To all those PC users who are breathless with expectation - go to a Mac shop and have a play with LR - you can probably take in the LR beta3 on a CD and install it, if you ask nicely. No doubt the salespersons will leap at the prospect of showing someone 'The True Way'.
You can ask all sorts of tricky questions about Macs and then leave saying 'you'll think about it'.
This may satisfy your curiosity.
OTOH, it's just another app, not the second coming. I have used LR on a Powerbook that I had on loan from Apple and frankly it's just not that great - certainly not the huge leap forward that people seem to be expecting.
It seems fine, a bit fiddly but generally OK. There are some clever bits, like the built in B+W channel mixer, but none of it is exclusive to LR. What Adobe seem to be aiming for is a Swiss Army Knife of imaging ie a tool that does everything and this is a worthy goal in many respects.
The problem is that such an app is often fully competant at many things but does not actually shine in any one aspect. Personally I prefer to choose the best app for a specific task and I don't mind using 2 or 3 instead of one.
It's a bit like choosing a stereo system that all comes in one box and you just plug it in. It will sound just fine, but for that extra quality it is better to choose the components separately, even it they are from different manufacturers.
LR can never be the best tool for the job - it might be the most convenient, but not the best. Adobe are trying to please too many people and it is true that you cannot please all the people all of the time.
Best Browser: Photo Mechanic
Best RAW Converter: Any of the main players will do fine.
Best DAM: IView Media Pro (Portfolio is OK too)
IMHO LR, by it's very nature, can never be as 'good' as any of the above at that specific task.
1) Not everyone has access to a Mac store / reseller
2) The store would have to be mad to allow people to walk in and install unknown software from a home burnt CD onto their equipment. That is just asking for trouble even if 99.999% of the time the request is geniune.
3) Why would a Mac shop let you try LR when they would rather have you buy Aperture?
4) How can a person decide if such a program is for them with the limited "screen time" one would get if points 1 - 3 did not apply?
5) How long did it take you Nick to come up with your opinion? I am sure it was not after spending 10 minutes in a Mac store. I assume you spent many hours learning about LR.
Nick, I am not questioning your opinion of LR you have decided LR is not the best tool for you and you already have a established set of tools which does the job for you, thats alright. Just remember it is a Beta and not a finished product for sale. However, I as a PC only user I would like to spend some time to get to know the program and its functions properly before I decide whether it will be the tool for me. I would also like to participate in the actual Beta Program and give my feedback to Adobe about my experiences with LR so that I get a better tool when it goes into the shops.
Your analogy of the Hi-Fi equipment is flawed. LR is
made up of seperate components (modules) held together by a common interface and 3rd parties will be able to develop their own modules. The frontend is like the amplifier and the modules are like the seperate hi-fi components which plug into the amplifer.
Both Aperture and Lightroom are tools just in their infancy. As time goes by I am sure they will mature into tools which many people (maybe even you Nick) will find useful. There is no reason to think why either of these could not become the dominant tool used by photographers in the not too distant future.
I have no opinion whether Aperture or Lightroom will be the better product. As a Windoze user I have no firsthand experience of either. But it is probably like comparing Canon to Nikon, Mac to PC, Capture One to Camera Raw. It all comes down to personal preferences.
In my opinion one reason Windoze users feel frustrated is Mac users (and the world in general) got no advanced warning of this tool (that I am aware of) and it simply "popped out of the blue" - which was a nice post christmas surprise for most Macs users But, Windoze users have been told for 7 months now that it will be available to them: "soon - in the summer". We (PC users) have known of it's existance long before it's release and that is why some PC users are frustrated. We know it is exists, we have seen the screen shots, heard people (alpha testers) have used it and we are still waiting to try it. I am sure if the roles were reversed Mac users would be just as frustrated as Windoze users by now.
Do I think Adobe was right in delaying the WIN-LR beta until after Mac-LR-B3? Yes, I do. From what I have seen from the features available in B3 it is now a useful product able to satisfy a lot of what a photographer demands (but still lacking all the features required for a commercial product). Adobe needed to keep the existing testers happy (note I do use the word: "users" - this is a beta after all). Mac-LR-B3 gave Adobe the goalposts for them to aim at for the WIN-LR-B3. Is it frustrating as a Windoze user to continue to wait? Hell yes! Can we do anything about it? Hell no!
Should Adobe have waited until they had a version for both platforms? No, Adobe (IMO) would have lost too much market share to Aperture it they had waited. Even if the "market share" was not affected it did take some of the momentum away from Aperture. The decision to release the Lightroom Beta was a commercial decision (IMO). I am sure Adobe would have liked
to have waited for the feature set to have been expanded before starting the Beta program, but Apple got to market first and they had to do something.
It is frustrating that it is very nearly 1 month since B3 was released for Mac and we are still waiting for the PC version. I was really expecting the WIN-LR-B3 very soon after the Mac release.
Andy (frustrated but never "breathless")