Adobe’s Not So Smooth Rollout


Update: If you’re having issues, sign into your Adobe ID account, then sign out. Quitting the installer doesn’t always work: you have to sign out of your Adobe ID account and back in.

I was off doing a video assignment yesterday and into the evening. This morning I awoke to an InBox filled with Lightroom 6 issues. I also noticed that I had 17 pending updates from Adobe. 

So let’s start with the updates. I ran the updater. Unlike some folk (see below), the updater downloaded and updated everything. So I thought. Until I looked closer. My machine has both the CS6 Suite and the Photoshop CC bundle installed on it, as well as a standalone version of Lightroom 5.7. In theory, I should now have an updated CS6 Suite, updated Photoshop CC, and a Lightroom CC. Uh, no, I don’t. The CS6 Suite updated, as did Photoshop CC, but Lightroom is still at version 5. Even more interesting is that Lightroom 5 isn’t listed as an installed app (it is), and Lightroom 5 is listed in “Find New Apps.” There is no sign of Lightroom CC or Lightroom 6 showing up in my installer as installed, to try, or to find. Ugh. 

Thus, from Adobe’s own updater, it seems that I had no way to get to the Lightroom CC version I should be entitled to. That’s okay, as I intend to buy the standalone version, but keep reading.

Which brings me to something I left out yesterday: updating the standalone version. The price for Lightroom 5 users is US$79. As you might expect, Adobe has once again made it difficult find the standalone version of a product—it’s also getting really difficult to find CS6 on their site—so you have to click, click, click. Here’s the 411:

  1. Open the site.
  2. Click on the MENU icon at top right.
  3. Click on the "All Products" button at the bottom of the page that appears, not the LR logo.
  4. Click on the Photoshop Lightroom 6 “Buy" word towards the bottom of the page.
  5. Before you click on Add to Cart, make sure that the “I want to buy” pop-up says “Upgrade” and you’ve selected which prior version of Lightroom you’re upgrading from. 

So what about the rest of you? What’s been your experience? Well, here’s a small sampling from my In Box this morning:

  • Purchased and downloaded LR6, now in a loop where the customer is asked to sign into their Adobe account to activate it. And I mean a loop. Sign in, try to activate, need to sign in, sign in, try to activate…
  • Had to sign out of their Adobe account and sign back in to get the update downloads to work. (Also note that if your computer doesn’t meet the new requirements, including 64-bit OS, Lightroom CC’s installer won’t show up, either.)
  • Crashes after installation of LR CC. Splash Screen shows briefly, then crash is common.
  • Perpetual versions can’t be installed with serial number after CC versions install.

This isn’t helped by Adobe’s phone lines saying “we do not support Lightroom standalone purchases over the phone.” 

So what’s this all mean? As usually, Adobe is having issues with their installer/updater system. I noted that my root level monitoring system caught the Adobe Installer trying to make changes to my Mac’s startup information this morning. I suspect this is part of the problem. When I quit out of the installer, effectively signing out, then restarted the machine, sure enough Lightroom CC shows up in “Find New Apps” (though the Installer still doesn’t see that I have Lightroom 5.7 installed). 

Adobe’s installer/activator/licensing widgets tend to be the root of most problems I hear about with the Adobe applications, not the applications themselves. Some of this is the complicated mess Adobe got themselves into with standalone versus cloud versions of the programs. That said, it doesn’t appear to me that LR6 was really ready for release into the wild. While for the first time an update to Lightroom kept my identity plate, it’s displaying it cut off in the wrong position ;~). That’s just one of the idiosyncrasies I’ve found so far. 

One thing I didn’t mention yesterday that’s a biggie: Photoshop’s Adobe Camera Raw also updated to version 9.0. What is different? The big change is that HDR and Panorama is now supported in ACR itself. That means non-destructive editing of these items, as well as the ability to change basic ACR items for all the base images simultaneously. And yes, you can make an HDR and panorama as a Smart Object.

New camera support in ACR 9.0 includes all the new Canon models (5Ds, 5Dr, 750/760d, M3), the Nikon D5500 and D7200, the Olympus E-M5II, as well as several other recent cameras.

Finally, an interesting side note to all of Adobe’s Cloud-only aspirations. More than one site reader pointed out to me that with the inclusion of HDR and pano support as well as the improved brush capabilities, the need to actually use Photoshop has dropped considerably for quite a few people. At US$150, the standalone Lightroom 6 pretty much does everything a photographer wants and represents basically 15 months of the Photoshop/Lightroom CC photography bundle cost (less if you’re upgrading). More and more folk are going to be tempted to drop Photoshop and just use Lightroom. That’s especially true on the Mac side where you can pick up a very accomplished pixel-level editor with layer capability on the cheap (e.g. Pixelmator). 

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