Life after Aperture and iPhoto: What to do with your image library

“When most companies kill off a neglected product, the damage is usually limited to the few remaining customers that have stuck by it,” Jeff Carlson writes for Macworld. “In the case of Apple retiring iPhoto and Aperture, however, the disruption is much more broad: As iPhoto has been the included image management application on the Mac for years, it’s actively used by millions of customers. And although Aperture never made as many inroads into the professional community as Adobe’s Photoshop Lightroom, it was still the Apple-supplied pro option.”

Carlson writes, “Both programs are being replaced by Apple’s upcoming Photos for OS X application, which at this point is still a mystery: Will it incorporate the advanced features of Aperture, will it be a stripped-down limited clone of the Photos app under iOS 8, or will it be something in-between?”

“No matter what’s to come,” Carlson writes, “you can start to take steps now to prepare for your transition—whether that means switching to Photos or migrating to another third-party photo application.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Don’t weep for Aperture: Apple’s Photos is a bright new beginning – July 3, 2014
The Cloud Kit-savvy Photos future of Apple’s iPhoto and Aperture – July 3, 2014
Apple’s new Photos app looks to be a lot more powerful than iPhoto – July 2, 2014
How iCloud killed iPhoto and Aperture – July 1, 2014
Apple merges iPhoto, Aperture into a single new, free Photos app – June 30, 2014
Apple axes Aperture and iPhoto, says new Photos app for OS X is the future – June 28, 2014
Apple pulls plug on Aperture – June 27, 2014
Apple may have finally solved photo storage hell – June 23, 2014
Apple unveils new versions of OS X and iOS, major iCloud update with iCloud Drive – June 2, 2014

36 Comments

  1. Why not wait and see what this program is before you spend time an effort looking into other apps.. Might be better than you expect – Did Adobe pay you for this piece?

    1. Exactly; very soon Photos for iCloud will have even more professional filters and editing capabilities that Lightroom ever had, and with much better cataloging and UI than such an old concept as Lightroom (most Aperture users can not stand it).

      1. “very soon Photos for iCloud will have even more professional filters and editing capabilities that Lightroom ever had”

        That’s got to be the most batshit-insanely polyannic comment I’ve read yet about the transition to Photos.

        Even if true… the problem is that Apple isn’t communicating anything like this. Instead, professionals working on projects between now and sometime in 2015 have to make decisions based on the lack of information from Apple.

          1. Not this tired old argument of “it will still work”…

            The one thing Apple has communicated about Aperture, is that they’re stopping development of it. It will receive an upgrade to work with Yosemite and no more development.

            What that means for professionals is that there will be no more RAW profiles, which means, yes, it literally will stop working for them.

            It also means that any server APIs that change will affect Aperture’s ability to work with them so Aperture will stop working with many of the servers and services pros need to use to provide work to clients.

            Additionally, it’s likely that Aperture will stop working as a sync mechanism with iOS, meaning that those pros using Aperture won’t have a direct/easy way of loading up iPads with photos for clients to review.

            The biggest issue here is that a pro can’t rely on a EOL platform. New equipment will be purchased and it won’t work. Old equipment will breakdown and need to be replaced.

            “It will still work” is what people say who have no understanding whatsoever of how pros are using Aperture.

            1. I’m sorry, but I have to point out a VERY fundamental flaw in your argument. “No more RAW profiles.”

              1) Okay first of all, some of don’t buy a brand new DSLR ever three months. So I expect that the profiles that work with my camera today will continue to work for years. So this claim is, on its face, specious.

              2) Should Aperture continue to have a sufficiently-large audience (and I don’t know how large that audience is so I’m just speculating here), the camera manufacturers themselves will provide RAW profiles for Aperture, and least for another year or two until Photos gets “up to speed.” From what little I know of the program, RAW profiles for Photos might be compatible with Aperture and iPhoto right from the get-go. So again, this seems like a FUD attack to me.

            2. Agree; Photos for iCloud will almost immediately become much bigger thing than Lightroom ever was — due to sheer scale of adoption.

              The number of plugins, filters and profiles this new solution will offer is going to be overwhelming.

              AND it will have much better UI than an old Lightroom that most Aperture users hate.

            3. “Okay first of all, some of don’t buy a brand new DSLR ever three months.”

              True, but we’re talking about professionals, the target user for Aperture. I consider myself semi-pro (or prosumer) and even I buy at least 1-2 cameras a year. Most pros keep their lenses for long periods of time, but go through bodies pretty quickly. The point was, “Aperture not working after 2015”. For a lot of professionals, they will have new cameras by then.

