How To Get Around the Adobe Death-Grip

in Mac Software edited January 2014
I've just received notice that in 10 to 14 days I can expect my CS5 Master Collection for Mac to arrive at my university outlet. I've already ordered it and given all the credit card info (the full "student" version for $649.00) and am anxiously awaiting for it to arrive in time for my summer web and video classes. My course doesn't expect one to buy the CS5 Master Collection (but recommends a student to at least have CS4 Design Premium), but the price seems good and I thought "Why Not?" The professor said he is also not averse to a student having another software program (e.g., Avid rather than Adobe Aftereffects) as long as he can keep up with the assignments. Avid is also available at an insanely great price.

It then occurred to me (with all the talk about Flash and HTML5) that I haven't seen anything on what might be a knowledgeable insider's view on what is out there that works as well or even better than the individual software pieces that comprise the CS5 Master Collection. After all, a student is expected to dedicate a significant amount of time to learn each of these programs. I's love to know if there is something better out there, or

So what follows is an outline of what is included in the Adobe CS5 Mater Collection:


A. Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended

B. Illustrator CS5

C. InDesign CS5

D. Acrobat 9 Pro

E. Flash Catalyst CS5

F. Flash Professional CS5

G. Flash Builder 4

H. Dreamweaver CS5

I. Fireworks CS5

J. Contribute CS5

K. Adobe Premiere Pro CS5(with Adobe OnLocation CS5 and Encore CS5)

L. After Effects CS5

M. Soundbooth CS5

N. Adobe Bridge CS5

O. Adobe Device Central CS5

P. Adobe Dynamic Link

Q. Adobe CS Live

Whaddya think?


  • Reply 1 of 5
    s.metcalfs.metcalf Posts: 875member
    These courses sound awfully applied if you're learning how to use software packages. They don't really teach that sort of thing in universities here (Australia), which are for theoretical study. I find it somewhat amusing you can be a professor in something like web-design or video production!

    Ultimately, any software package is a means to an end. What "means" you use shouldn't really matter if it produces an end that satisfies the requirements of the task in comparable time frames. To compare apps you really have to start doing feature comparisons and look at features you need or want for particular tasks.

    There is quite a learning curve to be proficient in all the Adobe apps, which you've correctly noted. Whether it's worth paying for the software and perhaps more importantly spending the hours necessary to become familiar with them is up to you. If you're a professional graphic designer or work in the advertising industry, Adobe is pretty much the only option because they do offer some fairly compelling tools that are targeted to these disciplines, but if you're only doing Summer courses in these subjects it doesn't really sound like that is you.

    You'd have to ask yourself (and tell us) what you really want to do for a career and what your interests and passions are. If you can avoid having to fork out half a grand for a bunch of Adobe apps you might never learn how to use fully, I would if I were you. There could well be other things you'd much rather do with that money.

    Adobe, like Microsoft, also has a history of relatively minor updates to their software suites, but marketing them as "must have" upgrades. Many of the new features added often amount to feature bloat.

    Personally, I'd be wary of paying lots of money for courses that require you to have certain software packages and then basically only teach you how to use them. You can teach yourself these things easily enough with access to the software and, in Adobe's case, reading any of the mountains of tutorials and discussions online. Software packages change, so if you did courses in CS5 in 2010, would that really amount to anything in 2015 or 2020?
  • Reply 2 of 5
    meh 2meh 2 Posts: 149member
    Originally Posted by s.metcalf View Post

    These courses sound awfully applied if you're learning how to use software packages. They don't really teach that sort of thing in universities here (Australia), which are for theoretical study. I find it somewhat amusing you can be a professor in something like web-design or video production!

    You'd have to ask yourself (and tell us) what you really want to do for a career...?

    Thank you so much for your insights. I really appreciate them and will take them to heart.

    For the record, I'm sorry if I gave the impression that I am the professor... I am actually the student and, yes, the courses are a type of summer "Community Leadership" course offering which is actually offered year-round, but typically at night because most of the students that enroll in them are actually adults with full-time jobs during the day.

