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WWDC 2014 and the future of Aperture, iPhoto and Photos

Joseph @ThePhotosExpert's picture
June 2, 2014 - 1:17pm

The WWDC 2014 keynote is over (watch it here), and there were several references to the world of photography, but unfortunately nothing about Aperture directly (or iPhoto, for what that’s worth). If you want to watch the photos section, skip to 73:25 to get started. And if you want to see the comments already made on the live-blog of the keynote, head here.

So, what did we learn?

“Every photo you take. On all your devices.”

The major takeaway was that through Mac OS X Yosemite and iOS 8, we will see a new iCloud photo storage feature, allowing us to access and edit far more photos than we can see on a single iOS device today—up to 1TB of them. You can see the pricing tiers (at least up to 200GB) in the screenshot below.

Up to 1TB cloud photo storage available

1TB is a lot of storage, but it’s not enough for everyone. I have around 3.5 or 4TB of data between my Aperture library and all the originals. How excessive data will be handled wasn’t mentioned, although one presumes that you could just pay for what storage you wanted, and somehow tag projects or time spans that should be available in iCloud. 

The editing controls shown were not only non-destructive, and syncing via iCloud, but also much more advanced than anything we’ve seen in iOS before. The basic “Light” slider is actually made up of brightness, contrast, exposure, highlights and shadows—adjustments we all know and love, here controlled intelligently with a single “Light” slider, and also accessible individually. It’s admittedly very nice.

These adjustments are far more advanced than what we’re used to in iOS

Other than a cool search demo, and showing an image crop synchronizing from an iPad to an iPhone, there wasn’t much else on display. 

We saw photo adjustments synchronized between an iPad and iPhone via iCloud

Then finally, the only real mention of what’s coming in the future was this reference…

“We are working on a new grounds-up photo solution for the Mac built with iCloud in mind” […] “…shipping early next year”

That sentence sums up what we now know about the future of photo apps on the Mac. The demo that proceeded that statement didn’t look  like an iPhoto or Aperture app, but basically just a clone of the iOS Photos app, running on OS X. Maybe that’s the future of iPhoto, although I’m sure things like cards and calendars and books will still be there. I believe what we saw running on OS X Yosemite today was just a technology demo, simply to show iCloud syncing, and not any indicator of what iPhoto or Aperture will look like.

EDIT: Maybe not; I missed this screenshot before. This makes it look much more robust, so perhaps this is the future of iPhoto/Aperture:

Is this the future of iPhoto and Aperture?

There’s no place for Photos and iPhoto on OS X (or iOS for that matter, if you’re going to put this much capability into Photos), so either Photos is the new iPhoto, or it’ll be rebranded before launch. 

We also saw what looks to be a very nice new plug-in type architecture for iOS called “Extensibility” where developers can make their app accessible from the Photos app. The screenshot below from a demo that starts around 88:25 shows a “photo filter” accessing the apps VSCOCam and Waterlogue. 

Accessing third-party apps from within the Photos app on iOS is a very nice development

There are two huge questions here though that weren’t addressed. First, is this non-destrucive? If so, like with the built-in adjustments, we could presumably open that photo and re-edit it later. That seems logical since there was no save or export step in the demo, and there’s no way Apple would just overwrite your original photo. There could be a “revert” feature, but hopefully the adjustments are stored non-destrucively, and can be re-edited later on, on this or another device. And the second point is OS X functionality. If this “Extensibility” is, er, extended to OS X, then we’re talking about a whole new plug-in architecture for the future photo app ecosystem.

2015

So what about that date? “Early next year” is 2015. Are we going to see a new Aperture before then, giving us the features we’ve been gagging for for years now? Will we see an iPhoto and iPhoto Pro type of workflow? What about our existing libraries; you can’t make a future version of Aperture that just throws away the last decade of work (Aperture 1.0 was released in 2005), so even if the simplified iOS-type workflow is the future, our existing photos can’t be left behind.

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FWIW, just sent Tim Cook an e-mail titled “Is Aperture dead?”

