Adobe Connect: Not quite “Pain Free”…

Tonight we had the chance to try out Adobe Connect for class.  I have been a part of AC in the past, mostly for business calls with clients abroad.  In my prior experience, AC worked in an “all or nothing” way; either my clients could get in and everything worked well – or the system just never was able to deploy for them/me.  Each time trouble shooting was a random act of discovery, and the truth was – I was never really able to figure out what caused the complete failures.

In an effort to “beat” that situation for tonight’s class, I carefully entered the meeting room yesterday, tried out my head set and local DSL line and everything was PERFECTO!  I was anxious with anticipation and looking forward to stress free presentation; it was not to be.

In spite of Adobe’s website which claims: ” Ease of Use:  Adobe Connect web conferencing is a flexible solution that is easy to set up. Deploying Adobe Connect is quick and pain-free with no downloads necessary! Adobe Connect runs via Adobe Flash Player which is already installed in 98% of Internet-enabled desktops.  Attendees can easily join web conferences at the click of a single URL, with no download required! The only requirement is a web browser making the setup and use of Adobe Connect extremely simple for users from all types of backgrounds.”, the experience was NOT pain free.  The night was wrought with miscellaneous lock ups, sound outages, terrible echos, problems with video and personally (though maybe my PC’s issue again) mic issues.

I have to say, when compared to Google+, Adobe Connect was impersonal, it was much nicer to see everyone’s face in G+, and frankly – I think G+ had less operating issues.  That said, Adobe Connect – DID ALLOW for us to use whatever format slide deck we wanted to use, and there was no “weird auto-reformatting”  of the decks fonts/backgrounds like what happens in G+.

We aren’t the only ones having issues with Adobe Connect and it made for a bit of a stressful night waiting to present.

As I sit here typing this blog, my neck has a cramp from holding my cell phone against my shoulder since the mic wouldn’t work throughout the 3 hour conference call.  Other than that – it was another lesson learned by me for why F2F makes for a better overall learning experience, well… except for the pajama pants.