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All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC

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Peter Jay Gould
All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 3:19:29 am

I see a number of posters on here saying they don't understand the uproar. Let me add the following perspective which may shed some light on things.

I own a video production company. My company has been in business since 2000 and I have been in the industry since the late 1980s. I have been involved with computers since I was building them from kits in the 1970s. In other words, I’m not new to the party.

I also don’t (ever) work with pirated software. I have owned a license for every single bit of software I have EVER possessed. This is not about wanting something for nothing.

So here’s the problem. The relationship between software company and customer exists in a balance. Each party has an amount of power in that relationship, as well as competing motivations and needs. As a publicly held company, the software company wants to minimize expenses and maximize revenue, because these things are necessary to hold its share price up (otherwise stockholders bail and the company goes bust). There’s NOTHING WRONG WITH THIS as long as the other side of the equation also works. To wit: customers want cool new features that make their work easier or more lucrative or enhance their creativity, and they want them for the lowest possible price.

When (in the traditional model) the software company comes out with an upgrade, customers will pay for it IF the features are attractive to them and IF the price is acceptable to them. If the features are uninteresting or the price is too high, they won’t buy and will instead continue to use the version they most recently paid for. This introduces a countervailing force and motivates the company to continue innovating and keep control over prices. As long as those oppositional forces are in balance the relationship is healthy.

What forced migration to the cloud does is to transfer most of the customers’ power to the company. The way we approach video production, a “project” consists of an Adobe Premiere project file, often with one or more imported Adobe AfterEffects projects and Adobe Audition projects as well as layered Photoshop and/or Illustrator files whose layers can be independently animated in addition to the raw camera footage. These file formats are all proprietary to Adobe as is the relationship between the files. A project created a year or five from now is likely to contain attributes unrecognizable to CS6 applications and therefore is unlikely to be backward-compatible.

This means that the pain of subsequent migration to another platform is much greater in a CC model than a CS model (where the user always has a perpetual license to the software that was used to create any existing projects). Under CC, if one stops paying, one loses access to the applications and therefore to all the projects that depend upon them. So in order to be able to "tweak" existing projects after migrating, you would have to pay for the new software and ALSO pay for the continuing Adobe subscription - else you could no longer service the clients with those existing projects.

This increased migration pain means customers are likely to endure more abuse under CC than they would under CS before they finally migrate. Merely failing to have attractive innovations in future upgrades will probably not provide sufficient incentive. Slowly increasing the subscription fee will also not move people who are already trapped into a CC-only relationship, at least not right away.

So how high could those fees go? Well, I can tell you that my company was surveyed by Adobe about making this move nearly two years ago, and at the time the fee they were floating was not $50/month. It was $150/month. I believe the $50 monthly fee announced this year is a lowball fee intended to get the majority of customers to switch over quietly. I believe if this happens without incident the rate will go to $150 pretty quickly, perhaps with a product line split where $50/month ended up being for the various bundles (production, print, web) rather than the Master Collection. No doubt Adobe intends to tune the amount to maximize revenue, where increased fees from people who remain exceed what is lost from customers who leave.

And if all this wasn't enough: we work in a deadline-driven environment where if we can't deliver on time for, say, a huge live event, we don't get paid (and could even get sued for the cost of field production made irrelevant by our failure to deliver on time). I have heard a barrage of stories about Creative Cloud server failures resulting in software refusing to run even though it was paid for. Since this is a server-side issue, even having multiple copies of the software installed on different machines will not solve the problem - the Adobe system itself is a single point of failure. And by the way: read the Cloud agreement VERY carefully. By using the Cloud you agree that Adobe has ABSOLUTELY NO LIABILITY WHATSOEVER for any failures and any damage those failures may cause you or your clients, or for any liability you are caused by Adobe's failures.

So my prediction is that if Adobe succeeds in this move, innovation will stagnate since they make the same money whether they innovate or not (one of the primary risks of the subscription model), rates rapidly increase over the next two years or so and then increase more slowly (but never remain the same), and no user will ever have access to their software again without paying an unending monthly fee. And server failures (occasional or frequent, we have no idea) will cause missed deadlines and significant liability to companies that entrust their postproduction to Creative Cloud software. Since Adobe has no liability, don't expect a 24x7 rapid-response call center to deal with authentication errors; instead expect the usual 24-48 hour response, no matter your deadline.

Also, if this works for Adobe, other software companies will follow suit. Expect to pay a monthly fee for Windows or Mac OS, for every plugins package you own and for all other productivity software from Office suites to Quickbooks or whatever you happen to use to manage your business. And each of those fees will be tuned upward as companies explore what the market will bear.

Anyone who is fine with this move by Adobe may want to consider whether you are also fine with where this leads.


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Brandon Cordy
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 4:24:30 am

If Adobe charges $150/month, quite simply, no one will pay for Creative Cloud and the entire company will go under. I'm glad they got enough survey feedback to keep the price down.

Also, they're selling Creative Cloud with the sales point that innovation will accelerate, not decelerate. The company can't afford to stagnate at all with it's video editing tools, shouldn't get lazy with the standard design tools, and is basically starting from scratch with web (Dreamwea we is not a friend to many programmers I know). They'll have to push for better innovation or not even the people who want to be on CC now will be on it.


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Paul Neumann
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 5:00:22 am

So I sat down with a friend of mine who is also the CTO of a LARGE software and services company (12.5B market cap/14,000 employees) today to talk to him about Adobe and the Creative Cloud. He allowed that the feeling of not "owning" the software anymore will be hard on a lot of people. He added that no one really owns it anyway but just the license to use it, but that he understood how not having a perpetual license would be difficult for people to get used to.

And...

He said we all need to get used to this. This is absolutely necessary to continue to provide products/updates in a manner that keeps pace with the way we consume technology today. When I told him about single app subscriptions, being able to buy a single month if you want (not unending) plus all the included services of storage, portfolio and social membership he said that Adobe was offering a pretty sweet deal. He was really surprised that Adobe agreed to support CS6 with bug fixes and security updates.

Ask anyone in his position what they'd like to spend money on and the answer will be more Developers. Everything is geared to getting new and better stuff to the user. Saying you'll stay on CS6 (or 5.5 or 5) forever is really just so much bluster. Also, the innovation is not yet apparent as the product is just hitting the market, but by going to this model he felt confident that Adobe users would very quickly see the fruits of this decision. Maybe you'll see a Lite version of it all for your tablet for example. Or whatever. We don't know what any of this is going to look like, but it is changing all the time and you, the user, always want more. This is the best way to give it you. Big companies struggle mightily with change of this magnitude, so much so that many refuse to approach it. Good for Adobe that they have.

