Aperture 3 - The Best And The Worst

Ap3BestWorst.jpgI have been using Aperture 3 intensively since it's release and there is a lot here. All the good stuff is still in there with some more good stuff piled on. That does not mean that the world is perfect. It's not. So here is a quick run down of some of my favorite new stuff and stuff that is bugging the crap out of me.

The good stuff first - I already mentioned that Places is fantastic. The local adjustments are really nice as well. You do need to be a little creative with them to get to where you want to go but that is par for the course with this kind of stuff. I will talk a little bit more about local adjustments and the new curves tool in a stand alone article they deserve it. So here is a list of things that I think are not so headline worthy but none the less big big time savers.

  1. The ability to select more than one item in the project inspector. This is so useful and so much faster. I complained bitterly about this since V1. Finally fixed. On the surface it's great for moving stuff around but it is also so much more. Lot's of functionality works the way it should when you select multiple objects in the project inspector. Consider this - If you select a Blue folder - or a couple of Blue folders or a blue folder and two other projects and select export project/library from the the context menu it exports ALL of them that can be used on their own or imported and synchronized with a different library. This is a huge deal for doing all kinds of things for a lot of different work-flows. Moving lots of projects around at the same time is of course fantastic as well.
  2. The "Show in project" function. You get at this through the image context menu when viewing smart albums and searches. 9 times out of 10 you want to get to the project that contains the image - my work around was to display the project name in one of my viewer metadata overlays then manually go to the project. This one feature will cumulatively save me like years. Make it better - add a shortcut key - I did.
  3. All the new sort options for every browser - heck since they work the way they used to being sticky for every object so they are even better. Some albums you want sorted one way and some you want sorted another with out having to switch back and forth and back and forth.
  4. The new "source" feature for smart albums. This is fantastic. Before Aperture 3 the search context was set when you created the smart album - there was no changing it. This is good because sometimes you want to move smart albums while retaining their search context. The down side was there was no way to copy the criteria of a smart album and use it in a different context - now you have both ways. A very very good implementation and big time saver if you use a lot of similar smart albums like I do. Never recreate the same search criteria again. Just copy the smart album - drag it to a new location and set the source.
  5. Custom ordering of objects in the project inspector. Wow this is great, just drag it to where you want it to be. Very cool.
  6. Metadata - IPTC core, XMP import, metadata synchronization. More on this later but so far so good and eagerly awaited.
  7. 64 bit - it is fast and it handles HUGE files - my 1+ gig scans actually work reasonably well.

So now the worst. I won't go into Faces again since we have reports from some of our buddies on the site that it is working great for them (event photographers) we will give that a wait and see. I won't go into the stupid change for change's sake of the way RAW+JPG works AFTER  the import  again. So here are the top duds.

  1. Glitch after glitch after glitch. I expected this with such a HUGE upgrade in features + 64 bit and I do have faith it will get fixed quick. I just hope they get to my big time wasters. After pressing my system "normally" (for me) I have to restart Aperture 3 a lot. In fact I have to reboot OSX in a lot of cases. Things get so screwed up that Photoshop won't even run stand alone amongst other things. Extreme strangeness in full screen mode, weird behavior when panning two or more zoomed images (all images in between become selected and zoomed). TIP: if your HUD is docked in full scrreen DO NOT EXIT OR ENTER FULL SCREEN WITH THE HUD DISPLAYED.
  2. Some of the UI choices. You probably guessed that I do not care for the cutesy stuff like cork board or felt tip marker fonts but that is not what I am talking about. When you enter Faces or Places for instance it looks like you have a browser and a viewer - wrong you are "somewhere else" - you are in a mode. A mode? I hate being in a mode. What is worse is things that you think should happen don't - When in Places and you hit the V key to go somewhere else it just boinks at you. What the hell does Apple think you want to do? Do they think you want the computer to boink when you hit V in Faces or Places? TIP: I customized the Alt-Command V, B, S, F, and P keys since they are all open and they respectively give me viewer, browser, split, Faces, and Places. That should save my sanity. This is very un-Apple-y - very un-Aperture-y.
  3. Everything is turned on by default - just like before. Hence people with 4 year old mac books and 1 gig of ram will be clogging up the support forum complaining about performance for the next 10 years.
  4. Apparent lack of incremental adjustments in presets. Yea I know but this sucks no matter if it is a preset or a lift and stamp. I really would like an "increment" option.
  5. No love for the book tool - yea we have a couple of high end template providers but this is no real new functionality - I could do this before. I really wanted a couple of things in the book tool that has been the same since V1.

I have some other goods an bad as well but we will focus on them later - what are your best and worst so far?


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