As many of you may know, Apple announced yesterday the end of life for Aperture. Although they will update it for compatibility with its upcoming Yosemite operating system, there will be no further feature development for Aperture.
End Of Life For Aperture Was Inevitable
A few weeks ago, I received a message from someone who thought that Aperture was a trap because it stored photos in a database. Did you hear that? A database! Oh, the horror! What would happen if Apple ever stopped making Aperture?
I told him that would inevitably happen, though at the time I thought it would be farther down the road. Aperture is not the first software program to end development. Think about spreadsheet programs. I’ve used VisiCalc, Multiplan, Lotus 1-2-3 and now Excel. The world kept spinning and essential data continued to live in other program.
The same thing will happen with your photographs if you use Aperture. Another program, most likely Adobe Lightroom, will do just fine in caring for your photographic data.
That isn’t to say there won’t be some bumps in the road. Migration is a pain in the neck. Some of your data won’t survive. For example, the edits you made to your images in Aperture will not transfer to Lightroom. However, you can transfer the original files and the associated metadata from Aperture to Lightroom.
I’m working on a migration guide to help you avoid most of the bumps in the road and allow you to make the transition from Aperture to Lightroom as smooth as possible.
End Of Life For Aperture Vs Lightroom, Too
Apple’s announcement also signals the end of life for the Aperture vs Lightroom blog. The intent behind this sight was to serve those who wanted information about buying these programs. Which one should you get? Should you switch from one to the other?
Well, that question is now moot. Aperture is no longer viable option to purchase. I own both products and I can tell you that I will migrate everything I have in Aperture over to Lightroom. Well, almost everything. Lightroom still doesn’t support audio files as Aperture does, but that won’t affect most people.
Some are holding out hope that the new Photos application demonstrated at WWDC 2014 will be a viable replacement for Aperture. I don’t have any such hope. My guess is that Photos will be a slower, dimwitted version of Aperture for the consumer masses shooting pictures on their iOS device. While I’m sure there is some excellent engineering going on behind the scenes, I doubt it will offer the level of organization and control that professional and serious amateurs require.
I’ve read reports that Photos may work with third party plugins and include some of the advanced features of Aperture. I’ve also read reports that it will only work with files hosted in iCloud. Such reports are, to me, nothing more than rumors.
My choice is to migrate to Lightroom now rather than wait for the next magical unicorn to appear out of Cupertino. I would not invest any money in a professional product from Apple at this time. The company has systematically shed itself of its professional products and signaled that it doesn’t want or need to be in that market.
That’s not an evil thing, but it’s rather disappointing when you’re invested in a system that the creator doesn’t want to continue improving.
That’s why I don’t really see a purpose for this blog beyond creating a migration guide. If I could not recommend either product in good faith, then I wouldn’t write something to convince you to do the same, either. Adobe isn’t my favorite company in the world, but it’s shown interest in continuing development for professional photography, video and other services. That’s where I’ll put my own images and I recommend the same to you.
Aperture vs Lightroom started as an off-shoot of my photography blog. It was the most popular keyword that brought visitors to my site, which was completely by accident. Since my photography site wasn’t really about Aperture or Lightroom, I decided to see if I could create something else to answer some questions about how Aperture and Lightroom compared to each other.
It turns out that this site was a much larger draw, gathering over a thousand unique visitors a day. I should have done a better job of monetizing it, but I wasn’t greedy enough.
Migrating From Apeture to Lightroom
One of the best parts of this site was the feedback and questions from the community. I’ve really enjoyed reading about your experiences and answering questions to help when I could. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources for information and training on how to use Lightroom. The only thing I haven’t seen is a truly definitive guide to migrating from Aperture to Lightroom, as most I’ve read online are far too sparse.
Should you expect help from Apple or Adobe? I sincerely doubt it. Adobe’s help was to say that it’s going to “double-down” on Lightroom, whatever the hell that means.
Put simply we’re doubling down on our investments in Lightroom and the new Creative Cloud Photography plan and you can expect to see a rich roadmap of rapid innovation for desktop, web and device workflows in the coming weeks, months and years. We also continue to invest actively on the iOS and OSX platforms, and are committed to helping interested iPhoto and Aperture customers migrate to our rich solution across desktop, device and web workflows.
Here’s what I think that means to Adobe. Cha-Ching! New customers with mo’ money!
The good news is that you don’t have to migrate today. Aperture will continue to operate, even on the next version of Mac OS X. Take your time to plan before you jump into something new. Make solid backups of your Aperture libraries and slowly migrate. Test and observe before you commit.
That’s the approach I’m going to use in the migration guide that I’ll share. There’s no sense in jumping into something and wishing later you did things differently.
With that in mind, let me know if you have any questions in the comments or suggestions to include in the migration guide.