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The Aperture is Closing
June 28, 2014 5:34 AM   Subscribe

Apple is discontinuing another of their "pro" apps, Aperture.

Lightroom is a recommended alternative. Adobe says it will help.
posted by juiceCake (44 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is my surprised face.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:39 AM on June 28, 2014 [5 favorites]


I'm glad that they're starting to move past iPhoto in the next release. iPhoto has always been an awkward, sluggish bit of software for me in my experience.
posted by oceanjesse at 5:44 AM on June 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


I just want to organize my photos, in the 10s of thousands. (The only way I get good photos is by taking lots of bad ones!) Performance under volume and lots of keyword support plus the basics of photo editing is all I need. I had to move a ton of photos to a separate iPhoto library for performance. I tried upgrading to Aperture once and it didn't work.

Meanwhile, all these articles are talking about "pro" photo editing and other stuff I don't care about...
posted by Sand at 5:48 AM on June 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


"Another"? How many others have they canned? I seem to recall Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro literally just got updates.
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:00 AM on June 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Another one? Which other pro app did they discontinue? Soundtrack Pro? That’s the only one I could find. Maybe QuickTime Pro? But that one hardly counts, right?

Either way, Apple has invested considerably in modernising their other two important pro apps. There is Logic Pro X and Final Cut Pro X. Modernising them did also lead to some regressions, but they have invested lots of work into catching up (especially in Final Cut Pro X). Meanwhile, Aperture was just neglected.

Given that I’m quite sure that there is nothing to fear for their new Pro X apps and Aperture was just always too unimportant and weird to really have a future.
posted by michael.ka at 6:00 AM on June 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


(I like Aperture but I'm feeling optimistic about the new Photos app from what they showed, but then I didn't tend to use the real hardcore "pro" features or really anything more complex than saturation corrections with raised black point to prevent the dark parts from getting really washed out)
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:02 AM on June 28, 2014


Tomorrow they're going to announce that they've discontinued development of ClarisWorks and Hypercard
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:05 AM on June 28, 2014 [14 favorites]


Sand, have you tries Picasa? It's free and fast with some nice features for organization like facial recognition.
posted by Candleman at 6:15 AM on June 28, 2014


Quite strange that - on one hand apple have the recommended monitors for photo work but adobe has the software- maybe they should just buy adobe.
posted by sgt.serenity at 6:21 AM on June 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


Gruber: "Seems like people are either not surprised at all by this announcement, or apoplectic with rage."

Oh, so the usual reaction to Apple news then?
posted by Ian A.T. at 6:27 AM on June 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


Tomorrow they're going to announce that they've discontinued development of... Hypercard

YOU TAKE THAT BACK
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:06 AM on June 28, 2014 [7 favorites]


This wasn't a triumph, I take it. I'm making a note here, no big success. It's hard to overstate my dissatisfaction.



Sorry couldn't resist
posted by seyirci at 7:20 AM on June 28, 2014 [5 favorites]


If you are a Mac user and just want a lightweight, nimble, app to catalog, tag, and organise a library, I can't recommend Lyn enough. Peformance miles ahead of the main Apple and other photo library applications.
posted by C.A.S. at 7:31 AM on June 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


Mostly, I’m angry at the thought of having to buy ransomware from Adobe.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 7:37 AM on June 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's not like Aperture is going to stop working. The writing has been on the wall for a while, though — I'm trying to remember the last Aperture update with user-facing features more exciting than "higher version number."

It did what it needed to, and pretty well, for my purposes at least. I'm hopeful that the new Photos will be good when it comes out, or at least good enough.
posted by DoctorFedora at 7:42 AM on June 28, 2014


Aperture probably will stop working at some point in the next year or two, due to an OS X upgrade. It's just the way these things go. Adobe Lightroom does seem better though.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:01 AM on June 28, 2014


When are they going to shoot iTunes in the head? I mean obviously they can't cancel the product entirely, but I keep hoping they entirely throw the UI and codebase away and start over.

I've been using Lightroom for years and really like it. Each version gets more complicated though, the Adobe feature creep and suckage is slowly seeping in. The very first version was a thing of beauty.
posted by Nelson at 8:07 AM on June 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Mostly, I’m angry at the thought of having to buy ransomware from Adobe


You can buy Lightroom in the OS X App Store, you don't have to get it through a CC plan.

Honestly Lightroom is a lot better than Aperture anyway. It's an incredible tool, possibly Adobe's best.

