Replacements for Adobe Creative Cloud

Discussion in 'Technical Corner' started by RJM62, Dec 27, 2017.

  1. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I just completed my day's work using no Adobe software whatsoever. That's the first time in about 15 years.

    I edited five videos with Shotcut (FOSS), which does a good enough job if you don't need audio editing. Most of the videos I edit don't need audio work anyway. For those that do I can run them through Audacity and then reimport the audio onto the video. Shotcut was crashy for me with GPU rendering enabled, but works fine without it.

    I'm also going to install Cinelerra on my Mint machine. I tried it once before and didn't care for it, but I'll give it another shot. I really didn't like Premiere Pro very much at first, either.

    I used Affinity Photo for the photo editing. I also installed Affinity Designer, also made by Serif. They're an old company with a long history of producing inexpensive, but quite decent software. I didn't care for last years versions, but they've improved a lot this year.

    Using Affinity for the photo editing only adds about three or four clicks per picture, which is okay. I had to make a few adjustments to my workflow to make that happen (for example, giving the source picture its final filename before I start editing it), but I can make about the same time I was making with Fireworks.

    For creating new graphics, Affinity Designer is quite usable. I think I'll get to like it more than just "usable" when I get more accustomed to it. So really, it's taking two programs to replace my beloved Fireworks, which Adobe is no longer supporting, and which is getting crashier by the day.

    I've been using Netbeans with XAMPP running Apache for HTML / PHP editing. It's better than Dreamweaver in some ways, especially as regarding the previews. It uses a browser rather than an integrated pane, which actually is better because that's how it ultimately will be viewed. (In fairness, DW also has that functionality, although it's a separate action.)

    I can use Handbrake or FFmpeg for transcoding when I need it instead of Adobe Media Encoder.

    I still have to come up with a replacement for Acrobat, which I don't use much anyway. When I do it's an older version because I can't stand DC (which keeps reinstalling itself whether I like it or not).

    I'll be quite happy to be rid of Adobe. My biggest gripe with them is that they let Fireworks die. Had they kept maintaining Fireworks, I would have held my nose and renewed. But without it, the subscription isn't worth the money anymore.

    Rich
     
  2. skier

    skier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    For what it's worth, my wife recommended Bluebeam to me when I was looking for a replacement to Acrobat at work. My company ended up going with Nuance, which I don't like at all.

    As for the subscription model, there's a reason I bought CS6 a couple years ago rather than going with CC. It still works fine for me.
     
  3. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Don't ever uninstall it. The last time I tried to install Fireworks separately, it rejected my key. The reason was that it was an upgrade from a previous version, and when I entered the key for the previous version, they said it was invalid. I called them, and they basically said that a previous version key from a version that was no longer supported wouldn't work because the activation servers no longer existed. Another reason to hate Adobe.

    I'd been upgrading ever since something like Macromedia Studio 3. I suppose had I bought the full version of CS6 that wouldn't have happened.

    Rich
     
  4. azblackbird

    azblackbird Cleared for Takeoff

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    Who buys software these days? :dunno:
     
  5. JScarry

    JScarry Pre-Flight

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    Over the years I’ve probably spent over $20,000 on Adobe software, but moving to subscriptions where I can’t open stuff I created if I don’t keep paying rubbed me the wrong way. I stopped using Adobe software because the products that I own aren’t compatible with OSX versions later than Snow Leopard and I wasn’t interested in subscriptions. It still works on my old laptops, but I rarely have any reason to use it.

    I like Acorn for my image editing needs and my wife uses Pixelmator Pro along with a half-dozen apps on her iPhone. She prefers Halide to the built-in camera app.

    She’s looking for a vector based replacement for Flash and is starting to use Vectr.

    We haven’t found a good replacement for Indesign, but since I don’t print my catalogs any more, LibreOffice handles all of my manuals and flyers fairly well. I have a few things in Apple’s Pages app but I find most Apple software frustrating to use. Preview is the exception. It will open password protected PDFs so I don’t have Adobe Reader installed anymore. And Preview lets me combine PDFs (like logbook scans) into one document. I do use Adobe Acrobat on my iPad, but that is the only piece of Adobe software that I use anymore.