Cool. Let’s hope he doesn’t write back “yes” ;-)

-Joseph @ThePhotosExpert
— Have you signed up for The Photos Expert mailing list?

Well, I do hope you get an answer because it is getting ridiculous by now.  Sure, I get it that Aperture 3 is still relevant to a few photographers, but if there’s anything this delay is proving is how low in the scale Aperture fits in the company’s plans.  Hard to convince anyone that the ever-shrinking Aperture user base matters that much to the company’s bottom line.  The company’s direction of movement was evident today, and from what I saw, Aperture will probably be a “legacy” piece of software.  The iPhone/iPad photography combo is where apple has its sights, so even if another iteration comes out, I’m not sure that four years downrange we will be talking about Aperture any more.  

Eric

Just downloaded trail versions of Capture One and Lightroom, like many I keep putting off moving from Aperture in the hope that something is just around the corner.

I remain of the view if you can’t get it right in Aperture it wont get much righter in any other app :-)

My take on the keynote - which was pitched to developers - is that photography is up there on Apples priorities. I have felt since the point that iphoto and Aperture  shared libraries that they were effectively the same core application, with just a different level of UI.

Photos will not abandon iphoto ergo it wont abandon Aperture…waiting to 2015 sucks but heck it wont stop me taking photos and see no reason to jump to Lightroom or Capture 1 quite yet unless I go completely bonkers and buy a Windows machine

Great perspective Kevin, I like it.

-Joseph @ThePhotosExpert
— Have you signed up for The Photos Expert mailing list?

Couldn’t agree more..

Don’t go bonkers!!!!

Yup. We all want updates to Aperture. However, as-is, it still suits my needs fine. I can get my photos the way I want them.

Perhaps I’m wrong, but the features in strong demand lean toward the post-processing. I don’t dispute Aperture can up the ante here. However, post-processing is only a portion of the equation when considering a switch of an asset manager. I’m heavily invested in Aperture’s workflow methods and metadata management. Transforming metadata to another manager… well, it makes me cringe. I’d rather spend that energy making more photos.

Unless and until Aperture fails to suit my needs – or Apple flat-out says Aperture is end-of-life – I won’t be switching. Especially because of something Apple didn’t say.

Just a thought, don’t really understand a lot on coding …….. But “Swift” could it be that Apple want to write the NEW Aperture in the new language Swift. All efforts have been on creating this and other stuff.

Now all the engineers will be sent to the Aperture team and will announce the new one in The Fall (possibly wishful thinking this bit)

Anyway just saying!!!!!

The other thing to keep an eye on is that Apple may dump Intel for their own chips. With iPad Airs hitting speeds that start to look like a laptop, they might need to double up the code as we convert over (just like we did from PowerPC). Photographers are very mobile and there are a lot of advantages to the Aperture community if the code base is being re-written with all this in mind.

That’s one to put in the “will likely never happen” basket for the Mac IMHO until the Windows ecosystem does it. Full-speed hardware compatibility with Windows is a major, but non-marketed aspect of the Mac’s success, and was the point at which the Mac’s sales trends started outpacing the Windows PC market in new sales by multiples. Apple can build a premium product, and sell it for less than comparable machines from other big names. As soon as they switch processors, they lose that. The ability to keep Windows in a (non-emulated) VM, or Bootcamp is a critical safety net for new users.

Back in the PowerPC days, they had to waste untold resources demonstrating the qualities of their chips - now, they’ve got a level playing field, and they get to compete on power efficiency and design - the areas where they’ve got a major competitive advantage. Taking OS X out of the equation, right now, Apple makes what are arguably the best windows machines in the portable space.

Maybe I’m wrong, but I thought SWIFT was iOS only?

Mike

No absolutely not - it is based on the same Runtime like Objective-C. The whole point of it is a language without the drawbacks of low level C. Swift will be easier to learn and use for developers.

There is no direct benefit in rewriting an application like Aperture in Swift.