In other Pro apps Apple took so damned long to upgrade Logic I ended up switching to Studio One about 3 months before Logic Pro X came out. I haven't missed Logic very much after switching. I love the Apple ecosystem but they definitely are not the be-all-end-all for pro applications.
posted by Doleful Creature at 8:13 AM on June 28, 2014


"Another"? How many others have they canned? I seem to recall Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro literally just got updates.

Shake is gone. First for Windows and IRIX, then Linux and OS X.

They killed Logic for Windows even though it had a 30% market share when they bought it out. My audio associates were not pleased.

Many consider FCP X to be the death of a truly professional editing application and switched to Premiere Pro and won't likely go back to FCP X despite the updates. Opinions, needs, etc., as ever vary. It's a diverse world with diverse perspectives and diverse opinions. Killing of apps is common across many companies and I in no way am implying it is an Apple only thing. However, this is an Apple only product. Perhaps it would have done better if it was cross platform.

More than one = another. The fact that they still have other pro apps and updated them is irrelevant, nor does it imply they are killing a bunch of pro apps.

I no longer have a loaf of bread in my house today, but I do have some pasta.
posted by juiceCake at 8:35 AM on June 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


You can buy Lightroom in the OS X App Store, you don't have to get it through a CC plan.

No, you can’t. You can buy it from Adobe without a plan, but that option is pretty well hidden on Adobe’s site, and I don’t expect that to last very much longer now that Lightroom has no competition.

Aside from getting my workflow completely disrupted, the thing that makes this hurt the most for me is Silver Efex Pro. If I were able to use that without being dependent on Adobe holding my assets hostage, I would be happy. I doubt, though, that Google has any more concern for pro users than Apple has.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 8:56 AM on June 28, 2014


I've tried moving from Aperture to Lightroom before, and Lightroom's organizational model just kinda sucks. Aperture does a nice job of tidying away all the files for me, so that I don't have to deal with them, and letting me think in terms of "projects" and "albums" (each photo's master can only be in a single project, unless you intentionally duplicate it, but a version can be in many albums), with a lot of metadata to aid in organization.

Lightroom, by contrast, just seemed to be a very thin veneer over the filesystem. Just image files in folders. Not really impressive; if I wanted to do that, I'd just use the filesystem through its own damn interface, you know, the one that's made for manipulating files.

And transferring a huge library with tons of metadata from Aperture to Lightroom seemed like it would almost certainly be a lossy process and create a ton of duplicates on the receiving end.

Ugh. I am so not looking forward to this process at all.

The only bright side of this that I can see is that it's one less reason to buy expensive Apple hardware. My last Macbook Pro just conked out (bad GPU solder, apparently a design/manufacturing flaw, but in classic Apple tradition one that only pops up just after the warranty is done; they might as well wire the fucking things with thermite) and I've been dawdling on getting a new one. Aperture was really the only compelling reason driving me towards Apple. The laptop/desktop workflow it offered -- shoot and dump cards onto your laptop, add metadata on the road, then plug the laptop into your desktop at home and import the contents of the laptop's library to the big desktop library, finish retouching on the big screen -- was pretty sweet. But if they're going to make me use Lightroom, might as well get myself an off-lease Lenovo (or maybe a Toughbook or a Getac; they're not much more expensive than Apple gear, much cooler, and double as melee weapons) and not have to deal with their ever-declining quality control.

So thanks, I guess.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:58 AM on June 28, 2014


The only bright side of this that I can see is that it's one less reason to buy expensive Apple hardware. My last Macbook Pro just conked out (bad GPU solder, apparently a design/manufacturing flaw, but in classic Apple tradition one that only pops up just after the warranty is done; they might as well wire the fucking things with thermite) and I've been dawdling on getting a new one.

GPU fuckups once discovered are usually covered under extended warranty for four years gratis. My 2007 got a brand new logic board under one of the programs and my 2011 got one as well while it was under Applecare and it was replaced in two days.

After working at a service desk at Fry's for a nine month stretch I can safely say that no PC vendor offers the same kind of support that Apple does.
posted by Talez at 9:04 AM on June 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Lightroom, by contrast, just seemed to be a very thin veneer over the filesystem

You say that like it's a bad thing! But FWIW my experience with Lightroom is there's a lot more going on that that. Yes, my image files are just files on the hard drive, and Lightroom has the lovely model of not manipulating the underlying image files at all. But the Lightroom Catalog is a great database of those files with all the metadata I want to use and create for those photos. You can also get Lightroom to mange the underlying image files for you if you want, by choosing to import them into a folder just for Lightroom.

