Apple has released Aperture 1.5 at the Photokina show held in Germany, and is touting the free upgrade as a major update offering an all-in-one post-production tool for photographers that boosts workflow. New features include an open library system, iLife and iWork integration, XMP metadata support, and new adjustment tools.

Headlining the release is a library system for managing RAW, JPEG, and TIF images -- with Apple saying Aperture 1.5 allows photographers to store images wherever they want, including offline media. Photos can be stored on DVDs, RAID systems, CDs, and external hard drives -- and Aperture 1.5 can review, rate, and organize high-res previews and images even when the original is offline. Apple says it means photographers can keep images secure while able to take compacted versions on the road.

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Apple is touting iLife integration across all Mac models -- from the Mac Mini to Mac Pro -- and says photographers can use Aperture to build photo sites with iWeb, or produce DVD slideshows with iDVD, for example. Integration also includes syncing with iPods using iTunes 7, and the ability to copy Aperture photos from within iPhoto.
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Apple says Aperture 1.5 now supports adding metadata to photoshoots using IPTC Metadata Presets. Captions, credits and other data can be added automatically on export or via a batch process. RAW images can be exported with IPTC metadata attached as XMP sidecar files for use in applications such as Adobe Photoshop.
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New creative tools include a luminance-based Edge Sharpen filter for high-quality sharpening results, says Apple, and a new colour tool lets users tweak hue, saturation, and luninance of specific colour ranges within each image. The Loupe magnifier has been enhanced, says the company, with a set of onscreen controls, smooth zooming up to 1,600 per cent and an option to detach it from the cursor.
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A new plug-in architecture makes the cut, allowing third-party developers to add plug-ins that seamlessly connect Aperture to other applications and services. Plug-ins from the likes of Getty Images, iStockPhoto, Flickr, and Pictage will be available from launch.
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Aperture 1.5 is a free update for existing Aperture users, or it can be bought new for £219 including VAT.
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Details at <a href=www.apple.com/uk/aperture