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Andy Field
Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 7, 2014 at 1:57:43 pm


From Larry Jordan (who makes a big part of his living with Adobe Training) with scathing criticism of Adobe Tech support

EDITORIAL: ADOBE MEDIA ENCODER
WON'T LAUNCH... AND I CAN'T FIND OUT WHY!

I was planning to write an article on Adobe Media Encoder's latest features for this week's newsletter. I like AME more and more these days, however, for whatever reason, AME (2014) won't launch on my iMac running OS X 10.9.4.

I uninstalled the application - twice, cleaned up my system with a Safe Boot and Repairing Permissions. I even spoke nicely to my computer. Na-da.

So, I went to Adobe's website to get some technical help. THAT was a mistake! Adobe, you need to spend serious time getting your Support site in order!

It should not require a phone call to India, or calling in favors from a friend, to get a simple technical question answered. It is IMPOSSIBLE to find an answer on Adobe's support web site - and, when I do, it is often out-of-date, covers the wrong subject and doesn't solve my problem.

This is unacceptable.

Try this for yourself. Go to Adobe's website. Click the Search button. Type "Adobe Media Encoder 2014 won't launch." What are the first five hits?

* 2009: Beginner's Guide to Streaming Live Video
* 2014: Installing the 2014 Release of Creative Cloud
* 2011: Adobe Media Encoder CS5.5 Bug Fixes
* 2011: Beginning Flash Media Server 2011
* 2011: Installed Codecs in Adobe Media Encoder

The FIRST hit is from 2009??? Really?!!

Adobe has received deservedly hard knocks over its phone-based support services. But, they also need to look seriously at improving support over the web. Every time I've tried to use their website for technical questions, I get nonsense in response.

(Yes, I could contact my friends at Adobe and get personal attention. But, that doesn't fix the issue of a badly-designed and implemented tech support website.)

I solved my problem by reverting back to an earlier release of Adobe Media Encoder. Which means I can't write about the new version for a while.

(from Larry Jordan's newsletter)


EDITORIAL: ADOBE MEDIA ENCODER
WON'T LAUNCH... AND I CAN'T FIND OUT WHY!

I was planning to write an article on Adobe Media Encoder's latest features for this week's newsletter. I like AME more and more these days, however, for whatever reason, AME (2014) won't launch on my iMac running OS X 10.9.4.

I uninstalled the application - twice, cleaned up my system with a Safe Boot and Repairing Permissions. I even spoke nicely to my computer. Na-da.

So, I went to Adobe's website to get some technical help. THAT was a mistake! Adobe, you need to spend serious time getting your Support site in order!

It should not require a phone call to India, or calling in favors from a friend, to get a simple technical question answered. It is IMPOSSIBLE to find an answer on Adobe's support web site - and, when I do, it is often out-of-date, covers the wrong subject and doesn't solve my problem.

This is unacceptable.

Try this for yourself. Go to Adobe's website. Click the Search button. Type "Adobe Media Encoder 2014 won't launch." What are the first

It is hard for professionals to take Adobe seriously when Adobe is not serious about support


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Gary Huff
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 7, 2014 at 4:47:07 pm
Last Edited By Gary Huff on Jul 7, 2014 at 4:49:06 pm

[Andy Field] "Try this for yourself. Go to Adobe's website. Click the Search button. Type "Adobe Media Encoder 2014 won't launch." What are the first"

Who does this? Why would you go to Adobe's website first instead of Google? I mean, I grant that Adobe should have it together in the technical support column, but it's not like Adobe is the only one who fails hardcore at this, and just based on a experience, a Google search is the first and foremost resort for anything like this. Hell, I just had a terrible time today trying to find the download for the Blackmagic Ultra Studio Express unit on their re-designed website.

Besides, he doesn't describe the issue of what "won't launch" means (it could be doing nothing at all, it could be showing the icon but no splash screen, it could be showing the icon, splash screen, and then hangs...which is a bit different of a scenario than a "won't launch" would subscribe). "Adobe Media Encoder doesn't launch" is actually not a good search, because of "launch". Typing in "Adobe Media Encoder doesn't start" or "not starting" is better, and this is the top result.

First, if you have a lot of plugins installed (or a suite of plugins like Boris or Sapphire), then Media Encoder can take an incredible amount of time to launch the first time. Definitely did that with the Media Encoder 2014 version. So is he thinking it's not launching when it's going through an (admittedly) long process of profiling all the installed plugins? Could it be a third-party plugin that is causing Media Encoder not to work because he installed the 2014 versions without making sure all of his installed plugins had been updated for the new system?


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David Lawrence
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 7, 2014 at 5:56:49 pm

[Gary Huff] "Who does this? Why would you go to Adobe's website first instead of Google?"

