It’s time for Aperture user Scott Bourne’s biennial wobble Here’s Why I’m Seriously Considering A Permanent Switch To Adobe Lightroom. After saying how he prefers Lightroom’s raw conversion quality and its “much faster, speedier processing”, this seems the most interesting part:

Now if I knew Aperture 4.0 was around the corner and that Apple answered each of these new improvements with improvements of their own, I’d reconsider. But at this point I don’t know that and have no reason to expect it.
So if I can get my arms around the fact that I need to move almost 480,000 images and that I need to be able to master a new workflow involving referenced rather than managed files, I’m going to switch and if I do – I’m not going back – no matter what Apple does. Even if they do catch up because it will only be a matter of time before it’s deja vu all over again.
There have been a host of new bugs in Aperture (either introduced by OS or converter updates) that Apple has only recently addressed. They won’t communicate with their users and there’s no loyalty there. It takes loyalty to get loyalty so unless something happens in the next few days to change my mind, you can expect to hear me talking about a permanent change to Adobe Lightroom 4. I flirted with this once before when Aperture 3.0 launched because it was so buggy. But this time if I switch, I’m not coming back.

In other words, it’s all about communication – or its absence. With discrete purchases like  the latest iThingy, you can appreciate Apple maintaining tight secrecy around new products until they’re ready to unleash the hype. Maybe software is more of a continuing relationship where customers who earn their livelihoods from photography or who are professionals in their own fields expect the vendor to demonstrate long term commitment. Or it could also be that the existence of a genuine alternative makes customers particularly jumpy when you fail to keep them informed?

In any case, you know the saying about the grass always seems greener on the other side of the fence? But just imagine if Adobe did put just a bit more effort into slideshow, books, smart collections and filtering, and matched Aperture’s few advantages. Would Apple then be any marginal revenue in continuing to invest in Aperture? It’s not as if Aperture sales drive sales of Macs. But let’s hope they don’t call it quits – we don’t want Adobe to relax, do we?