Some observations on Adobe Connect vs Skype Premium

As you may have realised if you’ve been reading these pages recently, I’m currently trialling out technologies for my language-training business.  I alighted on one system which required very little software to be installed (just an “add-in” for your browser) called Adobe Connect.  I’ve been trying it alongside the ubiquitous Skype Premium for about three weeks now.  Here are some initial conclusions.

Adobe Connect is fine at screensharing, whiteboard and video.  Its audio performance, even after running the wizard, doesn’t seem as robust as Skype’s though.  That is to say, voice performance was better when we used Skype alongside Adobe for the sound, as when we used Adobe on its own.  This is a little strange.  I could understand a separate telephone network working better, but not a separate VoIP software using exactly the same bandwidth.

And though Skype has its detractors, its interface and optimisation procedures continue to be more user-friendly than the enterprise-environment of Adobe’s product.

I’d be interested in any thoughts any of you might have on the subject – especially technical explanations for the above circumstances.  And if you have any experience of other systems or combinations of systems out there, I’d also be most interested in learning from you.  In my case, I’m beginning to come to the conclusion that if Adobe Connect could be made to work on its own, I’d go for it – even though it’s about seven times more expensive than Skype Premium.  But if I can become comfortable with Skype’s screenshare facilities and lack of back-office features, I may skip the undoubted bells and whistles – easy-to-manage record of sessions, invitation procedures, attendee management etc. – that Adobe Connect clearly offers.

Especially if I need to use a separate facility for reliable audio.

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4 comments

  1. Dave

    There is a setting in Adobe Connect Preferences to change the audio quality. I always set Acoustic Echo Cancellation to Full Duplex and Audio Quality to Best.

    • Mil

      OK. I’ll try that. Presumably, each attendee has to do the same with their own settings. If so, it adds an extra step to getting everyone onboard, though clearly for people used to video-conferencing in enterprise products it won’t come as a surprise or even a problem.

      Many thanks for the information, anyhow. Much appreciated.

  2. Matthew Kohler

    For what it’s worth (not much) I’m having the same issue. Want to use Adobe Connect but the audio is terrible. I’ve been trying all the different settings available in the preferences and it’s still nowhere close to skype.

    I need a fancy whiteboard though and persistent rooms etc so I’ll probably use both Adobe and Skype. Amazing that a big company like Adobe can’t get the audio right.

    • Mil

      Thanks for the comment Matthew. Yes. Eventually, I decided to do without the advantages of Connect altogether. Simply couldn’t rely on it from what for me was an important element, especially as I give language classes. I’m now very adept at using the share facility of Skype, and always have Hangouts as a back-up in case Skype plays up. But if Adobe had got its act together when I was investigating the matter, I would’ve gone with Connect even though its interface is less immediately user-friendly.

      A pity, as you suggest. Definitely looks like Adobe is underestimating the potential of what is surely a growing market in video-conferencing and online training. Perhaps it prefers to sell complex products to big biz accounts rather than mine the broader number of low value individuals?

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