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Adobe Creative Cloud, worth it?


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#1 jporter313

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 09:44 PM

Does anyone have a good argument to justify buying into Adobe Creative Cloud?

As far as I can see, the economics of it just don't work at all. Let me break it down:

Right now I'm on Production Premium CS 5.5. If I chose to upgrade to CS 6, it would cost me somewhere between $300 and $400.

Now let's assume that adobe released a new version every year, which they don't, I would still be paying $720 for that upgrade every year ($60 x 12 months), about twice as much as it would cost me to just keep upgrading. In addition to this, if I decide to stop paying, I'm left with nothing, whereas with upgrading, I'm left with the current licensed version of my software. In real life, they release about every 2 years, so with creative cloud, you're paying roughly $1440 for a single subscription dependent license upgrade of their software. This just seems like a horrible deal.

Compare this to other graphics software with subscription models like Maya (I can't believe I'm playing Autodesk as the good guy here) or Cinema 4D: You pay a set subscription fee, and you get unlimited support and permanent upgrades every year, plus it's cheaper to subscribe than it is to upgrade a la carte. In other words, they incentivise the subscription.

Why would anyone do Creative Cloud? Can anyone provide a counterpoint?



#2 SFBurning

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 10:39 PM

Haven't you heard? Creative Cloud is the best offering for customers.

 

Seriously, though... I'm not touching Creative Cloud with a 10' pole


Edited by SFBurning, 23 February 2013 - 10:43 PM.


#3 AromaKat

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 11:51 PM

Well, first of all its $29 / month with a cs5.5 license, not $60. Also, CC is essentially CS Master Suite, not production premium.

 

I realize that I am in the company of Creative Cloud haters, but having been on the plan since before Creative Cloud (got in on that subscription offer about a year prior to the CC offering), I can say that I haven't had any problems. Like everyone else, I don't use or see any need for that collaboration crap, but I doodle with some of the tablet apps from time to time.

 

You can't write off 100% of software expenses for taxes, but you can with software subscriptions if you keep tabs on such things.

 

In the 2 years of being subscription-based, I have never been burned, with the exception of Adobe double-charging me every month due to that old subscription that their horrible support can't wrap their heads around.

 

I am waiting for the day it screws me, but it sounds like those getting burned right now are the suite owners with all these new Creative Cloud exclusive features and updates.

 

I also like the ability to have a month-to-month option for freelance machines. Again, not a benefit for everyone but something to consider.


Edited by AromaKat, 23 February 2013 - 11:52 PM.

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#4 superegophobia

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 01:48 AM

Well, first of all its $29 / month with a cs5.5 license, not $60. Also, CC is essentially CS Master Suite, not production premium.

 

Only $29 for first year though, after that goes back to full price (currently it's $50)

https://creative.adobe.com/plans

 

I think my biggest complaint is you lose your voice to vote w/ your wallet if an update is crap. You still need a version to use and if they wanted to raise rates they could and screw a lot of people. For certain situations it could be worth it... even cost efficient if you use the master suite and want to be always up to date. I'm just really leery of their motives once people are 'hooked' on it.

 

thread w/ opinions when it first came out:

http://mograph.net/b...showtopic=27303



#5 Todd Kopriva

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 02:16 AM

I'm not going to try to sell you on one plan versus the other, but I need to correct something:

Now let's assume that adobe released a new version every year, which they don't...


After Effects release dates:
CS6, 2012
CS5.5, 2011
CS5, 2010
CS4, 2008
CS3, 2007

That's a paid upgrade 5 out of the past 6 years. Our bosses have said publicly that we'll be meeting or exceeding that rate going forward.