    I’m not aware of anything that replaces Director for cross-platform development, but since everything is moving toward browser-based interfaces and apps, I haven’t had any reason to it use since 2011.
     
  6. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I don't mind paying for software if it works well and is competitively priced. Good software makes me more productive, which means I have more time to goof off.

    Rich
     
  7. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I kept my subscription for years because I have a ton of graphics built with Fireworks and saved in their proprietary, layered PNG format. Besides, I really liked Fireworks. But it seems as if every time Windows updates it causes some new compatibility problem, and Adobe refuses to do anything about it. I always get it running again, but it's getting to the point where it's becoming a losing battle.

    Actually, I may have the freestanding version of Fireworks installed on a Win 7 hard drive for an old laptop. I should dig it out of mothballs and see. At least I could edit those old files if I ever need to.

    I find that almost all of Adobe's recent versions are so crappy as to be almost unusable. I get the impression that they just push out new versions to try to justify the subscriptions more so than because they're any better or more capable than the older ones. Always having access to the most current versions is a marketing tool for Adobe, so in order to justify that, they put out new versions at least once a year. They may be ****, but they're new ****.

    Rich
     
  8. azblackbird

    azblackbird Cleared for Takeoff

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    Ditto... I've been with Adobe since day one using all Mac based equipment. The only thing I never could quite warm up to was PageMaker. I used QuarkXpress instead which was way more robust. Now all the print houses will basically take anything. Concerning web development. I used to hard code all my sites. Now I don't even do that anymore, as it's just way faster for me knock out my graphics in Ps or Ai, and then do the mock ups in Id, and then tell my programmer/coder what I want as far as functionality goes. I usually run (from a barter agreement) on a developer or an .edu license, so I don't have to pay for anything. Plus, I'm usually first in line for any beta testing. :cool:
     
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  9. redhandle

    redhandle Filing Flight Plan

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    I know someone who absolutely believes software shouldn’t be sold (nor music or movies) - you should only ever pay for atoms, not bits. He has no qualms pirating any and all software - since he thinks it should all be free.

    The irony? He creates software for a living and has made several million dollars doing so.o_O
     
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  10. Anymouse

    Anymouse En-Route

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    I don't mind paying a fair price for software since I do believe the programmers should be paid for their efforts. However, I don't think I should be paying them until the end of eternity for that software. I ain't like they save my life and I'm eternally grateful. It's just a bit of work they've done.
     
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  11. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'm starting to really like Serif Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer. I've always liked Serif's software and thought it was a good value, but they really went above and beyond with these two programs. Once you learn the interface, the way they do things makes perfect sense. They're design-oriented, so they minimize the math and the geekspeak in favor of a visual approach that quickly becomes very natural.

    If you're in need of reasonably-priced photo-editing or graphic-design software, I suggest you check out their free trial versions.

    Rich
     
  12. Ravioli

    Ravioli En-Route

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    People who use it for their professions.

    I don't think hobbyists should pay full freight. But so many of lie about our use of the software these days...
     
  13. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'm honest with them. If they put out good software that improves my productivity, then they deserve to be paid for it.

    I also go out of my way to publicize good software or services. I have been known to very publicly come down like the bird of death on companies that aren't acting right, so it's only right that I extend the courtesy of good reviews to those that are. I just wrote two positive reviews of my new hosting company, for example; but I also wrote two scathing condemnations of the one I just left. I figure I'll be getting a call from the latter company's lawyers any minute.

    Rich
     
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  14. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Depending on the license, that could be grounds for legal action. I've got a very old version of PS that I use occasionally, and an older version of Lightroom that I also use some, but I'm finding FOSS software to be more usable and budget-friendly these days. Shotcut for video, Gimp or something like it for photo editing.

