Macromedia Previews Flash 2
Public beta available; leading Web animation tool now supports sound
San Francisco, CA--March 31, 1997--Macromedia (NASDAQ:MACR), a leading provider of cross-platform software tools for digital media creation and publishing, today announced the public beta release of Macromedia Flash™ 2. Flash allows both professional and amateur Web site designers to deliver fast interactive animations, buttons, graphics -- and now sound -- even over slower modem connections. The extremely compact Shockwave™ Flash player and file format makes it a snap for everyone on the Web to view dazzling Web creations. The public beta is available April 1 at http://www.macromedia.com/software/flash/.
Flash 2 is the first tool for creating and animating vector-based, resolution-independent graphics without programming. Sites such as the Microsoft Network and the Simpsons have already adopted Flash as the solution for Web interfaces and animation. Macromedia now offers developers both Flash 2 to create fast and fun Web animations that can be placed throughout a Web site, and Director™ 6 to develop CD-quality Shockwave content like games and simulations.
"Flash is fun and easy to use with support for buttons, music and narration," said Norm Meyrowitz, chief technology officer and general manager of Internet and Multimedia Division at Macromedia. "Anyone using a WYSIWYG HTML editor can purchase Flash and really get to the next level of dynamic Web page design and animation."
Both professional developers and Web enthusiasts can use Flash 2 to create animated, interactive Web interfaces, advertising banners, navigation buttons, panels, logos and cartoons. The new version of Flash supports synchronized WAV (Windows) and AIFF (Macintosh) sound, enabling users to synchronize audio effects such as voice overs or button clicks to the graphics. Flash lets developers re-use a single sound file to produce various effects like fade in and fade out, keeping file sizes small and playback fast. Flash also supports files created in Macromedia FreeHand™.
Flash 2 includes enhanced bitmap editing, enabling vector and bitmap integration. Users can now import digitized photographs into Flash that can be painted, tinted, erased, brightened or used as a tiled fill. Flash 2 also features a new autotrace capability that converts pixel-based GIFs or JPEGs into ultra-small, resolution independent vector-based graphics.
"We currently use Flash because it creates such small files and provides streaming capabilities," said Megan Wheeler of Adáhoc Interactive . "We are excited to begin using Flash 2 because the addition of audio and enhanced bitmap support will allow us to create even more engaging content."
Macromedia will provide customers with over 200MB of clip art, font and bitmap files with Flash 2 when it ships in May. Web designers are no longer limited to Courier and Times in their font selection, they can now integrate any TrueType font from their favorite font program, like Macromedia Fontographer¨. Flash also supports custom fonts and sizes, alignment, kerning, tracking, line spacing and indents.
Pricing and Availability
The beta version of Flash 2 is available beginning April 1, 1997 from Macromedia's Web site www.macromedia.com. Macromedia will be taking pre-orders for Flash 2 beginning April 1 at Macromall. The shipping product will be available this Spring for an estimated street price of US$199. Upgrades to version 2 are available for US$99. Interested parties outside North America should contact their local Macromedia distributor for pricing and availability.
Web surfers who want to view content created with Flash can download the Shockwave Player which plays both Flash and Director movies, or get the compact Shockwave Flash player, which plays Flash movies. Both are available at www.macromedia.com.
Macromedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: MACR) is the leading provider of cross-platform software tools for Web publishing, multimedia and graphics. With headquarters in San Francisco, only Macromedia delivers a complete, affordable set of software tools for digital media creation and delivery anywhere. Macromedia's award-winning products for Windows, Macintosh and the Internet are available to business, education, and government customers in over 50 countries. Additional information on Macromedia is available on the Internet at www.macromedia.com.# # #
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