Anyone who uses the built in help on any Adobe application. It take you to the Adobe web site.

_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research
propaganda.com
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http://lnkd.in/Cfz92F
facebook.com/dlawrence
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Gary Huff
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 7, 2014 at 6:09:59 pm

[David Lawrence] "Anyone who uses the built in help on any Adobe application. It take you to the Adobe web site."

Understand. I also don't ever use the built-in help for any app, whether it's Adobe or FCPX or Lightworks or whatever. I will always go straight to Google if I need any information about how to fix a program or about functionality.


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Kevin Monahan
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 7, 2014 at 6:19:17 pm

Hi Gary,

[Gary Huff] "Understand. I also don't ever use the built-in help for any app, whether it's Adobe or FCPX or Lightworks or whatever. I will always go straight to Google if I need any information about how to fix a program or about functionality."

Yes, many of our users utilize search engines to find answers to issues. In many cases, the top hits are the Adobe, and Creative Cow forums.

Thanks,
Kevin

Kevin Monahan
Support Product Manager—DVA
Adobe After Effects
Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe
Follow Me on Twitter!


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Kevin Monahan
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 7, 2014 at 6:17:38 pm

Hi David,

[David Lawrence] "Anyone who uses the built in help on any Adobe application. It take you to the Adobe web site."

There are two links: One to the support page on adobe.com (http://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro.html) and the other to Help documentation (http://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro/topics.html).

Thanks,
Kevin

Kevin Monahan
Support Product Manager—DVA
Adobe After Effects
Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe
Follow Me on Twitter!


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Andy Field
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 7, 2014 at 5:57:43 pm

Think he states he did safeboot (without running plugins)....clearing the app and it's connections, etc...everything any veteran NLE user would do......and it wouldn't load - period....

There are few people more expert at the applications than he is....if he can't get it work and can't find the information without calling his Adobe friends (he produces training products based on their software) where does that leave the rest of us in a pinch?

Andy Field
FieldVision Productions
N. Bethesda, Maryland 20852


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Gary Huff
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 7, 2014 at 6:14:56 pm

[Andy Field] "Think he states he did safeboot (without running plugins)."

I read that like he did a Safe Mode boot, which would absolutely still load all the plugins. That's an OS-level option, not something that has anything to do with the plugins. Unless there's some Adobe boot option that will allow you to launch Premiere or After Effects or Media Encoder without loading any third-party plugins, but I am not aware of it.

[Andy Field] "where does that leave the rest of us in a pinch?"

Well, I'm sorry, but sometimes you have to educate yourself on the basic functionality of the machine sitting in front of you, especially if you are going to use the technology to perform work. It's not rocket science. And if he knows enough that he knows how to "safe boot" OSX (or Windows...doesn't really specify which) then he should know enough to try uninstalling plugins first.

I know this not from ever having to troubleshoot this kind of issue, I know this from paying attention. Media Encoder has been here since CS4, it clearly enumerates the plugins installed on the system, and I have had plugins clearly crash it before. Does Jordan not use the software that much at all?


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Tim Kolb
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 9, 2014 at 4:51:43 pm

[Gary Huff] "Does Jordan not use the software that much at all?"

Well...keep in mind that Larry is pretty busy as a teacher for a wide variety of products these days.

Also, I think one has to note that a LOT of Adobe instructor/advocates/seminar presenters of late are fairly fresh immigrants from FCP (or even Avid) world, so some of Adobe's peculiarities aren't as well-known.

On the upside, Adobe's support could unquestionably use some thoughtful overhaul...I don't know why it's acceptable that a Google search brings more relevant Adobe support results than a search directly on Adobe's website...

TimK,
Director, Consultant
Kolb Productions,

Adobe Certified Instructor


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 9, 2014 at 5:46:10 pm

[Tim Kolb] "On the upside, Adobe's support could unquestionably use some thoughtful overhaul...I don't know why it's acceptable that a Google search brings more relevant Adobe support results than a search directly on Adobe's website..."

For trouble shooting a version of a program thats just a few weeks old I wouldn't be surprised if a Google search turned up more results than a company's official website. Typically for bugs that slipped by QC (unknown issues as opposed to known issues) users will find them first, discuss them on message boards, probably find work arounds or fixes and hopefully submit official bug reports. Once the bug report is received the company's team needs to first recreate the problem, find the cause, create a reliable solution and then post that information. That is bound to introduce lag time between users discussing unofficial work arounds and the company releasing something official.

