User:Woozle/2005/06/04/Cool Edit Pro vs. Adobe

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Adobe sucks.

I paid $250 for Cool Edit Pro a little over 2 years ago (March, 2003). Early in 2005, I switched computers, so everything needs to be reinstalled. So I can just find my installation disk and reinstall CEP, right? No, it was an internet purchase/download. I hunt around, and finally find the install image. This installs a limited trial version, but I figure if I was able to unlock it before, I could do it again, right? After all, I paid for it...

So after much hunting (backups of the original computer having been migrated several times), I do find the install image. It turns out that you can't just enter the unlock code; you have to run a special registration program. You run it, enter the name and serial number from your registration email, and it activates the program.

I hunt all over and can't find it. After scouring documentation, I find the name of the file. I search the internet, and find several dead links to it... and one live one! I download it! Victorious!

And then I go to look up my serial number, which I also find after much hunting. So I've spent maybe an hour or two already on this, just getting all the pieces together to prove to the software that I really do own it. I run the registration program, enter my name and serial number... (chugchugchug...)

Oops, sorry, this registration program has EXPIRED.

A little backstory: Sometime in 2004, Syntrillium (makers of CEP) were bought out by Adobe. Adobe did some minor tinkering with CEP, and changed the name to Adobe Audition. So I suppose I could just upgrade to Audition (for "only $69!") and get back on the support wagon.

But guess what -- Audition requires WinXP. I run Windows 98SE, and I don't want to upgrade to anything except Linux, or possibly ReactOS.

Ok, well, I guess I'm not upgrading to Audition. But hey, I paid for the program, right? The new owners should be able to activate it for me, one way or another, given that their replacement product won't run on my computer.

So, in desperation, knowing that I've got the situation clearly in mind (which is in this case sufficient to overcome good ol' Phone-phobia), I actually CALL Adobe. (Given that their chat customer support is only available weekdays, and no email addresses are listed, and I had to wade through a swamp with several helpful web designers perched on my shoulders suggesting that I really want to do this or that before I try contacting them directly.)

And after punching a few numbers in, I actually talk to an actual human being less than five minutes later. (Not bad, I suppose.) Said human being informs me that sorry, they have DISCONTINUED SUPPORT for CoolEdit Pro, and my best option is to find a non-expired registration program somewhere on the web.

Oh, and the support representative confirmed that indeed, Audition will not run on Windows 98. She suggested that I upgrade to XP, given that Microsoft will be discontinuing support for Win98 in "about a year" (which is something I thought I had already heard about 2 years ago, not long after I originally purchased CEP). Failing that, she recommended that I find a non-expired version of the installer "on the internet".

So now I have no way to read the session files for any of my dozens of multitrack audio projects, representing hundreds or thousands of hours of work, unless I want to spend the money to not only upgrade to Audition but also Windows XP, which is incompatible with a lot of the Windows software I need to run... so I'd have to buy another computer while I'm at it.

Did I mention that Adobe sucks?

I am now downloading a torrent of a hacked version of CoolEdit Pro (following the Adobe rep's advice, no less). I would like to point out that this is perfectly legal for me to do, since I did pay for it, but that by failing to support their acquired product Adobe is encouraging further, less-legal downloading on my part. Plus it's just kind of sad that I can get better support from hackers than from the company I actually paid to support me.

Rating: Do I really need to say it?

  • P.S. Oh, and PDF/Acrobat is evil, but in ways I'm more used to dealing with -- the usual "proprietary format" issues -- which open-source seems to be finding ways of getting around.
  • P.P.S. Update: The torrent finished downloading, and I was able to reinstall CEP with very little trouble. I had to uninstall the 2.1 I had installed, as it apparently was not happy with the registration app. The torrent came with the usual download of CEP 2.0, the reg app, and the 2.1 upgrade. To end up with 2.1, you install 2.0, run the reg app, and then run the upgrade. The torrent also came with a name/serial pair for anyone who didn't have one; I used mine instead. So basically all Adobe needed to do was either tell me to run the reg app against 2.0 instead of 2.1 -- or, less complicatedly, make this same package (2.0 + reg app + 2.1 upgrade) available for me to download. But they didn't, so I had to get it from the pirates. Nice going, Adobe.

--Woozle 15:48, 4 Jun 2005 (CDT)


I originally posted this as part of the Adobe article but (12 years) later decided this kind of thing belongs in userspace.