The real innovation is yet to come, and a lot of it lies right behind your CC login. Now it can get here faster and cheaper and in much better shape with much better support behind it. Adobe is doing the right thing for Adobe and all their customers.

So, that's the word from one executive suite.

Full disclosure: I'm part of this same LARGE company. We came over together last year when he sold our little 100 person operation for $330M. Don't tell me he's full of crap. His whole professional life is entirely invested in just such things.


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Greg Andonian
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 5:35:34 am

[Paul Neumann] This is absolutely necessary to continue to provide products/updates in a manner that keeps pace with the way we consume technology today.

No it isn't. As I pointed out in another thread, you can pay once for a perpetual license of FCPX, and get very substantial upgrades rather frequently. There still hasn't been an "all-new version" of FCPX, and Apple has rolled out very significant features- like the source monitor.

If Adobe wants to go to a model that will allow them to provide more frequent updates, I'm all for it. But why do they have to hold my project files hostage in the process? Why can't they offer downloads of their apps with frequent upgrades, and the services part separately alongside it? Or do what they're doing now but also give us the ability to purchase the apps?

I really don't like this idea that because things are changing rapidly these days, it's now impossible for Adobe to offer their end-users a perpetual license- because it's just not true.

______________________________________________
"Up until here, we still have enough track to stop the locomotive before it plunges into the ravine... But after this windmill it's the future or bust."


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Gary Huff
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 12:44:17 pm

[Greg Andonian] "As I pointed out in another thread, you can pay once for a perpetual license of FCPX, and get very substantial upgrades rather frequently. There still hasn't been an "all-new version" of FCPX, and Apple has rolled out very significant features- like the source monitor."

If Apple's existence depended on FCPX, Aperture, Logic, ect, instead of merely being an additional way to sell their premium hardware, you would see a much different model.


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Paul Neumann
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 2:42:58 pm

And where do you get these updates? Through the App Store. See, the innovation wasn't with the iPod, a single app music player, it was with iTunes which was the first step to...App Store. Try looking at CC in that light. Because of the evolution of iTunes and the App Store the iPod led to the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Apple TV as well as a brand new market for DEVELOPERS. Those are all bonafide successes.

CC is going the same way. It opens up Adobe's developers to operate without the constraint of a release cycle deadline. And that's good for the user base. That brings new customers and products in and keeps established customers/products in a leadership position. Making all of their products better all the time is the fuel to make the Creative Cloud run. What CC offers in addition to access to the programs is where the real innovation will take place. A great iTunes experience with a crappy iPod product wouldn't have been a success. So Adobe will make their products better because the success of everything tied to it will dictate that they do so.

Yeah, this is a big step for Adobe. But it's just the first step, not the only step. They've looked far down the road on this. Much farther than any of us. They had to. Standing pat on CS6 is fine with a lot of people here.

Adobe doesn't want to do that. And you don't want them to either.


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david aretsky
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 7:23:33 pm

"CC is going the same way. It opens up Adobe's developers to operate without the constraint of a release cycle deadline. "

They could just as easily just offer up downloads regardless of if you are on a subscription model or not. Nobody holds them to a cycle but themselves.
I would be glad for whatever incremental updates they made available.

The problem here is that when you stop paying them every month you are left with NOTHING -

With the perpetual license model I still have a tool with which to open and modify my previously created files for as long as I have hardware and an os which the software is compatible with.

dangerd


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Andrew Kimery
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 7:46:24 pm

[david aretsky] "The problem here is that when you stop paying them every month you are left with NOTHING -"

I guess that depends on one's perspective. Some people see it as being left with nothing while others might see it as being left with a finished product and more money in the bank (thanks in part to the tools they rented).

I'm still sorting out my feelings about CC but it certain is making me rethink how and why I value the software that I work with. If someone can leverage a $600 annual investment into 75 or 100 times that amount annually is it not a good investment? Am I too attached to the concept of 'ownership' for and is it a difference that will make a different in my situation? I dunno.

I would like to see more tiers though than the current everything + the kitchen sink plan for $50/mo.




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Peter Jay Gould
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 1:47:51 pm

I'm not at all surprised to hear that perspective from a senior executive of another software company, and I've no doubt that from their perspective it's what "they all have to do." Likewise it may appear from his perspective that this will lead to greater innovation - he may actually believe that.

But let's face some reality. Publicly held companies must report increased revenues every quarter or their shareholders bail. That's not a recrimination; it's just a statement of fact. Once Adobe settles in to a steady monthly income, there are three ways to obtain the increases needed to satisfy the marketplace: (1) charge more, (2) attract more customers, or (3) reduce costs. Once the company has gotten whatever market share it can, it will have no choice but to explore the upper limit on pricing. Once that limit is reached it must find where to cut costs. We've seen that most software companies INCLUDING Adobe have offshored support to people who are often incomprehensible and have difficulty grasping what the problem is, with escalation to domestic support taking 24-48hrs in a work environment in which minutes count. The only remaining area to cut is development. So company managers may tell us (and even themselves) where this will go but the laws of economics will dictate nonetheless. Avid Technology made very similar missteps in the late 1990s allowing for the rise of FCP.

And of course there's still the issue no one else seems to be talking about regarding the authorization server constituting a single point of failure with no way to hedge against it and no liability to Adobe if they cause a missed deadline resulting in nonpayment or even a lawsuit against your company.


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Paul Neumann
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 2:51:53 pm

You make it sound like Adobe has decided, "Hey, I've got an idea! Subscriptions! Cool, now let's sit on our asses and see what happens."

All this single point of failure, now they raise the prices, now they do nothing is just nonsense. Like nobody has thought about this and is constantly working to make it better today than it was even yesterday. That's nonsense.

By your own admission FCP innovated where Avid stagnated. Did Apple drain the innovation bucket with that move and now everybody else has to just continue to do things the way they've always been done?

CC is change. Not changing is a sure death.


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Clint Wardlow
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 3:28:08 pm

[Paul Neumann] "CC is change. Not changing is a sure death."

But change doesn't always stave off "sure death" either. For change to be effective it also has to serve the consumer, not just the company bottom line.

I am not sure the subscription model is such a dead-bang certainty of doing so. It could be, and then again it might not. Only time will tell.

My one worry is that all software moving to a subscription model creates a very real danger of nickle-and-diming the consumer to death. I'm not sure of all the implications of subscription, but if widely accepted it is definitely going to change us, as the user, and our relationship to what software we have on our computer at any given time.

As with all such change, I am sure there will be good and bad. I just hope the good outweighs the bad in the end.


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Walter Soyka
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 5:56:01 am

Peter, thanks for sharing a well thought-out perspective.

I think that reasonable people can reasonably disagree on the analyses. Here's another take.


