Tag Archives: Creative Cloud

Foul Weather Warning: Creative Cloud and Photoshop CS6 are at enmity

Perhaps you paid attention to my ordering debacle v.v. Creative Cloud. Adobe was dangling a first year $20/month price in front of me then pulling out the football ala “Lucy” of Peanuts fame and telling me that I wasn’t eligible.  After a week, a dozen emails and more than a few phone calls that all seems to be straightened out.  Adobe people reset my password in the middle of the night (and forgot to tell me) but somehow magically made me eligible – after I created a new password, that is. Yippee.

Now comes the grisly, horrible news.

Photoshop CC doesn’t EXIST. It’s vaporware.

Shocking?  I thought so! Perhaps you didn’t notice the fine print:  “All-new tools and services will be available in June.”  I thought they meant that they were overhauling Creative Cloud – not hyping all the features that aren’t released yet. Hey, they don’t even say WHICH June this will happen so theoretically June 2021 is good for them.

But wait… it’s worse. Even more popular than our webinars here at StarCircleAcademy has been our Advanced Stacking Action for creating star trails and cool effects.  I’ve spent several hundred hours making sure the soon to be released Advanced Stacker+ works with all of the Photoshop versions I have installed: CS3, CS5, and CS6 so I figured… Hey… I should make sure it all works with the spiffy new Photoshop in the Cloud.  I joined the Cloud and discovered the next, horrible, gruesome problem:

You have to deactivate your perpetually licensed CS6 to get the new features!

[See here]

Apparently this is true. Because the not fancy new Adobe Application Manager that comes with Cloud insists that right now my Photoshop CS6 is Up to date. That old thing?


And because it’s up to date, I can’t install anything newer. New ACR 8? Nope.  You’ll have to install a trial version of Lightroom 5 to get that.  If, in fact that works… can’t verify that.  I do know that trying to install the Adobe Camera Raw 8.1 Beta says (and I’m quoting):

Adobe Application Manager 5162013 82117 PM.bmp

That’s the brand new Adobe Application Manager that came with the Cloud it’s talking about.

I am incredulous. I’m also feeling really smug. Many MONTHS ago I reported that there were problems for people who were trying to interwork between the Cloud version and the perpetually licensed versions. Adobe people repeatedly commented that those problems didn’t exist any longer after updates to the Adobe Application Manager – perhaps because their solution is to disable the perpetually licensed version!

I guess I shouldn’t complain too much. Adobe has given me so much material to write about. I’m working on a column for Photoshop alternatives which will be an interesting read if the new, mandatory perpetual payment system is not one you’re comfortable with.

Again, in the interest of fairness, the Creative Cloud *will* make financial sense in many cases, but perhaps not to those who like to own things and not merely hold them for a time.  And apparently not for those like me who would like to straddle both worlds.  The Cloud doesn’t make sense for:

  1. The once-in-a-while user.
  2. Users with restricted or unpredictable incomes (e.g. students, freelancers).
  3. Users with little or no internet bandwidth, or where that bandwidth is prohibitively expensive.
  4. Users who frequently go on assignments – especially extended assignments where there is little or no internet.
  5. Developers and designers who regularly use more than two computers.  You’ll have to pay for double licenses then.
  6. Anyone who is worried about untimely failures of the authorization process (hundreds of reports of this so far, including people unable to use their Cloud Licensed tools to make on-premise customer demonstrations, failures when visiting their cabin in the woods, daily re-authentication prompts, etc).
  7. People worried about long term financial stability.  Adobe has been very tight lipped about what pricing they will have in the future. If you want to do multi-year budget planning, you’ll have to assume that everything will at least double in cost.

Oh, and I found that Jeffrey Tranberry, Chief Customer Advocate at Adobe, is a saint – or should be. A lot of vitriol has been directed at him, but he’s been doing a great job answering questions. Unfortunately I didn’t find his column until after I discovered that Photoshop CC is vaporware.  It would have saved me from bothering to sign up for the Creative Vaporware, I mean cloud, and the week of “ineligibility” that ensued.

When I upgrade to Creative Cloud will I have to uninstall CS 6 and reinstall a new version?

Photoshop CS6 will work side by side when Photoshop CC is released. There is no reason to uninstall CS6.

While Jeffrey says that the two will work, side by side, the official Adobe site also says to deactivate CS6… I’m not sure whom to believe.  I’m still actively using my Photoshop CS6, so I can’t risk deactivating it to see if it will all work out – or the “call Adobe hassle” to reactivate (went through that pain once before already).

If someone who has a properly working Photoshop CC, or whatever is the current version from the Cloud would be so kind as to try out our Test Stacker and let us know how it goes, we’d appreciate it!  The Test Stacker does all the things our original stacking action did, plus more, but, of course it has fewer features than our Advanced Stacker.

