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: http://www.microsoft.com/expression/try-it/default.aspx

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 (http://www.macsimumnews.com)

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

How to manage your time in Bakery Blitz
It can be tricky, especially when you risk burning your kitchen to the ground if you forget a cake in the oven, so make sure to use these time management tricks to keep your bakery running smoothly. Don’t collect the money right away [Read more] | Read more »
Model 15 (Music)
Model 15 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Music Price: $29.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: The Moog Model 15 App is the first Moog modular synthesizer and synthesis educational tool created exclusively for iPad, iPhone and... | Read more »
How to deal with wind in Angry Birds Act...
Angry Birds Action! is a physics-based puzzler in which you're tasked with dragging and launching birds around an obstacle-littered field to achieve a set objective. It's simple enough at first, but when wind gets introduced things can get pretty... | Read more »
How to get three stars in every level of...
Angry Birds Action! is, essentially, a pinball-style take on the pull-and-fling action of the original games. When you first boot it up, you'll likely be wondering exactly what it is you have to do to get a good score. Well, never fear as 148Apps... | Read more »
The beginner's guide to Warbits
Warbits is a turn-based strategy that's clearly inspired by Nintendo's Advance Wars series. Since turn-based strategy games can be kind of tricky to dive into, see below for a few tips to help you in the beginning. Positioning is crucial [Read... | Read more »
How to upgrade your character in Spellsp...
So you’ve mastered the basics of Spellspire. By which I mean you’ve realised it’s all about spelling things in a spire. What next? Well you’re going to need to figure out how to toughen up your character. It’s all well and good being able to spell... | Read more »
5 slither.io mash-ups we'd love to...
If there's one thing that slither.io has proved, it's that the addictive gameplay of Agar.io can be transplanted onto basically anything and it will still be good fun. It wouldn't be surprising if we saw other developers jumping on the bandwagon,... | Read more »
How to navigate the terrain in Sky Charm...
Sky Charms is a whimsical match-'em up adventure that uses creative level design to really ramp up the difficulty. [Read more] | Read more »
Victorious Knight (Games)
Victorious Knight 1.3 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.3 (iTunes) Description: New challenges awaits you! Experience fresh RPG experience with a unique combat mechanic, packed with high quality 3D... | Read more »
Agent Gumball - Roguelike Spy Game (Gam...
Agent Gumball - Roguelike Spy Game 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Someone’s been spying on Gumball. What the what?! Two can play at that game! GO UNDERCOVERSneak past enemy... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999,...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
Apple refurbished 2015 iMacs available for up...
Apple now has a full line of Certified Refurbished 2015 21″ & 27″ iMacs available for up to $350 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. The following models are... Read more
Indian Smartphone Market Grows Annually by 12...
India’s smartphone market grew by 12 percent year-over-year, with 24.4 million units shipping in Q1 2016. The top five vendors stayed the same, with Samsung in the lead, followed by Micromax, Intex... Read more
Get Notifications When Your Friend’s Phone Ba...
Calgary, Canada based Stonelight Pictures has announced the release of Battery Share 1.0.1, its new utility for iOS 9 supported devices. The company notes that people are spending more time on their... Read more
11-inch 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air on sale for...
Amazon has the current-generation 11″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air (sku MJVM2LL/A) on sale for $749.99 for a limited time. Their price is $150 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model... Read more
Price drops on clearance 2015 13-inch MacBook...
B&H Photo has dropped prices on clearance 2015 13″ MacBook Airs by up to $250. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB MacBook Air (MJVE2LL/A): $799, $200... Read more
Mac minis on sale for up to $100 off MSRP
B&H Photo has Mac minis on sale for up to $100 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $449 $50 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac mini: $649 $50 off MSRP - 2.8GHz Mac mini... Read more
13-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to...
B&H Photo has 13″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for $130-$200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro: $1169 $130 off MSRP - 13″ 2.7GHz/... Read more
Apple price trackers, updated continuously
Scan our Apple Price Trackers for the latest information on sales, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers. We update the trackers continuously: - 15″... Read more
SanDisk Half-Terabyte SSD Optimized for Every...
SanDisk Corporation has announced the SanDisk Z410 SSD, a cost-competitive, half-terabyte solid state drive (SSD) that enables manufacturers to design for a broad range of desktop PCs and laptops.... Read more

Jobs Board

Restaurant Manager (Neighborhood Captain) - A...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
Simply Mac *Apple* Specialist- Service Repa...
Simply Mac is the largest premier retailer of Apple products in the nation. In order to support our growing customer base, we are currently looking for a driven Read more
Restaurant Manager (Neighborhood Captain) - A...
…in every aspect of daily operation WHY YOU LL LIKE IT You ll be the Big Apple You ll solve problems You ll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Restaurant Manager (Neighborhood Captain) - A...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.