Apple Aperture 3.1 gets fixes, iPhoto '11 features

An update to Apple's high-end photo editing and cataloging software brings several performance improvements and bug fixes along with slideshows for geotagged photos.

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7 min read
Aperture 3.1 lets you upload photos to Facebook's wall.
Aperture 3.1 lets you upload photos to Facebook's wall. screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Riding on the coattails of yesterday's MacBook Air and iLife '11 announcements, Apple also updated its high-end Aperture photo editing and management software with bug fixes, performance improvements, and updates to match features in iPhoto '11.

iPhoto is geared for consumers, while Aperture is aimed at photo enthusiasts and professionals who want more sophisticated controls for editing and cataloging. There's a lot of overlap, though, and one is the ability to create themed slideshows. All six of the new iPhoto '11 slideshow themes also arrive in Aperture 3.1

That includes the new Places theme that's specifically geared for people whose photos have been geotagged with location information. iPhoto '11 and Aperture 3.1 can create slideshows that interleave the photos with views of a map with automatically generated labels to show where the next photos in the sequence were taken. Geotagging can be a hassle, but features such as this can help turn the data into something useful.

Speaking of slideshows, the upgrade also lets people export them for Apple TV devices and, more important for photographers pitching prospective clients, iPads.

Also matching iLife '11, Aperture 3.1 can export photos better to Facebook and Flickr. For example, photos can be published directly to the Facebook wall, not just to its photo albums. And the software can retrieve Facebook comments on published photos.

Performance is better in a number of areas, too, Apple said. Among tasks that got speedier are core editing controls for curves, levels, and highlights and shadows; importing large libraries of photos; repairing photo library databases; exporting images that have been heavily edited; straightening and cropping edited images; and zooming images to a 100 percent view.

Apple Aperture 3
Apple Aperture 3

Apple also fixed a lot of bugs, including one that bothered me, halos that could appear around high-contrast edges in photos. Here's the full list of changes described in the release notes:

Aperture 3.1 Release Notes
This update improves overall stability and performance, and addresses compatibility with iLife '11. It also includes a number of specific fixes in the following areas:

Improves performance when opening large libraries.

Fixes an issue that could prevent thumbnails from being properly rendered when reprocessing masters.

Addresses reliability and performance issues when running Repair Database and Rebuild Database operations in Aperture Library First Aid.

Improves reliability of upgrading libraries with images containing Spot & Patch adjustments.

Improves accuracy of the progress bars displayed when updating Vaults.

Addresses performance issues when exporting heavily adjusted images, particularly those with Highlights & Shadows, Definition, Noise Reduction, Edge Sharpen, Sharpen, Skin Smoothing, or Blur.

Addresses performance when using Core Image filters such as Curves, Levels, and Highlights & Shadows.

Eliminates black "halos" that could appear in areas of extreme luminance in scaled images in the Viewer.

Addresses quality issues with Red Eye correction.

Fixes an issue in the Adjustment Presets editor that could cause the names of adjustments within a preset to temporarily appear blank.

Addresses performance issues with using the Straighten tool on adjusted images.

Straighten grid now appears correctly after applying and resetting a crop.

Fixes issues that could cause Aperture to stop responding or quit unexpectedly when processing an image with Sharpen applied.

Addresses an issue that could reduce image quality on straightened photos.

Fixes an issue that could prevent data from being properly entered into numeric fields in the Adjustments HUD.

Addresses an issue that sometimes prevented the correct cursor from appearing after choosing a Quick Brush

Fixes a problem that caused the Master Aspect Ratio setting to fail if used in combination with the "create new versions when making adjustments" preference.

Fixes an issue that could cause Aperture to stop responding when making adjustments to images in a stack if the "create new versions when making adjustments" option was chosen.

Thumbnails and previews now display correctly for images that are flipped and rotated.

When reprocessing masters, Aperture now displays a progress bar with a count indicating the number of images remaining to be processed.

Addresses performances issues when zooming images to 100%.

Fixes an issue that could cause some file tiles to be rotated incorrectly.

Addresses performance issues when loading thumbnails in Faces view.

Improves reliability of face detection and naming when working with RAW+JPEG pairs.

Addresses an issue that could result in "blank" face thumbnails in Faces view.

When in Confirm Faces mode, the contextual menu now correctly includes the "Not a face" option.

The Confirm Faces mode can now be updated and refreshed by holding down the Option key while clicking the Done button.

Dragging multiple snapshots on the Faces corkboard now correctly moves all the selected snapshots.

The "include face info in exported photos" option now exports Face names as keywords when exporting masters, writing IPTC to masters, or exporting metadata.

Fixes an issue that caused the wrong color profile to be used when previewing an image using the Loupe in the Print dialog.

