There’s Something Good in Everything

Quite a few of my blog entries have been written as warnings or workaround instructiongs for various bugs I have wanted to be made Googleable or as notes to myself.

Well, now I just want to say some positive things. Aperture 3, despite of some bugs and troubles, is *very* good in many things. First of all, it hadles adjustments on the Canon RAW images really smoothly, showing the full size preview all the time when tuning the adjustment sliders. Second, organizing photos is really a pleasure, compared to any other photo software I have used before.

Also, there’s something good in winter too, despite the cold and too much snow in wrong places — the winter light. Here’s one photo I took from the top of Kasavuori, Espoo, in -20C. Equipment: Canon EOS 400D + EF-S 18-55. RAW post processing with Aperture 3.


A rotten apple leads to another one..

I am getting tired of these “well tested” and “polished” Apple “pro” applications so this is a short story.

Aperture 3 cannot play MPEG-1 videos (at least the ones shot with a less than two years old Sony camera), even though they play with Quicktime, Finder, etc. This is a bug on its own and has been reported to Apple.

However, I decided to convert those to MPEG-4 / H.264 / AVC / whatever-nobody-can-figure-out-thing-that-plays-most-places-today. Studying the various video files I have collected over the years, I made another “interesting” discovery..

Since I started to use iPhoto, I download photos and videos from my cameras to iPhoto, fix the photos, then export a backup to filesystem. Now I noticed that what iPhoto does is that the videos are exported as JPEGs but renamed to .AVI or whatever was the original video file type!! All 200+ videos on my filesystem backup were < 1 MB JPEGs! WHAT AN AMAZING APPLE(tm) FEATURE (*)! (*) (I filed a bug report on this also, and today Apple engineers responded to me that "it works as intended": I have to export the video as "original". I disagree. If I export an event with hundreds of photos and videos, the videos should be exported properly as the photos. I don't want to manually clickety-click each video and select the different export mode.) This once again confirms that "the assumption is the mother of all f*ckups". I can't assume anything with Apple software any more. From now on, all master files go to plain file system first and get SHA256 checksums before being seen by iPhoto or Aperture.


Mac OS X and files named “(null)” silently ignored

Yet another bug that needs to be made Googleable. One of the most annoying things I have found in Mac OS X (at least in its photo applications iPhoto and Aperture) is that it silently fails with some files when importing data. For me it happened the first time when I was importing a whole directory structure to iPhoto, and there were files which had 8-bit characters like Ä and Ö! Those were simply ignored and I noticed the bug when comparing the number of files in iPhoto vs. in the directory.

Now I found a bug in Aperture 3.1.1 that is completely by Apple. After importing a photo library from iPhoto’11 to Aperture 3, there was again a mismatch in photo counts. I found out that there were three photos in iPhoto that were named “(null)”. Those photos were those few (out of 11K) that I had saved from someone else’s e-mail directly to iPhoto. Now those names are not good for Aperture. It simply skipped them without telling me anything in the end! That is a bug of the most serious kind as it may lead to data loss for the less careful users! Shame on you Apple!

Now, I will submit a bug report to them, let’s hope it gets fixed. Before that, be careful!