Adobe Captivate 2019 is hot garbage. There. That’s my post.
No, not really. And I didn’t say that Captivate 2019 is steaming hot garbage, either. But for a product to be hot garbage, it needs two qualities.
First, you need a product that fails in a basic function.
Second, you need people who can’t figure out how to make basic functions work.
I tried using Captivate 2019 to create a new online course for Adobe RoboHelp. This course will be published on Udemy in spring 2020.
In Captivate 2019, the ability to create a project is broken. That is, when I inserted a video file and audio file into one project, the video played at one frame every five seconds.
The video itself plays at 30 frames per second (fps).
Having video that plays at its correct fps rate is important. After all, it makes sense to have instructions on the screen happen at about the same time the student hears the directions.
So, why can’t Captivate do that? This seems like basic functionality.
I was able to record the screen and export the recording to a video file without any trouble. When I imported that file and tried to play it, I discovered the video problem.
Then I discovered another problem.
Software Needs People to Fail
Adobe customer support identified the bug in September 2019.
In eight months, they came up with one fix that didn’t work.
I was able to connect with the Captivate product manager. I also talked with a member of their development team.
They told me this problem was tricky. When I first talked to them, they told me to get back to them in a couple of weeks if I didn’t hear from them.
I didn’t hear from them. When I sent e-mail, it was the “couple of weeks” refrain. That is, if I got a response at all.
I finally received a second fix in April. That cut down the frame rate to 1 fps. One.
I complained to the product manager. He claimed he didn’t understand why that was a problem. After all, it may be fixed in the next version.
He wanted to talk on the phone. I told him there was no need because the problem was simple: I need a video that plays in Captivate the same way it does in my media player app.
Like Captivate 2017, the previous version.
You can’t have a product fail unless people don’t want to take care of it.
A (Kinda) Happy Ending
Yes, Adobe Captivate 2019 is hot garbage. Adobe made it that way.
Captivate is one app in Adobe’s Technical Communication Suite, and so I’ve spent almost $400 for a suite with an app that doesn’t work.
But I got lucky. I found Adobe Captivate 2017 on my Windows machine. The good news is that version works properly. Now I can finish the course in May after eight months of waiting for Adobe.
The bad news is that the next version of RoboHelp is coming in June.
Why doesn’t Captivate 2019 work? Ask Adobe.
Eric Butow is owner of Butow Communications Group and keeper of this blog. Please leave a comment if you’re so inclined.