    Also, as I reread my post, I see I should have explained better (as you were kind enough to point out) what my objectives are. First, as far as the courses are concerned, I actually don't need to buy any software, as the classroom has the workstations with Adobe CS4 Photoshop and CS4 Aftereffects already on them. For assignments that need to be turned in, the professors seem sympathetic to the fact that other students that might want to do the majority of their assignment workload off campus may use other competing programs (e.g., the Avid vs. Aftereffects example) so they will allow submissions from other source software if it accomplishes the requirements for the assignment. If you stay with Adobe and want to buy your own software, one professor actually recommends a minimum of Adobe Design Premium to be able to duplicate what is offered in the classroom.

    I usually want to own the software that I learn on, so I am only wondering about the advisability of buying the Adobe CS5 Master Collection, as opposed to just buying the Adobe CS5 Aftereffects and CS5 Photoshop. As it turns out, the entire Master Collection is not that much more (at least for me - remember that I am an adult who already makes a worthwhile living and not a student who might need to balance needs vs. wants).

    What I am really curious about is that I assemble the very best software I can for what I need to do. Consider me to be an educational researcher who, like a professor, might need to give a presentation to an extended adult audience, as well as assist in teaching course content to school-aged children. As such, I would want to be able to become very proficient in those narrow areas that would best enable me to practice my profession.

    Looking ahead, I can see how this might involve using video production in my presentations, as well as image processing in my Keynotes and other presentations. On average, I may give 12 - 20 discussions or keynote-type presentations a year to fairly large groups, usually at schools or other large scale forums.

    What I was really curious about was whether I might hear advice from others who might say something like "Adobe Photoshop is a must have - don't even look elsewhere!" Or, "AfterEffects is okay - but I much prefer Avid because ..."

    At any rate, I want to thank you again for offering your comments. I really appreciate the fact that you gave your valuable time to do so and, as I've said, many I will take to heart.

    Best regards,

    MEH II
  • Reply 3 of 5
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    As much as people bang on these forums about Adobe and its EvilEmpire™...

    Based on what you mention, since you can get the student pricing and afford the cost of it, and you're interested in researching it's capabilities, go for the CS5 Master Collection. Again, there's been much Adobe-bashing but it is interesting delving into their suite of products... Although I do hate some like Acrobat and VersionCue.

    Here's a tip: DON'T INSTALL EVERYTHING AT ONCE unless you have a high-end Macbook Pro with 8GB of RAM and 500GB 7200rpm drive.

    As for the different software, I would wager that Avid is not really worthwhile unless you are going for real pro-broadcast kind of stuff.

    After Effects is quite the de facto standard unless as I mentioned going to real pro-level stuff like the Avid suite, or see below, Autodesk.

    Photoshop and Illustrator, well, no avoiding those. There's Quark and this or that, but in reality, Photoshop and Illustrator is the main game in town.

    Dreamweaver is more or less a highly glorified HTML/Javascript editor so there are alternatives for those particularly fond of hand-coding web pages.

    Flash ~ well, if you want to make Flash sites/elements there's no other tool that comes close.

    So, maybe get the CS5 Master Collection, but...

    Video Production ~ you should try out both PremierPro as well as Final Cut Pro

    Photos ~ you should try out both Aperture and LightRoom

    Music/Sound ~ you should try out Logic Express 9 as well.

    Final Cut and Logic are used extensively in many educational and professional environments. Covering both Adobe and Apple tools could be beneficial for you.

    I hear a number of complaints about Motion in Final Cut Pro though. After Effects is the go-to software for motion graphics and compositing. If you're looking actually for real pro-level stuff, the next level up from After Effects is Autodesk Flame, Inferno, etc:
  • Reply 4 of 5
    meh 2meh 2 Posts: 149member
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

    As much as people bang on these forums about Adobe and its EvilEmpire?...

    WOW!! Absolutely fantastic advice! I am so appreciative of your time and the clarity and care you took to consider my issue. I feel like it has helped me also answer some questions I had not thought enough about to state clearly.

    I cannot thank you enough!! It is posters like you that make for the "golden moments" on these boards!

    With warmest regards,

    MEH II
  • Reply 5 of 5
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    No worries ...I don't always make much sense though in my other posts LOL
Sign In or Register to comment.