When Adobe released their newest set of programs in June of 2013 as the Creative Cloud, there was an uproar over the subscription-only model. Users didn’t want to have to pay monthly to access Photoshop, Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, or any of the other Adobe programs. There were some pros of this model, that stood up to the unhappy customers. I’ve been using the Creative Cloud over the past month, and would like to give you my opinion of the Creative Cloud, both the negative and the positive. So here it is – Video School Onlne’s Adobe Creative Cloud Review.
- I’m not a fan of monthly bills! When it comes to paying for something in full or having a payment plan, I’ll always go with paying in full. If I don’t have the money for something now, I won’t purchase it. When I wanted/needed to buy a car (because my younger sister took the car my parent’s were loaning me), I road my bike to work, the store, and to my girlfriend’s place for three months without a car. I saved up enough money to buy my beloved Hyundai Accent in full. So the thought of paying monthly to edit with Adobe After Effects make my stomach cringe. At this point the monthly cost is $49.99. For students or teachers, it is a much lower $19.99.
- I’m paying for things I don’t need. This could be a positive. For one price, you get all of the Adobe applications. This includes web-design, flash, and illustrator programs that I won’t use. Is part of my $49.99 monthly fee going to the availability of these programs. Wouldn’t it be better if I could just select the two or three programs that I would actually want to use for a lower price?
- Did I mention the $49.99 is only if you sign up for a year long contract?! If you don’t want to sign up for a binding 12-month contract, you can pay $79.99. Ridiculous, enough said!
- Online activation is a must. You have to sign into your Adobe account at least once per month to continue using the software. What if you’re working from the middle of an Amazonian Jungle without any internet connection? Do your programs automatically stop working? Adobe has to figure out another way to allow users to keep using their programs. While having an internet connection is probably easy for people who can pay the monthly fee, it is still alienating a lot of people around the world who might not have an internet connection, but dream to be a professional designer, or motion graphics artist.
So those are a few of the biggest issues I have with the Adobe Creative Cloud. There are still some things that I appreciate about it though. So here they are.
- Always updated. With the monthly subscription comes ‘free’ updates for the latest Adobe programs. This means that instead of Adobe coming out with a new CS version (i.e. CS4, CS5, CS6), you get any new version of your favorite software with your subscription. This sounds nice – I would hate having to pay another $600 every two years when Adobe comes out with a new suite. But if you break down the cost of owning CC for two years, it comes out to $1200 which is more expensive than I would have previously had to pay for the Complete Suite. Pro/Con, you decide!
- Access to all programs. Okay, okay, I put this in the negative column above but for some of you this might be a positive. I never would have wanted Adobe Dreamweaver. But now I have it. And I can learn it, and make cool websites. I’m a photographer and video creator. I get Lightroom, Photoshop, After Effects, and Premiere Pro! I even get Adobe Audition for sound editing. So this could be seen as a positive.
- Online tutorials. If you don’t know of www.VideoSchoolOnline.com or any other great online tutorials, Adobe gives you some great tutorials for all of your programs with the Creative Cloud subscription.
- Publish your work on Behance, with a ‘free’ profile.
- 20 Gb of online storage. This is pretty cool, as the whole world turns to the cloud. Someday, all of our data will be saved in the cloud. Unfortunately for creatives, 20 Gbs can go pretty quickly!
- New features! Obviously with the release of new versions, CC applications have new features. For example, in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5, you get a new Upright tool. Photoshop CC has a smart sharpening tool. And there’s lots more little improvements as well.
Ultimately, I think I’m leaning towards the negative side. The subscription model just seems like Adobe is trying to dig deeper into our products. As a professional video editor, I feel somewhat stuck. Apple’s late release of Final Cut Pro X turned me on to Adobe Premiere Pro. I now love Premiere, and wouldn’t want to switch back to FCPX. But the CC model makes me wonder if it is worth it. For now, having After Effects and Premiere Pro are necessary for a lot of the freelance work that I do. We’ll see what happens with the next versions of Final Cut Pro. I may hop off the Adobe bandwagon if there is a bright side shining from somewhere else.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments!
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