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

Started May 9, 2013 | Discussions
Matt Shelton
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Apple's golden opportunity re Aperture: the possibility of Lightroom in the cloud
May 9, 2013

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.  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!

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

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noirdesir
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Re: Apple's golden opportunity re Aperture: the possibility of Lightroom in the cloud
In reply to Matt Shelton, May 9, 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.  As a single individual user of Aperture, I first would hate to have to pay for it month after month,

That is correct.

and second, I'd hate to have to rely on the reliability of cloud-based computing when importing, performing intensitve editing, etc.

And that is not correct. The only required 'cloud aspect' is that you need to be connected to the internet once a month (or every three months if you get a yearly plan) for the application to check whether you keep paying.

I don't know if it is a failing of Adobe that so many people stop reading after the word cloud or just a sign that emotions runs so high that people's ability to absorb the presented information goes out the window.

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Alpha Doug
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Re: Apple's golden opportunity re Aperture: the possibility of Lightroom in the cloud
In reply to noirdesir, May 10, 2013

At least relative to Lightroom, I think the whole aversion to the "Cloud" is sort of misplaced at this point.  However, I do think that it does provide opportunities for other software developers.  From a photographer's point of view, I just do photography and a little bit of video (that doesn't need Photoshop).  Now that we have non-destructive RAW editing programs I really only use Photoshop for something like layering, or composites, which is about 10% of my total workflow or less.  It is possible that a program like Pixelmator or Acorn would suffice, for a WHOLE lot less money.  And actually, a lot of what I used to use Photoshop for is more easily accomplished with various plugins.  Soooo.... relative to Aperture, what I have been thinking for a while is that Adobe just doesn't ever get how Interface's are designed.  Nor do they have a clue about database driven organization.  Aperture has about the best database driven library functions of any program available.  What if that database was used as a sort of central kernel and both Aperture and Final Cut Pro were linked into it, in the same way that the Creative Suite is linked through Bridge.  Now THAT would be a very powerful and productive design.  Apple might even think about designing, buying, or licensing a pixel editing app that would also be connected.  But the guts of the whole thing would be the Library functions.

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richiebee
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Re: Apple's golden opportunity re Aperture: the possibility of Lightroom in the cloud
In reply to noirdesir, May 10, 2013

noirdesir wrote

And that is not correct. The only required 'cloud aspect' is that you need to be connected to the internet once a month (or every three months if you get a yearly plan) for the application to check whether you keep paying.

I don't know if it is a failing of Adobe that so many people stop reading after the word cloud or just a sign that emotions runs so high that people's ability to absorb the presented information goes out the window.

I suspect its more about people not wanting to pay month after month for products that just become stagnant as developers continue to rake it in with the threat of losing the ability to use software.

I find the whole idea of subscription based software very offensive.

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TeleView
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Re: Apple's golden opportunity re Aperture: the possibility of Lightroom in the cloud
In reply to richiebee, May 10, 2013

I find the whole idea of subscription based software very offensive.

It's the way software used to be sold. When one bought an IBM networking computer system, you paid for it. But the software was an add on, and it was paid for annually, and it was expensive.

Of course, IBM had a monopoly on their software - it had to run on their own computers.

Well, Adobe have close to a monopoly in the Windows world. So they will get away with annual licensing. And perhaps, they may not have bothered, but for pirating.

I sure hope Apple continues with their model, and sell fairly cheap software that is excellent to use. However, Apple are a niche player in computers. And I think Apple still views their computer profits as being based upon hardware revenue.

And perhaps Apple's excellent Aperture software is what is keeping Adobe from promising to sell Lightroom as single sale software. Otherwise Apple could simply introduce Aperture into the Win world. But they want people to buy a Mac if they want to enjoy Aperture.

The profit has swung from hardware to software. And the big players IMO will not put up with pirating.

