Maybe an upcoming web-designer or video editor need a good, sturdy program to help produce quality content? No problem, you could choose from a plethora of applications for the users to unleash their hidden creative side. Premiere, to start off the track of your video. After Effects if you wanted to add some shiny new lightings or sword fights to your video. As for the webdesigner, Adobe Dreamweaver and Indesign were tools specifically made for beginners and advanced site creators. This made it possible for simple and advanced sites to have a professional feel to them.
The price dilema
All of this sounds fine and dandy, and there were a few missteps along the way. The collection wasn’t that affordable (2599 $ for the whole bundle) but you could buy the licenses for each program separately. You also had plugins for free. There was also the bonus of user created content, like transitions plugins for the premiere, that could go up to around 20$. Also, another problem, was the constant piracy for some of the applications. Photoshop was (I don’t know if it still) the most pirated atorrent around. It became a must need for everyone, as smartphones and quick photography came on the rise. Still, the system worked. Well, until 2013.
The cloud dilema
One hiccup in the long dynasty that is the Adobe software family was the introduction of the Adobe Creative Cloud. As mentioned before, up until then, all the plugins and additional codecs had to be bought through additional packages. Since 2013-2014, now there is a monthly fee for all the products. This is a blessing, but also a curse in disguise, for different reasons.
First, the company provided a secure and stable method for work. The constant updates and cloud based storage has a tougher security system behind it. But, and there is a big but, it also meant that you had to rely on your internet connection. (P.S I know you have to be connected just once every 4 months and you can use the application in an offline mode). The Creative Cloud’s capabilities for things like file conversions (which failed a few times), and even the problem of your own software. With the old model you knew what requirements to needed to work with Indesign or Audition. As with the new constant updates, though, everyone is on the edge. You may never know you might have to upgrade your hardware so that you could make a funny meme.
The people dilema
Another issue is with the people that can have started learning an Adobe program, obtained through more shifty methods. There are people who don’t buy the Creative Cloud because they were able to access the programs (and learn it by the way) when it was more accessible for them.
This made applications like Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Premiere and After Effects MMO characters, for which you have to pay 59.99 $ at the end of every month if you want to continue using them. There are also cheaper plans, like the 1 app for 29.99 or 11.99 for two photography programs. Maybe a design company could handle the monthly fee, but freelancers and starting users might have some problems with it. And then there is the issue with the international market. While the subscription in America might be around 50-60 $, everywhere else can rise up to 60% than the one mentioned before.
The alternative dilema
Like any other customer, many have decided that the additional content isn’t worth paying the fee, so they started digging around the web and looked at the many alternatives to were just waiting there. For basic editing like video cuts, in between scene moving and other small changes, you can still use Sony Vegas or Final Cut Pro.
Even online publications started showing lists for unknown or just underused products, which do the same things like the adobe ones, or even better. The two I mentioned before are a good example of how to make it, even in the Adobe shadow. Other lists included a lot of alternatives to the most pirated program ever, (Photoshop), like GIMP and Inkscape (which are free by the way). And then you have the competitors, which had a lot to offer but, just as before, couldn’t escape the “long reach of the empire”, like CoreDraw and Pixelmator. And these are just to name a few.
5 years later, The Creative Cloud is still going strong. At least, though, it gave a chance to other softwares to be discovered. Maybe, someday, you will not hear the tired expression of “but you will be using this Adobe program to do it, right?”.
Not to stress the issue even more, the new collection is still a competent box of toys for you to play with. And you have a large variety to choose from. Each with many functions, and lights, and sounds that can keep you entertained. The problem lies with the tight grip Adobe has on the box.
This editorial piece is not to bash any Adobe product, and is meant only as a criticism of the business model. It seems to me that Adobe is shifting into the direction of an over controlling company. One that disregards the needs of their users or the legacy it has created. Many creative fields depend too much on their products and there are people that can’t envision something to be created without an Adobe product to be involved in it.