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Is Apple turning its back on photographers?

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Kevin Patrick
Is Apple turning its back on photographers?
on Dec 9, 2011 at 3:19:22 pm

It's an old article, so you may have already seen it. I just stumbled across it the other day.

It's interesting to see the person come to the conclusion that they basically don't trust Apple to keep Aperture around.

"As much as I love Apple, I simply don't trust them not to turn their back on me, the professional photographer, and turn instead to the other 200 people who live in my block of flats. After all, why should they bother selling me one copy, when they can sell them two hundred?"

http://www.pixiq.com/article/aperture-or-lightroom

Oh, and just to make this post gets enough FCP X coverage to justify it being in this forum ...

I really don't care for the Magnetic Timeline. Except for when it's really useful. What are your thoughts?


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Christian Schumacher
Re: Is Apple turning its back on photographers?
on Dec 9, 2011 at 3:42:56 pm

Good article. I think the point the guy is making is that Apple may continue to further consolidate their products. So, perhaps Aperture will merge with Iphoto. Accordingly, Logic may merge with Garageband and FCPX would merge with iMovie. All for the sake of their success with smart devices and also their Appstore business model.


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Tom Wolsky
Re: Is Apple turning its back on photographers?
on Dec 9, 2011 at 4:26:08 pm

It benefits Apple to have two tiers of products. iPhoto/Aperture. iMovie/FCP. GarageBand/Logic, especially when the first tier are primarily free apps. The higher end apps are revenue streams. FCP has been number two on top grossing apps for a long time, second only to Lion, and Logic is now third.

All the best,

Tom

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Shane Ross
Re: Is Apple turning its back on photographers?
on Dec 9, 2011 at 6:51:30 pm

[Tom Wolsky] "It benefits Apple to have two tiers of products. iPhoto/Aperture. iMovie/FCP. GarageBand/Logic"

Except that they already killed the FCP tier. FCX isn't on the same level. But in that case, they had iMovie/FCE/FCP. So they now just have iMovie/FCX (which is the new FCE). They killed their pro video editing app.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Christian Schumacher
Re: Is Apple turning its back on photographers?
on Dec 9, 2011 at 6:59:46 pm

[Tom Wolsky] "It benefits Apple to have two tiers of products. iPhoto/Aperture. iMovie/FCP. GarageBand/Logic, especially when the first tier are primarily free apps."

I can see your line of reasoning, but if their hardware is already successful, why give software away for free?
And maybe some basic functionality could be introduced to the "Mic App" and "Camera App" that would replace the need for those free "first tiers"? Addicionally, wouldn't be smart to merge not only the products, but also their development and support? I think this is the way they're going. IMHO.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Is Apple turning its back on photographers?
on Dec 9, 2011 at 5:35:14 pm

[Christian Schumacher] " I think the point the guy is making is that Apple may continue to further consolidate their products. "

Consolidate? Now there's an understatement. :)

Wouldn't it have been great if Apple had only decided to consolidate FCS instead of killing it?

David Roth Weiss
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Christian Schumacher
Re: Is Apple turning its back on photographers?
on Dec 9, 2011 at 7:04:34 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "
Consolidate? Now there's an understatement. :)"


I meant "consolidate" as "to join together as one whole"

[David Roth Weiss] "
Wouldn't it have been great if Apple had only decided to consolidate FCS instead of killing it?"


If you meant it as "to make firm or secure" than yes, it would've been great.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/consolidate


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James Mortner
Re: Is Apple turning its back on photographers?
on Dec 9, 2011 at 3:46:13 pm

Enjoyed the end line !


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Shawn Birmingham
Re: Is Apple turning its back on photographers?
on Dec 9, 2011 at 4:43:17 pm

Yes it is an old article, which was addressed here;
http://aperture.maccreate.com/2011/10/31/pixiq-is-apple-turning-its-back-on...


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Daniel Frome
Re: Is Apple turning its back on photographers?
on Dec 9, 2011 at 5:55:39 pm

WIth photos, I think Adobe always had a much more popular and better offering (lightroom). If they dumbed down Aperture I don't think it will cause nearly the stink that FCPX did.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Is Apple turning its back on photographers?
on Dec 9, 2011 at 7:22:03 pm

[Daniel Frome] "WIth photos, I think Adobe always had a much more popular and better offering (lightroom)."

Apple created the category. I think Apple and Adobe leapfrogged each other on feature set for the first couple versions -- but notably, Aperture shipped first and introduced photographers to the notion of a RAW-editing photo management app.

It certainly seems that Lightroom has all the momentum now, though. Anecdotally, I know a few photographers who switched from Aperture to Lightroom over time, but none who switched from Lightroom to Aperture.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: Is Apple turning its back on photographers?
on Dec 9, 2011 at 7:39:58 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Apple created the category."

Walter,

While I think this is largely true, some allowance should be made for Adobe Bridge which, according to wikipedia, was released at least half a year prior to Aperture.