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Alpha Doug
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Re: Apple's golden opportunity re Aperture: the possibility of Lightroom in the cloud
In reply to TeleView, May 10, 2013

What a lot of people don't understand yet is that in the CC rental model, you still download the physical software to your computer and run it from there.  You only have to log onto the web once in a while (monthly) so they can check your install against their "paid" log.  They say they are doing this to avoid piracy.  But I'd bet a lot that someone will figure out a crack for the downloaded software.  Personally, since I only use Photoshop, and none of the other CS components, I would only use the single product rental.  My issue would be that at the current rental rate, I would be paying quite a bit more than the current upgrade to a purchased version of CS.  And there is no telling at what point they would start charging more.  And where that would leave me with no ownership of the product.  Photoshop is not a magazine, it is a tool.  Would you "rent" a screwdriver from a hardware store?  Basically only use Photoshop as a pixel editor, and I only use it occasionally.  I don't make a living from it.  So I'm thinking that there are other pixel editors that will probably suffice, added to a smattering of plugins.  I'm also thinking that Adobe has backed it's way into a corner.

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Daniel Bliss
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One key part of LR is already going cloud -- Bridge
In reply to Matt Shelton, May 10, 2013

Lightroom really isn't much of a digital asset management application on its own at all; people who have Lightroom and still have their sanity either use Adobe Bridge — which is part of the CS, soon to be CC suite — or else they have to use a third-party application already like PhotoMechanic.

Even if Adobe doesn't move Lightroom to the cloud, the question of DAM already favors just about any other solution.

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Alpha Doug
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Re: Apple's golden opportunity re Aperture: the possibility of Lightroom in the cloud
In reply to Alpha Doug, May 10, 2013

Also, computer hardware sales are way down and declining further.  Most companies that used to issue a laptop to each of their field representatives are now using iPads for that purpose.  Apples mobile sales are sky high, iPhone, iPad, and MacBook sales are through the roof.  And they are moving higher slowly, while static computers (iMacs, MacPros, and MacMinis) stay static.  But PC sales in general are way down.  So there is a paradigm shift happening.  Who knows where is will come out.

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Tom_N
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Re: Apple's golden opportunity re Aperture: the possibility of Lightroom in the cloud
In reply to TeleView, May 10, 2013

TeleView wrote:

And perhaps, they may not have bothered, but for pirating.

Pirates will continue to use Adobe CS software, without DRM and without monthly fees.  It only takes one pirate to crack the DRM on the new "rental" software (which runs locally, and has DRM to phone home for "activation").  The rest don't have to be smart enough to crack it – they can copy the first pirate's work.

Meanwhile, honest customers will be bent over twice – once when they are treated as criminals by DRM, and another time when they are forced to pay recurring rental fees for products they should be able to buy outright.

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noirdesir
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Re: Apple's golden opportunity re Aperture: the possibility of Lightroom in the cloud
In reply to richiebee, May 10, 2013

richiebee wrote:

noirdesir wrote

And that is not correct. The only required 'cloud aspect' is that you need to be connected to the internet once a month (or every three months if you get a yearly plan) for the application to check whether you keep paying.

I don't know if it is a failing of Adobe that so many people stop reading after the word cloud or just a sign that emotions runs so high that people's ability to absorb the presented information goes out the window.

I suspect its more about people not wanting to pay month after month for products that just become stagnant as developers continue to rake it in with the threat of losing the ability to use software.

You mean because people don't like subscriptions they claim incorrectly (wilfully or for lack of knowing) that "importing and editing" takes place in the cloud?

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Robert Peters
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Re: One key part of LR is already going cloud -- Bridge
In reply to Daniel Bliss, May 10, 2013

Daniel Bliss wrote:

people who have Lightroom and still have their sanity either use Adobe Bridge — which is part of the CS, soon to be CC suite — or else they have to use a third-party application already like PhotoMechanic.

What is the basis for this statement?  Where did you get the information?

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Matt Shelton
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Re: Apple's golden opportunity re Aperture: the possibility of Lightroom in the cloud
In reply to noirdesir, May 10, 2013

noirdesir wrote:

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.  As a single individual user of Aperture, I first would hate to have to pay for it month after month,

That is correct.

and second, I'd hate to have to rely on the reliability of cloud-based computing when importing, performing intensitve editing, etc.

And that is not correct. The only required 'cloud aspect' is that you need to be connected to the internet once a month (or every three months if you get a yearly plan) for the application to check whether you keep paying.

I don't know if it is a failing of Adobe that so many people stop reading after the word cloud or just a sign that emotions runs so high that people's ability to absorb the presented information goes out the window.