[Peter Jay Gould] "This means that the pain of subsequent migration to another platform is much greater in a CC model than a CS model (where the user always has a perpetual license to the software that was used to create any existing projects). Under CC, if one stops paying, one loses access to the applications and therefore to all the projects that depend upon them. So in order to be able to "tweak" existing projects after migrating, you would have to pay for the new software and ALSO pay for the continuing Adobe subscription - else you could no longer service the clients with those existing projects."

If you migrate away from CC, you can always come back for a month to handle an old project. That may be better than bearing the cost of maintaining a legacy system for your old software.

In your scenario above, CS is a sunk cost and CC is a prospective cost. Either may be a valid decision.


[Peter Jay Gould] "So how high could those fees go? Well, I can tell you that my company was surveyed by Adobe about making this move nearly two years ago, and at the time the fee they were floating was not $50/month. It was $150/month. I believe the $50 monthly fee announced this year is a lowball fee intended to get the majority of customers to switch over quietly. I believe if this happens without incident the rate will go to $150 pretty quickly, perhaps with a product line split where $50/month ended up being for the various bundles (production, print, web) rather than the Master Collection. No doubt Adobe intends to tune the amount to maximize revenue, where increased fees from people who remain exceed what is lost from customers who leave."

Adobe actually offered CS5 rentals in April of 2011 [link], at the prices you describe. Seems like that went over like a lead balloon. Once Adobe found a sweet spot of $30 to $50 monthly with Creative Cloud last year, though, subscriptions shot up to half a million in under twelve months.

A high rate cannot stand. Look at all the people here vowing they'll never buy CC, scoping out the competition -- and that's at the reasonable "lowball" rate. If Adobe raises the rate too much, then even people who like the idea of CC will leave.

If Adobe's revenue comes from subscriptions, and if Adobe makes those subscriptions too expensive for their target market to profitably afford, it will put them out of business. Everyone is so preoccupied with how much creative customers needs Adobe that they've forgotten how much Adobe needs creative customers.


[Peter Jay Gould] "When (in the traditional model) the software company comes out with an upgrade, customers will pay for it IF the features are attractive to them and IF the price is acceptable to them. If the features are uninteresting or the price is too high, they won’t buy and will instead continue to use the version they most recently paid for. This introduces a countervailing force and motivates the company to continue innovating and keep control over prices. As long as those oppositional forces are in balance the relationship is healthy."

I think competition provides the balance you're talking about here. In fact, I think that Creative Cloud could intensify the competition dramatically.

Let's consider Photoshop. Before CC, Adobe's main competitor was the Ghost of Adobe Past. Someone like Pixelmator wasn't just competing with the next version of Photoshop; they were competing with the version of Photoshop already on prospects' machines. There's no reason to even look at Pixelmator if you're happy with the Photoshop you've already paid for.

Now with CC, people will be paying every month for Photoshop. If Adobe doesn't make them happy every month, they'll look elsewhere. They can't just sit on an old version anymore. Pixelmator has a huge opportunity here, because anyone looking to leave Photoshop has to actively go somewhere else to keep working.

Also, the traditional model itself is not without flaws.

Creative Suite (efforts at synchronizing and integrating the individual product releases) is a very worthwhile idea, but it's got some downsides. First and foremost: the "ready or not, here I come" release schedule. All products in CS must ship when CS ships, no matter how far through their own development cycles they may be. That means that for any given product some years are lean (development wasn't ready for the CS release) and some years are rich ("leftover" features from previous cycles are finally ready).

It also means that the publisher is incentivized to focus on whiz-bang features that look good on a checklist. Many of the most important features I request are decidedly non-sexy features that won't impress the purchasing department, but would make my life easier as a user on a daily basis.

I'm not a lawyer, but my amateur understanding of Sarbanes Oxley is that you can't deliver features for free unless you are willing to defer revenue already collected into the period where the latest features were delivered. A company like Apple who gets only a minuscule portion of their revenue from the pro apps can take the deferral from free FCPX feature releases on the chin, but Creative Suite is too important to Adobe to be able to put off recognizing revenue. If removing the accounting restrictions on feature releases means continuous feature release, that could be a good thing for customers.

More regular revenue, or increased revenue if CC sees some uptake among infrequent adopters, would no doubt be good for Adobe's bottom line. I see that as a good thing. I view Adobe just like any of my other partners or vendors. They can't help me in my business if they're not healthy themselves. More revenue can mean more R&D and ultimately better products and services for us to use.

Moving to the user side, the traditional model complicates interchange. When people skip versions, but not everyone skips the same version, it's harder to get everyone on the same page about what version to use on big projects. This is a pretty big hassle working with agencies and other production companies in the Ae world who may not always remain current. With more people and companies on the cloud, it'll be easier to get everyone running the same current version.

Finally, the traditional model might not be well-suited for the future. Trends like connectivity, mobility, and social are changing everything they touch, but you can't put these in boxes or in installer pacakges with serial numbers. There are real problems in our workflows that may benefit more from a services approach than a product approach.


[Peter Jay Gould] "Anyone who is fine with this move by Adobe may want to consider whether you are also fine with where this leads."

I think the scenario you describe is possible, but not inevitable. CC could end up being very good for customers. It's also not inevitable that continuing in the traditional model would have continued to produce the same good results we've seen from Adobe during the Creative Suite cycle as your statement here seems to presuppose.

To wrap up what became a really long post, I think there's room for reasonable disagreement on both subscription in general and Creative Cloud in particular. There are pros and cons we should all consider, and we may make different decisions.

Personally, I have high hopes (and high expectations) for what Creative Cloud will become.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Chris Harlan
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 8:17:03 am

[Walter Soyka] "If Adobe's revenue comes from subscriptions, and if Adobe makes those subscriptions too expensive for their target market to profitably afford, it will put them out of business. Everyone is so preoccupied with how much creative customers needs Adobe that they've forgotten how much Adobe needs creative customers.
"


Bingo.

[Walter Soyka] "To wrap up what became a really long post, I think there's room for reasonable disagreement on both subscription in general and Creative Cloud in particular. There are pros and cons we should all consider, and we may make different decisions.

Personally, I have high hopes (and high expectations) for what Creative Cloud will become.
"


Yeah, I lean this way as well.


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Jim Wiseman
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 9:06:22 am

Well, if this is the model for the future, why not let it continue to play out as it has the past year and see which model wins? I've heard there are about 12,000,000 licenses out there, and in the last year 479,000 have purchased CC. With CS still available and thought to be upgradable by most. Let them compete for a while longer. Let's have a CS7. If CC is such a great idea, it will win. Evolution in action. Won't happen because Adobe already knows what the result would be. If they didn't a week ago, they sure should by now.