To be fair to Adobe though I went to Adobe.com, clicked search and entered "adobe media encoder 2014 crash" and while the first link was to the AME CC product page the second link was to a support document with a suggested fix for the problem of AME crashing at launch. If keyword searching doesn't get you want you need it's easy to get to the support section and the community forums. On the Adobe.com main page click "Menu" (it's right next to "Search") and then click "Learn & Support". I rarely go to Adobe.com but I found this in just a few seconds.

Can Adobe, and other companies, improve? Of course, but I'm at a loss as to why Larry had so much difficulty.


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Kevin Monahan
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 7, 2014 at 6:21:09 pm

Hi Andy,

[Andy Field] "Think he states he did safeboot (without running plugins)....clearing the app and it's connections, etc...everything any veteran NLE user would do......and it wouldn't load - period...."

Though I'm not sure what the solution is right this sec, a good first step is to search the forums. If that doesn't work, create a post. Still having trouble? Create a case with support.

That's what I would do.

Thanks,
Kevin

Kevin Monahan
Support Product Manager—DVA
Adobe After Effects
Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe
Follow Me on Twitter!


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Richard Herd
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 7, 2014 at 5:49:11 pm

Having been similarly frustrated, Adobe solution is pretty easy and somewhat "old school": Value Added Vendors.

That is, some properly trained and certified local (and I'll say it again: LOCAL) individuals could make a business as the last-mile for Adobe support, installation, Cloud management stuff.

This would solve a lot of the information silo at Adobe.


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Bill Davis
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 7, 2014 at 5:56:16 pm

[Richard Herd] "That is, some properly trained and certified local (and I'll say it again: LOCAL) individuals could make a business as the last-mile for Adobe support, installation, Cloud management stuff.
"


Brilliant. And remember...

Offer said support ONLY to those who agree to sign up in your own virtual "membership" system and who agree to pay you a "consulting" fee every month forever.

; )

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Richard Herd
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 7, 2014 at 6:47:25 pm

The consultant would pay a rent to Adobe. The VAR could figure out their own cost structure.


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Kevin Monahan
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 7, 2014 at 6:14:18 pm

Hi Andy,
Thanks for alerting me to this blog post. I'll respond to Larry's blog post shortly.

For everyone else, please go to the forums for answers to tech questions. The Premiere Pro forum is here: https://forums.adobe.com/community/premiere

You can also contact support directly here: https://helpx.adobe.com/contact.html

The adobe.com website was completely redone a couple of weeks ago, so there are still some details we are working on. I'll report this to my team and we'll get this resolved ASAP.

Thanks,
Kevin

Kevin Monahan
Support Product Manager—DVA
Adobe After Effects
Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe
Follow Me on Twitter!


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Andy Field
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 7, 2014 at 6:37:34 pm

Thanks Kevin.....you are often the best source of help anywhere on the web!

Andy Field
FieldVision Productions
N. Bethesda, Maryland 20852


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Walter Soyka
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 7, 2014 at 6:28:46 pm

Searching for the maybe somewhat less obvious "adobe media encoder crash" gives significantly better results, including one that may be the answer to LJ's problem (a permissions issue not addressed by Disk Utility) in the first three results:

http://helpx.adobe.com/creative-cloud/kb/ame-premiere-crash-launch-export.h...

I also read about this issue here:
http://blogs.adobe.com/aftereffects/2014/06/permissions-mac-os-start-adobe-...

Of course, a trip to the Adobe community forums or here to the COW would have gotten him the same information in a few minutes.

Larry's point that this kind of information should be more discoverable by the user is absolutely valid, and I think it's good for him to use his influence to improve the documentation (which we have addressed here before) for the benefit of us all -- but it also would have been nice if he had researched the issue just a little more and provided the solution for his readers.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Tim Wilson
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 7, 2014 at 6:56:04 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Of course, a trip to the Adobe community forums or here to the COW would have gotten him the same information in a few minutes."

You politely said in a sentence what I'd prepared as a page-long rant. LOL Well done sir.

The observation about the Help system is what it is, but it sounded like he a) didn't want help badly enough to do the basics to GET help, and/or b) felt like the basics consisted of calling his friends at Adobe, to the exclusion of Google and the forums at Adobe and the COW.

Having just checked, I'm not surprised to find that the top results at Google are in fact the Adobe forums and the COW.

Walter, the fact that you so easily found a likely solution suggests that the problem is the search engine itself, more than the availability of the advice. It could be as simple as re-weighting the value of "Most Recent" results relative to "Most Relevant."

I can even imagine results for the most recent release of the software being pinned to the top, no matter what, like sponsored search results.

In any case, terrible advice from somebody who makes a living giving advice....and of course much better advice here on this very thread. :-)


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Gary Huff
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 7, 2014 at 7:08:13 pm

[Tim Wilson] "In any case, terrible advice from somebody who makes a living giving advice."