Interesting.   I was assuming that the programs were actually running in the cloud, which too me is just preposterous.   So I am an example of someone who stopped reading Adobe's press release after "subscription" and "cloud".  I'm not alone.   To me, as I originally believed, there were two distinct issues:  a) that I would have to pay monthly in perpetuity for something that I used to just be able to purchase once and b) that heavy duty computing would be done "in the cloud" and would be subject to the variability of my internet connnection.   I'm very glad that the second issue isn't an issue at all. However, having to pay a subscription in perpetuity is a non-starter for me.

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DogShot
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Re: Apple's golden opportunity re Aperture: the possibility of Lightroom in the cloud
In reply to richiebee, May 10, 2013

There's also the issue of implementing that subscription.  I have zero patience for devoting time to periodically re-establishing your ability to use a piece of software.  There is a statistics package for the social sciences called SPSS, which was purchased several years ago by IBM.  IBM immediately changed the fee structure to 6-month licensing, which was a huge pain.  After my first negative experience wasting a few hours getting re-licensed just so I could continue using the software, I abandoned it for a free software environment for statistics (R), and never looked back.  Unless Adobe makes the subscription process transparent to the user, I suspect they will lose a bunch of people who are even willing to put up with the monthly subscription idea.

Mark

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graybalanced
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Re: One key part of LR is already going cloud -- Bridge
In reply to Robert Peters, May 11, 2013

Robert Peters wrote:

Daniel Bliss wrote:

people who have Lightroom and still have their sanity either use Adobe Bridge — which is part of the CS, soon to be CC suite — or else they have to use a third-party application already like PhotoMechanic.

What is the basis for this statement?  Where did you get the information?

I also do not understand the statement. Bridge is extremely clumsy as a DAM and drives me up the wall. Lightroom has much more efficient shortcuts, filters, and aids for keywording and other metadata...organizing goes a lot faster in Lightroom. Lightroom will reliably maintain the data in its database. Bridge can lose folder metadata at any time (sort order, etc.) because it relies on caches.

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danieljcox
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Re: Apple's golden opportunity re Aperture: the possibility of Lightroom in the cloud
In reply to Alpha Doug, May 11, 2013

Alpha Doug, I've never been a fan of Photoshop. It's never been really directed at honest photographers. As far as I'm concerned the name for PS should have been Designer Shop from day one. That said, I've never used PS as an over priced, over bloated software hog. Recently I've been using a great new program called Pixelmator. More info on Pixelmator here if you're interested.

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yooperguy
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Re: Apple's golden opportunity re Aperture: the possibility of Lightroom in the cloud
In reply to richiebee, May 12, 2013

richiebee wrote:

noirdesir wrote

And that is not correct. The only required 'cloud aspect' is that you need to be connected to the internet once a month (or every three months if you get a yearly plan) for the application to check whether you keep paying.

I don't know if it is a failing of Adobe that so many people stop reading after the word cloud or just a sign that emotions runs so high that people's ability to absorb the presented information goes out the window.

I suspect its more about people not wanting to pay month after month for products that just become stagnant as developers continue to rake it in with the threat of losing the ability to use software.

I find the whole idea of subscription based software very offensive.

Kind of reminds me of paying for cable TV...

Dennis

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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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graybalanced
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Re: Apple's golden opportunity re Aperture: the possibility of Lightroom in the cloud
In reply to Mark K W, May 13, 2013

Mark K W wrote:

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.

Yes, Apple will. There are already rumors that AppleCare may be going to a subscription model .

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Philip Corlis
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Re: Apple's golden opportunity re Aperture: the possibility of Lightroom in the cloud
In reply to graybalanced, May 13, 2013

That's more about competing with SquareTrade than anything else. It's hard to find much evidence Apple is interested in renting you software. Is completely the opposit of the philosophy behind the wildly successful  app stores for Mac and iOS. Of course waiting in the wings could be iRadio - but again that's more about consuming media than creating through software.

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graybalanced
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Re: Apple's golden opportunity re Aperture: the possibility of Lightroom in the cloud
In reply to Philip Corlis, May 13, 2013

Maybe not software in the traditional sense, but Apple has already started down that road long agop with iTunes Match. The reviews are that it is a great, convenient service, and I think it could be useful to me, but because it's an annual subscription just to listen to your own music, I've been reluctant to buy in.

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