We're all waiting for a chance to get our hands on Aperture (I was down at the Apple store in San Francisco a week ago sniffing around for a look) and trying to figure out what's going on under the hood. Don't know if others have found this yet, but I came across this preview based on a trip by Photo District News down to talk to the Aperture developers, which is packed with a lot of info / insights. http://www.pdnonline.com/pdn/prodtech/reviews/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1001435191 Here's a few key excerpts on important unknown issues: 1st quote, from about 25% of the way down the page: "Meta-madness One of the first, and loudest, complaints about Aperture centered around the program’s strongest feature set--the simplified and powerful tools for adding and managing metadata. ... The program's lack of exit strategy caused much debate, with many photographers arguing that raw files that are lacking their associated IPTC data makes the trip to an Aperture based workflow a one way process, and should the program some day go "end of life," or should the photographer want to stop using the program there would be no way to end up with a raw file complete with its caption data. One could, in theory, end up a decade from now with tens-of-thousands of files that have been modified in Aperture, with no way to take those images to another program. In the meetings with Apple though we got a bit of a scoop that’ll make many of those concerned more comfortable with using the 1.0 version while waiting for full-blown caption-export support in later updates. According to Apple’s product managers, Aperture already writes "sidecar" files containing caption data. Inside each project file (a core stand-alone nugget of information inside Aperture, which I’ll touch on in a moment) are two files for every image file. It wasn’t until the comments about this perceived shortcoming came to a head that Apple realized it would be a good idea to mention this. The first of these sidecar files includes a list of every change enacted on a file, while the second one contains information on the file’s original state. When users export a file, this first sidecar file is accessed in order to write the new document, and when a file is set to return to its original state the second file is called upon. It’s pretty safe to assume that any number of developers will create applications to extract this data until Aperture gets updated to handle this as part of the export process. Apple’s reaction to initial comments on this pitfall have been positive as well. Product managers indicate that the complaints were heard loud and clear, and that they're on it. " -------- 2nd quote (near the end): "System Speed Touching again on the issue of speed: while we tested Aperture on a new Quad G5 system, our hands-on testing will also include testing on a Dual 2.0 G5, the first dual processor machine released by Apple back in 2003. Apple indicated that many of their in-house testers use this exact setup, so we’ll be interested to report on the speed with what we’re considering the benchmark for "legacy" users. (Our advice is to update a production-level system every 18 months or so if possible, as the increase in speed and performance will generally make up for the expense in hardware.) It’s also important to note that Aperture makes huge use of the power of the system’s graphics card, relying on GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) calls for its image processing prowess. This means that users with an older system but a newer card might see higher speeds than a user with a newer system but the entry-level graphics card. It also means that future Macs built around the Intel platform won’t suffer a performance hit due to the architecture’s lack of Velocity Engine, the subset of the processor that would be used for graphics tasks in the absence of a powerful graphics card. "