Addresses an issue that could cause a thin black line to appear on the top edge of some prints.

Addresses an issue that could cause photo effects applied to images in slideshows to persist even after being removed.

When exporting a slideshow, the Custom option now includes a Quality pop-up menu in order to control compression quality/size of resulting H.264 or MPEG-4 files.

Fixes a problem that could cause the audio browser to display improperly when creating a slideshow.

Slideshows can now be exported using presets for compatibility with Apple TV and iPad.

Fixes an issue that could produce incorrect results when the start and end positions of a Ken Burns setting were swapped in the slideshow editor.

Adding an inset to a photo in a Classic and Ken Burns slideshow no longer changes the width of a border applied to the same photo.

Choosing "Fit Selected Slides to Main Audio Track" no longer unnecessarily reduces the length of video clips contained within the slideshow.

Deselecting the custom duration set for a select slide by deselecting the "Play slide for" checkbox now correctly returns the slide's duration to its default value.

Fixes an issue that could produce inaccurate results when assigning photos to a GPS track path.

Metadata Inspector can now display GPS Direction if this data is available in geotagged photos.

Addresses an issue that could prevent imported track paths from appearing in the Tracks & Waypoints menu after restarting the application.

The Keyword HUD now displays a count for the number of times each keyword has been used in a library.

Fixes an issue that could cause duplicate keywords to appear after merging a library.

Fixes an issue that could prevent photos with an IPTC Subject Code to export correctly when exporting masters with the "Create IPTC4XMP Sidecar File" option enabled.

Fixes an issue that caused Longitude data to export incorrectly when using the Export > Metadata command.

The Date Created field in IPTC Core can now be activated and set by simply clicking in the field.

Auto-complete of contact info in IPTC Contact fields can now be enabled or disabled in Preferences.

Metadata Inspector now includes a Sharing view which logs when each photo is published to MobileMe, Facebook, or Flickr.

The application now displays a progress dialog when opening or switching between libraries.

Fixes an issue that disabled browser scrolling when in Split View with sort and filter controls hidden.

Addresses quality issues in connection with rendering of images scaled to below 100% in the Viewer.

Fixes an issue that could cause the "Loading" indicator in the Viewer to disappear before images were actually loaded.

Activity window can now be opened by pressing Command-Shift-0 (zero).

Photos displayed in the iLife Media Browser on Mac OS X v10.6.x Snow Leopard now retain their sort order from Aperture.

Photos synced to iPod, iPhone, iPad and Apple TV are now sorted in date order by default.

Addresses issues to improve performance when searching libraries containing a large number of keywords.

File Type query now correctly supports search for RAW+JPEG.

Fixes an issue that could prevent all photos and videos from loading in the Import window when importing from iPhone or iPad.

Duplicate detection now correctly works with imported audio and video files.

Images in BMP format can now be imported.

Aperture now correctly rotates square images cropped in-camera from Olympus E-P1 and E-P2 models when imported.

Images captured during a tethered session no longer appear in the Import window, unless they are actually stored on the camera's memory card.

Fixes an issue that caused a "Missing" badge to temporarily appear on some images imported via tethering.

Addresses an issue that disabled tethered capture via FireWire on Snow Leopard.

iPhoto Import
Images from an iPhoto library that are imported as referenced files can now be correctly accessed and relinked using the Locate Referenced Files command.

Smart Albums created using Faces in an iPhoto 8 library are now correctly displayed when imported into Aperture.

Portrait-oriented photos contained in an iPhoto 8 library are now correctly rotated when the library is imported into Aperture.

Photos marked as "hidden" in an iPhoto 8 library are now imported with a "rejected" tag when the library is imported into Aperture.

Fixes an issue that could cause images exported as TIFFs to have an incorrect dpi setting.

Addresses issues that could slow performance when exporting a large number of projects as a new library.

Fixes an issue that could cause the "Consolidate masters into exported library" option to not complete when exporting projects to a new library.

Exported libraries now correctly include all pre-defined Library Smart Albums such as "* * * * *" and "* or better."

Web sharing
Improves memory management when publishing to MobileMe.

Supports multiple MobileMe, Facebook, and Flickr accounts for compatibility with iLife '11.

Enables publishing to Facebook Wall and Flickr Photostream.

MobileMe, Facebook, and Flickr accounts can now be individually enabled or disabled in each Aperture Library.

Photos downloaded from MobileMe albums are now copied when imported into Aperture projects.

When Aperture attempts to open an unsupported video format, it now correctly prompts you to open the file using QuickTime via Finder.

Fixes an issue that could cause videos to flicker when multiple videos were selected in the Viewer.

Improves scaling of images when photos placed in book layouts have an effective resolution of 110 dpi or less.

Addresses an issue that could cause export plug-ins to use the wrong Aperture export preset when exporting files.