For us, the huge benefit is that software released on a subscription plan isn't bound by certain rules that gag me when talking with you. I won't bore you with the legal details, but I'm allowed to tell you what features and fixes we're working on for future versions if the software license is being paid for as a subscription service, not a one-time upfront license fee. The same legal details mean that we can release new features (not just bug fixes) as soon as we're ready, without waiting for a new paid upgrade release.
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#6 jporter313

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 06:38 AM

I'm not going to try to sell you on one plan versus the other, but I need to correct something: After Effects release dates: CS6, 2012 CS5.5, 2011 CS5, 2010 CS4, 2008 CS3, 2007 That's a paid upgrade 5 out of the past 6 years. Our bosses have said publicly that we'll be meeting or exceeding that rate going forward. For us, the huge benefit is that software released on a subscription plan isn't bound by certain rules that gag me when talking with you. I won't bore you with the legal details, but I'm allowed to tell you what features and fixes we're working on for future versions if the software license is being paid for as a subscription service, not a one-time upfront license fee. The same legal details mean that we can release new features (not just bug fixes) as soon as we're ready, without waiting for a new paid upgrade release.

 

That's interesting information. I had heard that Adobe was going to an annual release cycle, but I've heard things like that from software companies many times before, only to be let down. I guess I had the releases wrong, and I was operating on the fact that i haven't heard a peep about CS 6.5 or CS 7 or whatever it'll be next, despite the anniversary of the CS6 release drawing near. I had also read a few things on the internet stating that the next version was expected in 2014.

 

As far as the rest of it, I'd be much more interested in Creative Cloud if it operated in such a way that if you wanted to stop paying, you didn't lose access to all the software you had been paying to use.

 

The difference with something like Autodesk's subscription is that it requires an initial purchase, and continuous subscription after that. I appreciate that Creative Cloud allows you to start the subscription without paying a hefty upfront fee, but maybe if it worked in such a way that you built up credit and after paying for a year you owned the current licenses, I'd be more interested. So if you stopped paying after a certain amount of time, you would lose access to the extended Creative Cloud features, but get to keep the software itself. The idea that you invest all this money and are left with nothing is the major blocker for me.

 

Being a current owner of Creative Suite, I'm reluctant to sink the money that I would otherwise invest in the upgrade to try out Creative Cloud and then be left with nothing, and no money if I decide it's not right for me, as well as non-upgradeable licenses with Adobes one version upgrade policy change if I stay on Creative Cloud too long. I'd imagine there are a lot of people who feel the same way as me.


Edited by jporter313, 24 February 2013 - 06:46 AM.


#7 C.Smith

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 06:23 PM

I pay 50 a month for the cloud and think it's great.  I don't use Adobe stuff that often myself, but to have all of the apps avail at all times and being always updated to the latest features and fixes is fantastic.  It will take me 2 years of payments to just to equal the upfront amount I would have paid for a package kit and in that time would have to pay for upgrades anyways. I may be missing something with where the hate is coming from, but I like using the cloud way more than buying upfront packages.  In the same way I prefer Spotify Premium vs buying music from Apple.


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#8 tcastudios

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:01 PM

Well, the jury is still out for me doing

a one year try out.

 

Today for the second time when I came

back to continue to work (had shut the Mac off)

starting the Mac and -no- Adobe app running

I got a message pop up that I had to re-register

with my name and password.

The first time this happened was when I installed

a legit plugin, and the suit got unregistered.

 

Then on a -daily- basis, the Creative Cloud Connection

loses its sync.

 

All in all a very insecure working environment

that will most likely make have to do a regular update of

my CS5.5 to CS6 for this falls work, an international

broadcast production that simply -cannot- be interrupted

in any way.

 

Cheers

Lennart


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#9 tcastudios

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:26 AM

Today I had to sign in again on a computer that's been running 24/7 but no Adobe app running.

(Besides the background Adobe Updater I'd guess)

So, what is suppose to happen if one doesn't have a internet connection for a day on a gig?

 

Cheers

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#10 zook

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 11:29 AM

I'm using the cloud version but here's a warning:

 

I posted about this after phoning Adobe last August to talk through the options and get the info straight from the horses mouth.

 

I was told implicitly if I take the subscription for a year and then decide to stop, I could keep the working CS6 apps I had upgraded to so I didn't loose any work, and I could then go back to the old way of upgrading my Prod Prem suite. This was an outright lie, and I was mis-sold.

