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Something fun – Photoshop online

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Adobe Systems Inc. has released its beta version of Adobe Photoshop Express – a web-based version of Photoshop as a Rich Internet Application (RIA) for anyone who wishes to store, sort and show off their photos online. All you need is an internet connection and Flash Player 9.

px1.jpgPhotoshop Express is free and comes with 2 gigabytes of storage. During its beta period, Adobe will solicit users for feedback on product features and functionality which will continue to evolve. The review that follows is based on what Adobe has on offer as of its first day of beta-hood.

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SHARING
Sharing features are typical, allowing you to upload photos no bigger than 4,000 pixels in width, create folders to put them into and make them public or share it via email. You can also generate a nice flash slideshow of your photos, and you’ll also get a free vanity URL to boot.

EDITING
Photoshop Express comes with the standard photo tools to adjust exposure, white-balance, red-eye, colour and sharpness. There’s also a touch-up tool that functions a lot like the clone stamp, and another set of tools for more creative tweaks.

There is ‘Pop Colour’ – a tool which allows you to pick a colour point in your photo and tweak it to a completely different colour, so you can, technically, become Andy Warhol. There’s also the photoshop standard ‘Sketch’ which is similar to the Posterize function, and ‘Distort’, which can turn your photos into a dizzying Escher-esque masterpiece.

LIKES
What I really like about this is the speed at which it functions – even with the full 4,000 pixel wide image I tested on, the site works almost in real-time, and believe it or not, it is much easier to ‘undo’ on this platform than on the desktop applications. All you need to do is un-tick the effect / action and its gone. You can also step backwards through your changes and view them in a nice reel – a function which I think would be awesome integrated into Adobe’s desktop apps.

Adobe has also done well in partnering with third party sites Facebook, Photobucket and Picasa – you can bring in your Facebook photos and edit them on the Express and send it back when you’re done painlessly.

GRIPES
I don’t have much beef with this frankly innovative combination of Flash and Flex, except that you can’t print directly off the Express, but you can easily get round this by downloading your tweaked pic and printing it off your PC.

Also, it is technically available only to citizens of the US, but all you need to do is sign up and state your country as USA and you too, can use it. Adobe, however, warns that speeds may be slower if it is accessed from locations outside of the US.

One thing to note, however is the Terms of Service –

“Adobe does not claim ownership of Your Content. However, with respect to Your Content that you submit or make available for inclusion on publicly accessible areas of the Services, you grant Adobe a worldwide, royalty-free, nonexclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, and fully sublicensable license to use, distribute, derive revenue or other remuneration from, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, publicly perform and publicly display such Content (in whole or in part) and to incorporate such Content into other Materials or works in any format or medium now known or later developed.”

What the words in bold basically mean – whatever you upload, they own, from now till the end of time.

Besides this scary little clause, there is really no reason why you shouldn’t head over now and create your account!

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