Of all the sites on the web, I think the Cow has had the most even handed responses from Adobe customers. Perhaps there are more professionals here, and we default to a more professional level of discourse. From what I have seen outside of the Cow, in the larger world, the crowds are angrier, more vociferous, and seem downright determined to reject the CC model. We can speak of the inevitability of the rental/subscription model all we want, but if the great majority of the users don't buy it, or can't afford it, it won't fly. It will end up being a niche high end solution for those who can afford it, or who don't mind having their work held hostage to an unending monthly payment. Or just don't care about having continuing access to their work if their circumstances change.

I find it kind of interesting that so many assume that they will always be able to afford or even want such an arrangement as CC. At some point in our lives, professional and certainly personal, their will come a time for many when we will probably wish to get out of the rat race and just do something that pleases us on that personal, creative level. The founders of Creative Cow comes to mind.

Artists will want what they create to have a future, not just be dependent on another .x release from Adobe or some other company. Software that they have to continue to pay for in order for their creations to exist in a plastic, modifiable form. Some of us see this as our art, not just as our business. We need to have businesses to get the tools and pay all of the expenses of the rest of our lives. At some point, with good planning, we may be able to set aside this day to day striving, and just make beautiful things for part of our time here. With tools like these. This model, unless you are very well off, does not allow for that. How many artists are that well off? Do you want to pay Adobe with your Social Security?

I, for one, won't pay any software company indefinitely in order to have access to my work. I don't think I am alone. I can see why the software companies desire this, for all the reasons we've heard elsewhere. Well, they can't always get what they want. I obviously can't either, but it has to be something better than a Creative Cloud subscription.

Jim Wiseman
Sony PMW-EX1,Pana AJ-D810 DVCPro, DVX-100, Nikon D7000, Final Cut Studio 2 and 3, Media 100 Suite 2.1, Premiere Pro 5.5 and 6.0, AJA ioHD, AJA Kona LHi, Avid MC, Hexacore MacPro 3.33 Ghz 24Gb RAM GTX-285 120GB SSD, Macbook Pro 17" 2011 2.2 Ghz Quadcore i7 8Gb SSD, G5 Quadcore PCIe


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David Lawrence
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 3:40:25 pm

[Jim Wiseman] "Artists will want what they create to have a future, not just be dependent on another .x release from Adobe or some other company. Software that they have to continue to pay for in order for their creations to exist in a plastic, modifiable form. Some of us see this as our art, not just as our business. We need to have businesses to get the tools and pay all of the expenses of the rest of our lives."

Well said, Jim.

_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research
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Walter Soyka
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 4:38:57 pm

[Jim Wiseman] "Well, if this is the model for the future, why not let it continue to play out as it has the past year and see which model wins?"

We will see which model wins. If CC isn't a good fit, it will fail.

If CC works, great. If it doesn't, we'll find something else.


[Jim Wiseman] "Artists will want what they create to have a future, not just be dependent on another .x release from Adobe or some other company. Software that they have to continue to pay for in order for their creations to exist in a plastic, modifiable form. Some of us see this as our art, not just as our business. We need to have businesses to get the tools and pay all of the expenses of the rest of our lives. At some point, with good planning, we may be able to set aside this day to day striving, and just make beautiful things for part of our time here. With tools like these. This model, unless you are very well off, does not allow for that. How many artists are that well off? Do you want to pay Adobe with your Social Security?"

I get this. I'm not trying to minimize your concern or talk you into CC if you don't think it's a good fit for you for the future. I'm just trying to explain why I think it's a good fit for me today. If or when that changes, I'll re-evaluate. The only constant is change, right?

In giving this a little thought, I can't think of another visual art that has no on-going costs. Every other visual art has consumables. Ink, paint, brushes, paper, stones, clay, etc.

Computer software is unlike traditional art tools in that software requires constant updates over time. You could design a brush once and sell it for decades; a tool like Photoshop requires constant effort to keep up to date as computer and imaging technology changes around it.

I can understand why a developer would want to pursue a business model with ongoing revenue to match their ongoing expenses, just as I can understand why a user would want to pursue a model with fixed, one-time costs that eliminate ongoing expenses.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Richard Herd
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 5:48:58 pm

[Jim Wiseman] "It will end up being a niche high end solution for those who can afford it,"

You have just described Panavision's business model.

[Jim Wiseman] "who don't mind having their work held hostage to an unending monthly payment."

I've heard this a few times. I don't understand it. Maybe you can explain. From my point of view, when I work on a project, I start it, and then I end it. The moment it's done, I don't need the tools anymore. The work is the thing. The work is not held hostage. Just the opposite. I really don't understand. Thanks!


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Peter Jay Gould
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 5:57:41 pm

In video it's not uncommon for a client to ask you to make adjustments to a project you did two years ago. Open the project, remove clips of some employee who was fired or something, substitute another interview clip. Done in an hour if you're good at it. If you deadlined your perpetual license product because you migrated elsewhere you still have it and can toss that project off easily. If you were (but are no longer) on CC, your software is gone.



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Richard Herd
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 6:03:04 pm

[Peter Jay Gould] "n video it's not uncommon for a client to ask you to make adjustments "

Do you do that for free? (Real question, maybe wrong forum.) I charge for that. Hopefully, I'm not screwing my customers!

My understanding is the CC license can be purchased and the project reopened.

You edited in CS3 and can open in 5.5, right. Will CS3 open in the CC?

I'll have to check the FAQ.


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Peter Jay Gould
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 6:16:36 pm

1 - I charge, but the charge for an hour's work would be zeroed out by the required month's membership in CC.

2 - Adobe will only keep older versions online back to a certain rev, after that, too bad. As opposed to your having the install set for the perpetual license version sitting in your shop.



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Jim Wiseman
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 6:10:35 pm

Precisely, Panavision's model. I was the Avid dealer in Hawaii for most of the '90's. Not a model I would want now. High end, high cost. Stuck in their world. It was profitable, though.

I revisit projects often. I do documentaries and video art. I am just getting to footage I shot in the mid '90's of vanishing cultural practices in Micronesia and other Pacific Island groups. I did my rough cuts on Media 100. I can go back to those and not start over again. 15 years later. I have video synthesizer work on tape that goes back to the early 70's through the mid '80's I just finally have time to work on. My projects are not all commercial, and I hope to do even less in the future. I am not making products with a limited lifetime that when it's done, it goes to the client or wherever, is used once and never seen again. I want access. I know I am not the only one who feels this way, even though their reasons are different than mine.

And regarding the point taken above, I never sell my licenses. I still have all of them. Never occurred to me to sell them. And I actually have computers that can run them, all the way back to the Apple IIe. I have a video synthesizer based on the IIe, so I have four of them!

