Saturday, April 30, 2016

REVIEW: Silhouette Studio V.3.7.206 aka Silhouette Cloud version


Earlier this week, Silhouette America released another update to their Silhouette Studio software. Those of you who have been following this blog may notice that I had stopped posting about the software updates since around last year. When the company started to release a new update every other week, and sometimes one within days of another, it was obvious that their program was not ready for the public. So I stopped posting about their updates on the blog and only mention it every now and then on my Facebook page.

At this time, I am still using v2.9.67 aka the Legacy version because I find that not only does it have all the features that I need, it is also more fun to use than any of the v.3s. It's just a personal preference. That's all.


However, Silhouette's new v3.7.206 intrigued me. Just like when they released the very first v3, this version is kind of like a milestone because with this release, they are introducing the Silhouette Cloud and making it mandatory with every new release AFTER this version.


"The Cloud" is a term that we are hearing about more and more frequently but do you really know what it is? For the benefit of those who are still not sure, here is a video that explains it quickly:
https://youtu.be/Mzl4Wud_Bp0



While I am still using the Legacy version and have no wish to change how I use Silhouette Studio, I am curious about this Silhouette Cloud. Thankfully, Hubby is a techie and a gadget nerd so I have access to one or two (or five. Don't ask.) spare devices that I can use for testing. I went ahead and downloaded and installed the update.

For the record, I am running Windows 10 on my test machines. 







The installation process went quickly and without issues.


The updated software initially gave no hint of any new changes until the following message shows up after the program is started:


The Silhouette Cloud logo as well as the little cloud in the middle of the screen gave me the impression that I would be syncing my files and so I clicked "Not Now" as I wanted to see if there has been any changes to my library first. I was shocked when I found nothing there.

My library has been emptied!

click to enlarge

It took me a moment to recover from the unpleasant surprise and then I remembered that first message that I had seen about updating the library. Reluctantly, I selected File>Update Library in an attempt to get my files back.


Although I was relieved to see my library restored right after, I was not pleased that I was forced to sync my files.



In order to test the program, I saved a few new images to my library and tried to sync again by using "Update Library". I was surprised to find that every time I do that, the program duplicates the images that I had saved to the library. The shapes that I had purchased and downloaded from the Silhouette Online Store were not duplicated.


I was annoyed that yet again, Silhouette had released a software update that was not thoroughly tested. It wasn't until later that evening that I realized the issue with this update was a completely different problem from what I had initially thought.

Hubby is my resident expert tech guru. After telling him about the "bug", I realized that the trouble with this update is not really about the software programming but more about the lack of proper instructions and information. You see, I had misunderstood when I saw that very first message.


The Silhouette Cloud logo and the little cloud image had led me to think that "Update Library" meant syncing to the Silhouette Cloud. It actually does not do that. What it does is that it converts any old library files that are already on the computer into a format that can be used in this new software version. In fact, "Update Library" should only be done once and only when you first access the library after updating the software. Clicking on "Update Library" is not the same as syncing to the Silhouette Cloud at all.

In this case, the bug that I found is that every time I clicked "Update Library", the program duplicates the files instead of telling me that the action has already been done before.

I am still trying to figure out the new update but I have learned a few things about it:


With the Silhouette Cloud, you can sync up to 5 devices. I absolutely love the idea of a Silhouette Cloud because it will allow me to access my designs from anywhere. I often upload my photos from my computer to Microsoft's OneDrive so that I can access them from my phone and it will be nice to be able to do something similar with my Silhouette Library.


Just like One Drive, there is a limit to free storage in the Silhouette Cloud. For any designs that were not obtained from the Silhouette Design Store, the limit is 5GB for Club Silhouette and Silhouette Design Store subscribers and 1GB for the non-subscribers. There is no storage limit in the Silhouette Cloud for any designs that were downloaded from the Silhouette Design Store.


In order to sync to the Silhouette Cloud, just sign in using your email and password that you use for the Silhouette Design Store.


Once you are signed in, syncing is supposed to be very easy and straightforward. Unfortunately, it seems to only work properly sometimes.

Some files synced fine while others did not. :(

I stopped posting about the Silhouette Studio updates a while ago because I was getting tired of all the bugs that show up with every install. I did not want to waste mine and your time on a software update that did not work. The Silhouette Cloud sounds like a fantastic idea and I was really hopeful that this release will be flawless. Unfortunately, after trying it out for two days, it is apparent to me that the software still needs further tweaking.

Silhouette America has indicated that going forward, all new Silhouette Studio updates will require the use of the Silhouette Cloud, and that users who do not install v3.7.206 or any other future updates will miss out on the new features that those updates will bring. I apologize for sounding so negative but if the Silhouette Studio version that you are currently using is working well for you, I urge you NOT to install v3.7.206. Until Silhouette releases a version that is reliable, attempting to use the Silhouette Cloud will only waste your time and bring you disappointment.

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For further reference, click here to see a Silhouette Cloud Q&A from Silhouette America.


8 comments :

  1. I'm surprised you didn't hear a loud gasp all the way from Arizona when I saw that your library was empty!

    I download & save updates, but I don't install all of them. Just today I downloaded the latest version and it's on my hard drive, but that's all I've done. I really only use the Silhouette design software on my laptop, so I can't see why I'd need to access files from the cloud.

    Thanks you, as always, for your honest opinion.

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  2. Thank you for this information! I didn't like the last few updates and stopped after awhile. While I wish I could go back, I've finally OK with what I have now and do not want to update anymore! This was very helpful!!!

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  3. Can you run both the cloud version and a hard drive version?

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  4. Thank you (and hubby) for always being the guinea pigs for us all Jin! You give such thorough reviews. I'm surprised they don't ask you to be their tester before public launch!?!

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  5. Bad reading comprehension, it clearly states ""To view YOUR library designs in this version of Silhouette Studio...""

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    1. Perhaps you have misunderstood my post? My issue with the pop up message is not about the definition of "YOUR library" but how the whole thing was worded and that the logos misled me into thinking that I was syncing my files with the Silhouette Cloud.

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  6. this Cloud version does not work at all; items I created at work "download fail" so disappointing; wish I saw this article first

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  7. some one please tell me how to get it to download all my files, ive got so many "download fails" and i need them all back for my business :0(

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