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Adobe’s Bizarre Digital Publishing Approach

Adobe Systems is clearly the leader in print publishing with InDesign and all of the supporting tools it ships. But their digital publishing approach is like saying to you, “Oh…if you want to send your print job to a printing company that uses a digital press than you have to spend A LOT more money.” 

One of our businesses publishes a six-times-per-year print newsletter and multiple ebooks (i.e., PDF-based) as trend publications for the home furnishings industry. After weeks of research I’ve determined that the best solution is Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite and it’s what drives many major publications who have made the switch to digital tablet publishing.

The good news? Adobe’s Digital Publishing “Single Edition” is $395 (or you can join the “Creative Cloud” and get ALL of Adobe’s apps as well) and you can create and ship “unlimited iPad apps” publications.

The really bizarre bad news? To publish multiple issues within one of those iPad publications — or to publish to Android or Kindle — one needs to step up to the “Professional Edition” which costs $495 per month!

While I appreciate that Adobe thinks that their position in publishing will enable them to escape disruption from others who will deliver tools to cross-platform publish, this is ridiculous. If I was going to just publish to the iPad I wouldn’t pay Adobe a nickel. I’d much rather use the far more robust and easier to use iBooks Author from Apple.

I suspect Adobe’s strategy is to to make the on-ramp to digital publishing simpler for their print publishing designer base. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, Adobe, but most of them have gone on to other gigs like house painting or selling insurance. It’s a stupid strategy to make the Single Edition affordable and the price delta to go “Pro” like moving up from a Honda Civic to a Ferrari.

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Adobe “Hearts” Apple? Like a heart attack maybe…

Like many of his fellow Adobe bloggers suddenly free to support Adobe’s new position on why Flash is so “open” and “good for consumers”, John Nack at Adobe had an interesting post which he started off like this:

Today Adobe ran a full-page ad in various newspapers articulating key company beliefs, and company founders John Warnock & Chuck Geschke–whose PostScript innovations were instrumental in the adoption of the Macintosh & desktop publishing–posted their thoughts on open markets & open competition:

Adobe’s business philosophy is based on a premise that, in an open market, the best products will win in the end — and the best way to compete is to create the best technology and innovate faster than your competitors.

John continues on in his post talking about why he loves Apple, how he wants to “…build the most amazing iPad imaging apps the world has ever seen” but “who will decide” if he can get them accepted in the Apple App store? He then goes on to pontificate about innovating, the good of competition, and that his reader should care about this debate, “…because these issues affect your choices as a customer & a creative person.

No they don’t. [Read more…]

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Adobe Flash Roasts My ‘Chestnuts’ w/50% CPU Use

All the brouhaha about no-Flash on the Apple iPad, how great Flash is (by the Adobe folks) and how HTML5 will be the savior of us all is not lost on any of us in the tech community. So having experienced the resource needs of the hungry runtime known as Flash, I decided to do a quick-n-dirty experiment to see just how much CPU is used by the Flash runtime to play a video on my 2.33Ghz, Intel Core2 Duo, 4GB RAM, Macbook Pro.

Kara Swisher of AllThingsD interviewed Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch and posted the video today (in Flash, naturally). I thought it would be ironic to test the CPU use of Flash as a layman — a man who frequently has his “chestnuts” roasted from the nearly open fire of heat on the bottom of my Macbook Pro generated by the CPU being driven really, really hard by Flash — by playing his video in Flash and measuring its CPU utilization vs. a video played in HTML5 (on the YouTube beta site for HTML5 videos).

Bottom line? Flash uses on average 50% of my Macbook Pro CPU to play a video and HTML5 uses “in the teens” (15% – 19%). If you want to see more, watch this VERY rough and quick-n-dirty video (sorry about the cheesy audio) I did to show you why I’m pleased that, either Adobe make Flash awesome, or Apple NOT put it in to the iPad:

UPDATE: If you’d like to read one of the best overviews I’ve seen yet of the controversy — and whether or not the iPad even needs a Flash runtime for video or anything else — see this AppleInsider post entitled, “Inside Apple’s iPad: Adobe Flash“. It’s a three page article so be sure to read all the pages.

UPDATE 2: An Adobe Flash developer on why the iPad can’t use Flash