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Andrew Reid

Adobe shambles - Why subscription software should be illegal

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For many years I used Final Cut at work and Premiere at home. Then a different sort of decision was approaching me -- I was surprised to realise my "latest workstation" was actually 8 years old! I had been shooting in UHD for a year or so and seemlessly went into a proxy workflow without much disruption, but even so, my machine was practically obsolete in computer terms. Why had I not upgraded before? I did not want Windows 10 with it's endless updates (Win 7 was fine by me). And I had also stopped at Premiere and After Effects CS6 (everything was of a similar age), because I did not like the Adobe subscription model. It seemed these two things that were important to me were coming together requiring a change of some sort! Having used Linux for many years, I decided I would take that route with my next workstation build, as a feasibility study. But how to replace Premiere? I looked, as I periodically do, to see what was the current situation with Linux NLE's, and tested the latest KdenLive and Shotcut, but finally settled on Cinelerra (the GG version) as being the closest to what I have been used to. Still finding my way, but it's looking to be the most serious contender. My Photoshop replacement is GIMP and Krita (more a paint program than an image editor).

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Very interesting article, full of emotion as always :) I definitely share your frustration. However I would not blame the subscription model for everything, there are real advantages to the model for both the software provider and the consumer alike if it is implemented well. If software companies want to then they can lock you into their products and force you to keep upgrading even with the one-off licence purchase model. Let's face it, this has been going on for decades since the invention of the personal computer.

The real issue here is Adobe and their attitude towards their customers. The stability of their software is appalling, their track record at protecting their customers' data - including passwords that Adobe didn't bother to encrypt - is appalling. How they are still in business defies me. 

But as you allude to, where is the competition? Where are the viable alternatives to Photoshop, Lightroom, After Effects and Premiere Pro? There are alternatives out there but nothing is perfect and it takes a huge effort to change and retrain ourselves. So I suppose at the end of the day we have no-one to blame but ourselves for continuing to give Adobe our business and our hard-earned money....

 

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Stop using them. I did. Start using apps on Apple and Android. It's much cheaper and alot of the apps do things better than Adobe products. Who cares if they are the industries leader. Take a stand and learn other software and stop depending on Adobe. Losing subscribers is the only way Adobe will think twice on how they treat consumers.

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Hate to tell you, but if you read the TOS of your operating system you don’t own that either. You merely lease it. (Windows)

But this is why I intend to use my CD based CS6 until the disc wears transluscently thin...

 

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I have been using the Affinity Suite since it’s first release and now that Publisher is out, it covers everything without the need for a sub.

Davici/Smoke/FCP and other web apps cover the void for me, haven’t looked back since switching. I even had adobe CC for free for many years and that wasn’t enough to make me stay.

I’m really hoping they make a DAM client next.

Affinity is just well written on the Mac and not too bad on the PC, and they patch bugs really quickly if you report them, they also discount when there’s new releases.

I just hope Substance Designer and Substance Painter don’t go sub only now they are in the Adobe family, those apps are killer software.

Cheers.

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7 hours ago, xiaoen said:

It's not just photography, film, and graphic artists... the whole "printing" industry relies on Adobe software... magazines, packaging, trading cards, playing cards, games... you name it... If it has nice designs on it in more than 2 colors... odds are it passed thru Adobe software on the way to the press.

And I doubt any other software company is going to break into that market with 100% needed features for the printing business anywhere in the next 10 years. 

Don't believe me?  They killed Flash in 2011 caving to Steve Jobs and his Fanboys... and in 8 years no one has come close to building an equivalent tool as the Flash / Animate product, even though it would be helpful in both web and game development.

Animate/Flash is still the best at what it did... Whether you want Flash animations, or HTML5 garbage animations, or easily made games, or other stuff.

Adobe does need to accept responsibility for insuring their software provides all these markets the tools needed.  Your markets didn't force Adobe to monopolize... But you helped by your choices.

