is 399 vs 1229

If you or anyone you kow is a student -- use that to get the good stuff

For many people. $300 is still way too expensive. For me it was and even at $45, I had to convince myself I really needed to get Photoshop Elements. If this were offered for free two months ago, I would have not purchased Elements and just used Photostudio instead.

kkubaryc
Dec 19, 2003, 09:50 AM
In a sense, Apple is "endorsing" certain programs with these deals. I bought iBlog a couple days before Apple started giving it away for free (I don't have a .mac account anyway), and I think that by dramatically increasing the userbase the quality of the program should increase further.

That said, GraphicConverter has grown from being a simple format changer into a fully useful image editor (much faster to load than PS on an older Mac), and I use it often when I only want to crop or adjust brightness and contrast or gamma. Doesn't anyone else out there think that GraphicConverter might have been a worthy alternate choice (and totally battle-tested)? Also, it currently enjoys a 4.8 overall rating on VersionTracker.

Powerbook G5
Dec 19, 2003, 09:54 AM
I remember using Graphics Converter on OS 8.6 nearly 5 years ago when it was still a very simple shareware program used to change file formats more than anything. The new version came preinstalled with my computer I believe and from what I saw of it, the program has become quite the impressive tool for a little of anything you may need done to touch up an image. That being said, I have also noticed that 10.3.2 has done a lot towards cutting startup times for Photoshop nearly in half.

wordmunger
Dec 19, 2003, 10:05 AM
Just downloaded Photostudio X. Played with it for a while. It's a usable basic photo editing program, but doesn't offer the tools I need--bezier selections, channels, masking, etc. I'll stick with GIMP for my free photo editing needs.

medea
Dec 19, 2003, 11:31 AM
Obviously this is offered for the crowd that uses iPhoto and does not own Photoshop.
I actually can not afford Photoshop at the moment, nor Elements, because I have better things to spend money on as I do not do much photo work.
If the program is no good to you, then whoopdeedoo who cares, it will be good for some people though and that is what matters.

Sheebahawk
Dec 19, 2003, 06:17 PM
.mac looks like a really sweet deal, been thinking about signing up after I get my hands on an ipod, in february or march, depending on what comes. Free anything's always good, I could find tons of use for the photo editing software as well as all the other bonuses Apple's given. I would also suggest getting a .mac to a new computer purchaser or a mac virgin. Or even an old person who has trouble with computers. Doesn't mean.mac is for begginnerrs. I've used apple computers for over 90 percent of my lifetime, I wasnt a begginner when mice came out.
Even though I know photoshop I'd still rather get a free program I could have some fun with, than pay money for one I don't need.

kangaroo
Dec 19, 2003, 08:02 PM
if it hasn't already been suggested...i'll bet this means iPhoto will not see an update any time soon.:rolleyes:

QuiteSure
Dec 20, 2003, 08:00 AM
Originally posted by kangaroo
if it hasn't already been suggested...i'll bet this means iPhoto will not see an update any time soon.:rolleyes:

I disagree. iPhoto is primarily an organizational tool, with some VERY limited editing functions. Many users complain about iPhoto's limitations as an organizer: slow when using large libraries, inability to natively use multiple libraries and the like. I would never really expect iPhoto to have any significant additions in the photo editing features department.

geerlingguy
Dec 20, 2003, 04:28 PM
ditto.

I think Apple will somehow figure out a way to speed iPhoto up (hopefully quite a bit), then add some good picture titling features. After that, maybe work on the way they organize the pictures, then speed it up some more. Someday it may be as fast as the Finder!

Powerbook G5
Dec 20, 2003, 04:30 PM
The Finder isn't as fast as it could and should be.