Thursday, December 18, 2014

FREE Adobe CS (Creative Suite): Mac & Windows!

This article started out a just a small part of my next article. I wanted to share some free programs that were useful for video amateurs and professionals, but I realized that getting Adobe Creative Suite (CS) for free would be so breathtaking it would take away from the other programs on the list. Instead, I will just be discussing Adobe CS and putting the other free video-related software in its own article.

WARNING: This is not actually freeware, Adobe has made it abundantly clear that this is only for CS2 users who legitimately owned the product(s). If you download and use anything, it is at your own risk...

Adobe Creative Suite
This is the motherload, what you clicked for... Adobe Creative Suite, completely FREE!

More than likely if you found this article you could care less about anything else I have to say on the subject, but I do what to give a bit of background. What you might be thinking is am I some how trying to scam people, or trick people with rebates and other discounts. No, this is not a trick. This is real.

The one minor thing I neglected to mention is that this is for Adobe Creative Suite 2, so I am sorry if you came looking for any newer versions. On the plus side, this suite is just as capable as the newer ones and is from Adobe. Adobe has discontinued support and the server for Adobe CS2 products, given its age. They try to stipulate that they do not run on "many" newer operating systems, but that simply isn't true.

You will need to have an Adobe ID if you do not already have one. The link near the bottom will take you to a login page, once successful, you will be able to download Adobe CS2. There are several languages available, but only English, French, German and Japanese have everything available. The entire suite can be downloaded, or just the programs you need. There were two versions of CS2, standard and premium, and the site will allow you to download all the premium additions as well. Each program comes with a legitimate serial number. Each serial number for Mac or Windows is the same on any other language.

One last piece of information, not every product is available, such as Version Cue. Not a huge loss considering it was just a way to collaborate with designers over the Adobe network. ImageReady might be included with Photoshop.

The Bad
Adobe CS2 is a much older suite, and its successors have done a nice job on improvements, that being said I'll give a few drawbacks:

There are certain tools or items that are not present in this version as compared to newer versions. This should hardly deter anyone from passing up this free offer though. Many techniques can be performed with a bit of extra effort if using CS2. I'm thinking specifically about Photoshop, where there are so many tutorials on how to do things for older and newer versions. Another example is if you edit video there will obviously be less codecs and containers available to choose from. There may be aftermarket versions of codecs and containers you can install, but worst comes to worst, you can always export an uncompressed AVI and then use free converter software to change the video to a codec and container that you need.

There are missing programs you can only get from later upgrades like Speedgrade, Encore, or Flash. Now Flash I wouldn't see as a big deal as there are plenty of other tools to learn with, and arguably better at this point. Speedgrade is just a color grading program, and I found DaVinci Resolve Lite just as powerful and more to my liking. And something like Encore, while quite useful, can be replaced with other (free) alternatives. In addition, it only has DVD support, and with Blu-ray here to stay, it will eventually be phased out. However, programs like Fireworks I love because I could easily and quickly optimize web images. And if you're an Edge user, it's too bad. There is also no Prelude, but even CC doesn't have that.

One other mention is that while it works on newer systems, there are noted issues. Adobe CS2 is all 32-bit programs, and some people have complained about Photoshop not working on Windows 7 64-bit. However, solutions like these should fix and allow Photoshop to work smoothly. There could be other problems, but I think this is the most evident.

The Good
Now I'll cram in a few good things about this, beyond being free:

Audition is available! Many people hated the switch to Soundbooth for Adobe Creative Suites, so many still used older Audition versions because of its features. Soundbooth was meant for a crowd where audio was not their forte, but the uproar it caused in the community caused it to finally go by the wayside in 2011. Regardless, Audition is still a great program, and I have even read that some people continue to use this version because of how good it is.

It has GoLive and Acrobat 3D, which are not on any newer versions. GoLive replaced PageMill, which was the primary HTML editor, and was later discontinued in favor of Dreamweaver. I actually started with PageMill, so I could probably find some use for GoLive. Acrobat 3D can read most CAD information so you can import it into Acrobat 3D. This could definitely be useful for people building projects with CAD programs. Newer Acrobat versions have the functionality built-in, but that is of course at a cost (not like the free Adobe Reader).

The formats are still readable by newer versions. Of course there are some newer formats, but newer versions are backwards compatible. So, even if you have to send something off in an "old" format, it will still be readable on newer versions. The opposite is normally untrue...

Not a huge point for CS2, but there are older plugins or extensions that no longer work on newer versions that will here. There a lot of them for Dreamweaver, Premiere Pro, and even Photoshop. Some newer items should still work in CS2, such as brushes or font families.

The Download
Download Adobe CS 2 here.

Why Adobe? Why?
Why did Adobe really make this available? The official response I have read is that they wanted CS2 users to be able to still keep their legitimate product when working on the Internet. The serial would otherwise be checked and considered invalid. This was their way of making sure that CS2 users would not run into trouble since the server was going to be taken down.

Unofficially, it seems like it could be more. 7 years is a long time for the life of a product, especially one that gets updates almost yearly. My only thought is that Adobe wants the upper-hand over other products of similar use like Final Cut Studio or Vegas Movie Studio. The software is old, but still useful. And as their focus is to remain with CC, what's the harm in letting it go for free? If anything, it could drive more people to Adobe's suite. People just getting in the game who end up using and liking CS2 may decide to upgrade to CC. Not a bad strategy, and makes Adobe look better in either case.

Just because a product has had its run doesn't mean it is worthless. I would think that CS2 would be great for users who are fresh out of college, where they had CS6 or CC available to them, but can't afford to buy them now. In general, it is good for anyone who wants to make legitimate work and does plan to upgrade in the future.

Of course, this is only meant for licensed users, so again be forewarned there could be consequences whether for business or personal use.

No comments:

Post a Comment