Adobe Flash? Now I feel sick…

Wow… I really don’t know what to think of today’s announcement that Adobe has purchased Macromedia. While I rely heavily on products from both companies (Adobe Photoshop and Macromedia Flash), I’ve always thought of Macromedia as the better “buyer.”

In fact, I’ve always secretly admired Macromedia’s rise to power in an otherwise Adobe-dominated realm. They carved a great niche — hell, they CREATED the multimedia Web experience today — that Adobe just wasn’t able to compete in. Until now, I guess.

And while Adobe has always claimed (with each new release) that all their products are streamlined to work together, it’s always felt rather kludgy compared to Macromedia’s tight application integration. Switching from Flash to Fireworks, for example, has always been easier than switching from LiveMotion (remember Adobe LiveMotion?) to ImageReady. (Not that I want the Flash interface changed to resemble Photoshop’s!)

In the past, Macromedia has managed to produce an amazing arsenal of tools by purchasing other companies and integrating their products into the existing Macromedia lineup: Aldus Freehand (abandoned by Adobe when Adobe bought Aldus years ago), Flash (nee FutureSplash) , RoboHelp, etc. Flash has gotten better with each release, and the company has never been accused of “bloatware.”

Compare the Macromedia Flash Player (still small, but faster and more powerful now than it’s ever been) with Acrobat Reader (amazingly large, annoyingly “nagware,” and painfully slow on anything but the latest machinery), and I kinda wanna cry.

In my opinion, Adobe has a history of buying some of my favorite software companies and simply letting them stagnate: They got Pagemaker from Aldus and Frame from Frame, and yet now they push InDesign (a layout program for which I have still not seen a good excuse). I used to love the easy-to-use sound editor Cool Edit Pro, but has anyone really seen it since Adobe purchased it and renamed it Audition?

And what happened to Streamline? It hasn’t been updated since version 4.0!

Don’t get me wrong: I like Adobe, and to be honest, Photoshop and Macromedia Flash are the only two products I tend to keep current. But man, I’m going to miss my choices…

R.I.P., Macromedia. You were one helluva company!

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6 thoughts on “Adobe Flash? Now I feel sick…

  1. Josh says:

    I agree that I’m not to happy about the merge, but you seem to be a bit out of the Adobe loop here. No good excuse for InDesign? That program is phenomenal and is taking the design world by storm. What happend to Streamline? Then integrated into Illustrator CS2 with new features.

    Editor’s Note:True, I am somewhat out of the Adobe loop, and to be honest, it’s by choice. I like Macromedia’s support and spirit of innovation, so I jumped ship to their products whenever possible (with the exception of Photoshop, which is just flat-out good). To be fair, I like InDesign (although it feels bloated compared to Quark or PageMaker), but why kill Frame and PageMaker for it? As for Streamline, this is what scares me about Adobe: Rather than offer a good standalone program like ImageReady or Streamline, they “include” it with another much more expensive package (sometimes clumsily, as ImageReady). –VeryVito

  2. I agree that InDesign is not worth anything. Adobe killed Frame for the Mac, and told people to start using ID. Unfortunately, ID has none of the required features.

    Adobe likes to buy, and then kill products, as they all get lost in the administrative BS. I hope this isn’t the case with Director. Adobe has never had a product like that. I really hope they don’t lose track of it.

  3. PooponDeck says:

    I think there’s a good chance that Adobe will leave MM stuff alone. I see this as a fight to keep MS or apple from buying out one of these companies, or at least compete with them in the development workspace. I’m really surprised at how sudden this seems. These kind of stock deals are usually worked out over a period of months, with offers, counter offers, etc. The business press follows these kind of acquisitions pretty closely…so not to hear a word of it from any source…that seems surprising.

  4. “Aldus Freehand (abandoned by Adobe when Adobe bought Aldus years ago)”: Not so. The FTC required Adobe to release FreeHand. Rights reverted to Altsys, which then wisely made even more money by selling the product to Macromedia the following year. The founder of Altsys put that money into pioneering nanotech assembly research.

  5. Huttah says:

    I too, am not happy of this merge. but that also does not mean there’s not a way around stuff. I’m sure in the near future, converters for .swf file to whatever extension Adobe chooses will soon be around. This way, you can very easily make stuff with Macromedia Flash MX and still convert your creation over to the Adobe extension. Like Cool Edit Pro: Just because Adobe bought it dosen’t mean you can’t still use Cool Edit Pro. I have Cool Edit Pro 2.1, but i aint seein’ no pop-ups tellin me i gotta get a freakin update and wind up getting audition. thats the one small thing Adobe always leaves out. Thanks Adobe! You really suck…

  6. blah says:

    are you guys serious? I’m an EXTENSIVE user of both Adobe Photoshop and Macro Flash, and I can’t BELIEVE the amount of bugs that are in Flash. And even though they keep releasing new versions, the KEY issues and problems are NEVER fixed. And then look at Photoshop and look at how PERFECT it is. No bugs, easy to use, a million ways to do anything perfectly. Personally, I’m so very excited about the merge and I really hope Adobe fixes Flash for good.

    Editor’s note: Photoshop is a nice product (although I’d beg to differ about its being bug-free), but think about their NON-flagship products: Acrobat Reader, Atmosphere, GoLive.

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