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Why did you upgrade your software?

Jack Wolcott's picture
Last seen: 10 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 01/02/2008 - 11:51pm
Plus Member

Here's a question to stimulate discussion: why did you feel it necessary to upgrade your software when a new release was announced?

I have a 1996 van; it runs well and serves all my needs. There have been 16 upgrades to this vehicle. Each version has had minor tweaks and new "features," but basically they have all done the same thing: turned on when the key was twisted, moved forward when the gas peddle was depressed and moved me and my gear from one location to another. Except for cosmetics, I've no NEED to replace the 1996 version until it stops working (or until gas prices make it infeasible to continue driving it.)

Software, it seems to me, is like my old van. So long as it proves to be the essential tool for me to practice my art and craft I see no need to upgrade. Yet others seem not to share this opinion, upgrading software every time a new feature is announced and, in many cases, suffering frustration, lost time and money because the newest version is buggy and crashes.

So help me out here: what prompted you to abandon a version of software that worked well for you in favor of the version de jour that's untried and as yet unproven?

Jack


doublehamm's picture
Last seen: 1 week 11 hours ago
Joined: 11/29/2009 - 5:52pm

For one software is much cheaper than a vehicle. I have upgraded the past couple version s of Vegas Pro simply because I liked what the new features had to offer and I used them. Does that mean I will upgrade EVERY "year"? Not likely. To me though all the speed increases in the major NLE's out there recently, make it worth it to upgrade. Time is money. What used to take all day in Pro 9 (AVCHD) now renders faster than real time with Pro 11. That means I can get on with other projects quicker, and not wait for a bogged down PC, or fight it and edit in another instance while the first (or 2nd or 3rd or 4th instances, yes I have been that crazy) are rendering.


Woody Sanford's picture
Last seen: 1 month 1 day ago
Joined: 10/19/2010 - 7:33am

I bought a Mazda B3000 new in 98'. Last summer I found a 2010 Toyota on a showroom floor with 250 miles on it and a smoking deal out the door cheaper than a used 2006 with 100,000 miles on it. But if I didn't have two little kids now I probably would still be driving the Mazda. The Toyota is a four door with a full rear seat. So there was something there I really did need.

My last software upgrade of my editing software was from Adobe CS3 to CS5. Kind of the same thing though. With the evolution of HD and DV Production it created a need to get faster as working with HD was a resource hog. The move to 64 bit is what I needed just like room for car seats in a truck. I now render HD projects faster than I used to render SD and time is money.

However, I did skip CS4 because I was still mostly working in SD and it was the first jump to 64bit for Adobe. I wanted to let it play out a bit before moving in that direction. I haven't upgraded to 5.5 just because I haven't seen anything to warrant it. I probably won't upgrade to CS6 unless there is something that really saves me time. I had heard that the "Speed grade" color grader isn't all that, so without something that will enhance my workflow in a manner that would pay for itself and pay me to do so, I'll hold out for CS7.

I'm as much a sucker for the neat new "Toy's" that come with upgrades as anybody but I really gotta justify those things to myself anymore. I really don't have time for those things anymore. Some might add something to an edit, something that only me and not the client will notice in the finished product or it could be a new way of doing something I'm already doing that isn't really any faster.

I did recently move from 3DS Max to Cinema 4D, rather than upgrade 3DS Max. I had tried it on a friends computer and found it a much faster work flow for me. My 3D needs are more graphic based (some effects) but pretty simple. I found the workflow and rendering of C4D to speed me up quite a bit.


chuckzootz's picture
Last seen: 1 year 3 weeks ago
Joined: 02/07/2012 - 7:16pm

I upgraded my Sony software because the new version took advantage of the GPU in my nvidia galaxy card, and having enough experience with Sony to know that eventually the new version will become stable. I must admit that the increased speed that Vegas 11 ( when it is working correctly) renders projects is worth while


Cville's picture
Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
Joined: 03/28/2009 - 7:58pm

I agree with Doublehamm that software is a lot cheaper. I think I spent $150 on my last vegas upgrade. Even if I do that once a year that cost runs me just $12.50 a month to stay current.

I used to work at a company where we used high end CAD software. They did not up grade the software for several years. When they did upgrade they had to spend additional thousands on training as well as updating of archived information.

So I'm just saying that, for me anyway, I find it easier to stay current with software and learn the new features is small chunks rather than large leaps.

