Of course, you’ve got to be sceptical of a PC-using Lightroom author’s opinions on Aperture, even if he also uses a Mac and pretends to know a little bit about using it to manage and process his pictures. After all, would you listen to his view on driving a BMW once you know he’s driven Audi for 15 years? Or when he tells you what’s wrong with Liverpool when his loyalties lie firmly at the other end of the East Lancs Road? Perhaps you would.

I particularly rate James Duncan Davidson’s posts because he’s an Apple-using switcher, moving from Aperture to Lightroom – the decisive issue being working speed, not brand loyalty. His Aperture 2 quick impressions picks up on many of the points I keep banging on about. He likes preview mode and the belated addition of background processing, but he also picks up on one of Aperture’s strangest failings:

The lack of support for XMP sidecar files on import is puzzling. You can export XMP sidecar files, but not import. This little issue is going to cause a bit of a problem for people wanting to import large collections of RAW files that already have metadata into Aperture. It should be easier to round trip this information. Of course, what I?d really like to see is Aperture be able to interoperate fully using XMP data with other applications like Bridge and Lightroom, picking up changes as they happen either in sidecars or embedded into files. Currently, this is just a dream.

He’s not the only one dreaming. But the thing is, it’s not sci fi or voodoo – Aperture 1 was actually designed long after it was obvious that XMP metadata was the way to go. Writing XMP sidecars, but not reading them, is simply mind-numbingly stupid. And frankly, it doesn’t sound very Apple-like to leave Aperture’s exit door wide open, but bolt the entrance and burn the welcome mat.