apHUB—the Aperture HUB
The good ol’ days…
For a decade Aperture was my all-in-one photos app for storing and editing all of my pictures. And when it got local adjustments (brushes), the unified library and private/public photo-streams, Apple's media ecosystem was close to perfect.
The community here was great. Lots of great people with great tips. And working with Aperture was always a pleasure. Well, lets not talk about missing noise reduction and lens correction. ;-)
I was shocked when Apple killed Aperture. As did many of you, I had the immediate wish to find a replacement. I had tried Lightroom before — more than once — but always quickly returned to Aperture. This time I even bought books and video tutorials in the hope that I might like the program, if only I knew it better. And I tried hard to like it. Sorry, but it didn't work. For me, working with Lightroom is a pain. I'd rather shoot JPEG-only and stop doing any post-processing than have to it with Lightroom!
Capture One was a different experience. While still different than Aperture, the UI has some kind of elegance other than the plain, ugly UI of Lightroom. The quality of the RAW converter is superb. A lot of the editing tools are well balanced and effective. I started to like it, until I tried to import 70,000 photos into its database. It didn't work.
I've also looked in to DxO OpticsPro, though it has no DAM functionality at all. As a sole editor, it's very tempting. The noise reduction is probably best-in-class. And the Smart Lighting usually gives me better results with a single click than fiddling with Highlights and Shadows in Aperture.
I went back to Aperture, once again. It was very clear that it is the only program the works for me, at least concerning the DAM part of the all the apps. But I've tasted blood while evaluating all the other apps, with their advanced editing capabilities.
Aperture still is working as it was before its demise, but I'm no longer as happy and satisfied with it as I was before I'd started looking outside the box.
If only I could get an app with the DAM functionality of Aperture, plus the editing capabilities of Capture One and DxO OpticsPro. That would be a dream.
Well, that's unlikely to happen.
At that point an idea started to form in my brain, which several weeks later became shape as apHUB.
apHUB to my rescue
What is apHUB? It is a suite of Applescripts, that allow me to send RAW or JPEG files (or whatever format Aperture/the external editor can handle) to an external editor and back with a single keystroke. It saves the adjustment files and masks from the external editor transparently behind the scenes so the whole process is always fully non-destructive.
apHUB currently works with Capture One. A version for DxO OpticPro is in development. I'm evaluating others as well; suggestions are welcome.
Doesn't sound too impressive for you? Well, take a 10 minutes break, get some coffee and watch the demo of apHUB that I've recorded for you. Maybe you'll change your mind afterwards. ;-) [NOTE: the video is silent]
I've been using apHUB already for a couple of weeks and it works fast and reliably on my system. Using a dual monitor setup, the whole external editing process is almost as seamless for me as doing my edits in Aperture alone.
The last thing I want to see are frustrated people bashing apHUB for choking on their system. Thus I'm currently looking for beta-testers to test apHUB on a broader range of systems, especially with different localization, and report any bugs they encounter so I can iron them out. If you are interested in participating, head over to www.aphub.de, register in the forum and ask for a beta-tester account.
By the way, there are other videos to watch on www.aphub.de as well.
What will apHUB cost?
Nothing, it will be free for all you stiff-necked, defiant, loyal Aperture users.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is an exciting solution, however do keep in mind that it uses Aperture, which we don't know if will continue to work beyond OS X 10.10
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