              “So I expect that the profiles that work with my camera today will continue to work for years. “

              Ok, so you’re going to keep your camera for years. Are you going to keep your Mac? Are you not going to upgrade your Mac? What happens when your Mac fails and you need a new Mac, or being the level of a professional, you find that efficiency of newer Macs are worth the investment, but you can’t run Aperture on a newer Mac because it’s not compatible with the OS, but even if it were to be compatible, the camera profile may not be?

              “Should Aperture continue to have a sufficiently-large audience “

              That’s a bit of a catch-22. If it has a large audience, then Apple must have really screwed up with Photos since these people didn’t migrate to Photos, but if Photos is that bad, then these people wouldn’t keep using Aperture, they’d move on to Lightroom.

              We don’t know much, but what we do know is that Aperture will be dead.

              “the camera manufacturers themselves will provide RAW profiles for Aperture”

              That’s a laugh and a half. There’s no way that would happen. The camera manufacture’s answer will be to use Photos or Lightroom.

              “So again, this seems like a FUD attack to me.”

              Yes… Yes… you finally get it! It is exactly that, a FUD attack. I said that at the beginning and in every comment. The biggest complaint we have regarding any of this is the FUD from Apple. However, the lack of clearly communicating anything by Apple and thus attacking us with FUD is a clear message in of itself of what Apple thinks of Aperture customers.

              If they cared at all, instead of hitting us with FUD, they would’ve been up on stage at WWDC and said, “Here’s a sneak peak at Photos…”, followed by saying that they intend it to be a product that both iPhoto and Aperture users will migrate to.

              Instead, they’ve said “Here’s Photos… Instagram like filters, blah, blah, blah, iPhoto users will love it, and we’re killing Aperture”. When rumors of Apple intending to have Aperture users migrate to Lightroom surfaced, Apple did nothing to stop them, and has said ZERO to provide Aperture users with any reason to believe Photos will be something Apple even intends for them to migrate to.

              Here’s the thing, either Apple has moronic marketing managers, or they simply don’t care if Aperture users leave now for Lightroom, because they know Aperture users will leave for Lightroom when Photos is released.

              I’m hoping it’s just moronic marketing managers, but the hours of work I’m doing on projects between now and 2015 could very well end up being a HUGE mistake if Photos isn’t a suitable migration path.

            4. RAW updates for Aperture are handled through OS X and show up in Software Update, however, take a look at the latest KB regarding one of the most recent updates:
              http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5955

              All seems good until you read the fine print at the bottom. Replace that with Photos 1.x sometime when it’s released next year.

            5. It will continue for programs that have the proper hooks to the current OS. There is no guarantee that Aperture will be among those programs after the promised upgrade for the first release of Yosemite. So, no, RAW upgrades aren’t a sure thing for Aperture users after October of this year.

            6. I know what you are saying, really I do… but the fact remains you will still be able to use Aperture for many years from now.

              During these years, Apple will release Yosemite and with it Photos, which will be adopted by millions and millions of Mac users. Plugins will be developed by 3rd parties and you will be able to test and evaluate it on a development machine.

              All the while, you will still be earning money using Aperture, and if you do decide to move to Photos the transition will be painless.

              If you intend to upgrade to Photos on day 1, then you can’t blame anyone but yourself if it all goes titsup.

            7. “but the fact remains you will still be able to use Aperture for many years from now.”

              By over-qualifying what it would take, you’ve removed all meaning of the definition.

              In theory one could still be using WordStar 1.0, but in reality, the product is long since dead.

              In reality, the fact remains that Aperture is EOL, and like all other professional software that becomes EOL, that’s a sign that you’re going to have to move on.

              Again, yes, you could maintain an old Mac on life-support and stop using this feature or that feature because they don’t work anymore, not use any new camera, no longer fully sync with iPads for clients, no longer sync with Flickr, and invest even more time with project that may not fully migrate over to anything else, but “hey, technically, you could still be using Lotus 123”.

              The reality is, real professionals, can’t rely on EOL and unsupported software, and the other reality is that any 3rd party support for Aperture is only going to diminish from where it is now to zero.

              Any professional who doesn’t see this, should really ask themselves why they’re using software from a company that has stated that they’re ending it, but cares so little about their customers that they’re not saying much of anything else.

      2. Lightroom is by far the best, I have used nearly all of the available software in the field and not much else comes close. There are exceptions, but Aperture is not in the same league.

