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Camera Bits releases public beta of Photo Mechanic 5  
Thursday, July 5, 2012 | by Rob Galbraith
Camera Bits has released a public beta version of Photo Mechanic 5, the next major iteration of the pro photo browsing, captioning and uploading application for Mac and Windows.

New features include optional automatic image import when a memory card is mounted, video playback (including frame grabbing on the Mac), a non-modal preview window, streamlined photo transfers and various IPTC/XMP metadata improvements. Photo Mechanic 5 also has a refreshed user interface and a new application icon.

The public beta period is anticipated to be brief, with the official release coming as soon as the middle of this month. The beta is available only to those with up-to-date Photo Mechanic copies, says Kirk Baker, Camera Bits senior software engineer: "As a current licensed user of Photo Mechanic with upgrades good through July of 2012, you have the option to preview the beta for free before the final release version will be made available to the public in mid-July."

The key changes in Photo Mechanic 5 are listed in a new features PDF. Links to the beta software are in a Camera Bits forum post. The cataloging functionality originally intended for v5 has been postponed until later this year, and is now being billed as the first in a group of planned, extra-cost add-ons.

The company has also revealed a "collaborate" service that will work in conjunction with the catalog add-on to enable a range of editing and file sharing capabilities over the Internet (multi-user access and file sharing within a local network will be possible with the catalog alone). The fee-based collaborate service will simplify the discovery of remotely-available catalogs through the use of a relay server hosted by Camera Bits.

Camera Bits has also given their website a makeover.
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