New: DeBabelizer Pro 6

New: DeBabelizer Pro 6

The ultimate tool for large media-processing tasks.


DeBabelizer Pro 6 is a comprehensive tool for file conversion, image editing, and media optimization. It supports an impressively large number of graphic, animation, and video formats and is capable of handling large media-processing jobs. It also includes powerful automation features that can reduce the most complex conversion job to a simple drag-and-drop operation.


While mastering DeBabelizer's feature set is a daunting task, getting started can be as simple as dragging files or folders onto any of DeBabelizer's 44 sample Droplets (AppleScripts that execute one or more DeBabelizer actions), and you can execute a Droplet without launching DeBabelizer. Sample Droplets include Convert RGB To CMYK, Convert CMYK To RGB With Alpha, Rotate Left, Rotate Right, and Trim Solid Color Edges. All Droplets are also available as Automator Actions, which means Tiger users can employ them (and any custom-built Actions) in multi-app workflows.


Power center. If your work requires more than what Droplets offer, you can create a custom sequence of DeBabelizer actions called a workflow. The ability to create workflows and use them with DeBabelizer's Batch feature (which lets you group files from multiple folders) is the heart of DeBabelizer's power, but it's also where things start to get less intuitive. The good news is that DeBabelizer's interface is replete with context-sensitive help. The bad news is that if you need more information than the help offers, the PDF user's guide provides little in the way of context - it's more of a reference manual. The electronic help file, which ties into Apple's anemic Help system, is essentially a carbon copy of the PDF guide. Equilibrium would do well to look at the robust help system for Adobe's Creative Suite 2.


Speaking of stuff that needs a little work, the software has a few glitches. One simple test Droplet we created occasionally crashed the app, and when it did work, the auto-naming feature incorrectly produced duplicate file names. To its credit, Equilibrium technical support was very responsive and attributed some of the glitches to known issues with Mac OS X. The company also assured us that the problems would be fixed in an upcoming update.


DeBabelizer Server. Any discussion of DeBabelizer Pro 6 would be incomplete without mentioning DeBabelizer Server, a new product that lets DeBabelizer Pro 6 users send their media-processing jobs to a server, which then delivers the resulting files to any offline location or FTP site. DeBabelizer Server also automatically compresses processed files and sends them to colleagues and clients via email. Configuring DeBabelizer Server is not a simple plug-and-play operation, but once you get it working, it's a production juggernaut. You can set up hot folders on the server or create aliases of hot folders on client machines, and then drag and drop individual files, folders, or entire volumes onto a hot folder for processing on the server. Other features include the ability to create Joblets (similar to Droplets) for drag-and-drop server processing or job-status notification via text message or email. DeBabelizer Pro 6 includes a free 15-day trial version of DeBabelizer Server, so you can try it without shelling out any cabbage.


The bottom line. If your image-conversion needs are modest, you can probably get by with Photoshop or Lemkesoft's GraphicConverter. However, neither of these products holds a candle to DeBabelizer Pro 6 when it comes to industrial-strength media-processing capabilities.


COMPANY: Equilibrium
CONTACT: 415-332-4343,
PRICE: $399.95 (full), $199.95 (upgrade)
REQUIREMENTS: G3, Mac OS 10.3 or later, 128MB RAM, Internet connection
Extensive feature set. Many graphic formats supported. Powerful automation capabilities.
Learning curve is difficult. Comprehensive documentation is not user-friendly. Some bugs need fixing.





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