Previous news story    Next news story

Adobe announces Carousel - cloud-based image service

By dpreview staff on Sep 7, 2011 at 19:27 GMT

Adobe has announced a cloud-based storage, editing and browsing service based around a series of apps called Carousel. Initially available for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch and Mac OS, the apps allow users to import their photo libraries, which are then available from any other device running Carousel. Any edits or deletions will also automatically be reflected on the other devices, avoiding storage limitations of the device being used. A series of image enhancement tools and pre-defined 'looks' can be applied. Access to the apps will initially cost $59.99/year or $5.99/month, rising to $99.99/year after an introductory period. Support for Windows and other devices, including Android, will follow in early 2012.

Jump to:

Press Release:

Adobe Carousel Photography App Debuts for Mac OS and iOS Devices

Adobe Imaging Magic Delivers All-New Way to Browse, Enhance and Share Photos Across Devices

LAS VEGAS, Photoshop World 2011 - Sept. 7, 2011 - During the Photoshop World 2011 keynote, Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) announced Adobe(r) Carousel(tm) for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch and Mac OS. Adobe Carousel is designed for anyone who loves photographs, takes a lot of them, and needs a simple way to view, browse, adjust and share them without worrying about manual syncing or storage. Adobe Carousel uses the powerful photo-processing technology that is used in Adobe Photoshop(r) Lightroom(r), so customers get the finest photo-editing results delivered consistently no matter what the device. Photos look great and are easy to share directly with family and friends.

Adobe Carousel is comprised of a set of client apps for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and Mac OS desktops (versions for Windows and other devices are expected in the first half of 2012). When customers import their photo library into Adobe Carousel, or take new photos using Adobe Carousel on an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, those photos are automatically accessible on any supported device through the cloud-based smart mesh technology incorporated in Adobe Carousel. Once imported, any edits, deletions or additions to the library made on one device are automatically updated across all devices linked with the account. With Adobe Carousel, manual syncing and device storage limitations are a thing of the past.

Setting up Adobe Carousel is easy. Customers will just download the apps, set up a subscription plan on their iPhone and iPad, and they are ready to go. Subscribers can import a virtually unlimited number of JPEG files, and install Adobe Carousel apps on as many of their compatible devices as they want.

"With Adobe Carousel we are extending the power of Adobe's imaging expertise beyond the desktop and onto tablets and smartphones, delivering instant access to your complete photo library and the freedom to edit and share photos anywhere, any time," said Winston Hendrickson, vice president of Digital Imaging Products, Adobe. "Thanks to Adobe Carousel, users never need to worry about wasting time syncing, remembering if a photo was saved to a particular device, or worrying about maxing out storage on their iPhone or iPad."

Familiar multi-touch gestures provide a fun and interactive experience to explore tens of thousands of photos quickly and easily, and Adobe's powerful photo-processing engine lets users adjust exposure, shadows, highlights, white balance, vibrance, clarity and contrast. There are also over a dozen "Looks" that allow customers to quickly experiment with the appearance of a photo. Adobe Carousel simplifies and enhances photo sharing by allowing subscribers to invite friends and family members to collaborate on a photo library free of charge - so anyone with a Carousel capable device can view existing photos and contribute new ones, apply adjustments and Looks to images, and easily grab and flag favorite photos. Users can also share photos by sending them directly to Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr or via email.

Pricing and Availability

The Adobe Carousel apps will be available through the iTunes App Store and for Mac later this month. Through Jan. 31, 2012, Adobe plans to offer Adobe Carousel for a special introductory price of US$59.99/year or US$5.99/month. Anyone subscribing at that price will be able to renew at that same price for an additional two years. At the conclusion of the introductory offer, Adobe Carousel will be US$99.99/year or US$9.99/month. By subscribing, customers automatically receive any enhancements and updates to Adobe Carousel at no additional charge. Customers receive a complimentary subscription for up to 30 days and can purchase a monthly or yearly subscription at any time from their iPad or iPhone.

Customers can download and install the Adobe Carousel apps as many times and across as many devices as they want as a part of their subscription (no additional fees apply). For more information, including system requirements, visit

Additional images

The 'Looks' tab of the Carousel interface, on the iPhone
The 'Adjustments' tab of the Carousel interface, on the iPad
The 'Crop & Rotate' tab of the Carousel interface, on the Mac OS


Total comments: 33
By HeadshotChooser (Sep 8, 2011)

Yeah, they seem to be missing the boat on the sort of functionality we REALLY want (and the price is too far out of line from other more general-purpose solutions like Dropbox). More thoughts here:

By phil1951 (Sep 8, 2011)

Nothing more than a synchronised Picasa on steroids.

