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Terminal Diagnosis: Aperture and iPhoto's impending demise

The internet and blogs have been on fire with rampant speculation and theories in the past few weeks regarding Apple's decision to halt development on Aperture and iPhoto. After letting some of the dust settle and put some things in perspective I now have a few things to say. None of it hasn't been said before, but at least I can now express my opinion. I will updated this page as new information develops and I come up with further opinions.

We're not dead yet

Hot on the heals of the news that Aperture and iPhoto have been diagnosed as terminal, the vultures started circling. Ready to pick the bones of distressed users. I'm not going to name names as I'm sure we all know a case or two of this happening.

One instance headlined that converting from Aperture to Lightroom was fast, fun, and easy. I can assure all of you that fast, fun, and easy are definitely not accurate adjectives to be associated with the process.

That being said, I do understand the vultures and am guilty of being one myself as I've recently completed Aperture Exporter; a tool to aid in the conversion from Aperture to Lightroom. My only defence is that I only recommend it for people who have already planned to do this conversion prior to learning about Aperture and iPhoto's terminal diagnosis.

Don't Panic

Aperture and iPhoto are not going away any time soon. Indeed, Apple will be releasing a maintenance version of Aperture to make it compatible with OS X 10.10 Yosemite. More importantly, Apple is not reaching into your system and deleting your iPhoto and Aperture installations and libraries.

There is plenty of time left. Use that time to make an informed and rational decision about your future in digital asset management.

But I have to do SOMETHING

Do you really? It goes without saying (but I will anyway) that decisions should be based on facts and not on knee-jerk reactions and emotions.

So what do we know? The list is pretty short:
1. Aperture and iPhoto will be going away eventually. They will continue to work at least until 2015.
2. Apple has a replacement in the works and that replacement will import your libraries. It was shown off at WWDC 14.
3. Alternative solutions exist, although migrating to them today is not seamless or easy (or fast or fun).

If you still feel the need to do something; that is fine. Do your research. Try the alternatives. Adobe has a free 30 day trial for Lightroom. Give it a go and really know what you are getting into. I'm not going to say you will be back to an Apple solution, but you probably will. :)

I need to invest in the future....

Yes, I am in the same boat as you. The past is the past. I hear you. As a photographer, I'm just as affected. As a developer and owner of this tiny business all the more so.

I do own Lightroom and have been investigating it. I have not transferred my personal and production Aperture libraries to it. For my day to day personal photography work, I am sticking with Aperture and will wait and see what Apple's new solution will be like in person. I don't have expectations that the first release will be my preferred solution.

From a developer perspective I do need to do something. Furthermore, I have a new product in the pipeline and still consider Aperture and iPhoto support worthwhile in the short term. Of course there is an eye on the future and it will not be an exclusive iPhoto and Aperture product.

I will continue to support and sell my existing Aperture and iPhoto products until it is no longer feasible to do so.

Summary Statement

I do believe that Apple is investing in your future in photography. Be it that you are a professional or a casual user, Apple is disrupting us now in order to build a new foundation for all of us. I take this on faith with no evidence. Only time will tell.

These are my opinions and have no inclination to defend any of it. You are welcome to disagree and I am certain to change my stance based on evidence and well argued opinion. Feel free to comment to me directly.

Adrian Grah
Original Version: July 3, 2014