    At some point, the desire to squeeze more profit out of a turnip is going to hurt the industry. I get that professionals use the software, but even they screamed with some of the changes to Lightroom (it turned into bloat ware). Given the process patents that are issued, it's really tough for competitors - or even FOSS - to turn out a better product without running the risk of infringement. The patent owner can essentially eviscerate its product and refuse to license the patents to others to restore functionality. Add a couple of patent trolls into the process, and you essentially turn the industry into slug ware. PCs thrived because they were able to break the old mainframe and mainframe licensing model. That licensing model has/is reappearing in the PC market.
     
  15. Ravioli

    Ravioli En-Route

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    @RJM62 reminds of when someone told me they were surprised by the glowing praise I gave to a coworkers results on a project.

    I just said "Even I can't be an ******* all the time."
     
  16. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member

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    I thought it was the old computer I'm running it on, LOL.

    I switched to Lightroom when Apple discontinued Aperture. Not sure I'm ready to switch again even though Lightroom is now a subscription. It seems like I've switched photo programs a number of times. I can remember using Corel, and also Photoshop Elements. My problem with switching from Aperture (and possibly Lightroom) was losing the edits.
     
  17. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Sounds like they gotcha.
     
  18. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    No more so than other version management software, provided one shoots in RAW and saves the finished product. The RAW file is still untouched, but you'll need to redo the steps to get to a finished file in another program. Even if the steps could be transferred, the way those steps are done (sharpening, dehazing, etc) may well be done differently due to different algorithms used. Some actions may not be transferable to another program due to patent protections, as alluded to earlier. If you used a third-party action, those may not work in the other software either. At $9/month (on sale sometimes), I feel it is a good bargain since I get bug fixes and upgrades for both lightroom classic CC, and Photoshop classic CC. The package is quite powerful. I could never afford photoshop on its own (used to be around $700), the subscription is a lot more affordable to me.

    I'm ok with a reasonable subscription price to pay for upgrades (such as the ability to read the RAW files from a new camera), tech support, maintaining compatibility with operating system changes, new features, and so forth. All this stuff costs money, as long as I'm using it. The biggest complaint is that they are trying to move the product to run entirely in the cloud (that would stop my use of it). I've heard of a free alternative and I'll try to find a link to it later.
     
  19. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member

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    Right now they have two versions, a cloud version and a computer-based version. I have not tried the cloud version. I agree that the subscription price isn't bad. I'm also someone who tends to update software, so the subscription price is probably a wash... just like for Quicken.
     
  20. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If you like the updates, it's worth it. My experience has been that the updated versions (at least of the legacy Macromedia stuff) tend to be horrible. Few if any new features, but a bunch of interface changes that slow down long-time users and usually make no contextual sense in their new locations. Other than Premiere Pro, I rarely used the stuff that has always been Adobe's, so maybe it's different.

    Rich
     
  21. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    I've been using Lightroom Classic CC for some years, no complaints about updates. Seems to run fine. If they get something fouled up in an update, they usually fix it quickly. The changes I know about are mostly bug fixes, support for newer cameras. I'm still learning it, so many enhancements are not things I know about yet.

    LR Classic CC is the computer based version, and the one I prefer because all my files are local. The Cloud version places all your images in the Adobe Cloud, and this has users most concerned. A lot of people are worried that the "Classic" version with local files will go away. No one (that I know of) wants to keep their images in Adobe's cloud. There is some confusion because there is "Lightroom Classic"- everything on your computer, not updated anymore (AFAIK). I think this is also called "Lightroom 6" in the photography forums. "Lightroom Classic Creative Cloud" used to be called "Lightroom Creative Cloud" and is one of the subscription versions. One can still get this as a new customer, but you need to look for it. You have a choice to keep images locally, or in Adobe's cloud. What is now "Lightroom Creative Cloud" is also subscription based, images are kept only in the cloud and not locally. It causes confusion when they change the name of an existing product and name the new product the same as the older one.

    Clear as mud? :)
     
  22. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member

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    I was confused about the version names at first too. I use what is called "Lightroom Classic CC". I've also played around with Photoshop CC, but not much. I've never been able to figure out what version the photography forums are referencing, but I rarely go there since it is POA all over again, only with photographers. :rofl:
     
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  23. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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  24. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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