Adobe Made Me Sad

Buyer Beware: Adobe Creative Cloud

Update 8-16-2013: Someone at Adobe ended up reading my blog post. She sent me an email this morning informing me they’ve cancelled my account and waived the cancellation fee. They even did a nice thing and refunded me back to when I first opened my issue. She also said that she would pass along my suggestions about these automatic renewals. I guess in the end I’m satisfied with the result for myself, and hope a policy change comes about for everyone facing a similar situation in the future.

I don’t usually post rants, but today I’m feeling particularly burned by a company I rely upon. I use Adobe products quite a bit, and it feels like their customer service and practices have turned predatory. This is never a good sign for a company and I’m hoping they’ll change their ways. Here’s my story.

Let me first start with a bit of an analogy (probably only applicable to people familiar with buying a cellular phone in the United States). Pretend you went down to your cellphone provider and got the hottest new cellphone. These usually come at a nice low, subsidized price and a 2-year contract commitment. Now pretend those 2-years went by and you now want to cancel your service or go get a new phone. The carrier replies “Sorry, we’ve decided to lock you into another 2-year contract without telling you. And no, you can’t get a new phone or cancel your service unless you pay a huge cancellation fee.” This is how Adobe handled my Creative Cloud membership.

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XAMLRegion2013_3

XAML Regions & Visual Studio 2013

I have recently posted an update to my XAML Regions plugin that adds compatibility for Visual Studio 2013. Check it out on the Visual Studio Code Gallery.

This version still maintains support for Visual Studio 2010 & 2012, along with .NET 4.0.

VS2013

This will probably be the last release that supports Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4.0. When Visual Studio v13.X comes out (Visual Studio 2014 or whatever they will call it), I will probably drop support for Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4.0. Compatibility with 2010 and 4.0 are a little burdensome to maintain because Microsoft’s newest extension framework doesn’t support them as clearly as newer versions. If you’re still using 2010 and think this is a big mistake, I’d love to hear from you.

preview03

Update ALL the projects!

I’ve been busy! In the last couple of weeks, I’ve updated many of my projects with new versions of things. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s been happening.

BPMinus 0.1.7 is live with the auto updater!

BPMinus 0.1.7 is live with the auto updater!

BPMinus

BPMinus has been getting steadily better since I released the first beta a little while ago. I believe I’ve had three intermediate releases that fix a whole bunch of bugs and crashes. The current version is 0.1.7 and it includes all sorts of things that make setting Loop Start/Stop points feel much more natural. Right now, the big beast I’m battling is in the realm of optimizations. I’m trying to address a couple of performance issues, but they’re a bit challenging. Look for more on that front soon.

WPFSVL on CodePlex has been updated.

WPFSVL on CodePlex has been updated.

WPF Sound Visualization Library

Along with BPMinus changes, I’ve made some fixes and improvements in the WPFSVL. These were mostly made to address issues in BPMinus. There were a lot of changes to the TimeEditor in particular. The validation code for time inputs was a little bit wonky, but hopefully that has been improved. There was also a problem with the binding in the TimeEditor theme templates that caused some issues during theme changes. That should be fixed now!

XAML Regions Now in Visual Studio 11

XAML Regions Now in Visual Studio 11

XAML Regions

XAML Regions has been updated – for the first time in about a year! There’s not a whole lot new here, as the update was mainly to add Visual Studio 11 compatibility. However, I did add support for XAML Regions to work in XML files – including your app.config file! I suppose I could call it XML Regions now. I know that will benefit a few of you.

That’s it for now! The upcoming weeks will bring more BPMinus updates. Enjoy!

Introducing BPMinus

BPMinus

BPMinus

Today, I am very happy to release BPMinus to the public. BPMinus was a tool I thought of creating a number of years back, being very dissatisfied with the the current time-stretching tools on the market. A while passed, and I was still sorely disappointed with the tool offerings out there. I decided to get to work. Very quickly I realized that this was a bigger project than meets the eye. There was a lot to understand about audio processing and even more to understand about how to create a nice user experience in such an application. BPMinus is still not a final product. I’m releasing it to the world as a beta so that I may obtain feedback, fix bugs, and implement new features with the helpful guidance of the community.

So, what does BPMinus do? BPMinus will slow your music down without changing the pitch. This is a fantastic way to practice, transcribe, and understand fast-paced and hard-to-learn songs. That’s not all it does, but it’s what I (and most people) will use it for. It also does pitch correction, analyzes BPM, and more.

The journey has been an interesting one. I started out creating the different controls I thought I would need in my application. That spawned into a fun open source project called the “WPF Sound Visualization Library.” I’m happy that a number of people out there are getting some great use out of my controls.

At some point after I had plastered my sparkly new controls on a Window, I had to start thinking about how BPMinus would become an actual usable program. This is where I must give a heartfelt and sincere thanks to my drum instructor, Dave, who was instrumental in helping me figure out what sort of features would be useful in a music classroom setting. I still have a number of his ideas in a big list to implement, but he has helped me turn BPMinus into something I hope music teachers and students will come to really appreciate.

Download BPMinus Now!