Franz.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Is Apple turning its back on photographers?
on Dec 9, 2011 at 8:17:05 pm

[Franz Bieberkopf] "... some allowance should be made for Adobe Bridge which, according to wikipedia, was released at least half a year prior to Aperture."

There's some overlap between Aperture and Bridge in terms of functionality, but they aren't competitive products.

Bridge is a file browser and rudimentary DAM; Aperture is photo-specific, with both DAM and editorial functionality.

The innovation in Aperture was giving photographers an end-to-end image workflow in a single app, combining the tools they needed to import, catalog, organize, version, edit, process (non-destructively with RAW), and output.

When Aperture was released, there really was nothing quite like it.

It wasn't all rainbows and butterflies, though. iPhoto got more regular updates and new features like facial recognition and higher-quality in-app print ordering before Aperture did.

Aperture tried to shield the user from the nuts and bolts and file management by pulling all assets into its library -- which was maddening to professional photographers who preferred to manage their own media files.

Adobe had already been hard at work with Lightroom for a couple years, and they released a public beta shortly after Aperture shipped. Lightroom came with instant credibility (thanks to Photoshop) and took a more open approach, offering an unmanaged media database.

Lightroom has since outdeveloped Aperture, beating them to market with nondestructive adjustment brushes, noise reduction, and grain tools.

I think the comparisons between FCPX and Aperture are very interesting -- as I've described elsewhere, Aperture is now a cool and quirky "in-between" application with loads of untapped potential, but nowhere near the market dominance that FCP7 had. It'll be interesting to see which path FCPX follows more closely.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: Is Apple turning its back on photographers?
on Dec 9, 2011 at 10:30:55 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I think the comparisons between FCPX and Aperture are very interesting ..."

Also the move to sell mainstage (with libraries) for 30.00 ... That's pretty astounding and will have a huge impact on wide use. (And if they develop a version for the ipad, ...)


Franz.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Is Apple turning its back on photographers?
on Dec 10, 2011 at 8:58:37 pm

[Franz Bieberkopf] "Also the move to sell mainstage (with libraries) for 30.00 ... That's pretty astounding and will have a huge impact on wide use. (And if they develop a version for the ipad, ...)"

Franz, I work with visuals, not audio, and I've never heard of Mainstage until now. What's the significance of this move?

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: Is Apple turning its back on photographers?
on Dec 10, 2011 at 10:02:28 pm

Walter,


I haven't used it ... but that has to change.

Main Stage used to be available only as part of the Logic Pro bundle.

It is essentially a performance tool for musicians - where otherwise you would use a DAW, for instance, to host your instruments, Main Stage hosts instruments and effects, but is entirely configurable and stage-friendly.

I'll quote from the CDM article I linked to in the other thread:

http://createdigitalmusic.com/2011/12/logic-9-and-updated-mainstage-on-app-...

... the big news here is that, with MainStage unbundled from Logic, it’s in a whole new product category. It could be a viable option for Mac owners wanting to control plug-ins and hardware from a streamlined setup, even if they’re not Logic fans. And that could open MainStage to new audiences using other DAWs. ... The idea is great: make a simple, straightforward app that gets you actually playing instruments on your computer with minimum fuss.

... relevant for the "new category" comment (though that should be argued).

Add to this that you're getting all of Apple's top quality instruments (previously hundreds of dollars) and FX (see FCPX audio) - all for 30.00. If you have a Mac, a midi controller, and an audio interface, you've got a "high end" instrument set-up.


Franz.


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Kevin Patrick
Re: Is Apple turning its back on photographers?
on Dec 10, 2011 at 2:29:32 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Aperture is now a cool and quirky "in-between" application with loads of untapped potential"

Look at what Apple considers to be the key differences between iPhoto and Aperture (why you should upgrade to Aperture).

http://www.apple.com/aperture/iphoto-to-aperture/

These differences don't seem all that far apart. I don't think it would be too hard to expand iPhoto's capabilities to that of Aperture.

The cost difference (now) is $14.99 and $79.99.

If Apple could justify killing off FCS and bringing out FCP X, what's the reason for them not merging iPhoto and Aperture?

Do they want to grow Aperture to have features more like Photoshop? I doubt that.

Are they concerned about how their Aperture users would feel if they merged the two? I doubt that too.

Besides, how does the size of the Aperture user base compare to Lightroom? Probably not the same as FCP 7 vs PP. At least in terms of users making a living using either one.

Either way, I found it interesting, when I came across the Aperture article that photo users have watched what Apple has done on the video side of their business and simply see it as writing on the wall for Aperture. Although, Aperture users probably won't loose out in the same way FCS users did.


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Dennis Radeke
Re: Is Apple turning its back on photographers?
on Dec 11, 2011 at 11:57:07 am

[Walter Soyka] "Apple created the category."

I agree in the sense that there wasn't a single application that combined management (Bridge) and editing (Photoshop). As you mentioned though, Adobe was already hard at work on Lightroom 1.0 and it quickly stole Apeture's thunder for two reasons (from my POV): First intuitive UI and features, second broad camera raw support.