By jadot (Sep 8, 2011)

Don't worry, Apple will soon release Aperture X with an iCloud based referenced file system using your local Aperture library as a server based interface.
Kind of like a call home thing, low res previews on the device, adjustments synced over the cloud and applied to master files when the library is active.
"There have been changes made to your library in the cloud - do you want to sync these changes now?"
Honest. That's what they're doing.


1 upvote
philippe carly
By philippe carly (Sep 8, 2011)

One more of these "false good idea".
1) for the price of 2 years subscriptions, you can own two 2TB DD
2) strangely no mention of raw files
3) what is "a lot of photographs" : 3,000 or 300,000 ?

1 upvote
By CMPOB (Sep 8, 2011)

Carousel already exists. Phanfare has been running for years as a secure private multi platform image service. Auto sync over iPad, iPhone, Windows, Mac OSx - allows RAW storage etc etc. Works seamlessly with LR. Adobe has a plethora of sub products out there trying to be all things to all people. I wish they would concentrate on what they know best.

By QuickDilation (Sep 8, 2011)

All I want is Lightroom for my damn iPad, I want to be able to tether my camera to my iPad and use it like I do on my laptop... Then when I get back to my station I want to hook up my iPad and transfer what I shot... This does not in anyway do that! So adobe, stop selling me crap and telling me its like Lightroom... On top of everything you want me to adopt another cloud service on t of apples icould? and charge me!? Nope...

By rrr_hhh (Sep 8, 2011)

I follow you partially : right now, the IPad is so slow that I don't see it as an easy tool for uploading raw pictures, plus with all the limits it has, you can't move files easily.
What I'd like is a way to use it in live view mode in order to compose your shots : that would be even better than the ground glass of view cameras ! The app doesn't even need to transfer the raw data to the iPad, just the live preview. That would be a dream. I have tried to manage that with Shuttersnitch, but got to many problems and trouble with connections !

By mjoshi (Sep 8, 2011)

I think it is more in hands of Apple to allow iPad to be used in a manner you are prescribing with 3rd party apps. Probably once Steve leaves Apple will become less of control freak.

By jmmgarza (Sep 8, 2011)

I would love to integrate this cloud-based service into my upcoming university course on iPad and iPhone Photography. Can I get an academic discount (just like regular software)?

By Edac2 (Sep 7, 2011)

MobileMe was $100 a year and we all know how well that did. My Flickr Pro account is $25 a year and allows unlimited uploads.

By anagram4wander2 (Sep 7, 2011)

if it had the full features of Lightroom - but in the cloud - then maybe... but based on the limited feature set - i don't think so.

W Keith McManus
By W Keith McManus (Sep 7, 2011)

Interesting choice of names, Carousel. Reminds me of the Kodak slide project that is no longer made.

By jschlarb (Sep 8, 2011)

Funny, it reminded me of Logan's Run :)

By Octane (Sep 7, 2011)

2 gb free from dropbox, 5 gb free from Sugarsync, 5 gb free from Amazon, 25 gb free from Skydrive.

All of them interact through a normal web browser, no need for special apps.

Why would I pay Adobe $60 a year and it doesn't work on Windows?

By DaleB82 (Sep 7, 2011)

No thank you. For the money you can buy a lot of storage space.

1 upvote
By kcf955 (Sep 7, 2011)

They are missing 1/2 the boat. What we need is same concept but for Lightroom so I don't have to juggle export/import of multiple LR catalogs between multiple computers (laptop - desktop). I don't need more apps just a better, more streamlined way to manage my LR libraries between multiple computers and my Drobo backup. Where I can see my edits on multiple computers AND have everything backed up at the same time without having to go through the hassle of exporting/importing catalogs....

By Octane (Sep 7, 2011)

That won't work through cloud storage for a while. The catalog file has to be on a local drive for speed reasons. And these files are huge. My Lightroom catalog file is 2.5 gb. That would take way too long to sync. Same with the actual images. RAW files are typically 10-25 mb each. If you try to access them on the cloud you would have to download each which takes way too long.