Jim Wiseman
Sony PMW-EX1,Pana AJ-D810 DVCPro, DVX-100, Nikon D7000, Final Cut Studio 2 and 3, Media 100 Suite 2.1, Premiere Pro 5.5 and 6.0, AJA ioHD, AJA Kona LHi, Avid MC, Hexacore MacPro 3.33 Ghz 24Gb RAM GTX-285 120GB SSD, Macbook Pro 17" 2011 2.2 Ghz Quadcore i7 8Gb SSD, G5 Quadcore PCIe


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Clint Wardlow
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 6:10:57 pm

[Richard Herd] "I've heard this a few times. I don't understand it. Maybe you can explain. From my point of view, when I work on a project, I start it, and then I end it. The moment it's done, I don't need the tools anymore. The work is the thing. The work is not held hostage. Just the opposite. I really don't understand. Thanks!"

From a business stand point this may be true. From an artist perspective, not so much. It is not unusual for me to work on and off on a project for years. Revisit it, tweak it, change it.

I think the subscription model is better for businesses in general. Maybe not so much for the fine artist that isn't looking for a quick return on what they create. It is kind of a mixed blessing. Cheaper buy in, but a continuous outlay of cash. Maybe the artist can rent as needed, however most artists I know work when inspiration strikes and like to have the tools handy.


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Richard Herd
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 7:12:11 pm

[Clint Wardlow] "From an artist perspective, not so much. It is not unusual for me to work on and off on a project for years. "

What kind of art? I would really like to see them -- always looking for inspiration! Thanks!


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Clint Wardlow
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 7:33:34 pm

[Richard Herd] "What kind of art? I would really like to see them -- always looking for inspiration! Thanks!"

I do a lot of projections at art installations. I also have a youtube page in which a post some (but not nearly all) of my more traditional pieces: https://www.youtube.com/user/tranquillus?feature=mhee

I also paint and write.

I recently came into possession of about 150 VHS tapes me and a group of friends shot in the 80s and 90s using a tube Ikegami camera. I am digitizing it for use in one or more projects. (It is amazing how much video changed the way we shot. We would just leave the camera running while we tweaked and relit. What was a nightmare for insert tape editing has turned into gold on a modern NLE. Often the it is the unintentional stuff that is the most interesting video).


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Richard Herd
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 7:35:07 pm

The link didn't work.


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Clint Wardlow
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 7:41:39 pm

[Richard Herd] "The link didn't work."

Hmmm. Well if you go to Youtube and search for user name Tranquillus or Dog Licks Wound Home Movies you should find me.


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Tim Kolb
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 11:00:18 am

[Walter Soyka] "I think that reasonable people can reasonably disagree on the analyses."

Thanks for a very balanced analysis, Walter. I can't find much to disagree with honestly.

TimK,
Director, Consultant
Kolb Productions,

Adobe Certified Instructor


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Paul Neumann
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 12:02:20 pm

Why is it so hard to believe that development that's directed at old versions of software/product is a losing proposition?


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Brett Sherman
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 1:18:17 pm

[Walter Soyka] "n fact, I think that Creative Cloud could intensify the competition dramatically."

Definitely possible. But it could also have the opposite effect. Once locked in, it will be hard for users to get off. Remember this is not just video, but graphic designers are always re-purposing previous work. To give up access to previous work is just not going to happen.

So the real question is, once Adobe has them locked in will they increase or decrease innovation. It just isn't known at this point.

An example, while I love After Effects, I'm not sure the lack of competition has been good for it. The timeline is extremely cumbersome without easy grouping. Subcomps work well for some things, but not so well for most things. I don't know how many comps I have with 100+ layers making it very difficult to tweak and modify. I don't think there has been much serious innovation in AE since 3D layers and scripting.



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Walter Soyka
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 3:11:02 pm

[Brett Sherman] "Definitely possible. But it could also have the opposite effect. Once locked in, it will be hard for users to get off. Remember this is not just video, but graphic designers are always re-purposing previous work. To give up access to previous work is just not going to happen."

I am a designer. Formats like PSD, EPS, AI88 and PDF are documented and a whole bunch of non-Adobe apps can read and write them. You're absolutely right that design elements are re-used all the time, but these are traditionally delivered as discrete elements that could be read in any image/layout application and are separate from application-specific templates.

But let's accept your premise for the sake of argument. If you were a designer that wanted to migrate away from Adobe CS but you were concerned about a past body of work, you had to hold on to your license. You could not sell it, transfer the license and recoup its cost. If you did, you'd have to buy a new license to access previous work at a higher cost, even if you only intended to use it briefly. Contrast this with CC, which you can drop any time, and pick back up any time. A CC subscription is flexible in a way that a CS license was not.

CS required you to hold an asset on your books. CC requires Adobe to actively maintain your business. If they ever stop satisfying you, you will stop paying them and go pay someone else. This is a huge opportunity for Adobe's competitors -- especially if CC proves unpopular.

It seems people keep arguing that CC handcuffs users to Adobe. I think it goes both ways. Adobe can only succeed if their users do.


[Brett Sherman] "So the real question is, once Adobe has them locked in will they increase or decrease innovation. It just isn't known at this point."

I don't understand why so many assume Adobe will be able to raise prices and lower value.

Adobe's 2012 revenue was $4.4 billion. This is a big market we're talking about, and if Adobe chooses to neglect it at best or actively upset their customers at worst, competition will rise and try to capture some of that value.

I think CC is a forward-thinking move -- both a fresh approach to the creative process and an attempt to find a model to fund it. Maybe it's not right for everyone, and maybe that's ok.


[Brett Sherman] "An example, while I love After Effects, I'm not sure the lack of competition has been good for it. The timeline is extremely cumbersome without easy grouping. Subcomps work well for some things, but not so well for most things. I don't know how many comps I have with 100+ layers making it very difficult to tweak and modify. I don't think there has been much serious innovation in AE since 3D layers and scripting."

Looking at how far Ae has come in the last decade, I would love to see every application in the suite move at Ae's development pace.

3D layers first arrived in AE 5 (not CS5 -- version 5, from 2001), and what is now the classic 3D renderer in AE 5.5 from 2002. Scripting arrived in AE 6 in 2003.

Since then, Ae has gotten quite a lot of new features, including: support for Ps and Il layers, point tracking, a new UI, support for floating point processing, color management, shape layers, the puppet tool, advanced text animation, multiprocessing, Mocha AE, RED support, XDCAM support, a massive 64-bit overhaul, LUTs, Roto brush, AVC Intra support, warp stabilizer, the global performance cache, the 3D camera tracker, a new ray-tracing renderer, and variable width mask feathering. After Effects CC will introduce a bundled CINEMA 4D Lite application, the CINEWARE renderer, new edge-refining tools, improved snapping, bicubic resampling, direct support for DNxHD, improved DPX and OpenEXR support, XAVC and AVC-Intra 200, and better Unicode support.

