Apple's golden opportunity re Aperture: the possibility of Lightroom in the cloud

Started May 9, 2013 | Discussions thread
Mark K W
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Re: Apple's golden opportunity re Aperture: the possibility of Lightroom in the cloud
In reply to Matt Shelton, May 12, 2013

Matt Shelton wrote:

I'm telling ya, although Adobe says that Lightroom isn't going subscription-based and into the cloud like the rest of Adobe's creative products, the possibility of that eventuality has got to have a lot of Lightroom folks scared.

Yes it does, because it is already under development, and I believe in a way more complex than with Photoshop (i.e. not primarily subscription authentication). Key thing is that Lightroom's end-work storage architecture - i.e. not just source image directories, but also an accompanying catalog with the parametric edits/metadata and then previews of the images - lends itself much more to a split architecture and workflow. When you consider that Lightroom is also a more immediate development tool and therefore has value when being able to work across multiple platforms. So an LR power-user may have all of desktop, laptop(s), and tablet available to them, on which it may be benficial to be able to use Lightroom in a continuous flow. For that architecture to work, the catalog and previews need to be sync'ed up and down to the cloud. The source image database only really needs to be hooked up to the Export/Print machine.

Watch the video of the LR iPad version and you can feel what Adobe's LR developers and product marketers are now up to. Smart Previews in LR5 (allowing work on a device separated from the source image) is just the first step and there is already talk there that those go into the cloud in future releases. In the video, Tom Hogarty of Adobe highlights how the metadata (and full-size preview) is all that needs get sync'ed over between devices via the cloud, and also referring to non-pros @ 35:00, says "lots of examples of photo-services in the industry that aren't purely professional but still require some kind of fee".

What he talks about are all great ideas, but I really hope that Adobe can grasp that for at least non-pro amateurs like me there are two distinct things - tools I own and optional services I may use. I don't want only a commercial model where if I don't subscribe in perpetuity at a future-variable monthly price, I can't use the tool or the ancillary data created by the tool and which is the essence of the work I have done. That is thing I think many are terrified of with Lightroom, but it is pretty clear that is likely the direction Adobe is going.

As a single individual user of Aperture, I first would hate to have to pay for it month after month, and second, I'd hate to have to rely on the reliability of cloud-based computing when importing, performing intensitve editing, etc.  Give me my pictures on my computer with my purchased-and-paid-for editing and managing software, thank you very much!

I think it will be catalog and preview sync'ing rather than cloud-based image processing. I would guess there may be an optional aspect to the service which is also temporary source image storage.

This just presents a golden opportunity for Apple to release Aperture 4/X and steal away some Lightroom customers, wouldn't you think?

Apple will be thinking exactly the same as Adobe. That "cloud" architecture is logical and beneficial. The question is which of them can build the best partitioning, and - more importantly - most palatable billing model options around it.

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