Aperture Closed. Now What?

The inevitable finally happened. Apple’s in-house pro photography software, Aperture, is being phased out and will be replaced by their new Photos app come Fall 2014. As a photog enthusiast who has relied on Apple’s solution for image editing and cataloguing on my Mac, this news obviously made me a little sad. Although as I mentioned I wasn’t completely surprised since there had been no significant updates to the software in a while now.

Logically the next step for me would be to explore other software solutions (ones that won’t be phased out anytime soon!) and begin expiring my photos to said alternative. Folks tuned into the image editing realm would know that the direct competitor to Apple’s Aperture is S/W behemoth Adobe’s Lightroom. So i’ve been spending the better part of this Saturday morning exploring the various pricing options on this puppy.

Now ever since Adobe introduced their Subscription based service, i.e. Adobe Creative Cloud (CC for short), stand-alone software licences are becoming a thing of the past. In a way it’s not entirely a bad deal considering that the subscription gives you a lot more compared to the stand-alone software licence.

However at the end of the day you are going to pay much more for the software in the long run. In Singapore the stand alone software cost is 193 SGD whereas the monthly subscription to Creative Cloud is 13 SGD. Although the latter appears cheaper at first glance, you begin to realise that the stand-alone price is a not time deal which you can consider recovered within a year and a half when compared to the cost of the CC subscription (which requires a yearly commitment or a one time annual fee)

Making matters a tad more monopolistic is the fact that a few key features are not available when the software is bought with a stand-alone licence. The biggest one (at least for me) integration of the desktop software with it’s iPad/iPhone counterpart. This was one of the main reasons I was initially attracted to Lightroom (way back in March) as an alternative to Aperture.

So here’s my dilemma. Should I spend the big bucks now and get the stand-alone licence for Lightroom or should I bow to Adobe’s “Creative” push and go the subscription route. Looking at the current limelight that Adobe has been giving their Creative Cloud solution, I wouldn’t be surprised when eventually the stand-alone licence purchase model may cease to exist altogether.  So really I believe it’s only a matter of time that my decision would be made for me!

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