What hasn't changed is the basic design philosophy in Ae. Maybe that's what you are taking issue with.

Ae may only get one or two sexy new features on each release, but I love that Ae gets regular boring, unsexy, make-my-life-better-in-little-ways-every-day features. I also think that some of these features like the move to 64-bit processing, the addition of a renderer, and the the new caching system, actually belie a lot of architectural work that offer improvements for users today and a better foundation for future development.

You mention "easy grouping" -- there are two versions of this feature request. One is called "layer grouping" and another is called "uber-twirl." Lots of people want one or both of these. Layer grouping could be pretty easy (and in fact there are a couple scripts that kind of do it), but uber-twirl is a bit of a harder logical problem. Come on by the Ae forum [link] and we can geek out about it [link].

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 3:26:00 pm

Walter -

The Roto-brush alone was worth the price of admission for Adobe upgrades for the next 10 years! I saved an immense amount of time, and paid for the next upgrade with a single project.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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David Lawrence
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 3:52:27 pm

[Walter Soyka] "But let's accept your premise for the sake of argument. If you were a designer that wanted to migrate away from Adobe CS but you were concerned about a past body of work, you had to hold on to your license. You could not sell it, transfer the license and recoup its cost. If you did, you'd have to buy a new license to access previous work at a higher cost, even if you only intended to use it briefly. Contrast this with CC, which you can drop any time, and pick back up any time. A CC subscription is flexible in a way that a CS license was not."

I think it's unrealistic to assume that a designer who sold their license would erase all their copies of the software. Maybe that's what the EULA requires, but we both know the real world doesn't work that way. The bottom line is you will always have access to your files with a perpetual license and with rental you won't. Adobe still has not addressed this issue and it's a much bigger problem then they admit.

_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research
propaganda.com
publicmattersgroup.com
facebook.com/dlawrence
twitter.com/dhl


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Walter Soyka
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 4:47:21 pm

[David Lawrence] "I think it's unrealistic to assume that a designer who sold their license would erase all their copies of the software. Maybe that's what the EULA requires, but we both know the real world doesn't work that way."

This argument's a non-starter with me. Activation servers control the installation of a particular license, and if someone is willing to "steal" CS, why wouldn't they be willing to "steal" CC?

I'm just pointing out that a perpetual license is not necessarily the sunk cost that everyone implies. You could give up your access, sell and transfer your license, and recover some of the expense. I know that holding your license indefinitely as an asset is not the same as paying for ongoing access -- we are definitely in agreement on this -- but it's not like maintaining that access bears zero cost.


[David Lawrence] "The bottom line is you will always have access to your files with a perpetual license and with rental you won't. Adobe still has not addressed this issue and it's a much bigger problem then they admit."

I get it. This is a valid concern and should factor into people's decision-making.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Jim Wiseman
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 5:05:20 pm

Amen to that, David. That is for me and almost everyone else is the biggest problem. Loss of access to the nitty-gritty. That combined with the cost going forward when I know there will come a time when I and many others will not be able to afford it. There has to be a way to get off the train without leaving your luggage on board. Whoever heard of a train system with no "stations"? Who wants to lose their "luggage"?

All of the points Walter made about the innovation of the last 10 years are quite true. And all of the innovations occurred under the perpetual license model when Adobe had great incentive to innovate. Frankly, I am less interested with the actual changes than I am concerned that all of the changes will obsolete access to my work. That is one of my gripes with Apple. The constant churn in OS X is always breaking things, applications, plug-ins, etc. That could easily happen with constant application release under Creative Cloud. Frankly, I am considering buying another Mac Pro (I already have a 2010) at this point as a back up, because it can run multiple boots of OS X from 10.6.8 to, I have to assume, the forthcoming 10.9.x. That should cover me for all of my needs for probably the next 10 years. It will continue to run Creative Suite 6 Production for as long as I will probably need it. And I will still have access through Rosetta to several applications I use often. I still have a G5 PCIe quad core that runs great, not to mention dual core G4 Media 100. Macs are reliable. If needed, parts should be available for the Mac Pros for quite a while. I am looking for stability, not constant churn. Heavy duty rendering is not part of my workflow, this will do quite fine for me. Hopefully a new Mac Pro is coming for those who need it, probably running 10.9. Adobe has promised to support the next version of OS X, If their word is worth anything under the current CEO. And there is always Windows, though I'm not going there.

Also, of course we still have access to the standardized elements when looking at it from the design standpoint, PDF's. etc. But do I want to duplicate all of that work in another application that probably doesn't even exist yet? I want to push my old projects further, not spend energy duplicating them in different software that I probably won't like as much and don't want to purchase. Software that won't read Adobe's proprietary formats. Sounds like a huge waste of time, at best.

If Adobe does not support some form of perpetual license, that will probably be my course of action. I had hoped to have all the new features in a perpetual format. If none is offered, or if it is too crippled, I can wait them out. So will many others. It's not good for me, Adobe, and if you think about it, if many others follow this course, it won't be good for those who adopt Creative Cloud. It will become a more expensive niche with fewer takers, not more.

Jim Wiseman
Sony PMW-EX1,Pana AJ-D810 DVCPro, DVX-100, Nikon D7000, Final Cut Studio 2 and 3, Media 100 Suite 2.1, Premiere Pro 5.5 and 6.0, AJA ioHD, AJA Kona LHi, Avid MC, Hexacore MacPro 3.33 Ghz 24Gb RAM GTX-285 120GB SSD, Macbook Pro 17" 2011 2.2 Ghz Quadcore i7 8Gb SSD, G5 Quadcore PCIe


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Todd Kopriva
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 11:03:56 pm

I'm afraid that it may have been missed in the middle of a long post, so I'll urge everyone to read Walter's paragraph about Sarbanes-Oxley, above. He nailed it. This is the main reason that we on the After Effects team are so happy with this change.

Now, we can deliver features whenever we choose, and we can communicate more freely about it, without running afoul of accounting and legal issues related to revenue recognition.

For example, here's something that I couldn't say before that I can say now: We intend to release an update to After Effects for Creative Cloud subscribers in the fall of 2013 that includes a preference to use any GPU that meets certain minimum requirements for CUDA acceleration of the ray-traced 3D renderer, similar to the preference that Premiere Pro CC added.

The preceding paragraph is something that I couldn't have written about our perpetually licensed software.

(Of course, we'll still be selective in how we talk about future versions, since we don't want to promise something that we can't deliver, and we want to keep our competitive edge; so don't expect us to tell you everything in advance.)

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
After Effects quality engineering
After Effects team blog
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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Leroy Casterline
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 17, 2013 at 7:35:44 am

> If Adobe raises the rate too much, then even people who like the idea of CC will leave.

