TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Kool Tools: Microsoft Expression Media 2

Volume Number: 24
Issue Number: 10
Column Tag: Kool Tools

Kool Tools: Microsoft Expression Media 2

by Dennis Sellers

Along with the release of Office 2008 for the Mac earlier this year, Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit (best known as the Mac BU) also released a Mac version of Expression Media 2. If you need to visually catalog and organize media elements, you'll find the software useful.

With Expression Media 2-based on the iView MediaPro software Microsoft bought in June 2006-you can create visual databases (or "catalogs") of media containing references of up to 128,000 files per catalog. You can store the catalogs just about anywhere (on shared folders, CDs, hard drives, DVDs, etc.) and use integrated search tools within Expression Media to keep track of them.

Like all well-behaved Mac apps, Expression Media 2 supports drag and drop. You can drag and drop documents, images, fonts, and more into a thumbnail-based visual catalog. Expression Media 2 implements hierarchical tagging and supports file system integration features, such as automatic synchronization and folder watching. You can search and sort media by a variety of criteria-and even rename media files and folders directly within the software.

Expression Media 2 supports standard metadata formats like EXIF, IPTC, and XMP, as well as Nikon D40X, Sony's A100 RAW format (for geotagging functionality) and Microsoft's emerging JPEG-XR standard-and can generate a thumbnail for most of them. Data can be exported into a variety of formats, as well.

The software offers five different views for reviewing images, listening to music or watching movies: List, Thumbnail, Media, Lightbox and Slide Show. You can also choose up to six files to compare side-by-side in full screen view.

The Image Editor lets you perform a variety of editing tasks, such as cropping, red-eye removal . creating duotones and adjusting color balance. There are also several built-in auto enhancements for touching up images, as well as support for built-in color profiles for keeping colors accurate and consistent across your workflow.

With Expression Media 2, you can extract and preview images from your digital files. And you can import or export, add or edit metadata from those files for searching and sorting.

Expression Media 2 lets you publish and distribute media with cross-platform slide shows, video, and web galleries. The software comes with several templates. You can use them as they are - or tweak 'em to your heart's desire by modifying the timings, grids, transitions and audio playback.

After you've done a lot of work, you don't want to risk losing it. Expression Media 2 has features for archiving and backing up your media files, folders and catalogs to CD, DVD, hard disk or any mountable volume. Volumes can be unmounted after import, so you can use the Microsoftware to catalog CD-ROMs and other offline media.

Most of the software's features can be applied in a "batch" to different elements. Expression Media also has scripting capabilities that can be integrated with third-party application and tools.

Your media doesn't have to be online (e.g., in a mounted volume) to use the software. Even when your originals are offline, the software's visual catalogs allow you to browse, search, and annotate your assets.

Your work can be viewed by anyone who has the cross-platform, free Expression Media Reader. You can also output to outputting to contact sheets and web galleries. A recent update also added multi-monitor Light Table support. This means you can have the Light Table (for processing and rating images and other files) open on one monitor while the catalogue and tools are open on another.

Microsoft's Expression Media feature does a bit of a dance around something that's already accomplished by iPhoto or Aperture, but incorporates it into the suite and allows the user to employ some basic web graphics and simple photo manipulation. This is something that may be useful if you are using a workflow, particularly that integrates with the Microsoft Office 2008 workspace.

Expression Media 2 is for Expression Media 2 is available either separately for $199 or as part of the full Expression Studio 2 for $699. The Studio bundle also includes Expression Web 2 (a web site design tool), Expression Blend (a design tool for creating user interfaces), Expression design (an illustration and graphic design tool), and Expression Encoder (which lets you import and encode video files, produce live webcasts, enhance media with watermarks and advertising, and publish with Microsoft Silverlight).

Qualifying iView MediaPro customers and owners of other qualifying products, can upgrade to Expression Media for $99. Expression Web, Expression Blend, Expression Media & Expression Studio customers can upgrade to the full Expression Studio 2 for $349. A fully featured 30 day free trial for Expression Media 2 is currently available for download here:

Then there's Office 2008 for Mac Special Media Edition (which lists for $499.99), which is a bundle of the standard edition of Office and Expression Media 2.

Expression Media 2 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or 10.5. It's a Universal Binary, so it runs natively on both PowerPC and Intel Macs. If you're using it with 10.5 ("Leopard") you can preview your files without opening them thanks to support of the QuickLook technology.

