Aperture Tricks – All About Apple Aperture

September 19, 2006

A Review Of The ShuttlePro V2 for Aperture

Filed under: Reviews — Scott @ 4:56 pm

In May, I talked about Contour Design’s ShuttlePRO. At the time, I didn’t have access to the unit. Now I have my very own ShuttlePRO V2 and I spent the last three days using it. I must say I am impressed.

The ShuttlePRO V2 is a multimedia controller capable of working with Aperture (as well as many other Mac/PC applications.) It contains a jog wheel and 15 programmable buttons. It connects to your Mac via USB cable. The ergonomic shape of the device was both attractive and useful. My hand immediately felt comfortable using the ShuttlePRO and I didn’t tire of it, even while stuck in long editing sessions. The controller is symmetrical so it works for either left or right handed Aperture users.

I really like the non-slip surface on the underside of the wheel. In the past, I have tried other controllers and they often slipped, making them unreliable. I also enjoyed the smooth jog knob and shuttle ring.

While the ShuttlePRO comes pre-configured for use with many applications, you need to download the driver for use with Aperture. An Intel/Mac driver is available. I installed the free driver on my MacBookPro with no problem and enjoyed using the map that came with the documentation to learn how each button performed.

It does take some time to get used to using the controller. But I found that time to be well spent. Once I mastered the controller, I found myself able to navigate through my images much more quickly than I could using a mouse or keyboard commands.

I had to sort through a large collection of images. I was very happy with the response of the inner and outer ring of the jog wheel and used both to navigate through and preview images. If this is all the ShuttlePRO offered to Aperture users, it would be worth it’s $109.95 MSRP.

But you can program the buttons on the controller or use the pre-assigned Aperture buttons to do lots of other things. I found it very easy to rate images using the buttons. I have to confess, I am addicted.

The only problem with 15 buttons is remembering what they all do. You can label nine of the buttons using paper cut-outs supplied by Contour Designs. They even have a blank template on their website you can use to make more buttons.

There are few products at the $100 price point which perform as well as the ShuttlePRO V2. I would highly recommend it to any serious Aperture user with the only caution being that not everyone adapts well to media controllers. You might want to try one at the store before you buy just to make sure you can get used to it. I did and won’t go back to my mouse or keyboard shortcuts ever again.

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