And makes me cautious about every paying hard earned money if he doesn't know the basics of finding information on the Internet.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 7, 2014 at 7:24:30 pm

[Walter Soyka] ""adobe media encoder crash""

Can an app crash that was never launched?


:-D


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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 7, 2014 at 7:31:34 pm

[Walter Soyka] "... it also would have been nice if he had researched the issue just a little more and provided the solution for his readers."


Walter,

Let's not gloss over the fact that this responsibility rests first with Adobe, who presumably have people who get paid to do precisely that.

I think it's great that there is forum help (at Adobe, here, elsewhere) from people who are willing to put in some time to help others, but the original post is highlighting a certain poverty of implementation at Adobe.


Franz.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 7, 2014 at 8:13:32 pm

[Walter Soyka] "... it also would have been nice if he had researched the issue just a little more and provided the solution for his readers."

[Franz Bieberkopf] "Let's not gloss over the fact that this responsibility rests first with Adobe, who presumably have people who get paid to do precisely that."

Let's also not quote selectively for the sake of debate! Here's what I originally said which you omitted with that ellipsis:

[Walter Soyka] "Larry's point that this kind of information should be more discoverable by the user is absolutely valid, and I think it's good for him to use his influence to improve the documentation (which we have addressed here before) for the benefit of us all"

Please note that I agree with you and with Larry that the documentation system can and should be improved!

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Walter Soyka
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 7, 2014 at 8:36:04 pm

[Franz Bieberkopf] "I think it's great that there is forum help (at Adobe, here, elsewhere) from people who are willing to put in some time to help others, but the original post is highlighting a certain poverty of implementation at Adobe."

The last time we discussed Adobe documentation, it was compared negatively to Apple, which was held up as a good standard to follow.

So what are the first five hits at Apple support for "final cut pro x won't launch"?

1. Final Cut Pro X: May stop responding at "Restoring the window layout" or open to a gray window
2. Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5, Compressor 4: Installation best practices
3. Final Cut Pro X: Auditions
4. Final Cut Pro X: Overview
5. Final Cut Pro X: Powerful Media Organization

To Apple's credit, the first is relevant -- but it only covers one failure mode, and a quick search on any FCP X forum will show there are numerous others that are not addressed.

The rest of the top results are what I assume Larry would call "nonsense" and the highly relevant document "Final Cut Pro X 10.1 and later: Troubleshooting basics" is 19th in this search. Again, to Tim's point -- the documentation may be there, and maybe it's just the search that is inadequate.

I don't bring this example up to diminish the original point, which for clarity's sake I freely acknowledge, but but I do think that context is important.

This leads to a question: who really gets support right? What is your ideal expectation of support, and at what price point?

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Andy Field
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 7, 2014 at 9:02:28 pm

Support should be a lot like MASH's Radar O'Reilly it sees and solves the problem before anyone knows it exists

And then clearly offers on line solutions

There's an issue I've come up against called Adobe32 something or other that literally devours all the power cpu cycles and paralyzes Premiere and After Effects .....i've searched the COW and Adobe forums and a lot of folks have had the issue going back a few years...

Not one consistent solution to the problem listen even with Adobe engineers hopping in on the discussion asking questions about system set up etc...but not offering a good solution

These issues shouldn't linger for months or years without a software company solution or work around

Andy Field
FieldVision Productions
N. Bethesda, Maryland 20852


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Walter Soyka
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 7, 2014 at 9:09:00 pm

[Andy Field] "There's an issue I've come up against called Adobe32 something or other that literally devours all the power cpu cycles and paralyzes Premiere and After Effects .....i've searched the COW and Adobe forums and a lot of folks have had the issue going back a few years..."

If you bring your problem over to the Ae forum [link] I will try to help you.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 7, 2014 at 9:09:59 pm

I'm confused about the premise of Larry's complaint because it sounds like he wants to get tech support from Adobe without actually contacting Adobe. That just sounds weird to me.

But aside from that I went to support.adobe.com (which redirected me to helpx.adobe.com) and from a series of drop down menus selected "Adobe Media Encoder" and then "Trouble Shooting" and a list of links pop up. The second link from the top was "Troubleshoot Adobe Media Encoder CC crashing at launch". I've never had a problem with AME before and I've never been to that help section of Adobe.com before but in about 5 seconds I was able to info on Adobe's site about the problem.

I think Adobe's (and FCP X's) documentation still sucks compared to FCP 7, but in this specific instance I think Larry failed at the Internet more than Adobe failed at tech support.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 7, 2014 at 9:18:04 pm

[Walter Soyka] "This leads to a question: who really gets support right? What is your ideal expectation of support, and at what price point?"