I hate the way iPhoto deals with image files in yet another opaque Apple database. At least iPhoto doesn't seem to regularly corrupt its database the way iTunes does.
posted by Nelson at 9:24 AM on June 28, 2014


No, please! Take...take iTunes instead!
posted by wenestvedt at 9:38 AM on June 28, 2014 [9 favorites]


I do not understand what apple is doing to photographers. It's like they are intentionally making photo editing harder for some reason I can't figure out. I cannot stand how the the files are all stored in a database now, forcing an obnoxious export process. (show package contents? WTF?!) I seriously loathe photo editing on a mac these days.
posted by Annika Cicada at 9:55 AM on June 28, 2014


Seconding Kadin2048. I cannot figure out how I'm supposed to manage images in Lightroom. Aperture made immediate sense to me: images go in a project folder, project folders can have sub folders with varying sets of images.

Lightroom: only one level of folder. Any sorting within that has to happen with ratings or keywords. It feels completely opaque to me.

And the continual constant annoyance that doing any action with the keyboard pops a notification up over the center of the image.

Bleh.

Note: I've used Lightroom for years because their noise reduction is like magic. But I still don't really understand how the software is supposed to work.
posted by wemayfreeze at 10:39 AM on June 28, 2014


I do not understand what apple is doing to photographers.

"Photographers" are no longer Apple's customers. Apple's customers are wealthy people who take a bunch of snaps with their phones. They don't need a professional editing suite and a database. I think it's smart to concede the pro photographer market to Adobe, in retrospect it's weird Apple ever went for it in the first place.
posted by Nelson at 11:22 AM on June 28, 2014


No, you can’t. You can buy it from Adobe without a plan, but that option is pretty well hidden on Adobe’s site, and I don’t expect that to last very much longer now that Lightroom has no competition.

Shit, you're right! Well you used to be able to buy LR4 on the App Store. In a moment of panic I just checked and I can still dowoad my purchase but you definitely can't buy it anymore. Ugh.

Seriously Fuck Adobe.

Google owns the Nik tool chain and all they have to do is make Snapseed desktop/iOS/android into a Lightroom killer with Silver Efex baked in and they'll rule the world
posted by Doleful Creature at 11:37 AM on June 28, 2014


You say that like it's a bad thing!

Well, I think it is -- if I wanted to manage files using the filesystem, I wouldn't need an expensive photo-management system that sits on top of it. The reason I sprung for Aperture to begin with was because the sheer volume of photos you can produce using a modern digital camera (esp. a DSLR with a big memory card set on burst mode) just wasn't amenable to the old foldering techniques anymore. I wanted to be able to do stuff like keep all the original DNGs in one place, but have various versions created for various projects/exhibits, kept together as projects, but tied back to the original raw files, where a particular version of a particular raw image might be used in multiple projects over time.

Aperture is definitely not perfect. What it calls a "project" is what I would have preferred to call a "film roll" or "photo shoot" (or something like that), and what it called an Album I would have called a "project". But naming conventions aside, it worked: one groups photos on the input side of the equation, and one groups photos on the output side, and the software keeps track of the linkage between the two. And then of course you have metadata that sits on top of all of that and lets you search, which you can use (or not) at your discretion.

I'm not entirely sure how you'd accomplish this using the filesystem. I used to sorta manage it using aliases/symlinks, but that's pretty cumbersome. I guess I'll be figuring out how to do it in Lightroom now, so hopefully there's some way that's not terrible.

no PC vendor offers the same kind of support that Apple does.

That might have been the case at one point. Back in the 1-800-SOS-APPL days, I would definitely have said that it was the case. And Apple is certainly better than some grotty consumer PC-notebook manufacturer, but that's because they're garbage (and priced accordingly). But for the price you pay for Apple gear you can get fairly high-end, business-oriented PC gear with very responsive support.

I've been looking into it because of the need to replace said dead Apple, and for the price of a new MBP I could get a pretty sweet Dell (a phrase I never, ever thought I would say), and for the price of the near-mandatory AppleCare that you need in order to get anything except Apple's shitty 1-year warranty, you can get 3 years of onsite support for hardware issues, and accidental damage coverage, and battery replacement; the latter two of which aren't available on Macbooks at any price (well, not through Apple anyway). I've used the Dell NBD onsite service before and it really is pretty nice.