I think a little perspective comes from reading Macworld’s review of Logic Pro X. Of course, Logic Pro was “dead” or going to be only for the prosumer because it would be like GarageBand or somehow integrated with iOS. http://www.macworld.com/article/2044283/logic-pro-x-loses-none-of-its-po… 

I’d have to check the numbers but I think Logic Pro is an even smaller community than Aperture.

The Aperture X review will probably read the same. We just don’t know when it will be written.

Plus, there will be an old group that is used to their old workflow that will complain that the new stuff is too different and not “professional.” Apparently professional tools have to be hard and require lots of further training. Lived through that with FCPX. Ugghhh. For that old guard, I have an ancient copy of WordPerfect on the shelf somewhere here because that Microsoft Word thing will never catch on in real business… 

Maybe we can even find WordStar and VisiCalc and dBase III+ for the even older guard like myself who cut their IT teeth on these apps!

Ahhh, those names bring back memories… 

I’ve been working with computers for a while to if you bring up a Trash 80 next I’ll have to buy you a beer. ;)

And I think that is the thing. Things change. So if Aperture is gone, we all move on. That’s life. But I don’t think Apple is done with it so I’m not worried. Not since Logic Pro X and the new Mac Pro. Apple doesn’t need the pro space at all. But they do like being there and they have the money to do it comfortably. They also have the money to totally come up with something crazy smart (like FCPX) and outlast all the naysayers. I think like FCP X, the next Aperture is going to kick our butts a little and make us rethink how we do what we do. Sounds very exciting and worth the wait. 

Hah! I learned BASIC on a TRS-80, and I learned RPG II, COBOL and FORTRAN IV on punch cards run through an IBM System 3. That was my senior year of high school. In college I worked a co-op job at a DuPont factory where they still used PDP-8 servers to run analog manufacturing equipment. Programs were loaded via paper tape and it use core memory. There I programmed FORTRAN 77 on PDP-11/70 servers and PIP was our user interface. All of that was BEFORE I learned WordStar and dBase III+ and VisiCalc.

I don’t think is about “being hard is required for being pro” but I think it is wanting some stability rather than re-training/new training with frequent releases/update.  To that end Aperture has been fantastic with its sparse updates.

I’m a big Aperture user but also tech savvy enough to handle more frequent (than Aperture has provided) updates.  I’d love to see an Aperture 4 or Aperture X, like the FCPX and LPX upgrades.   Painful for radical change, yes.  But stability is also desired so we can do our jobs with more focus rather than dilution for learning new UIs or workflows every 9-12 months or so.

I will admit, I had a chill run up my back when Craig mentioned and shows “Photos.”  I’m not entirely sure how I interpret it…maybe back to work will help! :)

--
M.A.Stough Photography

The iOS demo of being able to bring up third party photo app interfaces inside of Photos and have the results saved right back in Photos is interesting. Similar to the Edit-in that we see in Aperture today, but without appearing to start up a stand-alone app outside the Photos context.

As Joseph pointed out, what wasn’t demo’d is whether these are non-destructable edits. If these are non-destructible edits, then maybe Apple has heard the call that photographers don’t like round-tripping and will provide a means for third party developers to develop more tightly integrated plug-ins who’s edits are stored in the Photos DB. Since iOS only uses RGB files (no true raw rendering), we cannot tell just what plugins can do with them in the new Photos app. And the iOS Photos was demo’d with plugins. They didn’t do a demo of the “plugins” feature with Photos on OS X Yosemite.

What you could see (although it wasn’t explicitly pointed out) was that the photo of the girl edited on iOS (brightened and cropped) appeared with the same edits in OS X Photos. This implies that the edits were stored in the cloud and that the Photos app on all your devices are accessing the same photo database.

Apple did the proxy thing very early on with Final Cut Pro so that you could edit video with low res on a lowly laptop and then resync up later with the full res versions on a bigger machine. Aperture is non destructive. Almost everything Apple does is non-destructive or done to a version that can be recalled back later (even in Pages and Time Machine). While they didn’t say it, I don’t think they’d leave all that philosophy behind. There are too many advantages for syncing and fast (behind the scenes) processing if they transfer instructions versus actual pixels. Especially if they are trying to hold Adobe off from stepping into their larger consumer space. 

