Fat Cat Software

iPhoto Library Manager user stats

Starting with version 3.2.5 of iPhoto Library Manager, I started using the extremely useful Sparkle framework to handle automatic downloading and installation of updates from within the application. When users opt-in to automatically checking for updates, they can also choose to submit anonymous profile data when checking. This sends basic information such as what type of machine they have, what version of iPLM they have, their version of OS X, their version of iPhoto, and so forth. This info gets collected in a database where, until now, it has pretty much just been collecting virtual dust. I finally decided it was time to do a little data analysis and see if there were any interesting trends I could discern from the data. I'm posting in hopes that both developers and users might find some of this info useful.First, however a couple things to note about the data:Information is transmitted every time iPLM checks for an update. This check occurs when the user opens iPLM, but no more than once a day. This means that users that use the program more frequently will have a larger representation in the sampled data that users who only open iPLM on occasion. So, all the numbers you see here are based on number of checks, not necessarily the number of users. However, I feel that this approximation is good enough for sussing out general trends.Apparently, when I changed webhosts over from Dreamhost to Slicehost, I neglected to transfer the data that had been collected thus for over to the new server. D'oh! As a result, the data starts at the beginning of 2008, rather than several months beforehand.Due to a build configuration mixup with iPLM 3.5.2, profile information was not being sent correctly by that version. Since it was released in early June, that means the data for the last two months is pretty much worthless. So, the data presented will range from 01/2008 through 05/2009.iPhoto adoption ratesThe first thing I was curious about is how quickly users of iPLM update to a major new version of iPhoto when one is released by Apple. The data I have only covers one such release, iPhoto '09 (version 8.0), which was released in January 2009. Here is a graph of the usage rates of different versions of iPhoto by iPLM users:As you can see, it only took about two months for iPhoto 8 users to surpass iPhoto 7 users. Granted, people who use iPLM are probably more advanced users and thus more likely to upgrade, but I still found this to be pretty impressive. And yes, there are still a few people out there using iPhoto 1 and 2. :-oOS X adoption ratesUnfortunately, since my data doesn't start until Jan. 2008, it doesn't cover the release of Leopard, which came out in Oct. 2007, so this isn't the most exciting graph in the world, but you can at least get a sense of how many people are using Leopard these days:iPLM updatesI don't know how useful this really is, but I figured it might be interesting to see how quickly people updated to a new version of iPLM once it was released.So it looks like it typically takes about two months for ~80% people to get updated to a new version after it gets released. However, keep in mind that this is data that's only coming from people with auto-updating enabled, so there's no telling how many users there are out there that have it switched off and are still running old versions. Overall the adoption rate seems pretty good though.Registration ratesiPLM's method of enticing people to buy a full license for the program is to limit access to a handful of "power-user" features such as copying albums and merging libraries. People can use iPLM for basic stuff for free without any time limit, but they need to buy a copy if they want to be able to copy their photos around easily.It has also been speculated by many in the Mac developer community that the same users who are likely to upgrade their version of OS X are more likely to purchase third party software. Let's see what the numbers are for iPLM:It's not huge, but there is a noticeable increase in the percentage of registered users as you move up the OS X food chain. My next thought was how registration rates compared to the version of iPhoto being used:Now that's more like it! It looks like users of newer versions of iPhoto are much more likely to have a registered copy of iPLM than those using older versions of iPhoto. This makes some sense intuitively, since the more involved you are in taking and organizing your photos, it seems you would be more likely to need iPLM and to update to the latest version of iPhoto, but it's always nice to have data back up your assumptions.