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Adobe Creative Cloud: Reader Comments

Reader comments on the past few Adobe Cloud posts.

To make one point clear: as far as I can understand, Adobe Cloud as currently envisioned really means “Adobe Rental Software with half-assed internet features that I want like I want syphilis, with a built-in kill switch at Adobe’s option”.

As far as I know, you can use the Adobe Cloud applications just as you always have, ignoring the donkey half*.

Another possible summary translation “Buzzword features no one wants that degrade the experience by making it more complex, but ones that give us an excuse for taking away customer choice and charging more more more. Yeah!”.

Oh, and Adobe can’t even use more than 2 out of 12 cores on my Mac Pro on average, but now wants to use the “power of cloud computing”. This would be funny if it weren’t incompetent.

Look, I’m a dumb-donkey Luddite: I want to download Photoshop, install it, and use it for a year or two. Then upgrade it, because I like new bugs instead of the same old bugs that never get fixed—it gets boring having it crash the same way all the time.

* Yes, I know that a mule is half ass but I like the sound of donkey better.

Reader Keith W writes

Been reading your articles on Adobe cloud with great interest. I have CS5.5 installed on my Mac Pro (and an uninstalled recently purchased) new-in-the-box CS6 creative suite DW premium). (paid over $800.00 for it in March).

Am I going to wake up one day in the near future and discover my installed software and system install discs no longer work as long as I'm running OSX10.6.8 on my current machine?

If I am understanding your "Buy-out" option entry correctly, I'm a bit freaked out. Please tell me I'm reading it wrong. (I have no intention of using the "cloud".)

MPG: as I read it, what Adobe has said is that CS6 (not CS5.5) will be supported for a short while longer (the next OS X release, 10.9), then left dangling in the wind. But so long as you don’t move beyond 10.9, those CS6 applications should continue to work. Now what I don’t know is why a Q&A is needed and Adobe doesn’t just spell out a clear list of “we will do X” and “we will not do Y”.

What I mean by buy-out is the ability to buy a snapshot of the cloud version and have it continue to work: essentially to have what we have now.

Bernd G writes:

In one of your posts you state that:

“The truth is that Adobe could offer a buyout option: after a year (or even two), offer the right to keep whatever the current version is—forever. No more upgrades, no Cloud services, but the version would stay on disk and exist just like any non-Cloud version always did. This I would find acceptable. ”

Unfortunately I don't think you can assume keeping the current version "forever" is a panacea. A hard drive failure in the future may mean you're screwed anyway due to their stupid activation/deactivation requirement.

What if Adobe goes out of business or is taken over by another company? Suddenly you have no access to your pdf files - I guess the lesson is to save all your important files in non-proprietary formats.

On a more positive note I have used PS and LR (fully paid) for many years and love both products. I have over 20,000 pictures stored and catalogued in LR. However I note that you don't use LR. I would be interested to know how you keep track of the many thousands of pictures you generate every year.

MPG: it is objectionable to me to assume what I do or not assume. Besides I don’t use hard drives for my system or applications. :;

In the past, a hard drive failure does not mean you are “screwed”—in the past you could call Adobe India and persuade them to fix the license. It is also true that without this effort on your part and without Adobe’s cooperation, yes a disk crash could lose the license. But none of this need be true; it’s all up to Adobe.

As for Lightroom, my work is project-based, and importing is a completely useless waste of time; I don’t need meta data and I do need layers (Photoshop).

Richard J writes:

Thanks so much for taking the time to go through all of the legalese on this new upgrade.

This reminds me a lot of the Nikon raw file scare a few years back when it was at least thought that Nikon was setting them selves up to "own" your raw files by controlling who had access to the file. I felt at the time that they lost a lot of ground to Canon and so drew back on the attempt, if that was ever there idea. It did however give rise to DNG files, made by no other then Adobe, now it seams as you say they will take control of that as well.

The question I would like you to clarify pertains to the access of our older files. If I understand it correctly then as long as you have a working computer with a functional Photoshop CS6 on it then you will always be able to access your files regardless of what the cloud is doing. However what I see as a potential problem is I suspect Adobe will no longer support CS 6 for something like Mac OS 10.8 or 10.9 and so on. Meaning if you do need a new computer then you are hooped (unless you have computer skills and can wipe a drive and reinstall an older OS but even that has been made difficult). This is simply unacceptable and I am glad you are bringing it to our attention and I will spread around the message. The only way to change this is convince people to not sign up to the cloud.

Also I find the idea of including advertisements in one’s work area absolutely revolting. When I am working on a photo I, like I am sure many others need a visually clean working environment and having adds pop up would be just to much.

What does this mean for Lightroom in the future?

