Mac App Store

So… yesterday, the blogosphere was all a-twitter (and a-facebook and a-wordpress and… well, you get the point) about the new Mac App Store that Uncle Steve promised last year finally opening up. Overall, I think this is a good thing, and kinda makes part of the application ecosystem on the Macs run like the music ecosystem on iTunes — buy once, use on any device managed with that same Apple ID. Cool.

While there are several bargains on the store (iLife ’11 and iWork ’11 are not among them, sadly, although their prices are a good bit cheaper as compared to the multi-license physical versions), the big screamer is Aperture 3. It’s out there for $79, while the physical copy is $199. That’s a huge discount. Sounds great, eh?

Well, maybe…

Folks are really tripping over the licensing. You see, the new license agreement (at least the part for the new App Store) indicates that things you buy there are “for personal, non-commercial use on any Apple-branded products running Mac OS X that you own or control.” Many, many, many folks that run Aperture don’t fit that definition — although there’s likely to be more hobbyists jumping on the bandwagon at that price.

Most places I’ve seen discussing this new licensing agreement leave it there. But to my eyes, there’s a piece that’s being left out. In the next section, it seems that the restrictions against commercial (or educational use) are eased a bit:

“If you are a commercial enterprise or educational institution, you may download a Mac App Store Product for use either (a) by a single individual on each of the Mac Product(s) that you own or control, or (b) by multiple individuals on a single shared Mac Product that you own or control.”

The way I read that, I can use Aperture on any of my Macs in the pursuit of the perfect photograph, although Becky would not be allowed to use it. Or, in the case of an educational locale, a shared computer lab machine could be loaded with Aperture for the students to use — one license per machine.

I guess for home users, it’s anyone at home, on any Mac you own.


Home use – anyone, anywhere (multi-multi)
Business use – just me, but anywhere (single-multi)
Educational use – anyone, but only on one machine (multi-single)

Of course, IANAL, and I don’t play one on TV. YMMV. No warranties implied. Batteries not included.

And those of you that have read my nattering for a while know that I’m a dyed-in-the-wool Lightroom junkie. However, Aperture has two things that I wish LR also had: face recognition, and actual use of geocoding data. LR can manage the geocoded data, but it’s just another metadata field to it — no mapping, etc., is available with that data. Bummer.

At the App Store price of Aperture, it’s not hard to rationalize pulling it down to play with. Perhaps some hodgepodge of LR for edits (along with PS CS5 for heavy lifting) and Aperture for cataloging, with some possibility of moving completely over to Aperture at some point.

I just dunno…

2 thoughts on “Mac App Store”

  1. Colin,

    Just download it. You know you want to. And you’ll download it eventually. Save yourself the pain and suffering in the meantime.

    Now, if I’d only walk my own talk, I’d walk (or drive) over to the Apple Store and buy that 11″ MacBook Air!


  2. Well, I did go ahead and do it. Haven’t tried it yet — family commitments — but plan to tomorrow with the eagle shots. (Hopefully.)

    If I could find a buyer for my MacBook Pro, I’d be on a MacBook Air in a heartbeat. Much better suited for my needs than an MBP.

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