Saturday, June 28, 2014

Apple One-Ups Its Final Cut X Failure; Completely Abandons Aperture

I don't own a Mac. I don't like Apple that much. In fact, I kinda' sorta' hate Apple. Not the Macolytes or iPhone fans or anything; I hate Apple itself.

One thing I don't hate, though, is competition. I love competition because it prevents companies from dragging progress down. When a large company dominates a market, it becomes difficult for smaller companies to succeed. Basically, the largest animal is eating all of the food that the smaller animals might use to grow. And since large companies are usually run by greedy nitwits, progress grinds to a halt.

Let's look at Adobe, another greedy company run by nitwits. They have released the near-universally hated Creative Cloud. With this, it is impossible to actually buy their software. You can only lease it. They are trying to say that it is intended to be beneficial to users, but everyone knows that this is a lie. It is intended to try to stop pirates... which it has failed to do. I can go pirate Adobe Photoshop CC right now.

So, as with so many (all?) attempts to stop piracy, all they have succeeded in doing is making life more difficult for their legitimate users.

You will notice a peculiar omission from their Creative Cloud, though:


Odd, don't you think? If Creative Cloud is so awesome for users, why isn't Adobe forcing Lightroom users into it? You can get it. In fact, if you go to Adobe's website and try to buy Lightroom, they only give you the option of ordering it in a monthly lease package with a minimum one-year commitment for $120.

But, and this is a huge but, I can still go to Amazon and buy it outright and for the rest of time for $135.

Why give me the option at all? I can no longer buy Photoshop, or Illustrator, or Premiere. Why is Lightroom exempt from this tyranny?

Because of competition, that's why. Unlike so many of the markets in which Adobe plays, the photo processing market has a large number of options, with all of them fantastic in their own ways. Capture One, Bibble, DxO, and the quite usable open source RawTherapee are all alternatives to Adobe's Lightroom. Moreover, Lightroom has seen more and faster development than all of their other programs. Competition has forced Adobe to work.

So it is with a heavy heart that I report that the competition in that market has grown to be too much for an old stand-by. Apple is leaving the professional photo processing market and pulling the plug on Aperture. This is a big problem for me because Adobe will use any excuse they can find to stop working, charge more, and screw its customers. And since Lightroom is my application of choice, I am on tenuous foundations. Adobe could suddenly decide to pull a Creative Cloud on Lightroom, and I would either be forced to tag along or make the troublesome transition to another program. Neither option is very nice.

So the loss of Aperture is bad for Aperture users, but it is also bad for Adobe users. Aperture users have had the rug pulled out entirely from underneath them, but now our rug is looking like it might move at any moment. We need constant, intense, brutal competition to keep these companies in place, and the loss of any player in the game is going to be felt by all involved. I am very sad that Aperture is gone.

Maybe it's time to start donating to RawTherapee.

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