I sincerely hope that Apple will bring Aperture forward and some incredible features. Imagine many of the adjustments we make today, but done with the slick interface that was demonstrated in the Keynote address today (sliders made up of preview frames showing what the adjusted image might look like). It would also be great to finally see an API for plugin developers that actually allowed their plugins to work “inline” and leave all their adjustments embedded in Aperture, and thus also allowing you to change them at a later point in time vs baking them in as we do today with round-tripping RGB files.

Presently I use Aperture to manage my photos and perform basic adjustments to the 99% of photos I care about, but don’t have time to finesse. The 1% of my photos that I do invest real time into, I’m doing more and more round-tripping to ACR and photoshop. My prediction, FWIW, is that the new “Photos” will make users like me very happy since 3rd party edits in applications like, dare I say, ACR/PS, will probably become much easier, and even be possible on the iPad. I’m envisioning raw images, living in the cloud, accessible on all my devices, and editable, non-destructively, with any software I want, any time. The future could be worse.

Interesting thought — that Apple may leverage the DAM aspects of Aperture, which are still superior to LR and the other competitors, and simply give up the “adjustment” and editing functions.  In essence, concentrate on data storage and retrieving, and allow others to make plug-in editors.

I would guess that there is more money in the former (everyone records, stores, and retrieves photos; some edit them a bit, and make books, etc,; very few edit them into artworks and other commodities).  I see Apple striving to be the de-facto standard for computing for the next 100 years.  Standards are determined at the OS/hardware level, not the app level.

If you look at the icons in OS X Yosimite, there is a “iPhoto” icon there. So am thinking the iOS like photo app replaces iPhoto. Apple then merges what we now know as iPhoto and Aperture as the pro app.

I don’t see the point of the photo app demoed and iPhoto living next to each other. Something powerful like Aperture next to something simple like the photos app makes total sense. I’m telling myself this as I start to seriously consider Lightroom again. I do agree with others, Aperture currently does what I need, so I can hold on to 2015 and see what they have.

If you look at the icons in OS X Yosimite, there is a “iPhoto” icon there. So am thinking the iOS like photo app replaces iPhoto. Apple then merges what we now know as iPhoto and Aperture as the pro app.

I don’t see the point of the photo app demoed and iPhoto living next to each other. Something powerful like Aperture next to something simple like the photos app makes total sense. I’m telling myself this as I start to seriously consider Lightroom again. I do agree with others, Aperture currently does what I need, so I can hold on to 2015 and see what they have in terms of “Aperture 4”

If you look at the icons in OS X Yosimite, there is a “iPhoto” icon there. So am thinking the iOS like photo app replaces iPhoto. Apple then merges what we now know as iPhoto and Aperture as the pro app.

I don’t see the point of the photo app demoed and iPhoto living next to each other. Something powerful like Aperture next to something simple like the photos app makes total sense. I’m telling myself this as I start to seriously consider Lightroom again. I do agree with others, Aperture currently does what I need, so I can hold on to 2015 and see what they have in terms of “Aperture 4”

I wrote a piece a while back about what I expect(ed) from a new Aperture release and I might not have been too far off suggesting that Aperture would become a better ecosystem with enhanced plugin capabilities. What I did not expect was that better plugin support in Aperture would be the consequence of better plugin support in the OS itself (iOS and OS X) and nor was I expecting to wait that long.

But the more I think about it the more it makes sense. It would have been easier (and arguably quicker) to just build such advanced capabilities within Aperture but deep integration within the operating system will bring robustness, security and performance that a superficial integration couldn’t have brought. Plus, this is no longer a benefit for just Aperture but for the entire operating system and its apps ecosystem.