Dennis Sellers is a long time journalist. He started in the newspaper business, but has been in the online journalism business for the past 15 years. He's the editor/publisher of Macsimum News (


Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

The best GIF making apps
Animated GIFs have exploded in popularity recently which is likely thanks to a combination of Tumblr, our shorter attention spans, and the simple fact they’re a lot of fun. [Read more] | Read more »
The best remote desktop apps for iOS
We've been sifting through the App Store to find the best ways to do computer tasks on a tablet. That gave us a thought - what if we could just do computer tasks from our tablets? Here's a list of the best remote desktop apps to help you use your... | Read more »
Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade guide - How...
Warhammer 40,000: Freebladejust launched in the App Store and it lets you live your childhood dream of blowing up and slashing a bunch of enemies as a massive, hulking Space Marine. It's not easy being a Space Marine though - and particularly if... | Read more »
Gopogo guide - How to bounce like the be...
Nitrome just launched a new game and, as to be expected, it's a lot of addictive fun. It's called Gopogo, and it challenges you to hoparound a bunch of platforms, avoiding enemies and picking up shiny stuff. It's not easy though - just like the... | Read more »
Sago Mini Superhero (Education)
Sago Mini Superhero 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: KAPOW! Jack the rabbit bursts into the sky as the Sago Mini Superhero! Fly with Jack as he lifts impossible weights,... | Read more »
Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes guide - How...
Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes is all about collecting heroes, powering them up, and using them together to defeat your foes. It's pretty straightforward stuff for the most part, but increasing your characters' stats can be a bit confusing because it... | Read more »
The best cooking apps (just in time for...
It’s that time of year again, where you’ll be gathering around the dinner table with your family and a huge feast in front of you. [Read more] | Read more »
Square Rave guide - How to grab those te...
Square Rave is an awesome little music-oriented puzzle game that smacks of games like Lumines, but with its own unique sense of gameplay. To help wrap your head around the game, keep the following tips and tricks in mind. [Read more] | Read more »
Snowboard Party 2 (Games)
Snowboard Party 2 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Crowned the best snowboarding game available on the market, Snowboard Party is back to fulfill all your adrenaline needs in... | Read more »
One Button Travel (Games)
One Button Travel 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: “To cut a long story short, If you like interactive fiction, just go buy this one.” - “Oozes the polish that... | Read more »

Price Scanner via

iMobie Releases its Ace iOS Cleaner PhoneClea...
iMobie Inc. has announced the new update of PhoneClean 4, its iOS cleaner designed to reclaim wasted space on iPhone/iPad for use and keep the device fast. Alongside, iMobie hosts a 3-day giveaway of... Read more
U.S. Cellular Offering iPad Pro
U.S. Cellular today announced that it is offering the new iPad Pro with Wi-Fi + Cellular, featuring a 12.9-inch Retina display with 5.6 million pixels — the most ever in an iOS device. U.S. Cellular... Read more
Newegg Canada Unveils Black Friday Deals for...
Newegg Canada is offering more than 1,000 deep discounts to Canadian customers this Black Friday, available now through Cyber Monday, with new deals posted throughout the week. “Black Friday is... Read more
Black Friday: Macs on sale for up to $500 off...
BLACK FRIDAY B&H Photo has all new Macs on sale for up to $500 off MSRP as part of their early Black Friday sale including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $... Read more
Black Friday: Up to $125 off iPad Air 2s at B...
BLACK FRIDAY Walmart has the 16GB iPad Air 2 WiFi on sale for $100 off MSRP on their online store. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available): - 16GB iPad Air 2 WiFi: $399, save $... Read more
Black Friday: iPad mini 4s on sale for $100 o...
BLACK FRIDAY Best Buy has iPad mini 4s on sale for $100 off MSRP on their online store for Black Friday. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available): - 16GB iPad mini 4 WiFi: $299.... Read more
Black Friday: Apple Watch for up to $100 off...
BLACK FRIDAY Apple resellers are offering discounts and bundles with the purchase of an Apple Watch this Black Friday. Below is a roundup of the deals being offered by authorized Watch resellers:... Read more
Black Friday: Target offers 6th Generation iP...
BLACK FRIDAY Save $40 to $60 on a 6th generation iPod touch at Target with free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices for online orders only, in-store prices may vary: -... Read more
Black Friday: Walmart and Target offer iPod n...
BLACK FRIDAY Walmart has the 16GB iPod nano (various colors) on sale for $119.20 on their online store for a limited time. That’s $30 off MSRP. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if... Read more
Black Friday: Target and Walmart offer new Ap...
BLACK FRIDAY Take up to $50 off the price of a new Apple TV at Target and Walmart this Black Friday. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available): 32GB Apple TV: Target: $112.49,... Read more

Jobs Board

Storefront Operations Coordinator, *Apple* -...
# Storefront Operations Coordinator, Apple -Latin America Job Number: 43587750 Miami, Florida, United States Posted: Oct. 16, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** The Read more
*Apple* Enterprise / Government Professional...
# Apple Enterprise / Gove ment Professional Services Engineer Job Number: 42292976 Reston, Virginia, United States Posted: Aug. 18, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Read more
iOS Wallet & *Apple* Pay Engineer - App...
# iOS Wallet & Apple Pay Engineer Job Number: 40586801 Santa Clara Valley, Califo ia, United States Posted: Nov. 16, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** The iOS Read more
Software Engineer, *Apple* Watch - Clock Fa...
# Software Engineer, Apple Watch - Clock Face Team Job Number: 44368761 Santa Clara Valley, Califo ia, United States Posted: Nov. 14, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Read more
Administrative Assistant, *Apple* Online St...
# Administrative Assistant, Apple Online Store Job Number: 43992352 Santa Clara Valley, Califo ia, United States Posted: Nov. 9, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.