Aperture 3 and Olympus XZ-1 – FCP and FCE

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I have had the Olympus XZ-1 for a while now, and I’m very pleased with the camera and its f1.8 lens. Being an Aperture user and no Photoshop fan, I am however eagerly waiting for the Aperture 3 update that will include the XZ-1 amongst its supported cameras… All my RAW files are just sitting on the camera, and I can’t be bothered to use the Olympus software to handle them.
The Olympus software is no Mac-like application, but I will admit that the software has potential. Being able to apply the art filters in the post-processing is nice.

So Apple, please. An update.

I’m also a FCE (Final Cut Express) user, or rather was. Since the latest version of iMovie came out, I have opened FCE only once. Many of the iMovie features are new and not available in FCE. So I hope that the hype evolving around the SuperMeet will result not only in a new FCP (Final Cut Pro), but also in a new FCE version with some new breathtaking features :-)

Only time will show.

GPS logging and Aperture 3

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I have (back when Aperture was Aperture 2) been talking about which solution would be the easiest when trying to pair your RAW files with GPS data from some sort of device. In the end, I decided to buy the PhotoGPS from Jobo only to discover that was not possible to embed your GPS data from the PhotoGPS into the RAW files in Aperture, because Aperture did not have XMP support.
Aperture seems to have XMP support now. At least that is what has been said. However, when importing the photos with the XMP files produced by the PhotoGPS application, Aperture still is unable to match the RAW files with the XMP files. Is it because the XMP files are truly XMP complaint? I don’t know.
Anyway, it would be nice if Jobo would allow me to export the data from the PhotoGPS as a GPS track file, instead of insisting on doing a match in the accompanying PhotoGPS application and thus letting me do the match in Aperture.
My Jobo PhotoGPS has been hibernating since May last year because of Aperture’s lack of XMP support, but it looks like I should look at a different GPS logging solution. Given Aperture’s requirements the best solutions would be one that can output a GPS track file and it has to be mac compatible. Any suggestions?

Prohibitory sign under Snow Leopard

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prohibitory_sign.pngI ran into the problem with the prohibitory sign on the gray screen on my iMac last week and I wasn’t able to find a solution straight away. After trying zapping the PRAM, doing a safe reboot, starting in target mode, I finally called Apple. I was running 10.6.2.

They wanted to know if I had done a check with the Disc Utility, which I confirmed. The hard disk was OK and I had also repaired the permissions.

They told me to archive and install from the Snow Leopard disk and assured me that the system wouldn’t change the user accounts installed on the machine.

So I proceded to do this. The installation went fine and nothing was changed whatsoever. Software Update alerted me to the fact that I had a combined system update waiting for me (107 MB) after I logged in.

I installed that, and the machine was back to normal again. Talk about an easy way to deal with a system software issue. I expected to be obliged to reinstall applications – maybe even users again, but no. It was smooth sailing all the way :-)

Now if Apple could just come out with a new version of Aperture…

New GPS device for all cameras…

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phototrackr DLP900Gisteq has a new GPS device to help you record GPS data to your photos. It’s called PhotoTrackrDPL900. I’m obviously interested in using it with a Mac, so can data can be written into the EXIF data of raw files, when I use Aperture?

The Jobo PhotoGPS is not really properly compatible with Aperture, as you are forced to write the GPS data to jpg files… Mine is now collecting dust waiting for Jobo or Apple to do something to enable me to either write the data directly into the EXIF data of the raw files or to have a new version of Aperture with XMP support… Another advantage with the Gisteq device is that it doesn’t have to be attached to the camera. You can put it in your pocket or your photo bag while taking your photographs.

Derrick Story did a review of the previous version as well as of the Jobo PhotoGPS some time ago.

Follow-up on the Jobo PhotoGPS

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jobophotogps.jpgAs stated in my previous post, there’s the run-down on the Jobo PhotoGPS (available at Fototrade, Luxembourg for 155€).
Derrick Story has been testing the device with his Mac and concludes that it is not bad. Your work flow gets a bit more complicated, but until the cameras will have GPS built-in, this is one of the better solutions. Derrick did however only shoot JPG’s and not in RAW.

The Jobo software is very simple and easy to use and does a decent job of helping you sort out the geotagging of your photos. As stated in the manual for the Jobo software, the geotagging information is written directly to JPG photos and to a XMP sidecar file when it comes to RAW files.

This is all good if you are shooting in JPG format, as the file can be imported into any of the major software programmes (Aperture, Adobe Lightroom, iPhoto).

Shooting in RAW is more complicated. If you have a setup with Adobe Lightroom, you are fine. The XMP format was invented by Adobe, so the format is of course supported. When it comes to Aperture of iPhoto, you are (currently) out of luck, as these two programmes don’t support the XMP sidecar files. I haven’t been able to find any third party solution to the problem either.

So, if you are shooting RAW and is using either Aperture or iPhoto for your photos, don’t buy the Jobo PhotoGPS as you won’t be able to import the information into these programmes.

I have submitted a ticket at Apple regarding this, and I suggest you do the same :-) Maybe Jobo could come up with a solution, but I suppose they are more concerned with the Windows market…

UPDATE: as suggested by Derrick Story, you could go with a work flow that involves shooting RAW+jpg and then stack the versions together in Aperture… I personally find that a bit too heavy a lifting…

Last.fm radio a thing of the past now

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Below the announcement from last.fm:

 

Today we’re announcing an upcoming change to the way Last.fm Radio works in some parts of the world. In the United States, United Kingdom and Germany, nothing will change.

In all other countries, listening to Last.fm Radio will soon require a subscription of €3.00 per month. There will be a 30 track free trial, and we hope this will convince people to subscribe and keep listening to the radio. Everything else on Last.fm (scrobbling, recommendations, charts, biographies, events, videos etc.) will remain free in all countries, like it is now.

Since we streamed our first track from Last.fm back in 2002, we have focused on playing the right songs to the right people, compensating artists for playing their music, and being the best music site on the web. We appreciate the support we get from the 30 million people who use Last.fm every month—double the number of people since this time last year. We work with over 280,000 labels and artists, many of whom we pay directly, and have built up the largest catalogue of any web radio platform: over 7 million tracks are available on Last.fm Radio stations.

In order to keep providing the best radio service on the web, we need to ask our listeners from countries other than USA, UK and Germany to subscribe for €3.00 per month. In return you’ll get unlimited access to Last.fm Radio, and a promise that we’ll be hard at work improving the service for years to come.

(…)
[From Last.fm Radio Announcement]

 

This is sad. I will just use last.fm for listing what I’m listening to and have a look at my neighbours from time to time now. It was easier just to listen to “their” radio station, but alas, a thing of the past now…

Random observations