Once again Apple has surprised us, it wasn’t about whether Aperture is dead or not, it was about the big picture: every apps will benefit and theoretically Aperture as well. Now this does not yet tell us whether Aperture is dead or not…

Christian C. Berclaz
www.photoanimalium.com

This was a really thrilling keynote. I too had much hope to hear something positive about the future of Aperture. While there was nothing officially, I think a careful look provides some insights: If you look at the Photos App for mac: There is an “Add” button which should allow to add adjustments to the panel. This is a generic ui concept and it is actually very much how Aperture does it. To me it doesn’t look like Aperture is abandoned, but actually iPhoto is abandoned. It looks like Apple is step by step reimplementing a casual user photo solution on top of the advanced features of Aperture - without throwing out the advanced features. One sign in the past was the merging of the library formats which actually was more like an adoption of the Aperture library format by iPhoto. An interesting feature is the “simple” control view of any adjustment which can get expanded into the detailed control view we all know from Aperture adjustments. So there would be no longer “iPhoto Adjustments” and “Aperture Adjustments” but only “Adjustments” - though with differently detailed controls depending on user context. To me it really looks like they are working on the next big step after Aperture: A photo tool usable on iOS-Devices and Macs by casual users and professionals and with seemless access to all of your work on all of your devices. So many questions…

I’m now in a quite curious state: On one side I’m disappointed that I didn’t just get  ”Aperture X” which I really hoped for. On the other side, the concept behind “Photos” looks really really interesting to me. It has the potential to wipe the floor with Lightroom. Adobe has been less then mediocre with their “cloud” adoption when it comes to real cloud features and not just billing. Curious situation: The keynote didn’t deliver, but really couldn’t switch to Lightroom now that I’ve seen this potential future.

Well thought-out, if perhaps tinged by your desires (which, afaict, I share), but you’re brewing a whole cup from what doesn’t amount to the dust left when the tin is empty.  I hope the leaves are bagged and delivered as you posit, and more, I hope we get some good tea.  The lesson I took from yesterday’s Keynote is this: there was no news about Aperture.  That’s  bad news for Aperture users, imho.

Actually “no news about Aperture” doesn’t sound right to me. It actually was more like “Aperture news for developers” which - duh - max make sense at the WWDC. ). Why do I say “Aperture news”? Well - Aperture was and is an application that heavily relies on OS Frameworks. Even the RAW decoding itself is not part of the application. The Aperture SDK is mainly a collection of interface definitions for two kinds of plugins. It now looks as if we could extend a future Aperture just using an OS provided extension Framework. Sharing and cloud features are now a feature of the iCloud ecosystem and no longer dependent on Aperture plugin interfaces or some fixed sync services. External editing is greatly simplified, because it is no longer part of the app, but part of a bigger picture. You could just open a photo from your iCloud photos using Photoshop and store it back. You wouldn’t even need Aperture to be installed. Photos.app (or whatever it will be) should take it up from there when you come back to it. There are a lot of remaining questions. Will there be a possibility to use that without cloud storage? How about storage needs that exceed 1TB? Will there still be different Apps (an Aperture besides Photos). Are edit extensions non-destructive? As I said: here are so many questions, but one thing is clear: Photography is definitely an important part of the big plan that Apple has for its iOS/MacOSX future.

“What about our existing libraries; you can’t make a future version of Aperture that just throws away the last decade of work (Aperture 1.0 was released in 2005), so even if the simplified iOS-type workflow is the future, our existing photos can’t be left behind.”

That genuinely doesn’t concern me. Even if Aperture is dead, I can’t see Apple not having a migration path for iPhoto to Photos. And since iPhoto and Aperture now share the same library, that gives us an upgrade path by default.

Like many, I’m completely split on this announcement. The plus is that photography is clearly a big thing for Apple and something that they are going to invest heavily in. They are creating a photography platform with Photos that, with the new Extensibility functionality, should make it much easier to take a consumer-focussed Photos application and make a pro-focussed Aperture replacement. More than that, that extension can be done much easier using third-party vendors, something which has never really taken off with Aperture.

The negative is that all of the language used yesterday was “consumer”. Now, the absence of acknowledging that professional, or even serious amateur, photographers doesn’t mean that it not understood and is not being addressed. But, given that fears for Aperture’s future have run for years now, the absence is clearly going to entrench those fears further.