 

 

We don’t make movies to make money, we make money to make more movies.- Walt Disney 

www.ynotvideo.us


Charles Schultz's picture
Last seen: 1 year 7 months ago
Joined: 10/25/2010 - 10:38pm

I upgraded from Adobe CS4 to CS5.5 when I switched from a PC to a Mac machine, a decision I am very happy with on both accounts.


Ed Rogers's picture
Last seen: 29 min 23 sec ago
Joined: 02/02/2008 - 2:35am
Plus Member

 Obviously, the transition from SD to HD made upgrading almost mandatory.  Other than that, I think it's a matter of preference.  I too have Premiere Pro CS5.  I dont plan on upgrading, just for more bells and whistles...


Rick Crampton's picture
Last seen: 5 months 1 week ago
Joined: 08/20/2009 - 1:08pm

 I played around with a borrowed copy of CS 4 on my DAW whichruns on XP-PRO, but when I decided to build a new computer for video, XP-PRO was squirrely, and I found out I hadda go with WIN7 PRO, 64 bit in order to accomodate the CS 5.5 I bought. I sincerely doubt I'll be making any " upgrades " or changes in my remaining time on this planet. I've been using the same DAW software for about 10 or 12 years . . . .

Rick Crampton


birdcat's picture
Last seen: 2 years 2 months ago
Joined: 10/21/2005 - 10:09am

I was very happy with my copy of Vegas Pro 8 (very stable).

What got me to jump to version 11 was:

1) NewBlueFX Pro Titler

2) 64 bit version for new PC

Bruce Paul 7Squared Productions http://www.7squared.com


Daniel Hart's picture
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: 04/14/2009 - 5:34pm

I was using Final Cut Express 2 when Final Cut Pro X came out. Now, to a 15 year old kid with no job, $300 is a LOT of money. Because of this, I wasn't going to purchase FCPX, (or at least wait a while until I got some more money.) However, my parents convinced me to do it cause they knew it would help me.

I am SO glad I decided to upgrade! Now, I use FCPX for SO MANY things that I never would have been able to use with Final Cut Express. And all the things I could do, I can do incredibly faster and easier.

Software companies come out with new versions because they're better! They fix things, make improvement, and keep up with the ever changing standards of our industry. If I hadn't upgraded my camera a few years back, I'd still be shooting in standard definition on MiniDV tapes. (And frankly, no one would take me seriously.)

So yeah, I always upgrade because otherwise I get left behind and miss out on some cool stuff.

-Daniel

"What the joke needs, the joke gets."


210pe's picture
Last seen: 4 years 11 months ago
Joined: 12/09/2009 - 2:01pm

I upgrade for most of the same reasons Cville as I would rather learn and keep up in small pieces and I tend to do the same with my engineering software too.

Ah..I forgot how it was to be young and naive, Daniel, software companies do not come out with new versions because they want you to have a better product. They come out with new versions to make more money. Every business is in business to make money, software companies do it by distributing software, car companies by building cars, package delivery companies by delivery packages, but their business is making money - never forget that.

Travis


Jack Wolcott's picture
Last seen: 10 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 01/02/2008 - 11:51pm
Plus Member

Some really great reasons for upgrading. Now I'll tell you why I haven't upgraded, and why I think it might be wise to think twice before upgrading.

There's an old axiom among technology types that "the cutting edge is the bleeding edge." It certainly seems to hold true with NLE programs. Seldom does a new version of software appear that isn't full of bugs, issues that cause unexpected results and crashes. Forums usually sprout a litany of woes and cries for help -- often for weeks after the new version appears.

So unless there's a feature in the new version that I absolutely can't work without having, I usually stay at least one full version back of the cutting edge. Software companies almost always have an upgrade path, so there's no financial penalty for not upgrading immediately.

More importantly, though, my work isn't interrupted by repeated crashes and buggy performance. I really don't have time to be a beta tester for my NLE program: I'll wait until the new version is cleaned up -- often several months -- then upgrade to it if its new features warrant it.

Jack


Gregory Watts's picture
Last seen: 1 year 7 months ago
Joined: 10/25/2010 - 2:31am

@Jack and all. Excellent reasoning. The highlights from things mentioned.
Codec Changes
Software>Hardware improvements
Ease of Use
New Toys
(If upgrading OS almost have to upgrade NLE-This is the case with older versions of VS)
Hardware improvements.

