Every weekday I produce a five minute enhanced audio podcast on several top Apple stories of the day. As a result, even though I’ve a catalogue of images that I have built for the show. However, with every episode I have to produce a few more for new stories. For the last several months I have been using Pixelmator (http://www.pixelmator.com, created by New Zealand based Ambient Design Ltd. to accomplish this task.

“Pixelmator, the beautifully designed, easy-to-use, fast and powerful image editor for Mac OS X has everything you need to create, edit and enhance your images.”

Pixelmator (US$59) is an extremely powerful image editing tool built exclusively around Mac OS X technologies. Let me show you around.

The Juice

Pixelmator is a graphics program built specifically to take advantage of all that MacOS X has to offer developers. It’s compatible with over 100 still image file formats from TIFF to YUV. You’re even able to open PSD files. You have a full assortment of painting tools, layers, retouching, filters, effects and color correction tools. Pixelmator can attach your Pixelmator image quickly and simply to an email message or to send it to your iPhoto Library.

Use It to attach your image quickly and simply to an email message or to send it to your iPhoto Library. It utilizes Automator and Mac OS X’s Core Image to speed up your workflow. It also comes with a bunch or preset canvas sizes to use from iTunes Artwork, to a plethora of video size canvases from 4:3 to 16:9.

And it’s supported by Snow Leopard. And their support is absolutely stellar, from the manuals to the video tutorials produced by ScreencastOnline’s Don McAllister.

The Pulp

Without the tools (especially the pre-sized canvases), my time would double to produce my daily podcast. Once I start integrating Automator, I’m sure that I can reduce that time further still while producing even more professional looking images. And I know that I’ve only scraped the service of the possibilities.

The Rind

The only thingĀ  that I wish (other than me being smarter and more talented), would be if Pixelmator had was some quick and dirty drop shadows and effects to choose from like in Adobe’s Elements. But then again, there’s probably a way for me to construct an Automator script to do this.

Summary

Pixelmator is a must have if you’re doing graphic work. And at what is a steal of a price, you’d be crazy not to get it. Secretly, I’d love to see how fast this program would run on a SSD!

Now, I just have to build an Automator script to have it build the whole show at the snap of my fingers…

Rating: 9.5 of 10

— Frank Petrie