Dec 11, 2006
With the caveat that this post is written in the middle of a frustrating session in which it feels like I’m trying to wade through treacle, let us continue:
While I love the way my iMac
b) handles music/movie files
c) is whisper-quiet and
d) takes up a fraction of the deskspace my old PC used to
I must confess that at this moment in time I’m on the verge of flinging it against a wall, HARD.
You see, I’m big into photography. I take loads. You may have spotted them over there on the right, in my ever-growing Flickr stream.
For years, on my PC, I used Google’s Picasa app to import, tweak minutely, organise and export/print my images. It did me well. It struggled a bit with a gazillion images, but it managed. I liked the way it
a) allowed me to save modified images in the same place as the originals
b) allowed me to create temporary workgroups
c) had one-click gmail integration
d) integrated with photobox printing solutions to allow me to upload direct to them from the app
e) preserved file structures and showed them – so a folder name was a roll name
f) auto-discovered images on my machine. Hallelujah.
Yeah, it had its problems, but overall it was a good application.
The trouble was, in early summer, that the rest of my PC was crumbling – too many rogue apps, ridden with viruses and trojans and spyware, plus bloated and crappy in the way that windows can only be. So I succumbed to the hype and got myself an iMac – a switch which I mentioned back here. But, you know, from day one I’ve been struggling with iPhoto and its stupid quirks like
a) file handling and
b) version control (I know I’m not supposed to care where files are on the mac, but I DO) and
c) rubbish interfaces
d) the fact you have to tell it to show certain files within iPhoto: if it’s on my machine, let’s just assume that I HAVE imported it and I WANT to see it, shall we?
e) the way that everything you want to do (from opening the damn thing up to closing it down and everything in between including organisation and printing) takes about FOUR TIMES LONGER than it really should.
And it’s driving me potty. I think the main problem is that iPhoto is designed for people who want to dabble occasionally into the odd snap of their grandkids or whatever.
That’s just the everyday, though. There are some infrequent things I try to do which are so frustrating I want to punch the screen. Like, every year for the last five or so, I’ve created
a) cards and
b) calendars and
c) sometimes other photo-print related things (like books)
for myself and for gifts, using cafepress, photobox, lulu and various other services.
And yet, thanks to iPhoto and its inherent crapitude, this year, I can’t. My mac is conspiring to make it nearly impossible – and where possible, nail-on-blackboard-style irritating – to do things like find images in particular folders, collect them together, export to a new place (ftp, or burn to disc, or email, or ANYTHING sensible).
a) I’ve looked into Adobe Lightroom Beta. It’s bloaty and possibly overkill. Dunno. It just seemed to be all the application in the world, which is a bit much when I just want to find a photo.
b) People keep saying Aperture is worth a look. Yeah? I’m suspicious of another Apple product which is going to be all new flows and hidden file structures. A bigger iPhoto, if you like. The trouble is, I’m so fundamentally frustrated with the existing iPhoto, I’m going to take convincing that it’s not just a bigger version of same, with all the (perceived) flaws magnified.
c) switch back to PC. I really, really don’t want to do this. But I’m already finding myself using my work (compaq) laptop for more and more photo things in the evenings, which is annoying
d) Google pull their collective big-brained finger out and release Picasa for Mac. Unlikely.
e) Something else? Please suggest.
So, basically, I’m in a right royal stink about this machine at the moment and its photo-handling: so much so that I’m going to switch it off and do something more enjoyable instead – like cleaning the bathroom, or dental surgery.