Adobe has unveiled the public beta of Soundbooth, a new audio application the company says is targeted to creative professionals that need to work with audio. Soundbooth will target the same professional market as Apple's SoundTrack Pro, but Adobe believes they will have an edge with Soundbooth.
"I think they are probably going after the same market," Hart Shafer, senior product manager for Adobe Audio products, told Macworld. "However, I think one of the key differences is that SoundTrack Pro is built for audio people -- we think that we have a more focused product for the creative professional market."
Adobe said that Soundbooth was designed from the ground up with the video and Web workflow in mind. While many professionals have to be able to manipulate audio, they don't necessarily need the vast feature set that many high-end audio applications offer.
"We've noticed a split in the audio tools market," said Shafer. "Most of the tools are made for producing sounds, but there is nothing for those making videos to easily work with audio. Soundbooth really provides a toolkit for what creative pros need to get the job done."
While designed to be easy to use, Soundbooth is still a powerful application, according to Adobe. Users are able to record, edit and create audio without requiring training in sound production. You can also remove noise from recordings, polish voiceovers and customize music to fit a production.
"Soundbooth still has flexibility and power, but it's more task based for these particular users," said Shafer. Soundbooth is designed to be a spoke in the visual workflow, while [high-end audio applications like] Audition are designed to be the hub."
While this a completely new application for Adobe, the team utilized ideas and technologies from other parts of the company. For example, the Auto Heal feature in Soundbooth works very much like the Healing Brush in Photoshop. Soundbooth will be a very familiar application for Adobe's customers, explained Shafer.
Soundbooth also features tight integration with Flash, a burgeoning market segment for Adobe and a market the company feels will benefit from an audio product like Soundbooth.
Soundbooth is being developed for Windows and Intel-based Macs only -- it will not work with PowerPC-based systems, according to Adobe.
"We started development on SoundBooth at the same time we learned about Apple's Intel transition," said Shafer. "We realized the only way to get this product cross-platform in the time we wanted was to go with Intel only."
The public beta is available today from Adobe's Web site.