        1. It really depends on what your needs are. There are a lot of people like myself who feel Aperture is way better than Lightroom because our needs are different.

          For me, my non-destructive editing needs are rather light, and Aperture meets those needs. The only time I’m going to do advanced editing, I’m going to want to use Photoshop, and Aperture works great for roundtripping through Photoshop.

          On the other hand, my needs for organization, synchronization, and metadata are very high, and that’s where Aperture blows Lightroom away.

          This is what’s so frustrating about Apple’s handling of this. Photos may very well be a desirable migration path for the majority of people using Aperture today, but Apple isn’t communicating that.

          1. Well I’m a professional photographer, hence my main source if income is from photography. I really don’t have a clue what you mean when you talk of organisation, synchronisation and metadata – are you sure you have ever used Lightroom? Lightroom does everything Aperture does – Lightroom simply caters for the needs of photographers who want to get the best from their images in the simplest most straightforward UI….aperture is great , but it’s obvious that it isn’t that popular because most pros are using LR and most consumers only need iPhoto. Apple have realised they are wasting their time developing two photo apps, so they kill both and hopefully create something really compelling – even for pros to consider hopefully.

            1. You might want to talk to other photo pros as well. While Lightroom is more popular, no doubt, Aperture still has quite a following. Talk to the pros using Aperture, and almost all say the same thing as me… better organization, better in terms of metadata, and better in terms of synchronization.

              Lightroom doesn’t do many things Aperture does in these 3 areas, just like Aperture doesn’t do many of the things Lightroom does in terms of being the best at image editing and enhancement.

              I have both. I’ve used both (and others) for many years, and with my current work (for a few years now), Aperture has been a much better product because I’ve needed much more in those 3 areas as opposed to image editing and enhancement.

              If that’s what I needed, I would’ve gone with Lightroom for most of my projects, but it’s not, nor is it for most everyone who chose Aperture over Lightroom.

    2. If you’re a consumer, yes, wait… or for that matter don’t worry about it. Photos will come out and you’ll just launch it and it will auto-import from iPhoto and you’ll be a happy camper.

      If you’re a professional, or prosumer using Aperture, waiting isn’t so simple. Between now and sometime in 2015, you will likely have spent many hours/days/weeks doing work that will likely be lost in the transition.

      The best way to eliminate this risk is to migrate to Lightroom now.

      For many of us, this really sucks, because we hate Adobe with a passion usually reserved for Microsoft, and especially have a distaste Lightroom that made us choose Aperture in the first place.

      The real and rational anger towards Apple here isn’t that they’re abandoning Aperture or the pro market, but rather that they aren’t communicating with their customers.

      If Aperture users will be ok going to Photos, Apple should be communicating this. If Photos is going to be consumer oriented and things like non-destructive edits will be lost when migrating to Photos, Apple should inform customers now so they can start the process of migrating to Lightroom.

      Not saying anything useful to Aperture users is really sending a strong message of what Apple thinks about them.

    3. This writer is totally full of sh!t.
      A. The new Photo for Macs is going to closer to Aperture in capability than iPhoto
      B. Aperture and iPhoto Libraries will migrate to Photo
      c. Another story manufactured using false premises and straw man issues.

      1. Point to where Apple has been clear with any of that. Specifically with B, where Apple said non-destructive edits, metadata and projects will migrate to Photos.

        If it’s just processed jpegs, of course those will migrate to anything jpeg compatible. That’s not the issue.

        The issue is whether or not Apple intends Photos to be the migration path for professionals using Aperture. Apple hasn’t communicated this one way or the other, but their silence on the issue is sending a message in regards to what they think about their pro Aperture customers.

  2. It will be better than either Aperture or iPhoto. It will advance the puck to a new place, probably the back of the net. And there will be wailing that it doesn’t do ___ like I’m used to! but ___ will no longer be relevant to the end goal, great pictures. That’s my guess.

  3. Since Photos will likely just open your existing library and convert it into whatever library system it uses (assuming the library file is even different) why would you want to waste a load of time taking all your photos out of iPhoto/Aperture to then have to load them all back into Photos? Talk about jumping the gun.

  4. Who knows – but if past history of abandoning robust, pro, prosumer, and feature laden apps in favor of the pop culture consumer who could not care any less about the quality, interface, collaborative and cross platform capabilities of really leading edge apps and the hardware to run them, then don’t hold your breath thinking this latest abandonment will be any different. If Photos has even 50 percent of the capabilities of Aperture, or 20 percent of the capabilities of Lightroom, I’ll provide a very rare compliment to the hapless CEO who has done nothing but drive the once great company to ordinary.