MPG: File access consists of the (1) storage medium (avoid the Cloud in my view), and (2) the ability to open those files in their intended form (consider a Photoshop file with 18 layers of mixed types—alternative programs are likely to fail miserably in producing the same results, a point driven home to me with Microsoft files).

On point (2), the ability to open the files means (a) having the software to open the files and (b) that the software be compatible with the computer— if I have a current Mac Pro and I have OS X 10.8.3 on it and CS6 on it and keep it that way, it will function until it dies. Assuming Adobe doesn’t yank the “phone home” activation scheme and disable CS6 somehow or I lose the license from a hard drive crash and Adobe won’t fix that, etcetera.

As for advertisements, this just refers to presenting one’s work in some public area in the Adobe Cloud space; it has nothing to do with working in an application like Photoshop. One can ignore the whole cloud storage aspect of Adobe Cloud and just use the Adobe apps as one has always done.

Piet H writes:

Quark still works.

Years ago Adobe released InDesign, "The Quark Killer." The Adobe PR and Sales staff lied to everyone saying "Nobody uses Quark" so nobody taught Quark. They bought into the fallacy that all Adobe products interacted seamlessly and anybody could use them to create great design. Well, most of use know, they lied. When I left Quark behind (version 7.5) it had a lot of problems, and InDesign can do some spiffy stuff, but if Adobe is going to interrupt our collective business income with their rental agreements it is up to the professionals to find alternative applications to deliver our digital products. Start looking.

MPG: indeed, many programs still work, such as CS5.5 on my other Mac pro.

Adobe software has its faults like any other. I see this as a side issue in selecting software in the first place.

James C writes:

(1) I completely agree with you, although I'm tempted to couch my remarks in language so purple that your remarks seem milder than faded pastels.

(2) People I know who use the Creative Suite like going to the cloud and a subscription. These are the customers that Adobe wants. I do use one cloud service, the $20 per year PDF to Word or Excel online conversion service and find it very convenient and useful, but on the whole I prefer owning my applications, just as I prefer owning my house, car, bicycle, and computer.

(3) Those of use who use Photoshop and perhaps one other creative suite application (I use PS CS5 Extended, PS CS6, and InDesign CS5) are getting screwed. I just retired, and was hoping to upgrade to CS7 and stop there. Well, now I'm stopping at CS6 and Mac OS 10.6.8 (I'm a good enough technician to keep my Mac running for another decade). Photoshop just became too pricy.

(4) There are some alternative to Photoshop, or at least part of what Photoshop provides. I use Pixinsight, which is quite powerful, processes even 64-bit floating point files, has extensive deconvolution functions, but it's not easy to learn (beginners will be tempted to beg for Valium); Raw Photo Processor 64, which does a good job with highlights; Raw Developer; and of course, the GIMP, which is one of the open source applications I keep on a laptop for traveling. Photoshop Elements and Lightroom? Neither is powerful enough for me, each has a clunky interface, and they'll undoubtedly become subscription services before long.

(5) Adobe inadvertently provided a perfect example of why change is not always progress.

MPG: At the very least, Adobe has poked a stick into a hornet’s nest.

And I agree there are positive aspects to the Adobe Cloud setup.

As for cost, in the short run it’s a little cheaper, in the long run a lot more money and no guarantees that the new versions will be to one’s liking.

Russell L writes:

Regarding Adobe's new CC this is devastating news to me, I also shoot medium format digital with the phase One, P45+ back. I've been using Photoshop since version 3.5. On the possibility of never being able to open files again with the Cloud is just out right craziness.

I'm also a Lightroom user, and a Phase One - Capture one Pro user too. What Adobe is attempting to do reminds me of what Hasselblad did to themselves several years back, Hasselblad decided to make their system proprietary, Meaning only Hasselblad digital backs could be used on their cameras, none other. Phase 1 is a very good company. They really care about their customers and their products. To me it seems that Adobe just opened a door to Phase One. Capture one Pro is top notch software. I think they could actually make a Photoshop replacement if they wanted to. This could open up big revenue streams for them.

MPG: A hornet’s nest again.

By “not open” I simply meant two thing: (1) you have to pay continually, which is not a disaster, just a cost, and not excessive, and (2) Adobe does have the right to lock you out at their sole discretion. This one is more troubling. While I can see Adobe’s position for those who abuse the Cloud service, I think there needs to be a guarantee that anyone can buy the software portion anytime no matter what.

Mathew writes:

Thank you for clarifying the Creative Cloud rip-off. One word for Adobe - Goodbye.

Hello Capture One.

MPG: No software is free of issues and rental is not all bad, and I don’t consider the price the real issue, as discussed.

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