Adobe Connect is Awful

UPDATE: As of early December, the school has shifted to using the browser-based version of Connect for most things. This deals with a few of the complaints below.

I recently started school again. I'm doing it purely online, and a few times a week I join a virtual in-person class with a teacher and 20-50 other students. To this end the school uses Adobe Connect.

I'd never heard of Connect before the school year started and I already hate it. It's not at all optimized for slow internet connections such as mine; it's really clunky and the interface looks like something straight out of 1995; and, it's based on Adobe Flash Player. For those of you who are out of the loop, Flash goes out of support on the 31st of December this year (2020). It's old, so old that it should have shriveled and died at least five years ago.

By far the worst thing about Adobe Connect is how blatantly unoptimized it is. Unlike Zoom, it does not seem to do ANY form of compression, or audio prioritization, or downscaling. I have pretty terrible internet (800-900KB/s down if the planets are properly aligned) so this means that any time a teacher shares their screen, my connection latency ALMOST IMMEDIATELY goes from 200-500ms to anywhere between 5 and 30 seconds. It also means that if I get any lag at ALL, the teacher's audio will stop and jump forward, rather than Connect prioritizing audio over video. This is extremely annoying, particularly on bad days. Despite my general dislike of proprietary software, I have to say that if the school switched to something like Zoom--particularly if Zoom began targeting the classroom--I'd take that over Connect ANY day of the week.


Zoom Just Works (usually). It prioritizes audio over video and only streams the minimum video resolution required, meaning that Zoom will usually work at least moderately well even on a connection of as low as 50KB/s. Techniques such as this enable simultaneously viewing the webcams of 80+ people in one Zoom room, something the school's Connect servers apparently can't keep up with.

tl;dr I hate Adobe Connect.