 

Two weeks ago I was working over the weekend to meet a very tight deadline imposed the Friday before. Unbeknownst to me, my credit card had expired but the first I knew was when I booted up AE to find it wouldn't let me in at all. Firstly I tried altering the payment details online (I had entered into the contract so was not worried about paying), but the system wouldn't accept my details, no matter which browser I tried (I am on a Mac). After several phone calls that involved listening to the entire recorded output of Nigel Kennedy and NDubz I eventually reached a distant call centre that fixed the problem, and the subscription was switched on shortly afterwards and I could continue, albeit with lost working time and no small amount of stress.

 

The point is this: You cannot trust this system to work and if you default then you will not be able to continue to use the applications you rely on for making your living. The reason this is alarming is because it essentially means you loose control of the money-earning apps on your computer. Come August, I am (contrary to what I was told when I purchased the subscription) going to have to pay £47 a month (OK . . .) or loose access to all the work I will have completed in the 12 months previously. No more skipping upgrade cycles as that flexibility has been removed for smaller business where money is tight (Note to Adobe: we're in a deep recession). I understand that it's my responsibility to ensure I can pay, but out here in the real world where people work very long hours for days on end in order to stay competitive the admin gets forgotten. It's ever been thus in the 25 years I've been doing this job, and predatory companies like Adobe are adding to the problems because of their deep misunderstanding (or deliberate indifference) of the realities of everyday life for small studios and sole traders.

 

Now, you might be saying "but zook, such a deal would be too good to be true, you must have suspected? Are you stupid?"

 

The answer is yes, I was stupid enough to believe what I was told and the idea that to change the way software is payed for and used Adobe might actually cut the customers some slack and offer an incentive to change. But no. I know I have been critical of Adobe in recent years as their licensing and pricing policies punish sole traders and make it more difficult to compete with larger studios, but as Todd indicates:

 

 

 

For us, the huge benefit is that software released on a subscription plan isn't bound by certain rules that gag me when talking with you.

 

 

The key phrase here is "For us". Adobe now have control so they will push this as it means they can manipulate you and your buying choices, and that's what you cede when you subscribe to Creative Cloud.

 

My advice? Don't touch it with a bargepole. Control is key to managing a successful business and through no fault of your own you could be locked out of your work.

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. In the interests of balance, I think the whole thing works pretty well and I was glad to have some of the print stuff back because it makes things much easier when gathering assets from clients. The collaboration stuff is not used at all by any of my clients, most of which are technically literate and is not worth worrying about. My god, we need a competitor to Adobe and quickly.


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#11 Todd Kopriva

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 06:09 PM

So, what is suppose to happen if one doesn't have a internet connection for a day on a gig?

 

 

 

What's supposed to happen is that you're only required to activate online once per month, and you get a several-day grace period if you're not able to connect when asked.


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#12 nourneme

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 06:23 PM

After I discovered how powerful the apps for Digital Publishing are, it was an easy choice for me to get the subscription.  I bought an iPad, create incredible pitches with DPS, and I have not lost one since.  That pays many times over for my subscription.



#13 tcastudios

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 10:03 AM

 

 

What's supposed to happen is that you're only required to activate online once per month, and you get a several-day grace period if you're not able to connect when asked.

Ok, at location for 9 weeks more in a local network (renderfarm, media servers, content libraries etc) and I get a 5 day grace period.

So I need to shut down all the work for about 20 co-workers, great way to start the day..... there must be a solution for this, tell me there is,

as Adobes' CEO say this is the future.


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#14 zook

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 10:54 AM

My activation has gone awry on my on-site machine and I've had to activate it at least twice. Not sure what happens if you're caught on-site when you're monthly activation is due. Some of my clients are really not happy about freelancers accessing their networks, even just for internet access (lotsa very sensitive info), so I'll be looking at lugging my mac back home again to re-activate.

 

Terrible system.


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#15 tcastudios

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 05:30 PM

ok, five days ago a got a msg in AE6 that my subscription had

expired and I had a five day grace period.

Reconnected from local net work to internet (via iphone)

and could re register via "try again" button.

Today my subscription expired -again- with ZERO days grace period.

I got the monthly reciept via email today that my creditcard was

charged for this period. 

So the five days grace period was not stored and since it is a new

month AE wanted to connect to adobe EVEN IF I HAD JUST DONE

THE CHECK FIVE DAYS AGO!

So another interrupt in the work.

I'm really loosing my faith in this system.


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