The one area where Apple is still ahead of the competition is in high-DPI displays, and I think that has to do with the fact that they basically monopolize the supply. They do seem nice, but you pay an awful premium for them (vs., say, a comparably spec'd Dell with a standard meh-inducing "HD" panel), enough to buy a really nice desktop monitor. It's a tough sell.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:40 AM on June 28, 2014


One, buy Applecare from someone other than Apple, its much cheaper. I suggest BH Photo in NYC. Two, Apple is making much more money from consumer iDevices than they ever did from the pro market, which is a shame for those of us who've been with them since the 90s.

That being said, in film work I've always been happier with Avid than Final Cut. And as much as I loath the direction of soldered RAM and overpriced solid state memory in the notebooks, the troubling nature of the Mac Pro development, and the increasing bugbears in the OS (we achieved Peak Mac with Snow Leopard), I can't bring myself to go Windows or ugly custom pc box.

Buying and pimping a last generation Mac Pro feels like I'm at a crossroads I'm trying to stay on for the next few years. But it is about as good a design and build of a product as I've owned. I just don't know what the future holds, as clearly the niche I came from (that sustained Apple for those minority product years) isn't much compared to iDevices and pro-am disintermediation of the "pro" market.
posted by C.A.S. at 12:25 PM on June 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Apple is making much more money from consumer iDevices than they ever did from the pro market, which is a shame for those of us who've been with them since the 90s.

If only I'd bought stock in Apple instead of a succession of stupid boxes starting with that 512KE, i'd have bought so much land that everywhere you step would be my lawn. And I would not approve.
posted by hal9k at 2:09 PM on June 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


What I need is a comprehensive storage manager that has a photo editing suite built in that connects all my files together across my raw files, edited files and published files. Lightroom *kinda* did that with plugins but it was sooooo buggy and brittle. A could storage system with hybrid local storage, I don't know. But just...What we have today is a damn mess.
posted by Annika Cicada at 3:06 PM on June 28, 2014


I hate the way iPhoto deals with image files in yet another opaque Apple database. At least iPhoto doesn't seem to regularly corrupt its database the way iTunes does.

You'll be happy to know that both Aperture and iPhotos' database 'file' is just a directory directly openable from the finder and you can peruse all the photo file contents inside in human readable directories.

(This may not be desirable to your particular needs but it's an easy exit strategy if Aperture vanishes off the face of the earth. At least it's not some proprietary format b-tree flat-file.)

In general: as a long time Aperture user, this actually relieves me. It's been plain for a few years now that a) Adobe has been hungry for this market and has been shipping and frequently updating the plainly superior product for some time. b)Apple has decided it doesn't want to spend resources on this, has put it in the App Store at a 'hey, don't bother us about us lagging behind because it's only' $70 price point. I've been longing to switch but didn't want to do it JUST before Apple surprise-announces that it's doing Aperture 4 in a major way. Now I know I won't have buyer's guilt and literally bought Lightroom halfway through drafting this comment (I don't know about the US store but you can still buy it as a standalone product in the Canadian store).

I can even just start from zero and not worry immediately about migrating forward my Aperture library because I know it'll be readable by the new Photos app for quite a while.

Aside: I used to be kind of annoyed that Adobe—who had a piss-poor track record of maintaining its OS X-side software (flash, 64bit photoshop, etc) for quite a while—would only be interested in putting its best engineers on creating modern, Cocoa, 64-bit leading edge software to eat all the lunches in a product category Apple had just invented (non destructive, dynamic library photo editing).

Oh, and the guy who runs ApertureExpert.com seems to be surprisingly bullish on Photos and the pro potential of its plugin architecture, lens correction, etc. that was shown off at WWDC sessions.
posted by whittaker at 3:08 PM on June 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


Ugh, a request to manually download a minor update to Lightroom from the website that weighs a half-gig after insisting I update Download Manager and Air.