Looking at how much the speed of ISP have increased over the last 10 year I would say we won't see a fast enough online connection in our lifetime to be able to handle raw images in a cloud storage.

1 upvote
By marsbar (Sep 8, 2011)

Not only that Octane, but even with the faster ISP today, most web sites/servers won't match those's speeds. I doubt Adobe will allow 100mbps download speed, even if its currently available.

paolo savonuzzi
By paolo savonuzzi (Sep 8, 2011)

@Octane: not true! I have my LR catalog (25GB) on Dropbox and it synchs beautifully and damn fast! What you see as a single file actually is a plethora of very small files and just a few are changed/sycnhed in a LR session

paolo savonuzzi
By paolo savonuzzi (Sep 8, 2011)

totally agree! +1

it really is a pain LR not working on networks (local or remote)

By emyrold (Sep 8, 2011)

Background sync can handle quite a bit of data. Would just need to add a step to the workflow:

- Pull my raw pic's off the card.
- Do initial tagging so I can then delete all my dud's or place marker pic's and remove things that I know I will not need to keep around.
- Mark them as available for "Background Sync".
e.g. yesterday, I did a 2 gig shoot raw. I know If I leave my computer on overnight I can get upwards of 15 gig's uploaded over a consumer ISP link at home - which is fine for a Initial sync of content.
- Then sync'ing delta's of changing data within the Catalog (does not matter what the Catalog Size is, could be 2 GB or 25 GB, once it is in the cloud the Initial sync has been done, then it is just deleta's that need to be sync'ed... totally doable over consumer DSL, Cable ISP links....

By emyrold (Sep 8, 2011)

- Say I worked in LR for 5 hours doing a lot of edits and my Catalog was 2.5 GB at the begining of the day, at the end of the day it is actually smaller say 2.4 GB. Mut my delta's (changes) for the day was about 1.2 GB (very high actually) then I know I will need to leave my computer on over night for those changes to get propagated back up to the Net... (I too don't like the Cloud marketing going on... us other words might be better)

- LR needs this whether backended to Internet Cloud or to my Home NAS... Networked accessed Catalog is flaky, Background Sync is key....!!!

By Snaaks (Sep 7, 2011)

100 bucks a year to store some pics. Funny guys there at Adobe. Dream on.

1 upvote
By graybalanced (Sep 7, 2011)

Except that's not what it does. It's not just storage, for one thing it says it does nondestructive edits so you could conceivably edit on your iPad and the changes ripple through to your desktop Lightroom.

I'm not sold on it, it does seem to expensive, but it's misleading to say it's just about "storing" photos. Heck, the auto-sync feature will sell some people on it, that's why Apple's making that feature central to their iCloud concept.

DotCom Editor
By DotCom Editor (Sep 7, 2011)

Sorry, Adobe. Nice idea. Too expensive. I'll pass.

1 upvote
Mr Fartleberry
By Mr Fartleberry (Sep 7, 2011)

I bet it will be offered as a discount add on to LR buyers. Otherwise I'm not interested in paying for virtual storage. I have enough bills to pay thank you.

1 upvote
By Octane (Sep 7, 2011)

Flickr offers unlimited storage for $25 a year. I don't need any apps or software to up/download there. I can make them public or private and share just with specific people. And yes if I edit a photo it automatically updates for everyone.

Seriously, I'm getting tired of these companies trying to sell us old functionality as something new.

By Marty4650 (Sep 7, 2011)

The whole problem with these things are the cost. The concept is great, but for anyone with a large number of photos to store the price becomes ridiculous. And you can forget about video files....

By Traciatim (Sep 7, 2011)

Any reference to 'Cloud' should be immediately replaced with 'For Suckers'.

By marsbar (Sep 8, 2011)

I'm going to remember that one! :)

1 upvote
By citrontokyo (Sep 8, 2011)

First laugh today. Hmmm, at 3:15 pm. I must be having a bad day.

By aardvark7 (Sep 7, 2011)

I'm in agreement with Itchhh, plus I find it enough of a chore uploading my files from CF cards to my own servers. To add the difficulties of your average broadband into the mix I won't be signing up for this anytime soon.

I do appreciate the appeal on some levels, but I see too many weak links in the chain.

By itchhh (Sep 7, 2011)

An annual fee *and* all of my data on your servers? Um no thank you.

Total comments: 33