And exactly how will they do that? It seems to me that Adobe has anyone who has used CC for any length of time at their mercy.


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Richard Herd
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 5:14:26 pm

[Peter Jay Gould] "So my prediction is that if Adobe succeeds in this move, innovation will stagnate since they make the same money whether they innovate or not (one of the primary risks of the subscription model"

I very much disagree. The only way this move to rent seeking income can succeed is with innovations, lots of them. It's the same business model Panavision follows, which you can read here: http://magazine.creativecow.net/article/the-truth-about-2k-4k-the-future-of...

And this is the relevant quote:

"Creative COW: When people talk about an Arri D20 or a RED or whatever, one of the very first things to come up is the price of it. But thats really not a direct a factor when we talk about rentals.

John Galt: One of the interesting things about Panavision's headquarters is that we have research and development here, we have the factory for manufacturing lenses and cameras right here, and we have the rental floor. This puts us directly in contact with customers. We know what they want, because they tell us. "No, I don't want higher resolution; I'd just have to sit closer to the screen. But yeah I'd like to have more shadow detail, I'd like to have more highlight detail. Can you do that?"

Another wonderful thing about the rental business is that the whole product development process is kind of turned upside down. When you sell something, service is a profit center. When you make something available for rent, service is a COST. Because we rent things instead of selling them, our best way to keep costs down is to build to higher standards."

That is what Adobe must do: build to higher standards because service is a cost. Right now the price is low because frankly they are still building up to those high standards. And the exciting part is (that) we don't even know what those high standards are yet.

With my particular situation (which you can read below), I've purchased 5 licenses, but Adobe has not made a profit from me because I have had to call customer service and spend their HR budget. When (if?) Adobe can build to higher standards, then they will start making huge money without necessarily raising rental fees.


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Ricardo Marty
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 5:34:09 pm

If they got your files for ransom they are a monopoly they will be the only fix in town.

Ricardo


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Jim Wiseman
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 5:36:52 pm

Sure, they are offering new features to get us signed up. Once we have, and commit our projects to the Cloud, we're stuck. How does that cause them to innovate? I don't see them having much competition for a while.

Panavision clung to the film model as long as they could. They are now finally being forced to respond adequately to digital. The rental model didn't help users with innovation much there for quite a long time. I don't want my software to become a Fisher dolly.

As to your point about support budgets, anyone who has ever dealt with Adobe phone support knows it is among the worst in the business. I have to believe that the constant change that Creative Cloud is posited on will only make things worse, not better. Many more base code installations to deal with, as people will be hesitant to upgrade in the middle of projects. Upgrades can be put off, as I understand it. if you think they are confused now, wait until there are more "benchmarks".

Jim Wiseman
Sony PMW-EX1,Pana AJ-D810 DVCPro, DVX-100, Nikon D7000, Final Cut Studio 2 and 3, Media 100 Suite 2.1, Premiere Pro 5.5 and 6.0, AJA ioHD, AJA Kona LHi, Avid MC, Hexacore MacPro 3.33 Ghz 24Gb RAM GTX-285 120GB SSD, Macbook Pro 17" 2011 2.2 Ghz Quadcore i7 8Gb SSD, G5 Quadcore PCIe


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Andrew Kimery
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 6:08:49 pm

[Jim Wiseman] "Sure, they are offering new features to get us signed up. Once we have, and commit our projects to the Cloud, we're stuck. How does that cause them to innovate? I don't see them having much competition for a while."

I don't see the inherent connection between business model and innovation. Lack of competition, not payment method, is a bigger reason a company rests on its laurels, IMO. Look at Avid, for instance. They set back and coasted with their perpetual license, with their customers financing seats at $70k a pop and FCP came up and bit them in the butt. I wonder how many people sold their Avids (so no way to access old projects) and happily moved to FCP?

Subscription license, perpetual license... I don't think it really matters nearly as much as competition in terms of keeping Adobe pressing forward with app development.




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Walter Soyka
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 6:16:27 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "I wonder how many people sold their Avids (so no way to access old projects) and happily moved to FCP?"

A lot of operators used to lease their systems, and a lot of productions rented Avid systems as needed.

Proponents of subscriptions will note that leasing was very good business with real benefits to the lessees, despite their lack of permanent control over project files, and proponents of perpetual licenses will note that those cheap perpetual FCP licenses won in the market. Thus the debate continues!

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Peter Jay Gould
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 17, 2013 at 12:55:53 pm

How relevant an observation this is depends on which part of the Adobe empire you're looking at, I suspect. In video, Adobe's work environment of Premiere project with potentially nested AfterEffects projects, embedded Photoshop and Illustrator files with the ability to animate individual layers, and the bridge to Audition for audio finishing is very difficult to move out of if you already have a body of work created. Therefore in producing upgrades, Adobe is largely competing with itself. This may be less true in the print or web development fields.



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Kris Merkel
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 6:11:24 pm

This has been an excellent thread with some really great points on both sides. As far as what is going to happen in the future, that is all speculation and would be speculation no matter what model they use. It's like saying I dont want to buy or rent car because I might get into an accident.

I think that all the speculative points will either be proved wrong or right as time goes on.

"Think of everything in terms of building capacity."

Kris Merkel
twitter: @kris_merkel
Product Manager, Flanders Scientific Inc.
http://www.shopfsi.com
Co-Founder, Atlanta Cutters Post Production User Group
http://www.atlantacutters.com

2.2Ghz MBP core i7
16Gb RAM
CS6/FCP7
AJA T-Tap
AJA IO XT
FSI LM-2461W/CM-170W







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Richard Herd
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 6:53:50 pm

Regarding Panavision business model: they rent stuff. Their innovations were the ones their customers asked for. In the Cow article I linked, Jon Galt goes into exact detail on what those innovations are. Panavision definitely serves a niche market of the very highest end. I think Adobe is aiming at that very high end: HDCamSR offline/online.


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Jim Wiseman
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 7:15:29 pm

If they are aiming at the very high end, you better be prepared to pay more. A lot more. The high end isn't that big. Broad and cheap, narrow and expensive. Basic economics.

Jim Wiseman
Sony PMW-EX1,Pana AJ-D810 DVCPro, DVX-100, Nikon D7000, Final Cut Studio 2 and 3, Media 100 Suite 2.1.3, Premiere Pro 5.5 and 6.0, AJA ioHD, AJA Kona LHi, Avid MC, Hexacore MacPro 3.33 Ghz 24Gb RAM GTX-285 120GB SSD, Macbook Pro 17" 2011 2.2 Ghz Quadcore i7 8Gb SSD, G5 Quadcore PCIe


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Richard Herd
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 7:33:59 pm

Very expensive. Did you read Bob Zelin's article from NAB? http://magazine.creativecow.net/article/nab-2013-bob-zelin-the-evolution-re...


