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Being an Apple fan since day one, I thought the GS Apple Card would reflect the quality of the products I have used for so many years. Wrong! Each time I called for service wondering why my transaction was denied, or why I had 3 'phantom' charges applied to my account, I was served by reps who didn't have a clue what was happening. I complained to Apple, but nothing happened. Consequently, I stopped using it; my Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa is my card of choice.
This article rubbed salt in a wound that I thought had healed. I was (and still am) a devoted Aperture user. I reluctantly subscribed to Adobe's CC for photographers and have barely touched LR. Yes, it does some nice things with lens corrections and panoramic stitching. Unfortunately, I've seen firsthand how some serious amateurs have used it to apply global changes to their images with abandon, claiming 'I don't need Photoshop now that I have Lightroom'. I have yet to figure out LR's asset management philosophy and I resist sacrificing my extensive collection of RAW images to a management schema that just doesn't make sense to me.
I disagree with the claim that Aperture lost the race with LR. I think there was room for both products, and in comparison studies that I remember, Aperture won out over LR. Its DAM (digital asset management) capabilities are excellent. It is well-designed and FAST! Importing RAW files into Aperture was several times faster than LR's. (This may or may not be true today). The ability to stack versions, e.g. HDRs or bracketed images, compare several images, and do localized adjustments by either painting in or out the adjustments is polished and well conceived. I even found myself using the slideshow feature of Aperture to put together several videos that included sophisticated transitions, videos fades, and audio tracks. When a client hands you a flash drive full of images to incorporate into a memorial DVD of grandma Emily's life to be played at her memorial service, Aperture handled the task with ease.
What hurt me most in this whole ordeal was the release of Photos, and how it was so frustratingly inept at doing simple things EASILY. I wondered what happened to the Aperture team who worked so hard to develop professional grade software. Where did these creative people go? Who's running the ship now that they have left? Why couldn't they make an 'Aperture-Lite' for the masses? And, yes, why didn't Apple outsource Aperture to someone else for further development? This was a real opportunity lost for Apple and it's pro-level customers.
I've had my AirPods since last December. I listen to them more often than my $1000 Westone W-60's (wired IEM's). Besides the excellent sound, I like the AirPods' ability to let in a certain amount of external sound so I can hear when someone talks to me, or the birds tweeting while riding my bike. Great sound, great design.
"Also, while the AirPods do sound better than Apple's wired EarPods, don't expect to be blown away," I really disagree with this. My AirPods are very satisfying with all types of music. And my standard for comparison is a $1000 pair of Westones with 6 balanced armature drivers in each earphone. For the price and wireless features, I am blown away.