I really feel with you and share your fears ). This question about professional vs. consumer is perhaps as old as Apple though. One of the key points of Apple always was to bring professional performance to the masses. Making complicated and arcane stuff easy.

I’ve to say I’m a big fan of what Apple did with Final Cut Pro X.  As professionals we seem to be used to think of “consumer” as something bad. Reality shows that consumer machines like an iMac can be veritable tools for a working professional. Similarily with cameras and equipment. There really is a movement coming from what were consumers in the past to a professional level. Some call it “prosumer” - I personally like to call it “Consumer with professional demands”. The interesting bit: While those consumers demand professional performance, they actually are less likely accept arcane and complicated user experience. This is were Apple can shine.

We shouldn’t lose the sight that big bucks for Apple is in the consumer market, not in the pro market. But similar to Formula 1 or other high profile ventures allowing a brand to show off its capabilities, the pro market will remain an important area for Apple. That wasn’t exactly the same situation when Aperture first came to light, so relatively speaking the Aperture community does not weigh as much today when compared to iPhoto and my guess is that Logic Pro and Final Cut Pro are more dream generating for the consumers than still photo is (we all know that from a consumer point of view they don’t feel the need of professionals anymore…).

Another important aspect to keep in mind is that since the creation of the App Store and later the Mac Apps Store, Apple relies more than ever on the existence of a strong ecosystem to boost its success. That’s why most of its development efforts have been to provide enhanced infrastructure capabilities (WiFi, Cloud, and now home automation, health, etc) with deep integration whilst striving not to weaken the security of the operating system.

When it comes to photography, the priority for Apple is clearly to provide consumers with intuitive tools to salvage, improve or enhance their images and keep everything seamless between devices. Practically that means: providing a complete photo framework with extensibility by 3rd parties and providing up to 1Tb of cloud storage, that probably covers a good 99.99% of consumers, existing or future Apple users. There is no doubt in my mind that photo libraries will be converted, if not simply directly taken over, by the new photo tool.

The question that remains is about the enthusiasts and pro: can Apple develop and deliver on its own something really more compelling than what Adobe does (let’s not forget that Apple has much bigger fish to fry: say Maps, Siri, iCloud and everything else we don’t yet know about).

What I believe is that Apple is again better off providing a framework with non destructive editing, iCloud integration and expendability and let third party developers to provide either or both consumer extensions and pro extensions, so that everyone can build his/her own version of “Aperture” by choosing the relevant extensions out of the available library.

For that to happen, Apple must check whether developers will show interest and follow; that’s the only reason why we got one of these rare sneak peeks into Apple future projects: enticing developers. I wonder what will Nik Software by Google do…

Christian C. Berclaz
www.photoanimalium.com

While I don’t disagree that consumer has always been more important to Apple…

The third highest grossing application on the App Store is Aperture. It is also the 17th most popular paid app.

The only two products that gross more than Aperture are Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro X. Those two products are 6th and 7th on the most popular paid app list.

Are Apple really happy at letting that revenue stream disappear to third party vendors?

That’s a good question with a relatively easy answer: they have nothing to lose, either they don’t invest and let 3rd party developers do it for them: they’ll still get their 30% cut and have a wider choice of options for the users. If they opt instead to invest and develop pro solutions they still can do it and take the full profit. Still if they want to create a compelling ecosystem, they have to be careful to stimulate innovation by rolling out “best in class” solutions while not creating an undue competition destroying the incentives of participating 3rd parties. But this is an area they have been very good at (their iWorks suite is solid but has not prevented MS To come with their Office for iPad, even before an android version)

Christian C. Berclaz
www.photoanimalium.com

Same message I recently posted on the Aperture Support Community Board:

I think we should all settle down about Apple “doing away” with Aperture.

Has anyone noticed that Aperture is the 3rd Top Grossing program in the App Store? I find it difficult to believe that Apple or any company would give up on a software product that grosses so much. What am I missing here Folks?

