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Aviary - the free suite of web apps

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1--- Aviary - the free suite of web apps on Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:21 am


Expert Trainer
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I was bored some time ago so I discovered this really cool website called Aviary. It has some of the coolest tools I've seen, and combined with Google's own web applications, you have the power of downloadable applications with the accessibility of web applications.
Aviary ( is a website hosting eight web apps for various purposes.

The first tool, Phoenix, is Photoshop or GIMP without the downloading. It uses the fonts you have installed on your computer, but isn't very diverse brush-wise. It's actually pretty easy to use if you can use Photoshop, and you can run both Peacock and Raven (discussed below) in Phoenix using separate layers, making for a very versatile image editor.

The second tool, Roc, is the music creator. It's really quite simple to use if you've used something like TonePad for the iPod line before. It has many different sounds, and after playing around with it a while I made three beats that sounded really good. It helps if you have an ear for making music, but isn't really necessary, because Roc also has a random function that makes a messy song. It's really fun to use, and it's really easy once you get the hang of it.

The third tool, Talon, is a screen-capturing software. Honestly, I don't know what it does, but I'd imagine it's a simpler version of the Print Screen button. Or harder. Who knows? I don't. I didn't have a use for it so I haven't tried it out.

The fourth tool, Myna, is an audio editing application, like Audacity. It's basically as easy as Audacity too, except that you have an entire library of free clips to use and I haven't found an import button so I'm not sure if you can edit songs on your computer.

The fifth tool, Raven, is similar to Illustrator or Inkscape. It's used for vector images, although I don't really like it as much as Inkscape, but it's an option. It's cool too.

The sixth tool, Falcon, is...similar to Picasa? I'm not sure. It seems like a portable version of Phoenix, but it's certainly much easier. I didn't have much experience with it.

The seventh tool, Peacock, is WEIRD. I haven't figured out how to use it at all, but it generates cool effect things and some other stuff that just blew my mind. You should probably use it in a Phoenix layer, because standalone it doesn't have much uses.

The eighth tool is Toucan, similar to Adobe's kuler project. You can create, manage, view, and edit color themes. It's good to use for website design, to determine a good color scheme for a website, and I actually do use this with good results. Very nice tool.

To save your work, an account to Aviary is required. Thankfully, it's not difficult to register, just follow the on-screen instructions.

Here are some examples of work created in Aviary:

Sitar Rock (7) - It's a little ditty made out of a sitar and ambient drums. It was supposed to sound Indian-like, and I thought I did a good job.
Randomness (7) - I tried going for a rock-y feel with power chords, an acoustic drum set, and a dirty bass, but the bass isn't very versatile (I ran out of room) and the guitar progression is mediocre at best.
Africa (7) - I made this solely out of percussion instruments, to test out sounds, and also because I have a strange interest in African music, so I tried to make a sound that was similar to that.

If you'd like to share your work made in Aviary, feel free to post in this thread. I'll add whatever works you post up here, along with author's comments if you want.

2--- Re: Aviary - the free suite of web apps on Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:03 pm


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3--- Re: Aviary - the free suite of web apps on Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:53 pm


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Why, thank you. When I have the time I'll compile a list of good web applications for those interested. This and Google Docs would top that list, though.

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