Isn't the big difference between Adobe's and Avid's subscription plans is that, with Adobe, you get the huge Creative Cloud download fest even if you don't need 80% of the offerings, and with Avid, you get a support contract, and perhaps some software when it's ready? I am exaggerating this a bit for effect, but Avid does offer support as a sales incentive.

Page 2 outlines exactly what you get in Avid support, including response times and any additional fees, if you need those services.

http://www.avid.com/static/resources/common/documents/datasheets/Media_Comp...

This is a fundamental difference between these two companies.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 8, 2014 at 11:20:55 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "Avid does offer support as a sales incentive. Page 2 outlines exactly what you get in Avid support, including response times and any additional fees, if you need those services... This is a fundamental difference between these two companies."

Larry didn't actually engage the kind of support that Avid is offering there. By his account, he complained about how bad phone support was without actually calling it, ignored chat support altogether, tried one search online, spent an hour or two re-installing and safe booting, then called it quits.

We are assuming in this conversation that Adobe support is so bad that they're not even worth contacting because that's what everybody else says. I've never called them, but I know the support folks I've interacted with here are awesome. Is the call center really that bad, or do we only hear about the bad experiences here -- just like we only ever see technical problems in the product forums?

That said, I agree with you. Avid does treat support differently than Adobe.

I'd love to see Adobe offer a high-level paid tier of support like Avid does -- but I wonder how many would be willing to pay for it. This industry does not seem to reward those offering amazing support very well anymore.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Oliver Peters
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 8, 2014 at 12:24:40 pm

One of my clients has an Adobe CC Team account and has had to use Adobe support a number of times on one of the machines. The experience was quite satisfactory with the tech remotely fixing his issues with Premiere Pro.

Avid's new pricing includes a basic level of support now. You can pay more for advanced support.

Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Walter Soyka
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 8, 2014 at 2:38:29 pm

[Oliver Peters] "One of my clients has an Adobe CC Team account and has had to use Adobe support a number of times on one of the machines. The experience was quite satisfactory with the tech remotely fixing his issues with Premiere Pro. Avid's new pricing includes a basic level of support now. You can pay more for advanced support."

I didn't know about that. CC for Teams apparently includes "Expert support: Get exclusive access to Adobe experts via one-on-one sessions (two per year, per license purchased)."

That sounds like the Avid support Jeremy linked to.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Kevin Monahan
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 8, 2014 at 5:30:06 pm

Hi Oliver,

[Oliver Peters] "One of my clients has an Adobe CC Team account and has had to use Adobe support a number of times on one of the machines. The experience was quite satisfactory with the tech remotely fixing his issues with Premiere Pro."

Glad to hear it! Thanks for the report.

Best,
Kevin

Kevin Monahan
Support Product Manager—DVA
Adobe After Effects
Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe
Follow Me on Twitter!


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 8, 2014 at 1:24:55 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I've never called them, but I know the support folks I've interacted with here are awesome. Is the call center really that bad, or do we only hear about the bad experiences here -- just like we only ever see technical problems in the product forums?"

In my experience, it's not favorable.

I called for After Effects support and I was I first sent to Photoshop support and then Illustrator support, and then After Effects support. It was pretty frustrating.

Larry's greater point is somewhat valid, at least in my eyes. I do agree that a more thorough internet hunt would have yielded better results, but he did what he though he should do, and finding info on Adobes help site can be challenging.

It could be better. "AME won't launch" shoud turn up similar results to "AME Crash" and as Andrew Kimery points out, I'd there's a section in AME toubleshooting specifically for failing to launch, Larry Jordan's search should have produced that link.

[Walter Soyka] "I'd love to see Adobe offer a high-level paid tier of support like Avid does -- but I wonder how many would be willing to pay for it. This industry does not seem to reward those offering amazing support very well anymore."

Support has changed. There is a lot of general information available on the web in official and non official capacity. Avid has always prioritized support. You don't have to read very far in Avid's sales pitch to find that support is an incentive to you as a buyer. Also, when a company sells and supports hardware, it needs a completely different level of infrastructure, which is where avid started, and still offers today. The company was built (and somewhat monetized) around this support system. Adobe simply is not built this way, at least not yet. The times I have spoken to Adobe support on the phone, I am not sure if the person really knew the program, especially when being sent to Illustrator support by way of Photoshop for an After Effects issue.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 8, 2014 at 2:29:56 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "In my experience, it's not favorable. I called for After Effects support and I was I first sent to Photoshop support and then Illustrator support, and then After Effects support. It was pretty frustrating."

That sounds hideous.


[Jeremy Garchow] "Larry's greater point is somewhat valid, at least in my eyes."

In mine, too. And not just somewhat valid -- completely valid.

But as I pointed out above, Larry's concern is not uniquely an Adobe problem. And as this conversation is pointing out, "support" means very different things to different people.