We should be careful here about the ranking of Aperture in the Mac App Store. Overall the iTunes Store (that means media, App Store, iBooks and Mac App Store) weigh about 10% of Apple revenues. Apple does not disclose the split between the channels but I’d venture to say that revenues are dominated by media and App Store, Mac App Store and iBooks are probably well below. In this respect I don’t see the Aperture revenue stream being a strong argument on its own, it is rather about where it stands in Apple’s big picture which is about selling iPhone, iPad and Mac.

Christian C. Berclaz
www.photoanimalium.com

If revenue from the Mac App Store is as insignificant as you suggest … how do you explain recent development to FCP X  and Logic Pro? …

What you may be overlooking … it is the software and OS that is the driving force that sells Macs, iPhones and iPads … customers are not paying premium hardware prices for the sake of the hardware alone … the results are what the Apple eco-system can actually do … and what users can create, generate and share with those devices. Hardware can’t create anything without good software …

Now all we need is for Apple to show a little love for Aperture … like they did for the other “pro” apps …

I didn’t say insignificant, I said that revenues alone is not a sufficient argument. What is is software that makes sell hardware and today Aperture is only a possible alternative but is no longer in the leading league. I let you have a look at my other few comments in that respect.

Christian C. Berclaz
www.photoanimalium.com

If bottlenecks to the cloud can be addressed, I will happily leave the data management to Apple and focus on using the tools. 

As I rarely print photos, I like the simplicity of the family photo stream concept described in the WWDC presentation.

 

I am not prepared to leave all the storage management to Apple. We already know there have been bugs in Aperture that caused originals to literally disappear from our systems.

In addition, professional photographers are not going to trust Apple to maintain all of their precious intellectual property. If there is ever a security breach where someone can steal that IP (some of it having never been published and by contractual agreement can never be published), the photographer would be in big trouble if that information was exposed.

True: it’s still possible though, that it is all far simpler that we may think. Nobody said, that there will be no local library anymore. Perhaps there will just be a transparent and seamless sync of our local libraries into the cloud. Including syncing changes back into our local libraries. Additional backups would not be very different to what we do now.

while the new Photo management and editing core o display at WWDC is all well and good, what is left unexplained is import and management of:

1) Legacy libraries created during the iLife/Aperture phase. I’m not just talking photos but also videos. While Photo Streams and Sharing have attempted to make compatibility between Aperture and iCloud it is a kludge of silos. Throw in the AppleTV viewing experience and it is all a mess of dead-ends. We have Photo Stream, Photo Sharing, Aperture web pages, iPhoto, iPhoto for iPad, iPhoto Journals (easily the best thing Apple has created for narrative storytelling), iMovie Trailers, iMovie Theater, iWeb (RIP), iDVD (RIP2), iTunes sharing, ad nauseum. All these legacy pathways can go away to a single iCloud framework……so long as there is somewhere for the legacy libraries created from this jumble to keep their organizational structure (albums) and metadata (keywords, captions, tags).

2) Dealing with non-Apple input devices for photos and videos. And this means dealing with RAW files. Surely Apple is not believing that everyone will only use an iDevice as their main photo/video input (rhetorical question)? Sometimes they behave as if they do. RAW files require constant updating and an engine beyond what we saw at WWDC. The huge growth in photography was not just the iPhone, but also the APS-C sensor. Those large files and their qualitative data need a home as well, on an integration par with whatever comes from an iDevice. otherwise we’ll have a bifurcated structure which is exactly what Aperture was supposed to do away with, “pro” or not (and iPhoto as well).

While the new Photo management and editing core on display at WWDC is all well and good, what is left unexplained is import and management of:

1) Legacy libraries created during the iLife/Aperture phase. I’m not just talking photos but also videos. While Photo Streams and Sharing have attempted to make compatibility between Aperture and iCloud it is a kludge of silos. Throw in the AppleTV viewing experience and it is all a mess of dead-ends. We have Photo Stream, Photo Sharing, Aperture web pages, iPhoto, iPhoto for iPad, iPhoto Journals (easily the best thing Apple has created for narrative storytelling), iMovie Trailers, iMovie Theater, iWeb (RIP), iDVD (RIP2), iTunes sharing, ad nauseum. All these legacy pathways can go away to a single iCloud framework……so long as there is somewhere for the legacy libraries created from this jumble to keep their organizational structure (albums) and metadata (keywords, captions, tags).