Facing the Onslaught [C_073278-32li16%]



Adobe’s Creative Cloud

It seems like Adobe’s “Creative Cloud” offering is an attractive solution for those who would like to avail themselves of some of the powerful tools Adobe offers. Except for the sharp pokes in the eye you may experience.  You can read below the explication of my cynicism, but before that, let me point out some things you may already know.

The Adobe Creative Cloud solution means you pay a monthly cost. For that monthly cost you get the privilege of using any software that Adobe decides to put into its “Creative Cloud”. As a photographer the two most obvious gotta have items are Photoshop CS6 and Lightroom 4.

If you already have a licensed product the currently offered Creative Cloud monthly rate is $29.99.  Multiply that by 12 ($360) and you can see that you’re going to spend about twice what it would cost you to make annual upgrades ($200 for Photoshop CS5 to CS6). The total seems like a negative until you realize it also means you can install and use all those  other Cloud applications like Premiere, Illustrator, After Effects, Dreamweaver.  Adobe also offers a “single product” Cloud License at $240/year. But that doesn’t make sense if you’re only interested in bumping up your Photoshop – unless it’s the Extended version which costs more to upgrade annually ($400).

The Creative Cloud monthly arrangement is good for Adobe, of course, because they produce a nice predictable revenue stream – which in turn is good for us because it keeps their people employed and working toward bigger and better things.

The Great Cloud

Effectively you can test drive ANYTHING Adobe has added to the cloud for a few months (not just 30 days). And if you like it, keep paying and keep using it. If you read the Adobe FAQ and BLOGs and web pages you will notice Adobe touts all kinds of benefits, but if you are Photoshop and Lightroom only kind of user most of the pluses do not amount to any significant dollar savings to you.  And let’s be honest, sometimes upgrades and fixes do more harm than good.

Why I Am Not (Yet) A Believer

I’ve been burned and inconvenienced several times in the past trying to upgrade, uninstall and reinstall Adobe products (Photoshop CS2, 3 and 5). While  the latest versions of software seem more reliable, a quick read of the Adobe Forums reveals that there are a number of show stopping issues with Creative Cloud that go beyond mere cynicism.

  1. Creative Cloud wants to periodically check to be sure you still have a valid license – and the internet is needed for that however:
    • Adobe has had bouts of “degraded performance” (which translated means you can’t do ‘nuthin). The most recent example was Tuesday, September 25, 2012.
    • If the license check happens to fall on the first day of your two-week hiatus from the internet your ability to use the software comes to a SCREECHING halt on the 7th day. God rested on the seventh day but Adobe software becomes catatonic. When the clock runs out the grace runs out too. You get DEAD lifeless software. Some users have reported how embarrassing it has been for them to fire up their software at a customer site only to be humiliated by a “license out of date” window.
      <EDITORIALIZING: What the heck is Adobe smoking? If they had sense – and I’m sure some of them do, they’d fall back to a 30 day trial or just outright allow 30 days of grace not a week>
  2. Apparently there have been significant interactions between fully licensed software and Cloud licensed software.  With a normal (perpetually) licensed PS5 and a Cloud Licensed PS6 whenever you use PS5, your PS6 license goes into trial mode.  There seems to be a fix for this, but the fix doesn’t seem to be working for everyone.
  3. Adobe doesn’t publish their bugs.  It’s only when you install X with Y that you’ll discover for yourself the daunting problem that these two things create unless you relentlessly scan the internet. Bugs happen. Adobe seems to hope you don’t find out about a bug until it happens to you personally.
  4. Adobe says in their FAQ that under Creative Cloud you have one year to upgrade to the latest release but does not make it clear what happens if you do not. I presume the old version just stops working, which might be unfortunate if a feature you rely on is removed in a later version. You may find yourself S.O.L. (sorry out of luck).
  5. Adobe is unclear about how much “patch and fix” control you can exert.  I’m one of those people who does not install the latest iPhone software until a month has passed. The headaches and hardships of the early adopters have saved me from wasting a lot of my own time.
  6. All this wonderful software has to be downloaded. And it’s huge. LOTS of bandwidth used.
  7. Using Beta versions before installing Cloud software has known problems.
  8. If, heaven forbid, Adobe does go belly up all that great software also goes up in smoke in 30 days or less.
  9. Adobe can raise the price when they wish and as much as they like.
  10. If you decide the Cloud is raining on your wallet and opt out, you either have to stop using those tools or fork over full license costs for what you continue to use. It’s not a rent to own deal, here.
  11. Cloud will aggressively enforce the “two install” maximum. If you install Cloud Applications on more than two machines Adobe wants you to pay multiple licenses.

Bottom line for me right now: I am afraid to load the free trial.  The last time I went with an Adobe free trial I spent several DAYS researching, uninstalling, and reinstalling due to the problems that resulted.

What do you think? Does the cloud make sense for you?  I doubt Adobe is going to read this blog, but if they did, do you have a (family friendly) comment/suggestion or complaint for them?

NOTE: The terms Adobe, Creative Cloud and others are trademarked names.