[Jeremy Garchow] "Avid has always prioritized support. You don't have to read very far in Avid's sales pitch to find that support is an incentive to you as a buyer. Also, when a company sells and supports hardware, it needs a completely different level of infrastructure, which is where avid started, and still offers today. The company was built (and somewhat monetized) around this support system."

My dim recollection of Avid support from one million years ago was that if you wanted a problem resolved quickly, you bypassed support and wrote to the Avid-L or directly to Marianne, or you hired Bob Zelin -- not so different from today, posting on the COW and tweeting at Kevin and hiring Bob Zelin.

In fact, to Richard's point of third-party support, there was good money to be made as an independent ACSR.

Maybe this was different for larger customers then, and maybe it's totally different today.

And now I will get myself in more trouble with additional commentary that is not intended in any way as a defense for Adobe's support, though I fear it will be interpreted as such:

Doesn't it make sense that you'd get better support from a community of active users of a product than you will from first-line support without that daily experience and advanced skillset? Don't you want the engineers engineering instead of answering the phones?

Isn't that why we're all here at the COW in the first place? Didn't we come together to help each other out with M100/FCP/whatever problems? Isn't this the value of user groups over first-party support? Aren't we only all here to complain about Adobe's poor support because M100/Apple/whomever support was similarly inadequate a decade and a half ago, back when we were paying a lot more?

Haven't we, as a group, discouraged vendors from implementing good (but pricey) support systems by favoring the cheaper solution with poorer support en masse? Haven't we been supporting companies who have cut out expensive middle-man VARs by just building and installing it ourselves?

I know this sounds like blaming the victim, but it seems to me that a good chunk of the market pays lip service to good support but does not pay money for it.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Brian Charles
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 8, 2014 at 3:08:58 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Isn't that why we're all here at the COW in the first place?"

Bang on. I've haven't found anyone's tech support up to the quality of information and the speed of response I get from the COW.

Adobe doesn't deserve to be singled-out. The quality of most tech support has declined steadily over the years.

Even though I'm no fan of CC, I grow weary of all this Adobe bashing.



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Herb Sevush
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 8, 2014 at 4:27:44 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Doesn't it make sense that you'd get better support from a community of active users of a product than you will from first-line support without that daily experience and advanced skillset? Don't you want the engineers engineering instead of answering the phones? Isn't that why we're all here at the COW in the first place?"

But what do you do when you ask for help and no one answers? I posted the following on both the Cow's AME forum and Adobe's AME forum a few weeks ago and got exactly zero replies, let alone helpful answers.

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/351/927

https://forums.adobe.com/thread/1492709

There are so many variations in workflow that, at least in my case, are not answerable on this or any other forum, by Googling or any other method. Comprehensive written documentation, backed by knowledgeable technical support is often the only way to go. To answer the question - what would I pay for good tech support - my guess is a 20-30% premium over my yearly software cost would be a good place to start.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Kevin Monahan
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 8, 2014 at 5:13:51 pm
Last Edited By Kevin Monahan on Jul 8, 2014 at 5:15:56 pm

Hi Herb,

[Herb Sevush] "But what do you do when you ask for help and no one answers? I posted the following on both the Cow's AME forum and Adobe's AME forum a few weeks ago and got exactly zero replies, let alone helpful answers."

I don't hit the AME forum here on Creative Cow very often, but I do hang out at the Adobe AME forum. Sorry no one responded. If you are not getting any answers here, or no one is answering your posts at adobe forums, feel free to PM me at the adobe site, or contact support directly via chat or phone.

Thanks,
Kevin

Kevin Monahan
Support Product Manager—DVA
Adobe After Effects
Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe
Follow Me on Twitter!


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Herb Sevush
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 8, 2014 at 6:16:03 pm

Kevin,

This is the link to my question posted on the Adobe AME forum,
(61 views, no replies.)

https://forums.adobe.com/thread/1492709

This is what the post said:

I just transcoded some 4K XDCAM clips to 4K ProRes 422 and then imported to Premiere Pro. All of the ProRes clips now have timecode that starts at 00.00.00.00. If I import the clips into premiere from the original XDCAM source the proper timecode is there. I'm using the latest, as of 6/7/14 CC versions of both AME and PPro. The XDCAM sources have all the original MXF container material in their proper folders. I cannot find any controls in AME that have to do with timecode and assume that AME is always passing the timecode information through during encoding, but it's not working in my setup. Help ?

I don't mind hijacking this thread if you've got an answer.

Thanks.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Kevin Monahan
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 9, 2014 at 6:22:44 pm

Hi Herb,
Thanks for pointing me to your post. I've asked for help for your problem internally. I'll answer your post on your adobe forums post ASAP.

