What’s your dream-team online news software package?

Hey online news friends, delicious network pals, social networking junkies, and actual co-workers:

Imagine you were switching desks, leaving behind your hard drive, and moving to a fresh install of some flavor of Windows.

What software would you load up first? I’m looking for the stuff the IT department needs to know about and pay for if possible*, not the unwashed hordes of open-source code, free Web-based apps and Firefox extensions that I actually use all day.

The list so far:

  • Photoshop CS2
  • Flash 8 Professional
  • Dreamweaver 8
  • Soundslides

And after that I blank out. A little help, please?

*No, an install of Ellington doesn’t count for this purpose.

7 thoughts on “What’s your dream-team online news software package?”

  1. Wow, Ellington looks great…until you look at the price…whew!

    I’d ditto Dreamweaver and Photoshop. I wanna learn Flash, so it’d be on my list too.

    Other software currently in my dock (some of which is still on my “to do” list) includes inexpensive but interesting stuff like:

    * Comic Life (see what The Amateur Gourmet has done with it: http://www.amateurgourmet.com/the_amateur_gourmet/2006/11/the_thanksgivin.html#more)
    *iWriter, which promises to help me put my syllabi on my students’ iPods (maybe next semester)
    *Easy WMA, to translate WAV files from my cheap Olympus digital recorder into something I can work with on my Mac


  2. If you’re going to get Flash 8 and Dreamweaveer, you might as well get the Studio Package, which also has Fireworks. I’ve used Fireworks a few times to downsample photos for the web and it seems to do a better job than PS2 (heresy, I know).

    And I’d suggest a sound-editing package. Adobe’s Audition is supposed to be good, although I’ve never worked with it (since it’s pc only). Digidesign’s ProTools is good.

    You’ll also want a video editing program. Since you’re talking about something with a Windows flavor (the first thing I’d do is talk them out of that), you’ll need to look at Avid.

    Oh, and I’d suggest copies of InDesign and Acrobat, just to handle documents from the print side.


  3. I would have to agree with some sort of audio and video editing programs. ProTools is good, I know Shaminder uses Premiere and would like After Effects.

    If it was a Mac I would say Aperture, I haven’t really checked out Lightroom. Perhaps some form of slideshow program to display shows w.o sound (SlideShowPro?), though I imagine there is something already built in to your system that does this. Not to keep going on photos, but I wish the site had a way to purchase photos from staff galleries. I am not sure if you could integrate something like photoshelter into the site.


  4. The big thing I see missing is some vector-based graphics software like Illustrator (Freehand is probably going to go away at some point), particularly so you don’t have file transfer problems with the news art department. Plus I absolutely despise doing even basic vector stuff in Photoshop. InDesign is another you might consider as well.

    Um… don’t forget Microsoft Office. You never know.

    For Flash, you may want to consider one of the programs that lets you deconstruct a Flash graphic so you can try to figure out how it’s built, like SWF Decomplier.

    If you desire to venture into the perilous world of 3D illustration, there’s Lightwave, Maya or 3D Studio Max (might want to find out what they do in-house).

    Plus, don’t forget any database management tools you might need, like Access, Navicat or whatever. Might want to check what your shop uses.

    As far as free apps, (if they lock down your install abilities) don’t forget to have them let you install:
    -Instant messaging/AIM/Trillian/whatever
    -PrimoPDF (if you don’t get Acrobat)
    -Google Earth (check if news art has a license for on-the-fly online graphics)
    -Hex Color Finder


  5. Adobe Audition if at all possible. Audacity if you work for cheap bastards. And you ought to have a nice text editor, doncha think? I like UltraEdit (this is for Windows) and also Crimson Editor, which is shockingly similar, but free.

    As for making sure you have everything you need — if you’ve got Flash 8 Pro, make the IT folks install the Flash 8 Video Encoder. And if they will not give you any full-blown video editing software, then make sure they install QuickTime — or QuickTime Pro ($30) — for you.

    While you’re at it, make sure you’ve got Flash Player 9 installed in ALL of your Web browsers. If you don’t double-check, the IT people will not install it — and you be so sad!

    Yes, and iTunes.


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