But the one I liked the most, the learning curve jump.
Jack, your 96 year van may be related to my 2000 year car. I keep it because its paid off, I can do the repairs myself, its paid off, still looks new it has been well loved, its paid off. But I do dread the day it dies. It has nearly 200,000 miles on it, but it is still the best car I have owned. Recently I drove a 2012 model, it has the computer controlled gas and breaking, no more levers and manual control. These "smartcars" overrode some of my decisions, I did not like that. They also had so many features it was distracting (my car has manual window cranks, and manual seats, manual everything-I did put a GPS and MP3 player in it) So the learning curve will be bad for me. If I was still using VSX1 then made a 5 year jump I would most likely given up, or worse hit my LCD in the center. But in some respects taking small baby increases makes learning the new stuff easier. Now when Corel made a huge step from 12>14 I held on to 13 for two years. But I did upgrade when the bugs were out. I think it was 13 that just did not work and they could not fix it.

So there is sound reasoning to both camps.

 "A Photo Captures but a Moment in Time: Video Captures a Lifetime in a Moment"


Ian Kirkpatrick's picture
Last seen: 3 months 1 week ago
Joined: 07/06/2008 - 1:38am

I think there has been a good measure of tongue in cheek in this thread so I thought I would put my two bobs worth in. I promise not to talk about cars as I keep mine (like my slippers) for about 10 years at a time. Software is different. I have always tried to keep reasonably on the (b)leading edge of technology and that has required a few upgrades along the way.

I started as a Super8 and 16mm film maker, in the days our magazine was called Movimaker. Quality was good and editing was largely made in the head before shooting, or in the camera. A skill that most "videomakers" seem to have lost.

Then along came video cameras. I bought one just after SVHS compact had been released and while my "in the camera"skills still existed, computer systems were developed to allow reasonablyprimitiveanalogue editing. The generation loss was pretty bad, but it was editing, even with transitions.

Some years later I purchased a Sony DV camera, about the first model they ever made. Cost about $5,000 and it still works well and produces good quality DV, even though most of the control button labels wore off years ago. A quantum leap in quality and a valid reason to upgrade computer and software. I purchased a capture card (DV in and DV export only) and bundled with is was Adobe Premier version 1 or 2. Thought it was great and I would never need to upgrade again!

Exporting edited video back to the camera to put it back on tape to play on the TV or export via the analogue camera outputs to VHS became tiresome so I purchased a DVD burner (about $500) and acopy of DVDit, the first version they released and some DVD-R disks at about $40 each. DVD movies were pretty few and far between with everything still released on VHS tape and I thought I was made as I could deliver my work in good quality, even if not many people had a DVD player to watch it. I would never need to upgrade again!
I did upgrade to Premier 6 and a video card with analogue in and out and to a faster computer, I think a real fast Celeron, but we won't count that.

Adobe came out with a low cost upgrade offer to Premier CS3 and upgrading from Premier 6 was allowed so I upgraded while I could as the cost of starting again from scratch was several time greater. CS3 was great (had to upgrade the computer, but that's life) after all,I would never need to upgrade again!

A few years later I bought my first HD camera it was a HDV tape unit and the computer of the day and CS3 handled the video well. It was a bit slow and would crash occasionally but I had developed work habits that ensured minimal loss and I put a lot of work through that rig. I would never need to upgrade again!

Then came AVCHD and my Canon XA10 HD camera. CS3 couldn't edit it so I went to Premier Pro CS5.5 (at upgrade cost) and another computer upgrade to a 64 bit I7 Windows 7 machine. Wow that was a quantum upgrade. I will never need to upgrade again! (or at least for a couple of years).

Seriously, software upgrades are necessary when.

1. A change in technology dictates it.
2. When it is cost effective to do so rather than having to pay the full cost for a new package.
3. When significant gains in workflow can be made.
4. When you are feeling technology deprived.

Sure there are added features in later versions of most software packages but I haven't yet had the need to deliver my videos to an Apple or Android phone.


pseudosafari's picture
Last seen: 7 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 01/19/2009 - 2:09am

I started exporting to Android phones for a while but realized my viewers can just as easily view the videos off Youtube on their phones, with no noticeable quality loss. And they prefer it to downloading off my web sites. As a result, I don't use that export capability in my Adobe packages. I haven't burned a DVD in years, either. I hardly even used the Blu Ray I added a few years back. Funny how the upgrades come out with this capability and I upgraded so I would have it, but technology moves so fast now that I don't even use the features I upgraded to in the first place.

With Adobe, upgrading is a good idea if you're using older versions and want to use GPUacceleration or content aware fills in Photoshop, for example. There are some improvements worth upgrading to. However, I must admit, a big reason I upgrade is because over the long run it's cheaper to upgrade now rather than wait a few versions, because it costs more the older your current version is.