Adobe’s broken promise

If you read some of Adobe’s advertising of Creative Suite 4 or 5, there’s a good chance you came across something called Dynamic Link. The idea is very cool: for example, they say you can take a timeline from Premiere Pro and place it in an After Effects composition as though it’s a movie clip, and edit it. So there’s no need to render in Premiere Pro and then render a second time in After Effects. Dynamic Link will also let you go in the other direction: take an After Effects comp and place it in a Premiere Pro timeline. Or use Sound Booth to edit audio tracks of Premiere Pro or After Effects without having to render out and re-placing.

But Adobe seems to have omitted a big, fat asterisk that says “Dynamic Link may not work.” The secret is that it works only if you bought the applications as a suite. And even if you bought Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash and other Adobe applications in a suite, if you added Premiere Pro, After Effects or Sound Booth later, you can forget about Dynamic Link.

What’s especially irritating is that Adobe charges more for these applications separately. So you end up paying more to get less. My hope that they would fix this in CS5 went unrealized, and some product listings of CS5 now list Dynamic Link, as though it’s a product. Does that mean this is a feature, not a bug?

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