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Apple has released the latest of its Aperture imaging software.

The Cupertino, Calif., computer maker announced Aperture 1.5 at the 2006 Photokina trade show in Cologne, Germany, on Sept. 25.

Aperture, which competes with Adobe System’s Lightroom software, will now offer photographers an open library system that allows images to be stored either in the library system, another disk location, or in CDs and DVDs.

In addition to the new library feature, Apple said the updated Aperture software will now integrate better with iLife, Apple’s digital content software, and iWork, the suite of applications used for layouts and presentations.

The update also includes Extensible Metadata Platform support, new adjustment tools and an export API (application programming interface) that allows workflow to third-party applications and services, according to Apple’s statement.

Click here to read more about updates for Apple’s Intel-based Macs.

The software works with either RAW, JPEG or TIFF images. Aperture has also been updated to work with the new line of Intel-based Macs.

“Aperture can now generate high-resolution previews of each image so that users can review, rate and organize images as well as perform slideshows—even when the master images are offline,” the company said in a statement.

The updated Aperture software is available as a free download for current Aperture users. For new users, Apple is selling the software for $299.

Apple introduced Aperture, along with several other new products, at a special event on Oct. 19, 2005.

The software became available to the public in November 2005 and Apple announced an updated version in January 2006.

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