(Like every one shopping at Wal-Mart and then Amazon helped kill off mom-and-pop and brick-and-mortar.)

Adobe needs to realize they need to stay in business and maintain all this software for DECADES!  These markets NEED their software to do business.

But they are pretty good at making poor business decisions though which is what's scary.

Like devoting HOW MANY people and labor hours to try and copy what Flash could do using only JavaScript... And they STILL haven't finished reinventing that wheel!  (And they can't.)

They should have pushed Flash and their other products for building Internet Apps... which people want... and also worked to kill off HTML+CSS+JavaScript which has been a Frankenstein nightmare from HTML 3.2 thru HTML 5+.

BUT NO they kill off their own products, and the internet is no better than it was in 2011... worse actually... 

Oh by the way... If you threaten to cancel your CC subscription... They might give you a year at $35 per month to keep you.

Demand they do better.  But don't expect to find any better software anytime soon.

As someone that had to work with it, Flash sucked. I'm glad it's gone. Streaming video has improved greatly because of it. I don't know anyone that misses it. 

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7 hours ago, Robert Collins said:

Oh... there is no doubting it is a cash grab. Nice work if you can get it.

681543920_ClipboardImage(15).thumb.jpg.e94de2cec83f5bd901dad1e734ae0ab7.jpg

Well, my mom always used to advise, "Just because everyone else is jumping off a cliff doesn't mean you have to, too!" and I've lost count of how many times that advice has guided my decision-making processes over the years...

I started out with Photoshop 3.0.5 way back in the '90s when I was doing DTP with Quark, had an interim version for my 20" iMac in the '00s, and finally ended up with CS5.5 for my 2011 27" iMac. With Adobe's move to their (what I consider ransom-ware) rent-a-ware model I decided to hold off on any future PS upgrade plans until upgrading that computer (yeah, I know how to squeeze every cent out of my investments!). And in the meantime found that I could get by just fine for my photo processing needs with alternate pay-once solutions (read: Aperture, the OSX freebie Preview, and OEM RAW converters like Sony's Image Data Converter, etc! Haw!).

Fast-forward 8-years and I'm currently specing-out a new iMac for 4K video editing and I find myself, actually, grateful that Adobe has helped me simplify my decision-making process this go-round by effectively "dealing themselves out of the game" as I would never consider renting Premiere or anyone else's software! Ha!

It's looking like a lemming-free FCPX and Resolve future here! :D

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The worst part about Adobe is that they are leaps and bounds ahead of all of their competitors. If there were alternatives to Photoshop and illustrator that were on par, then most people would immediately jump ship, but since nothing compares, I fully support individual non-business users pirating Adobe software. That being said, subscription software can be done right. Cinema4d is a great example of proper application of subscription software. Macon / Cinema4d offers the choice to either buy an indefinite license, or lease the software for 3 or 6 months at at time, depending on which works best for you, and students can get it for free. Other companies should be following Maxon's business model rather than Adobe's.

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When they don't have enough cash: how can we develop new innovative problem-solving features with this budget? A change in business model is necessary.

When they have a lot of guaranteed cash flow: why spending months to develop useful features when we can add a bit AI hype and call it a new version?

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2 hours ago, Finian said:

The worst part about Adobe is that they are leaps and bounds ahead of all of their competitors.

Disagree.

 

I have seen several new, heavily promoted features in Photoshop declared as breakthroughs that actually appeared years before in GIMP and other open source imaging software.

 

I also don't see much difference between Lightroom and Darktable (and Raw Therapee).  If Lightroom has an advantage, please let me know.

 

In regards to NLEs, I don't usually use a lot of fancy plugins, but there are certain features that I find in open source NLEs that I can't find in Premiere or other proprietary software (and I would avoid using proprietary software, regardless).

