I started my Creative Cloud subscription back in 2013.
In those heady days, I was doing video, image, and audio editing on a consistent weekly basis. I was making freelance TV commercials and doing regular production, so I figured the famous Creative Cloud was a must-have set of tools. So what if it cost $50 a month? I could have access to all this cool software I had first learned to use in college.
And yes, I went for the monthly option. Freelance work is not always a pile of cold hard cash. But that seemed like a fair price.
It turns out it’s not.
These days, most of my creative work is centered around text and audio. I was still using Adobe Audition on a daily basis for my “regular job” while the other 19 programs collected virtual dust.
Flash has officially died a horrible death after a long torturous battle with the internet at large.
I only still had Premiere installed outside of Audition, and I hadn’t booted it up, except by accident, in probably…a year?
So it was time to end this $50 a month nightmare. That’s a huge amount of money to independent creators like me.
I first tried to cancel my account in May but Adobe was like OH GOD NO and told me I could have two months free. So I said okay.
But there’s nothing I was doing every day that I couldn’t do in Audacity. Heck, sometimes Audacity is faster for my work flow than Audition.
So now I’m free.
It was weird to me when Adobe changed the name of their flagship software package from Creative Suite to Creative Cloud.
I love imagining marketing meetings.
“Hey guys, we added internet storage and other online features to this. So it has the cloud now. How do we communicate that? C….Cloud! It’s no longer a suite…it’s a…cloud?”
The subscription price tag is a better deal than buying the Suite used to be, especially if you pay one of the non month-to-month options…but it alsolocks you into this ecosystem much harder than the old discs used to.
You start storing things online.
You start using their resources.
You get stuck.
And you have to pay a premium for it regularly.
It can be a nightmare, especially in the face of the ever-increasing pile of excellent lower-cost software that’ll do the same stuff.
And yet it’s still so alluring to creative people like me. Here’s twenty of the most-famous creative programs out there bundled together, for a slightly less ridiculous price than they used to go for.
But if you’re not using all of that software on a regular basis, or you’re not working for a huge company with endless resources…you should probably run in the other direction.
I’m loving Audacity.
It cost me nothing. And it works perfectly for me. I do traffic and weather reports for a small radio station every day, which means I have to record and edit short audio clips and upload them to a server. Sometimes I also do sound design for local theater companies and this is also just as easy and quick inside Audacity as it was in Audition.
And, there are a bunch of other good audio editing suites out there that are cheaper than Adobe’s stuff.
The same goes for all of their other famous programs. And yet, the monolith rages on.
Don’t accept “the standard” just because they throw the perceived value of twenty programs with legacy and history in your face. Be a smart and informed consumer.
Check out all your options. That’s all I’m asking.
When you’re an independent creator, every little advantage helps. You’re competing with some big names and big companies. You need to be aggressive.
Once I realized I could cancel my Creative Cloud subscription, I almost immediately found all the reasons why I should.
I just needed to give myself the opportunity.