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Wednesday, 01 April 2015

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I have the $9.99 plan and as I understand it you can control the automatic annual renewal through your account page. But as you note once you commit to a year you cannot randomly turn it on and off during the year.

Pixelmator if you're using an Apple/Mac. It's fantastic and modern.

For me, essentially a retired person on essentially a fixed income, the important consideration isn't how much per month Photoshop CC costs, but that it's a monthly (or yearly, whatever) payment at all.

My wife and I live quite comfortably in large part because four years ago I made a big sale and paid off every penny we owed.

Now we have only the unavoidable monthly expenses: rent, utilities, food, car costs, etc. Other than necessities, no monthly bills.

This is why, when my CS6 is finally too antiquated to use anymore, I'll switch to an alternative.

Once of the things that concerns me about this whole set-up is that a designer friend of mine told me that she subscribed to the entire CS suite but cannot use it unless she has an internet/wi-fi connection. If that is correct, I think that is insane.

What burns my biscuit is that on their website they offer many currencies but not Canadian dollars, so my monthly rate goes up and down and with the recent poor exchange rate I'm paying 30% more than when I started.

From the website subscription terms:
Creative Cloud for individual

Month-to-Month

The service begins when we confirm your initial payment. We will charge you the fee stated at the time of purchase monthly until you cancel. Once the fee has been charged at the start of each month, that charge is final and no refund is available. The fee is subject to change—but we’ll always notify you beforehand. You can cancel anytime by visiting your Manage Account page or contacting Customer Support. Canceling your membership stops the charge at the start of your next billing term—but your service will continue through the end of your current term.

When Photoshop CC was first announced it came with a take-it-or-leave-it $20 per month charge for access that instantly doubled the retail cost for consumers like us, compared to the previous upgrade cycle. And it quadrupled the cost for those accustomed to upgrading every other version. It's classic monopoly behavior: doubling prices because you can. I presume it was only a 'lower than anticipated take-rate' at the $20/month price that compelled Adobe to offer us starving photographers the $9.99 deal.

I can remember a sinking feeling waaaaay back when Microsoft started requiring on-line 'activation' of their software, because the end-game was obvious. "How can we extract more money from our customers for the same product?"

No reason to cancel: I came into this kicking and screaming soon after the Lightroom/Photoshop package was offered. So far, at least, Adobe has made good on its promise of regular updates and the price hasn't changed. I had a licensed CS6 and Lightroom when I came in, to which the service added the CC versions. Adobe regularly provides updates for both the CS6 and CC versions. BTW, I typically do my raw processing in Lightroom before taking the images to Photoshop CC through the "Edit in" function for additional "under-the-hood," pixel level editing-- and because Photoshop is where my favorite plug-ins live (e.g. PhotoKit Color and Sharpening tools). Then, with a click of the Save button, I bring them back to Lightroom as tiff files. I will sometimes do this multiple times. I still print, however, only from CS6 since, as a Canon printer user, that is where I have kept the native Canon Print 16 bit plug-in rather than trying to update the drivers to suit the ongoing changes to CC.

"Once of the things that concerns me about this whole set-up is that a designer friend of mine told me that she subscribed to the entire CS suite but cannot use it unless she has an internet/wi-fi connection."

From what I understand, the CC applications check in once a month over the Internet to look at your subscription, number of installations, etc. If it fails to connect, you still have a grace period before the applications stop working. See Terry White's summary here: http://bit.ly/19LLrsF

But if you mean that your designer friends doesn't have any Internet at all, that's kind of unbelievable.

@ Geoff Wittig

I don't want to get into a debate about the CC model in Mike's wonderful house, but just a couple of small thoughts.

How much it costs any specific person to have a CC subscription vs. the previous perpetual licenses depends a lot on the angle from which you're viewing it. For example, if you do not own a perpetual app that you can upgrade, and must invest the full perpetual license price up front ($700 for many of the CS6 apps), the math changes dramatically from your example, which was for a person who already qualifies for upgrade pricing (and already paid $700 at some point in the past).

On the much more important question of monopolies: It doesn't seem to me that photographers have much to worry about re: monopoly behavior at the moment. There's plenty of active competition in software for photographers, especially amateurs. I know Photoshop well and like it a lot, so I continue to rely on it, but I'm not required to. I don't have to deliver and collaborate on files in PSD format (and I even make a portion of my living shooting and publishing pictures).

Professional graphic designers are in a different boat with Photoshop and especially with InDesign, both of which are pretty much required for them to make any money at their craft.

120 bucks a year for a constantly supported workflow tool would be fair. 120 bucks a year for Photoshop and Lightroom is not a lot of money. Adobe was in a pickle, as Photoshop had gotten 'good enough' for so long that it was hard to justify new upgrades for many photographers - and you need need new revenue to keep improving things. Frankly, although I do have some issues in not owning a permanent release, this method means there will be an Adobe, the other way was going to kill them.

Internet/wi-fi connection is a problem: I teach classes in Yellowstone's Lamar Valley; remote and unconnected. Without that connection participants can't verify subscription or activation status. It needs to be done prior to leaving "civilization" - frustrating.

@Terry Donnelly: Yes, this is one of the things that frosts my butt about Adobe's verification system. Even if you pay for your subscription a year upfront, it still wants an online check every month. And as far as I know, there's no way to tell when it wants to check or how much time you have left until you're shut down.

I won't travel with a CC app on my laptop for this reason. Adobe needs to be more transparent.

It's interesting that people have to issue updates to their first comments on this topic. It indicates that Adobe have done a terrible job of making the information clear and easily understood and in the right places.

It's very useful software with a great workflow, but the Adobe RAW conversions are getting further and further outpaced by other vendors' RAW software.

Dear xtian,

There are inter-app integration and project management features that use Adobe's servers. It's quite possible your friend, if she's using a lot of the suite, is running those kind of complex multi-app projects. If you want to take advantage of those features (you don't have to), you have to be connected, because having a central server to manage the files is part of that functionality.

But, individual apps (at least all the ones I've tried) run standalone and don't require a web connection, and there's nothing to keep you from manually saving stuff and reopening it in other apps. The Cloud-based features are a convenience layer on top of that.

pax / Ctein

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