Hello, I must Be Going

Apple just announced they’re killing both iPhoto and Aperture, and will be rolling out a new application simply called “Photos” with Yosemite, their coming OS.

I’ve been using Aperture for a few years and I think it’s a pity it’ll be retired. It was both powerful and easy to use. And of course, it’s not like Tim Cook is coming to my house to uninstall Aperture when Yosemite goes live, despite what rabid Apple haters may like to believe. While Apple isn’t nostalgic by any means (that’s its business model and philosophy, and users should know that going in), it’ll most likely be a few updates until it starts to break. That means at least a few more years of life.

So there’s no real reason for me to leave Aperture any time soon, and I’ll have plenty of time to master Lightroom for when that time comes. (I know Capture One is supposed to be good too, but I already use Creative Cloud, so that seems the easiest way out.)

Lack of updates notwithstanding, Aperture feels pretty features complete already,  at least for my basic needs. I want to beome better at Photoshop, as it’s both a fun tool and a useful skillset for a designer, but in all likelihood, the new Photos app will be more than enough for my daily needs. It does amuse me, however, how the simple knowledge that Aperture will be dying at a remote point in the future is enough to get me scrambling for something else.

Finally, I can’t help but notice that the “i”-era Apple started seems to be winding down, even in Cupertino. Ah, well. It was fun while it lasted.

28.06.2014 • Permalink

Pressed Flat

WP gives people the illusion of content; they don’t actually have to have anything to say as long as they have a fancy theme and a big ol’ slider. Flat-file systems make sense for people who want to focus on content and content alone (WP can do this, too), whereas WP has become a fully-featured CMS.

This reminds me of the people who mistakenly claim designers are so dumb they think they need a Mac to work, when the simpler truth is that most designers like well-designed things*. So I’m sorry, but the above quote is horseshit. Bad content is bad content, and no fancy slider will hide that. Nor does the underlying CMS have anything to do with a blogger’s ability to write, unless it’s so opaque as to be unusable.

Which brings us to the trend du jour: flat file CMSes. While they’re all the rage with developers, I seriously doubt they’ll get much traction with anyone else until they become simpler to use. At the moment, they’re certainly anything but. It comes as no shock that they’re very clearly by developers, for developers. (Mysteriously, the simpler ones also tend to be paid solutions.)

No-one’s denying that WordPress has become one big-ass chunk of code, but your average blogger doesn’t care – he or she needs a tool that’s reasonably easy to use. Logging in to WordPress, clicking “add new post” and writing in the easily fathomable composer is simple. Having to learn markdown and some obscure PHP templating engine is, y’know, less so.

Something’s bound to dislodge WordPress at some point, but it probably won’t be Ghost and it certainly won’t be something you run from the command line after installing various ruby gems or whatever the fuck.

*Not claiming all designers prefer Macs, by the way.

24.06.2014 • Permalink

Beatle variations

NBC is rumored to be developing a TV series about The Beatles, though have not secured the music rights. The AV Club commenters helpfully compiled alternative versions from the Fab Four back catalogue.

  • Malicious Master Mayonnaise
  • Teflon Tess
  • The Lengthy and Circuitous Avenue
  • Scandinavian Lumber
  • Greetings, Farewell
  • Allow It to Exist
  • An Arduous Diurnal Course’s Eventide
  • Swivel and Bellow
  • All One Requires Is Affection
  • Aurulent Submersible
  • Mr. Pibb’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
  • Me So Horny
  • Oh, There is the Center of the Solar System
  • I Espied Her Erect Form Yonder
  • Salutations Judas
  • Precipitation
  • Softcover scribe
  • There is Little Chance of You Holding Onto That Girl
  • One More Than the Usual Rate of Days Per Week
  • I Suppose That Your Parrot is Also a Master At Harmonizing
  • I Desire Thee (She’s Very Hefty)
  • Contentment is a Balmy Firearm
  • In This Location, in That Location, in Every Location
  • Squid’s Terrace
  • Elaine Rugby
  • I Desire To Entwine Our Fingers
  • Steer The Automobile Belonging To Me
  • Steer My Articulated Lorrie
  • Dark, Feathered, Winged, Flying Creature
  • As My Stratocaster Sobs Quietly
  • How’s About We Bang Over There By That Pothole?
  • The Following Day is Unknowledgeable
  • Rockwell’s Argentate Implement
  • I Require Assistance!
  • Each of Us is Keeping Something From the Others, Except for Myself and the Primate that Belongs to Me
  • Underdog Italian-American Boxer Who is Also an Animal You Might Find Scavenging in Your Garbage

And my personal favorite:

  • I am Once again in a Federated Eurasian Communist State Dominated by Russia
22.06.2014 • Permalink

Renewal

I renewed my Flickr Pro membership yesterday. I don’t check my Yahoo! mail account very often, but when I did, I found my Flickr Pro account had lapsed about a month ago. They were still sending me reminders about renewing, though. (I’m not sure why this stuff didn’t get sent to my active email, but mysterious ways, etc.)

So I pondered for a while whether or not I should let my membership lapse, then thought “eh … fuck it” and paid for the renewal. The thing is, I don’t have a properly informed opinion on whether or not it’s still worth it. Now, I have the the old, no longer available, Pro membership. It features no ads and unlimited space, so even if I’m nowhere close to the 1 TB limit, it would be sort of a shame to lose it; after all, once it expires, I can’t get it back.

The new pro version cost twice as much but has fewer features and finite storage. The ad free version is, well, ad free (except it’s often not, as many angry customers can attest, though to be fair, many Flickr users seem angry most of the time.). It’s is also far too expensive, at 50 dollars a year: Rival site 500px offers a far nicer interface and the equivalent of the old Flickr Pro at the same price point. To add insult to Yahoo!’s injury, rival Google’s Plus, for all the guff it gets (sometimes from me), is also pretty good for photos.

I know Yahoo! (and consequently Flickr) is ad supported, and since paying for things is considered mostly for suckers these days, I’m going to assume they make more money from ads than the smattering of paying customers like myself. Obviously, it would make sense to try to move people to the ad-supported version, but only if they retain those users.

I like that Flickr is for amateurs and pros alike, and I also appreciate that I can use it as a design portfolio and for posting old paperback covers I come across. Still, I ultimately renewed because I’m hoping Flickr will become truly great again, not because it currently is. I don’t think it’s bad at all, but – last year’s new paint job notwithstanding – it’s pretty clunky compared to the aforementioned 500px.

We’ll see what happens in another two years, but in the end, I think a company probably wants more user motivation for renewing the service than “eh … fuck it”. I suspect the crew at Flickr are thinking the same thing, which may be the reason that renewal period kept stretching out.

18.06.2014 • Permalink