2) Dealing with non-Apple input devices for photos and videos. And this means dealing with RAW files. Surely Apple is not believing that everyone will only use an iDevice as their main photo/video input (rhetorical question)? Sometimes they behave as if they do. RAW files require constant updating and an engine beyond what we saw at WWDC. The huge growth in photography was not just the iPhone, but also the APS-C sensor. Those large files and their qualitative data need a home as well, on an integration par with whatever comes from an iDevice. otherwise we’ll have a bifurcated structure which is exactly what Aperture was supposed to do away with, “pro” or not (and iPhoto as well).

Duplicate post, sorry

This may provide hope to some.  Or perhaps this may be for keying up to the new “Photo” app mentioned yesterday at WWDC.

I received two twenty minute surveys from Apple last week.  The first focused on what devices I owned and used, and then targeted my use of the Mac Pro.  Mostly asked information about tool and app usage.

Then next was far more interesting for me as an advanced amateur photographer.  It asked several questions about how I used Aperture and iPhoto.  How many images total, how many Aperture libraries, if I preferred to use my library with iPhoto, Aperture, or Both.  Also, where I kept my libraries, used them as referenced or managed, how I backed them up, etc.  For example, Time Machine, cloud, cloning.  It also asked about tagging, and perhaps stacks.  Did not get into workflow processing questions, such as features used, faces, places, lens profiles, other photo management software, adjustments, etc.

Many of the questions for Aperture and iPhoto were generic and were asked as if to be answered by one question.  Perhaps this was to simplify the survey, but many of the questions seemed to first target iPhoto, although Aperture was featured prominently as well.

If Apple gave us all of the advanced editing, metadata mgmt., organization, and searching features we need from inside the OS X Photos app, and they merged Aperture and iPhoto into a single Photos app, with all this great iCloud integration, and provided it FREE to everyone, that would be stellar! I would also want the ability to create all of the products we can today like books, calendars, slideshows, web pages, journals, etc. If some of those features moved to different applications like Pages and Keynote, that would be OK too.

One can read between the lines that the more Apple can integrate iCloud into every product you use, the longer you are tied to the Apple ecosystem. That’s good business for Apple. It is far harder to get new customers than it is to keep existing customers. And your existing customers are always good sellers / marketers to new customers if they are happy with the products the existing customers use. You cannot put a price on word-of-mouth marketing.

I’d wish this could become true!

Christian C. Berclaz
www.photoanimalium.com

Due to the size of some legacy libraries after 10 years+ of iLife, the size of individual files, the length and size of integrated video projects, and all the metadata created in Aperture and iMovie and apps from the ecosystem, there needs to be a way of differentiating at the individual photo or video file between what can/should be iCloud shared and what should not. This closely parallels the discussions about managed vs referenced files.

The way iCloud Photo Library so far has been presented appears to serve images created by an iOS device. The much larger file sizes (especially video) coming from non-iOS devices,such a your typical DSLR, do not appear to be part of the mix as of yet. Where does the RAW file live? In iCloud? In a non-destructive format complete with undos forever?

Somehow I am not sure the iCloud Photo Library is going to be very useful for people using more advanced equipment than an iOS device.

When I purchased the “new & improved” ‘13 iMac, I transferred all my photos to a 4 TB external HD connected by Thunderbolt only categorized by date & geography. I deferred creating a library and tagging until Aperture 4 appeared. So if Apple kills Aperture, I and I suspect many users will migrate away from their product unless there is an absolutely seamless way to use what they substitute. There is no way I’m going to put my files in the cloud and be captive to someone’s market strategy or business model. I’m only an advanced amateur, but I would think pros would be in my camp. If Apple is just after the point and shoot and selfie crowd, they will have lost me. Once that happens, as my hardware matures I start to rethink replacing items with Android operating systems. This is  no small oversight by Apple. They need to think about the priorities of the present user base before they look for new users.

Ken Sky

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