I wonder where Apeture would be if it hadn't been dropped to $79.00 and put on the App store. I hear many ASC's use Lightroom for a quick look of what they want to see on the video by taking a still out from a shot. Lightroom is easily one of my favorite Adobe programs because it is just plain fun!

Dennis - Adobe guy


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Bill Davis
Re: Is Apple turning its back on photographers?
on Dec 11, 2011 at 11:02:17 pm

[Dennis Radeke] "I wonder where Apeture would be if it hadn't been dropped to $79.00 and put on the App store. "

As someone who was paid to make quite a few videos for a large national corporation relating to supply chain logistics management and the costs entailed therein, let me note that by understanding and adopting the "digital delivery" model Apple probably make Aperture at $79 a much MORE efficient contributor to the company's bottom line than the legacy versions.

It's not just inexpensive offshore sourcing of goods, ala Walmart, it's having a system in place to deliver them to customers without sharing your profits with other entities. Quite a few logistics pros I worked with noted that, owning the supply chain was where much of the real profit was often made in national retailing.

When supply chain costs disappears (ala the iTunes Music Store Model) — overhead plummets and profits go way up. And smart companies can use that reality to cut prices and increase sales even further - driving even more profit.

I actually think that with 20/20 hindsight, it was the early iTunes "micro-payments for IP" play that was Apple's single most revolutionary move. (That Word, Photoshop et al, are all now available via on-line subscription acknowledges that reality.) So I'd bet that there's actually vastly more overall profit at selling a LOT of stuff at $79 - than there is in selling a smaller number of boxes at $999 ea and having to share those generated profits with a legion of truckers, warehousemen, and shelf stockers in stores around the country.

My guess as an observer, anyway.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Dennis Radeke
Re: Is Apple turning its back on photographers?
on Dec 12, 2011 at 12:25:13 am

Hi Bill -

Yes, I agree that this model is more efficient and at face value more profitable.


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Darren Kelly
Re: Is Apple turning its back on photographers?
on Dec 12, 2011 at 1:11:11 am

I owned both version 1's, and while at the time a died in the wool Apple Follower, I found Lightroom easier to use, and as someone put it earlier - just plain fun to use.

As I said on this forum before, I think Apple will kill off all it's pro applications. For what ever reason, Apple under Steve Jobs was all about control and dominance. I'm wondering if the new team and board will change that.

I'm now on PC for editing, and photography. I'm frustrated with Apple's policy regarding killing in app purchases on the iPhone and iPad ( Zinio and Kobo as examples) and while my phone is only 1 year old, when It's time for upgrade, I will look really hard at android. My iPad may not make it through 2011, as in Canada the new Kobo Vox - a $200 e-reader with wifi, and android 2.3 - same as the Kindle I think, has web browsing, email, zinio, and just about everything else I use on my iPad. 40% of the price. Easier to justify moving to the new one, when it comes out and you are free to use what ever you want.

No, Apple has just about lost me, and I ran a company for 10 years that spent about $30K/year on software and hardware from Apple. I know I'm a little guy, but this has to be pissing others off too.

DBK


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Walter Soyka
Re: Is Apple turning its back on photographers?
on Dec 12, 2011 at 5:46:34 am

[Bill Davis] "I actually think that with 20/20 hindsight, it was the early iTunes "micro-payments for IP" play that was Apple's single most revolutionary move. (That Word, Photoshop et al, are all now available via on-line subscription acknowledges that reality.) So I'd bet that there's actually vastly more overall profit at selling a LOT of stuff at $79 - than there is in selling a smaller number of boxes at $999 ea and having to share those generated profits with a legion of truckers, warehousemen, and shelf stockers in stores around the country."

I agree with your premise (iTunes pricing was revolutionary) and your conclusions (electronic delivery may be more profitable for developers, and lower unit prices can increase unit sales), but not the arguments that connect them.

iTunes matched the unit of sale to the unit of consumption for music. We used to think about selling albums, even if we only listened to songs. iTunes broke the mold in offering individual songs for sale, so you could spend $1 to get the one track you wanted from an album, instead of spending $15 to get the one song you wanted plus 14 others you didn't.

Subscription pricing or software as a service is about changing the revenue model for software developers. Instead of charging a high price for the initial perpetual license and reduced prices for upgrades thereafter, many developers are now looking to flatten their revenue curves by leasing access to the software and upgrades on an on-going basis.

iTunes set the stage (and value model) for the one-time purchases of $1 apps for your iPhone, not ongoing monthly payments for access to software. SaaS is a much older concept than the iTMS.

That aside, I actually question whether this new low, low pricing is good for our industry over the long term. How many developers (aside from Apple) can afford to sell "professional" tools with limited general market appeal at such low prices? Shouldn't a professional photographer's primary application be worth more to them than 5 or 6 music albums, or an hour or two of work?

Good for Apple if they can do this and make money at it, but it may be bad for the rest of us in the long run if it hurts competition or discourages innovation -- we'd have fewer and/or lower-quality choices for the tools we use.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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