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December 6, 2005

Aperture a Disappointment?

Filed under: Software — Bob @ 7:44 pm

When I first saw the online demos of Apple’s professional photography workflow tool Aperture I was blown away. The user interface was very slick and many features such as the digital loupe and photo stacks feature and the Firewire disk backup strategy are very clever. I’m not a professional photographer but I do like to think I can appreciate quality software. Plus I know a bit about what goes into high-end photography for print, sort of a side effect of knowing about design and production for prepress and press work (I develop workgroup productivity software for digital prepress workers).

A friend forwarded me the Ars Technica review today so I read it with great anticipation. Not a great reference for Apple but I’m sure its an accurate and fair review.

I doubt Apple will lose a lot of hardware sales over this. And that is what this is about, really. Apple will sell more hardware if there is best-of-breed professional software for only their platform. There is plenty of time to recover; no real competitors exist yet and Apple is way out in front of just about anyone who might be trying to clone it for Windows or Linux.

Some people say this could be or should be a competitor to Adobe Photoshop. Apple really has no reason to compete directly with Adobe on this one; Photoshop is a very economical investment for professionals and it can complement Aperture nicely. As long as Aperture can add real value for its workflow features then it will also be a good value for professionals. Spending $1,500 for software that saves time and energy for is cheap if you use the tools every day.

Creating killer software is really hard. Even Apple can fall short on a 1.0 product. I wonder if Steve Jobs will go ballistic over this?

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