 

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Attention and investigation should be directed at Autodesk, specifically their Revit software. New versions release yearly with minimal insignificant updates, yet you once you work on a file saved in the most recent version, it is impossible to even open the file in previous versions of revit, even the most recent. Your company and any other consultants are all locked into a current subscription perpetually. Autodesk are are the industry standard in architecture and engineering fields and they take advantage of that. 

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While you have some valid points, I do disagree with you on some levels. Sure, for the average intermediate user, a one time fee to switch to Davinci or Hitfilm is worth it. However, for the more advanced editor, compositor, and VFX artist, After Effects has no equal. I don't really use premiere much, but if your points about the software being the same each update for Pr, they don't hold up with Ae. In fact, the most recent update brought content aware fill for video which is unprecedented and a huge step into the future of editing. Ae also has a great community of plugin creators which really enhance the user experience and capabilities, especially with the recent things Red Giant and Videocopilot have been putting out. It also has great integration with softwares such as C4D, which is just great. 

TL/DR: While premiere may not be worth, After Effects is great for the advanced user. 

Also, for the people that just use Photoshop for basic touchups and are looking for a good software with a one and done price, look in to Affinity Photo. 

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Have a look at Affinity Photo, Designer and Publisher, software you pay for and own, the three programs are incredible for the cost and have just been used by Apple to benchmark their new Mac's (using Affinity Photo).

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Adobe provides me with a suite of tools that are so often updated and are getting better faster that I can hardly keep up. When Apple stopped seeking feedback from people depending n their software for their livelihood Adobe stepped in. Slow and steady won the race. Now their products are used by the majority of editors. Should subscription be illegal? Ridiculous! 

Offering Resolve as an alternative, OK, it is free but what about linking with equivalents to Illustrator, Photoshop, and the rest of the software apps that come with CC?

I remember when, as a PC/Premiere user, I couldn't get hired because everyone who wasn't on Avid was on Final Cut. Now the CC means a common set of tools that cost an affordable amount and gives access to a pool of talented creators with whom to collaborate. Thanks in part to Adobe, videomaking is a fabulous career with an exploding demand.

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Thanks for your article. I had first used Photoshop 2.5 back in 92. And regularly upgraded right from CS1 through to CS5 when I went freelance. Each upgrade seemed to bring a great new bundle of features. I held off CS 5.5 and 6 as they seemed buggy and couldn't really see and real added value. I was nervous about the whole subscription thing for exactly what you're article outlines, there's no way to plan for future price hikes. If Adobe decide to increase the price by £10 then you have to suck it up. I also didn't like that a software company could also dictate my hardware upgrade cycle, highlighted when I was at an Adobe users group a while back where the presenter was unable to use his laptop as he'd just updated After Effects and the graphics card was deemed out of date. 

So what to do? There are alternatives, I now use Affinity Designer over Illustrator. After a learning curve a much prefer it as an environment. They have a Photo program which is so close to Photoshop it's spooky. And they launched a page layout program this year. All single purchase, subscription free. For video, graphics Black Magic DaVinci. Still struggling to find a replacement for After Effects.

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On 7/26/2019 at 6:27 AM, kye said:

The free version of Resolve has almost all the functionality of the paid version, and a one-off purchase (of $300 IIRC) potentially comes with unlimited future upgrades. They don't guarantee that, but I bought a dongle when v12 was out and it still works on v16, and people who bought at?previous versions are also around saying the same thing.

If you buy a physical dongle then I think you can use it across however many computers you like, just not at the same time, and you won't be subject to the Apple store licencing restrictions.

There are also threads of people petitioning BM to give it still image editing so they can also ditch LightRoom, but I'm not sure on how likely that is.

Come on in, the water is fine :)

Well. I have been trying for years to switch. I find davinci to be limited when it comes editing multiple camera. In fact syncing multiple clips has always been an issue and the time I need to relearn everything is frustrating lol

 

unfortunately I use photoshop, after effects, illustrator and Indesign daily and can’t find any suitable software to replace them that doesn’t include additional  setup/installation (those open sourced software) or compatibility issue. 

 

Im stuck

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