    In the end, few will even notice or care – they will be hyperventilating over the new phones. Sad, sad days.

    1. … because I mess up my pictures in a minor way a lot. So … I crop most of my photos. And I have to rotate many of them. Add a little touch-up to a few and that’s 99.99% of what I do with iPhoto. Yes, I care about the UI, but Apple is good about that.
      I expect the new app will support my needs.

    2. I am always much-reassured when some nutter comes along who is clearly out of touch with reality entirely and says something like APPLE IS DOOOOOOOMED. Sorry, PHOTOS IS DOOOOOOMED.

      I take such comments more seriously when people I respect say them. But when the lunatic fringe comes along with their latest sky-is-falling report, it reminds me once again that Apple’s rebuilt efforts (as Photos is) often do start off a bit rocky, but end up being far superior to what they left behind. Over and over and over again, contrary to the Chicken Little nutbags we tend to get in here like Jay.

  5. The crystal ball says, “Photos will use current iPhoto/Aperture libraries and flow them into the new interface. Most users won’t even notice that the app name has lost an I and gained a S! And all of Aperture’s features will be in Photos since its it makes sense to start Photos at the top of the photo food chain.”

    1. If that’s the case, Apple should be communicating this. Instead, their lack of communication for Aperture users, is reflective of what they think of them.

      You may have a crystal ball, but all professional users of Aperture have is a history of Apple’s other dumbing down of apps by stripping out features and functionality.

      If Photos is the intended migration path for Aperture users, Apple should be telling its customers this.

  6. Aperture is an an amazing program. Even more amazingly it still works for me even after Apple “announced (???)” it would be discontinued.

    Whatever, Photo’s turns out to be, I know I’ll still be happy using Aperture+Photo’s+

    1. Aperture is an an amazing program. Even more amazingly it still works for me even after Apple “announced (???)” it would be discontinued. “

      Of course it still works. I’m not sure what the ??? is for, but Apple announced that it will no longer be developed or supported other than an initial update for Yosemite.

      That means it will stop working (future tense) in various ways after development stops.

      What that means for professionals is that there will be no more RAW profiles, which means, yes, it literally will stop working for them.

      It also means that any server APIs that change will affect Aperture’s ability to work with them so Aperture will stop working with many of the servers and services pros need to use to provide work to clients.

      Additionally, it’s likely that Aperture will stop working as a sync mechanism with iOS, meaning that those pros using Aperture won’t have a direct/easy way of loading up iPads with photos for clients to review.

      The biggest issue here is that a pro can’t rely on a EOL platform. New equipment will be purchased and it won’t work. Old equipment will breakdown and need to be replaced.

      “It will still work” is what people say who have no understanding whatsoever of how pros are using Aperture.

      1. Keep it going Kevsavvy and hold Apple’s arse to the fire.

        Their cavalier ignorance of the pro market never ceases to amaze me.

        You own this issue, dude … :~)

        1. RAW updates for Aperture are handled through OS X and show up in Software Update, however, take a look at the latest KB regarding one of the most recent updates:
          http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5955

          All seems good until you read the fine print at the bottom. Replace that with Photos 1.x sometime when it’s released next year.

          Worse, we don’t know what Apple will do regarding maintaining existing RAW profiles. In other words, we can expect future cameras not to work with Aperture, that’s a given, but there’s no guarantee that existing cameras won’t work in Yosemite and beyond if the new RAW profile architecture breaks for Aperture.

          We might know this one way or the other, but Apple doesn’t care enough about us to be bothered to say anything on the subject.

          So in terms of RAW, what we’re left with is that new cameras won’t work with Aperture and existing cameras that work with Aperture today may not work with new Macs or new versions of OS X.

  7. I migrated to Aperture after iPhoto allowed two users to use the same iPhoto library at the same time, which caused mayhem and corruption in my library. It took a year and hundreds of man hours to manually get my then 30,000 photo library back into proper shape. Apple said they’d never heard of this happening before (yeah bullshit), and were zero help at any level. Using Aperture effectively sandboxed my photo library so that no outside influence could corrupt it again. I can only imagine the mayhem to be visited upon countless libraries out there if a half-baked new Photos app arrives on everyone’s doorstep. This has the potential to make Apple’s Maps fiasco seem insignificant unless Apple is all over the attention to detail BEFORE it launches.

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