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Old 01-11-2011, 09:36 AM   #1
Howard Allen
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Default Apple Aperture-big price drop

If anyone has been vacillating (like me) over purchasing Aperture (Mac-only digital photo management & image processing software—an industrial strength iPhoto), take note that the price, previously around US$200, is now only $80, if purchased on Apple's new "App Store", which launched only a few days ago.

An App Store "app" is auto-installed on your machine if you do the OSX 10.6.6 update. I browsed around the App Store, and while nothing else really piqued my interest, the price of Aperture jumped right out at me and overcame my resistance, so I rose to the bait and bought it. Installation of App Store-purchased software is automatic: as soon as you click the purchase confirmation button, the app starts downloading to your machine, and is automatically installed.

Now I just have to learn how to use it!

   
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:12 AM   #2
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Wow! Is it the same software, or a subset? That was a hot program, way back when.

Let us know how it goes.

   
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:19 AM   #3
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As far as I can tell, it's the full monty.

Like you, I thought it was too good to be true, but I looked for any fine print that might have indicated it was a "lite" version, or an obsolete version, or something along those lines, and couldn't find any. I think more likely Apple's pricing it as a "loss leader" to attract people to their new App Store. Worked for me (and apparently for others, too: I see it's one of their hottest sellers so far).

   
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Old 01-11-2011, 03:06 PM   #4
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I don't know that it's a loss leader -- I suspect they'll end up grossing more -- but more a pricing experiment.
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Old 01-11-2011, 03:15 PM   #5
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Yes, perhaps a test of the law of diminishing returns: will they make more money selling it at $80, or at $200? Don't suppose we'll ever find out, except implicitly, if the price stays at $80, and if the price on other titles drops—or not.

   
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Old 01-11-2011, 05:00 PM   #6
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Once the app is installed, do you have e.g. a DMG file or something you can use to install it again later in the event of disksaster?

If not, I don't think I'd be interested. Well. At $120 off, maybe I would. ;-)

   
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Old 01-11-2011, 06:02 PM   #7
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There's no DMG file, but Apple keeps a record of your purchases, so they know what you have and haven't paid for. If the app gets hosed, you can just download it again "as long as it's still available". For something mainstream like Aperture, this seems like a pretty safe assumption, maybe not so much for some of the 3rd party stuff, much of which is shareware-type material. You can of course also backup your stuff (!)

The license terms, regarding the number of machines you can install the apps on, seem pretty easy, too: "Q: Can I use apps from the Mac App Store on more than one computer? A: Apps from the Mac App Store may be used on any Macs that you own or control for your personal use." (From the App Store FAQ page.)

   
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Old 01-11-2011, 06:11 PM   #8
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Ya ... the big zinger is getting locked into the App Store. Among the complications: There's no provision for upgrade pricing, so when the next paid upgrade comes out, if you want it, you'll have to pay full price for it. And, as Steve notes, you won't have installation media you can use if you're not connected to the Net. Or if your connection is too slow for a convenient download of the program you need.

I hope Apple (and other vendors) will continue to sell Mac software on discs and through traditional downloads. Moving to an iPhone model would turn me right off.

   
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Old 01-11-2011, 06:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Spragens View Post
Ya ... the big zinger is getting locked into the App Store. Among the complications: There's no provision for upgrade pricing, so when the next paid upgrade comes out, if you want it, you'll have to pay full price for it. And, as Steve notes, you won't have installation media you can use if you're not connected to the Net. Or if your connection is too slow for a convenient download of the program you need.

I hope Apple (and other vendors) will continue to sell Mac software on discs and through traditional downloads. Moving to an iPhone model would turn me right off.
I'm still not sure there won't be some "gotchas" down the road, but I considered that when I made my decision to buy--I'll cross my fingers and call this an experiment. I'd only note that 1) if the "full price" of the next big upgrade is--as in this case--only $80, as opposed to $200, I'm willing to live with that. And 2) I keep a frequently-updated bootable clone of my main hard drive (where the apps are stored) so I'm not too concerned about needing to download a backup copy when there's no Net connection available--at least, I should be OK for as long as it takes to get to a decent Net connection.

When I think of all the applications I've purchased in the traditional ways, on CD/DVD disks, and regular DMG downloads, I can't recall
very many instances when I've actually had to use those backup media (peace of mind is worth something, of course, which is why I keep my cloned backup). And the versions you get at the App Store are the latest incarnations, not a version that's 4 or 5 updates old, as is usually the case when you go to reinstall from disk media that have been sitting on your desk for a couple of years; in that case, you're going to need a Net connection anyway.

   
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:13 AM   #10
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>> you can just download it again "as long as it's still available"

Can you hear the cynic in me saying "Uh....huh"? ;-)

As in "When the app gets upgraded and I don't like the upgrade, or when the upgrade wants a newer version of Mac OS X than I want to install, will the older version of the app still be available?"

I do a lot of volunteer support on some of MS' forums; it's very easy to buy Office online but if you later need to re-install, that's a very different matter. It makes me very suspicious of online-only purchases that can't easily be backed up.

But what the Apple store takes away in distribution, it gives back in licensing terms. That's very liberal.

   
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