Creative Cloud Woes

There was a great outcry back in 2013, particularly in the photographic world, when Adobe decided that their new software releases would be made on a subscription basis.

I didn’t really go along with this, not least because I think I was the only photographer I knew using a more or less legal version of the software and having over the years turned down offers of ‘cracked’ upgrades from friends.

I’d got copy of Photoshop when I was a teacher at education prices, which seemed to me to be a sensible amount to have to pay for the software, and had upgraded it over the years as far as Photoshop 7. Then I’d given up, as it seemed to do all I wanted, and the upgrades weren’t cheap. Like most photographers, I only use a small subset of Photoshop’s features, and it was priced too high for the market, while Elements seemed clunky and lacked just a few vitals.

I’d also got a legit copy of Lightroom 4. I’d had it from the start, after Adobe had bought up the superior technology of Pixmantec’s Rawshooter in 2006 and closed it down giving registered users a free copy of Lightroom 1.0 in 2007.

It wasn’t really much of a bargain, as Rawshooter was rather better at converting raw files than Lightroom, but I could see the advantages of incorporating image management. And when you bought a new camera – and things were then developing fast on the digital camera front – Rawshooter would no longer handle its files. I looked closely at the alternatives, owning copies of several on my computer and decided for all its current weaknesses that in the longer term Ligthroom was likely to be the best bet.

Though version 1.0 came free, I had to pay to upgrade to v2 in 2008, v3, v4 in 2012 and v5 in 2013 as I upgraded cameras – and also wanted the new features. So when a reasonably priced subscription including both Photoshop and Lightroom became available it seemed a reasonable price to pay, especially as Photoshop now included rather better and much faster retouching tools for working on my scans from negatives, many of which are in poor condition.

And so far, despite the many warnings when the subscription scheme was introduced, Adobe have played fair. Every month I pay them £8.57 (inc vat) and the software is fine – with a recent update to Lightroom CC 2015.5 and the latest Photoshop.

But while I’m happy with these programmes (and an old version of InDesign CS5.5 which I got as a relatively reasonably priced upgrade from Pagemaker), the actual Creative Cloud application is something of a pain, as it seldom works for more than a day or two, giving a message on starting up the computer that it needs the latest version to be installed and refusing to load.

Looking on the web, I seem to be among many others having a similar problem. I’ve tried ignoring it, but that means I don’t get notified of any updates – and eventually the software refuses to work properly.

Adobe does provide some helpful advice on resolving these issues, and if you have a similar problem you might try their suggestion that seems to work for me, deleting the opm.db file and running Creative Cloud again. The file may be hard to find, as the folder containing it is often hidden and you then need to unhide it first. But here’s where it should be:

Windows: C:\Users\<user folder>\AppData\Local\Adobe\OOBE
Mac OS: /Users/<user folder>/Library/Application Support/Adobe/OOBE

If that doesn’t work, you can always log in to Adobe and download and reinstall Creative Cloud. But deleting the file has been a quick and easy fix for me – though of course I disclaim any responsibility for what it might do on your system – it’s Adobe’s suggestion and not mine.

[If you are having problems with Lightroom itself, the obvious place to go for help is of course The Lightroom Queen.]

Given the problems that many of us have, surely Adobe could and should do something to make Creative Cloud more resilient and less liable to sulk in this way? It’s really the only little thing that stops me wholeheartedly recommending their photography plan to all photographers.

3 Responses to “Creative Cloud Woes”

  1. ChrisL says:

    It is a shame that the camera makers have all but abandoned their own software, after all they have full access to all the nuances of what the chip and associated files are doing. Too often Adobe and others seem to need to reverse engineer to add new cameras. Why can’t the mainstream makers be like Phase One? I have a digital back from 2007 of theirs that is fully supported, and with vastly superior results than the 2007 version software could produce, each new version of their Capture One is free to users of their backs ( yes I know new they cost more than a small fortune but the older backs are very reasonable for breathing digital life into the Hssselblad “legacy” series) Users of other brands pay a not inconsiderable price for their software, I call that great customer support, that Nikon and Canon both seem to be happy to opt out is not what we should expect from them but seem resigned to accept.
    I stopped buying at CS3, unhacked, deciding life was too short to master it, little I read now encourages me to start learning it again.

  2. The problem with the Nikon etc software is really workflow. I’ve been given free copies of their software with several cameras – and similarly with Fuji. Though Nikon doesn’t always give it away.

    I don’t think the results from it or other manufacturer supplied software are significantly better, the only case where that was so for a time was with Fuji files, but eventually Fuji gave Adobe what they needed to get Lightroom up to scratch.

    I worked with Capture One for a while long ago, and was never too happy with the results, and it was expensive to keep up with the upgrades. Perhaps it is too optimised for their own products?

    Long ago I used to teach a 2 hour course on everything a photographer needs to know in Photoshop. It didn’t quite cover everything, but certainly enough to get by. 95% of it is really for people who want to mess up photographs rather than working togs. I still think it’s the most intuitive software for working with photos, and there are a couple of very useful plugins I often need. But mainly I use it for working with my scans which often need considerable retouching, and Adobe have significantly improved on that front, cutting down the time it takes me to do this to about half.

    One of my friends who does a lot of that sort of thing tells me that it is now the best software available for merging panoramic images, though I’ve not tried enough myself to comment.

  3. ChrisL says:

    Yes I bemoaned the camera makers but we do have a choice, perhaps too much choice to really learn how to use one tool. Comments direct from Capture One developers are that support will not be possible until they have an actual camera to work with. That can’t be good for them or Nikon they have to hope the camera is representative, as you say they can optimise for their cameras as can the makers who just need to improve the tools available but if it’s free you get as always what you pay for.

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