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Jim Wiseman
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 11:42:54 pm

Bob wrote that before the current fiasco announced at Adobe MAX. Looks as if they might be losing their grip. Certainly losing trust.

Jim Wiseman
Sony PMW-EX1,Pana AJ-D810 DVCPro, DVX-100, Nikon D7000, Final Cut Studio 2 and 3, Media 100 Suite 2.1.3, Premiere Pro 5.5 and 6.0, AJA ioHD, AJA Kona LHi, Avid MC, Hexacore MacPro 3.33 Ghz 24Gb RAM GTX-285 120GB SSD, Macbook Pro 17" 2011 2.2 Ghz Quadcore i7 8Gb SSD, G5 Quadcore PCIe


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Peter Jay Gould
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 17, 2013 at 1:41:21 pm

"Did you read Bob Zelin's article from NAB?"

Bob's an old friend - if he was saying that it's pretty damned credible. But then that means Adobe believes it themselves, which effectively makes them the Borg.

Part of the reason I post so strongly about this behavior by Adobe is that I lived through the same debacle with Avid when THEY thought they were the only game in town. In Avid's case it was a slightly different implementation of how to regularly bleed customers (remember in the 90s Avid was a hardware-software product, not software-only).

Avid used to have a monthly service which gave you an 800 support number and replacement hardware when you needed it plus the latest software updates. When they decided they were the only game in town they "unbundled" software updates from the hardware warranty so their valued customers could choose to purchase phone support OR software updates independently of each other. Only - surprise! - the monthly fee for either package ended up being the same as the combined package used to be. And - oh yes - if you weren't paying for phone support you had to send in a defective board before you could get a replacement, even under warranty (and had to have properly diagnosed it yourself). Trouble was with an Avid, many times the same symptoms could be caused by two or three things, so if you were on support they would overnight two or three boards to be sure they hit the problem. And if you weren't on hardware support the cost of a board was $5,000 (even if it was an OEM version of a $500 board available through other vendors). If you weren't paying for support and ordered a $5000 board that didn't fix your problem they would NOT take it back.

The customer base quickly figured out we'd been had. They hadn't unbundled anything since the components were designed to be useless individually (software updates were also often designed to require new hardware versions). What they had REALLY done was double the price.

Right then a company called SoftImage (primarily known as a maker of 3D software) introduced a competing edit product called DS, and furious Avid owners began VERY publicly and vocally bailing to the DS and publicly rubbing Avid's nose in how great it was, how terrific the support was and how wonderful the company was to deal with, especially by comparison with nasty old Avid. Avid temporarily halted the bleeding by buying up SoftImage (it consumed the edit product and later sold the 3D assets to Autodesk) but now it had even angrier customers who felt trapped.

This set the stage for Apple's FCP to eat Avid's lunch since of course Apple had no intention of being bought up. But along the way there was a LOT of bleeding and Avid's practices actually drove some post houses out of business. That sort of customer pain is something I am not looking forward to reexperiencing at the hands of Adobe.

This is what happens when companies fancy themselves the only game in town. Yes, they eventually learn otherwise. But in the process many customers are often harmed, sometimes irreparably. I know. I've been there.



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Jim Wiseman
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 17, 2013 at 7:34:02 pm

@Peter Jay Gould. I was the Avid dealer in Hawaii in the mid 90's, and what you say is precisely true. Don't give too much power to any one company. You will regret it. It wasn't easy to deal with Avid as a dealer/VAR either. They knew they had you over a barrel, and the same thing will happen with Adobe if this Creative Cloud power grab goes through. Reject it.

Jim Wiseman
Sony PMW-EX1,Pana AJ-D810 DVCPro, DVX-100, Nikon D7000, Final Cut Studio 2 and 3, Media 100 Suite 2.1.3, Premiere Pro 5.5 and 6.0, AJA ioHD, AJA Kona LHi, Avid MC, Hexacore MacPro 3.33 Ghz 24Gb RAM GTX-285 120GB SSD, Macbook Pro 17" 2011 2.2 Ghz Quadcore i7 8Gb SSD, G5 Quadcore PCIe


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david aretsky
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 7:37:44 pm

Condos are being built on the Grounds of the old Panavision building in Woodland Hills CA. right now as I type this.

dangerd


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Andrew Kimery
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 7:47:27 pm

[david aretsky] "Condos are being built on the Grounds of the old Panavision building in Woodland Hills CA. right now as I type this.
"


Huh, I wondered what they were building there...




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Richard Herd
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on May 15, 2013 at 8:36:22 pm

they moved to a new building


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Robert Sackett
Re: All emotionalism aside: the real problems with CC
on Oct 30, 2014 at 6:10:17 pm

To my way of thinking the whole shift of power began decades ago when Adobe purchased all the competing software companies. Just two examples: After Effects was originally created by the Company of Science and Art in Providence, RI, USA, where the first two versions of the software, 1.0 & 1.1, Circa 1993. It was bought by CoSA. Then CoSA sold it to Aldus in July 1993, and Adobe bought After Effects and Page Maker in 1994. All along the journey, Adobe bought the competition including DreamWeaver and many others.

Those circumstances were originally okay, and you could call Adobe, buy over the phone and receive the software quickly. They provided excellent sales help, customer service and tech support. But, just like big government, they did not keep up with providing great service at all. They made version after version of Dreamweaver with various glitches that still exist in CS6. Why and how: because they wanted to and they could - get away with it, that is. Same reason the government gets away with it. Both entities are arrogant and extremely inept.

Last month I attempted to purchase an Adobe software, and was sent to some company named Green River, or some such name. Try though I did, I was never able to obtain the software after paying for it, and it took longer than was reasonable to receive a refund. To prove that was not just an aberration, this morning I placed an order for the dreaded cloud program. I was able to conduct this purchase with Adobe over the phone. However, after they charged my debit card for $359 for a years service, I never received the software link nor the confirmation eMail. So, I called back, waited in line, and they said they could not fix the slight error they made, but would have to set up a new purchase for $359. Then, they said they would transfer me to another department to arrange for a refund of the the first sale. This ended up transferring me from a middle agent to a final agent. The bad news is that it will take a week or longer to obtain a credit for a slight mistake they made.

Why do they make things really difficult, lengthy, and expensive for all concerned? Because they are arrogant, inept and can get away with it - there's no competition for Adobe or the Government.

Even though I know what's coming down the line, I still purchased cloud because I only have a few years left until retirement. So, I won't have to put up with it much longer. They have already stopped sales for most software, and once most are signed up for cloud, the prices will increase with impunity - no competition.

The moral is: shit, Adobe, and the Government happen.


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