Thanks,
Kevin

Kevin Monahan
Support Product Manager—DVA
Adobe After Effects
Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe
Follow Me on Twitter!


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Herb Sevush
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 9, 2014 at 6:37:04 pm

[Kevin Monahan] "'ll answer your post on your adobe forums post ASAP."

Thanks, I appreciate it.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Kevin Monahan
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 10, 2014 at 12:17:58 am

Hi Herb,
An engineer has now replied to you on the Adobe forums. Let's take this discussion over there going forward.

Thanks,
Kevin

Kevin Monahan
Support Product Manager—DVA
Adobe After Effects
Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe
Follow Me on Twitter!


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Walter Soyka
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 8, 2014 at 5:46:49 pm

[Herb Sevush] "But what do you do when you ask for help and no one answers? I posted the following on both the Cow's AME forum and Adobe's AME forum a few weeks ago and got exactly zero replies, let alone helpful answers."

Your problem here sounds like a bug, because it is supposed to work exactly as you expect.

From the AME docs [link]:
Note: Adobe Media Encoder honors timecode information in a source file. If the source starts from 00:00:05:00, then the timeline for the item in Adobe Media Encoder also starts from 00:00:05:00, and not from zero. This timecode information is included in the encoded output file.


You might consider filing a bug report [link].


[Herb Sevush] "There are so many variations in workflow that, at least in my case, are not answerable on this or any other forum, by Googling or any other method. Comprehensive written documentation, backed by knowledgeable technical support is often the only way to go."

I would have actually thought that variations in workflow are an area where forums win. Workflows develop in the wild that the developers may not expect.

I agree that comprehensive documentation is important.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Herb Sevush
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 9, 2014 at 6:42:19 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I would have actually thought that variations in workflow are an area where forums win. Workflows develop in the wild that the developers may not expect."

My issue is that often I don't know what the developers expect. Without documentation I don't know what's a bug and what considered "normal" behavior. This happens a lot - weeks go by with me trying to fix something only to learn that there isn't anything to fix - this is the way it was designed. It takes too long to figure out whether I'm dealing with operator error or poor design.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 8, 2014 at 5:03:52 pm

[Walter Soyka] "But as I pointed out above, Larry's concern is not uniquely an Adobe problem. And as this conversation is pointing out, "support" means very different things to different people."

Not only that, support also means different things to different support providers.

[Walter Soyka] "My dim recollection of Avid support from one million years ago was that if you wanted a problem resolved quickly, you bypassed support and wrote to the Avid-L or directly to Marianne, or you hired Bob Zelin -- not so different from today, posting on the COW and tweeting at Kevin and hiring Bob Zelin."

[Walter Soyka] "Doesn't it make sense that you'd get better support from a community of active users of a product than you will from first-line support without that daily experience and advanced skillset? Don't you want the engineers engineering instead of answering the phones?"

Sure, a user based system will probably yield some results more quickly. Adobe has their own forums that Larry Jordan probably could have consulted, and yes, the COW and other forums are a great resource, but look at it from the point of Larry Jordan who went to Adobe.com, did a search, and found not very helpful results. It could be better, and it also seems like it would be easy to implement, like, "Hey why not search our forums?"

Have you been to Adobe.com recently? Check out the options. There's no support button, only a search button. Support is a level down from the main page. So, if that's what Adobe wants you to do, then search should bring you to that support page as well.

I clicked search, typed in Larry's suggested string, and got linked to blog for the first response. Then I clicked the "Support and Community Help" button, and the results were thus:



[Walter Soyka] "I know this sounds like blaming the victim, but it seems to me that a good chunk of the market pays lip service to good support but does not pay money for it."

I hear that. Sometimes support comes with the products, sometimes you pay separately for it. Sometimes, there's no difference in the quality of support no matter what product you buy, sometimes there is a big difference. Again, a difference between Avid's subscription offerings and Adobe's subscription offering is the prioritization of support, and Avid's version is much more clear as to exactly what you're going to get (down to the hour).

Jeremy


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Kevin Monahan
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 8, 2014 at 5:28:44 pm

Hi Jeremy,
Thanks for posting this. I'm working on improving search results as one of my top issues. Certainly, your search should have provided much better results. Unfortunately, we do not currently have a document that matches that phrase yet. Let me see if I can remedy that.

Thanks,
Kevin

Kevin Monahan
Support Product Manager—DVA
Adobe After Effects
Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe
Follow Me on Twitter!


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Kevin Monahan
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 8, 2014 at 5:20:35 pm

Hi Jeremy,

[Jeremy Garchow] "The times I have spoken to Adobe support on the phone, I am not sure if the person really knew the program, especially when being sent to Illustrator support by way of Photoshop for an After Effects issue."

