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Vendor Reviews

In Adobe’s ongoing quest to add even more value to their Creative Cloud software subscription service, they are now including free online video tutorials on many of the products that make up the Creative Cloud suite. These tutorials are only free to Creative Cloud subscribers. They have been produced by some of the top software training companies, who will continue to add new content each month.

Under their agreement with Adobe, Adobe gets exclusive access to these new tutorials for 14 days, even before the training development companies can make them available to their own paid subscribers. What’s more, the tutorials will remain permanently available to Adobe Creative Cloud subscribers. You can access them from anywhere on any kind of Net-connected device by logging in to your Creative Cloud account and clicking on “Learn” in the black menu bar at the top of the screen.

7-day free trialAs good as this training is, and as good as free is, it’s not as good as our favorite source for online training, There are a couple of reasons for that. First, it’s just not as comprehensive. Adobe currently has a couple of hours of instruction on each of the products covered, 22 courses in all right now. I know that this is just the initial rollout of a new service and that they will be adding to it monthly, but it’s just not fully there yet. offers hours and hours of training on Adobe products — on not just the most current version, but many previous versions as well. As for the number of courses offered, it’s not even close. currently has over 2,000 courses available to their subscribers, and not just on Adobe products, but just about anything you can think of. That’s 2,000 complete courses, not just individual training segments. Viewing a course on is like attending an expensive workshop or seminar on the given product or procedure.

My other critique of Adobe’s free training is that in addition to not being comprehensive, it’s also not cohesive. Granted, I haven’t watched a lot of it, but in the time I spent in the InDesign training area, I saw videos from three different training vendors. In other words, Adobe has assembled training segments from various different sources and cobbled them together to make a topical package. Once again, I like the approach better, where you have one or two industry-leading instructors that teach the entire course. I have some assurance with this approach that there are no gaps in my instruction. If it’s an Intermediate Photoshop Techniques course, I trust that I’m getting a thorough and consistent overview of that level of common Photoshop features.

So kudos to Adobe for launching a service that comes at no extra charge to Creative Cloud subscribers. I look forward to it becoming more fleshed out and valuable in the months and years to come.

If you know me very well, you know that a motto that I live by is, “If it’s for free, it’s for me!” That’s almost always true. Not this time. For the very reasonable price of $25 per month (or $250 for a full year), you can subscribe to what I believe to be the best value in online software instruction available, worth far more than the very reasonable price of the subscription. So if you have some training money left in your budget or you want to make yourself more valuable to your employer (or more marketable to your next employer), check out Click on the ad above to sign up for a free 7-day trial. You’ll be glad you did. Here’s a sample of a training video from (You’ll need to move your mouse over the black rectangle below to access the video.)

I don’t know. But I do know that when you put them together in the digital world you get And that’s a site worth checking out.

The Music Bakery (aka, provides high quality, professionally produced, royalty free music tracks at incredibly reasonable prices. Add a jazz track to your next video project or to your website for under $35. Or perhaps you’d prefer a hip-hop cut or music appropriate for a funny scene. All can be yours and you’re free to use them in just about any kind of product you’d like.

Search through the music by category (i.e., action, comedy, corporate image, drama, etc.), mood (angry, confident, dramatic, etc.), music style (jazz, blues, hip hop, rock, etc.) or international style (African, Asian, Island, etc.). You can listen to the before making your buying decision. While there is some variety, the songs tend to be available in the following durations and prices

15 seconds       $34
30 seconds       $34
60 seconds       $39
Full length        $47
Full length arrangements are typically between three and four minutes.

The music is available for immediate download in three formats: MP3, WAV and AIF.

Enhance your projects by adding just the right music – check out

Learn it all. Learn it fast. Learn it now.I hope we’ve said goodbye to the Great Recession. It was painful. Companies downsized. People lost their jobs, then their retirement savings, then their homes. People who still had a job wondered if they would be the next to be let go.

How do you survive a situation like that? What can you do to make yourself so valuable to your employer that you become the person they can’t afford to lay off? Or if your employer goes out of business, what can you do to get a job as quickly as possible or perhaps have the skills to hang out your shingle and earn money freelancing?

Or perhaps your position is solid but you’ve come to the impasse of need vs. knowledge. You know what I mean – you absolutely need to get that project completed but how to accomplish it seems to have exhausted your level of knowledge and that of your go-to people. How can you learn what you need to learn – right now and inexpensively?

Answer: Get some training. Educate yourself. Learn new skills.

I know what you’re thinking: “Great idea, but I don’t have time to go to school again and I’m on a tight budget and deadline.”

You don’t have to go to graduate school and earn a degree to make yourself more marketable. You just need to learn new skills. And at you can learn from some of the best in the business for only $25 per month. offers outstanding online training for software and a lot more. Want to learn how to squeeze the most out of Microsoft Excel? has over 30 Excel courses available. Not 30 lessons — 30 whole courses to choose from! They have courses on the full line of Microsoft and Adobe applications, as well as web development skills, photography, multimedia, business accounting, and more. It’s not all work. They have some fun stuff, too. All for $25 per month. You can’t buy a decent how-to book for $25, but with you get expert video instruction by some of the best trainers in the world.

Think I’m hosing you? Click here for a free 7-day pass to One week to soak up as much knowledge as you can. Once you’ve tried it, I think you’ll agree that this is one of the best and most affordable investments that you could ever make. It’s an investment in yourself.

Once you’ve sampled what has to offer through the free 7-day pass, I’m sure that you’ll want more. Maybe not right away, but when you’ve got some down time or when you need to learn something in a hurry. Plunk down $25 for a full month of training and you’re back in business. This isn’t an ongoing commitment. At the end of the 30 days, your account closes. They don’t renew you automatically. (I like that a lot.) They’ll send you a reminder that your subscription will be expiring soon (or has expired) and give you the opportunity to sign up for another month. Even if you only use it for one day out of the month, you’ll get more than your money’s worth. And if you decide that you’d like to enroll for a whole year at a time, they offer a discount.

This is one of the best deals you’ll ever find. Improve yourself for only 25 bucks. I’m not hosing you.