Adobe, you're already making me regret this.
posted by whittaker at 3:20 PM on June 28, 2014


Between tags, smart collections and regular collections I never use lightroom to navigate the filesystem unless I really do want to access all the photos on a specific date. I use lightroom to manage tens of thousands of wildlife photos that are extensively tagged with taxonomic and location information. It works very well for me, although I am probably not the typical use case.
posted by snofoam at 3:27 PM on June 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Out of curiosity, exactly what functionality from Aperture won't be included in the new Photos app?
posted by Grangousier at 3:51 PM on June 28, 2014


The part where you wonder if it's ever getting updated again, presumably
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:08 PM on June 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


Aperture probably will stop working at some point in the next year or two, due to an OS X upgrade.

I'm still on 10.6.8 and as far as I know, am missing out on absolutely nothing.
posted by nathancaswell at 6:55 AM on June 29, 2014


Well you're missing security updates.
posted by Nelson at 7:54 AM on June 29, 2014


To be honest, Snow Leopard was the last big "apps need an update to continue working" release. (Although I'm not really counting Rosetta removal in Lion, here)
posted by whittaker at 9:25 AM on June 29, 2014


I made the Aperture/Lightroom decision when they were both new to the market, and went with Lightroom specifically because i doubted Apple commitment to the product line, and have qualms with their philosophy of data management (see: iTunes, iPhoto, mail.app MBOX format, etc.).

Now, Lightroom is far from perfect, and has some major warts, but one of them happens to be that they don't offer good suggestions on how to use the damn thing.

"Lightroom's organizational model just kinda sucks"

It took me 5 years to realize that I wanted a workflow that was a 50/50 split of the Folders and Collections tabs. Collections themselves have some real weak points (no direct deletion from collections, can't assign to collections via keyboard shortcuts..), but that's now where I spend the majority of my time. I use folders/subfolders to keep track of composite source files, layered PSDs - cold storage. You really need to suss out Collections and Smart Collections to get anything out of Lightroom.

"transferring a huge library with tons of metadata from Aperture to Lightroom seemed like it would almost certainly be a lossy process and create a ton of duplicates on the receiving end."

I haven't migrated myself, but it shouldn't be too bad. John Beardsworth has a decent migration how-to page.

"only bright side of this that I can see is that it's one less reason to buy expensive Apple hardware"

You don't know how true this is. Lightroom (Like many Adobe products) isn't fully optimized for multiple processors. I tested a four core macbook pro against my loaded sixteen core mac pro and found roughly equivalent lag and processing times. Different parts of Lightroom are variously bound to disk I/O, RAM, and processor speed, but raw Ghz is critical for scanning through images higher than about 12 megapixels. I like Macs, but I've seriously considered switching just for the $/Ghz options.
posted by Jack Karaoke at 11:52 AM on June 29, 2014


"...if I wanted to manage files using the filesystem, I wouldn't need an expensive photo-management system that sits on top of it."

You're really not thinking of LR the right way here. How the photo management package deals with the actual source files is utterly unrelated to the benefits and power of the package when it comes to managing your workflow.

"Lightroom's organizational model just kinda sucks"

How? I mean, really?

It's a plus that LR stores them in an easily grokkable file tree. You've gotta have them in there somehow, and that's pretty straightforward.

LR then does all its magic nondestructively, and never writes anything back to the RAW files you've saved in that tree. It's all in the LR catalog. Inside LR, you can tag and sort by a million different criteria if you want, which is pretty powerful.

(Incidentally, a single LR catalog can span volumes, so my archives are on a shared network drive, but the last 2 years live on my laptop. It's all pretty transparent inside LR.)

I picked LR when I needed a workflow program because it's multiplatform, and I didn't want to be stuck on the Mac if Apple pissed me off. I also find it better to buy a widget from a company that makes widgets, you know? Adobe makes photo software, but Apple makes computers and a bunch of other things, too.
posted by uberchet at 12:52 PM on June 29, 2014


Apple did what they must, because they could.
posted by Anything at 8:04 AM on June 30, 2014


Adobe Lightroom allows users continued access after license expires
In response to all the controversy that its move to a subscription payment system created, Adobe had promised that it would find ways to ensure Creative Cloud customers' work wasn't 'held-hostage' if they let their subscription lapse. This was particularly pertinent for users of Photoshop Lightroom - since it arranges your images and the corrections made to them in a database.

Now, Adobe has confirmed that its latest Lightroom update has made it possible for subscribers to keep accessing their images and edits, and continue using some limited functions of Lightroom once a license for it has ended. Core functions: notably the ability to use the Develop module, are unavailable once the subscription lapses, but users retain the ability to view, organize and export images.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 9:58 AM on July 11, 2014


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