That's should not have happened, sorry about that. If that ever happens again, shoot me an email kmonahan AT mycompany.com with your case number and I'll do what I can to resolve your issue.

Thanks,
Kevin

Kevin Monahan
Support Product Manager—DVA
Adobe After Effects
Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe
Follow Me on Twitter!


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 8, 2014 at 5:23:46 pm

Thanks, Kevin.


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Shawn Miller
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 7, 2014 at 10:15:28 pm

[Walter Soyka] "This leads to a question: who really gets support right? What is your ideal expectation of support, and at what price point?"

IMO... smaller, independent developers. Indies are closest to the technology, and are often the only ones who can provide fixes for problems that users may be experiencing. I've always found them to be more responsive and knowledgeable about their products than larger companies (for support that is). That said, I think Adobe gets support as "right" as it possibly can. With millions of users and a much greater diversity of products to support (compared to independents), I think it's easy to under appreciate how challenging support can be for them. Not to make excuses for Adobe, their help and search systems could certainly be much better, but man, they could also be a LOT worse. Participation by Adobe employees on forums like this tells me that they're at least trying to get it right... I don't think all large software companies are.

Shawn



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Oliver Peters
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 7, 2014 at 11:04:23 pm

I've noticed as a general rule - on several machines that I have routinely updated - that the Adobe applications often have some launch issues when they are first launched after an update. This is most likely related to plug-ins - especially those that are common in the Media Core. I'd bet that's the same issue Larry ran into.

When I updated to CC2014 on my Mac Pro, several of the apps hung up at first launch and completely locked up the machine, requiring a hard reboot. After suffering through this on various apps, they all finally made it up and since then have been running fine. I've see this with each update since CS6 to a various extent. My SOP is to launch each app after the download and go through the dance, often requiring several hard reboots.

I tend to see this behavior more on Macs than on Windows machines, FWIW. I just installed a number of the apps as trials on an HP Z1G2 with Win 8.1 and these are running like a dream.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Andy Field
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 8, 2014 at 2:02:45 pm

Kevin wrote a helpful reply on Larry's Blog site...which i'm pasting here:

from larry's blog

http://www.larryjordan.biz/app_bin/wordpress/archives/2519#comments

Kevin Monahan Jul 07, 2014 15:15

Hi Larry,
First of all, I apologize for the poor experience you had when searching for support at adobe.com. The site has undergone some pretty big changes very recently and we are still working on some of its functionality. I will be sure to look into this matter and hope to provide a better support experience in the future.

In the mean time, a better place to get quick answers to technical questions is on our official forums. Here is the link to the Adobe Media Encoder forum: https://forums.adobe.com/community/ame

From the Help menu in Premiere Pro, choose Help > Adobe Premiere Pro Support Center and you will reach this page, which provides a link to support (http://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro.html: scroll down a bit to see support options).

You can also contact support directly: https://helpx.adobe.com/contact.html

As to the resolution to your issue, I would suggest that you might so the following:

Enter your User Libarary
1. Go to Library > Application Support and rename your “Adobe” folder to “oldAdobe”

2. Go back to your ~/library folder and look for the folder /Preferences and rename your “Adobe” folder to “oldAdobe”

3. Try to run adobe premiere cc again, accept the terms and conditions again, if necessary.

4. The application should launch.

If this does not work:

1. Try temporarily removing any third party plug-ins you are using form the plug-ins folder.

2. After doing so, attempt to relaunch.

3. If it does relaunch without the plug-ins, shut down AME.

4. Place plug-ins back in the plug-ins folder.

5. Attempt to launch AME once more.

6. The application should launch.

Of course, feel free to email me should you need continued support. Thanks again to alerting us to the adobe.com issue.

Regards,
Kevin Monahan
Support Product Manager, DVA
Adobe

Andy Field
FieldVision Productions
N. Bethesda, Maryland 20852


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Kevin Monahan
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 8, 2014 at 5:10:04 pm

Thanks, Andy. Larry indicated that my solution helped him. I'm fairly certain he means the first solution. Likely, it has to do with the following issue.

Thanks,
Kevin

Kevin Monahan
Support Product Manager—DVA
Adobe After Effects
Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe
Follow Me on Twitter!


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Andy Field
Re: Blistering tech support critique from one of Adobe's biggest supporters
on Jul 8, 2014 at 6:03:14 pm

Kevin - That Quicktime 32 Server was a component that was draining all the CPU cycles in a number of issues...(found on macs by opening the Activity Monitor) Force quitting that and restarting helped in some instances... thank you for the work around....

Andy Field
FieldVision Productions
N. Bethesda, Maryland 20852


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