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Old Aug 1, 2011, 07:23 PM   #1
T-bag
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Aperture Library, two Macs -> Dropbox?

Hi all.

So I just pulled the trigger on Aperture 3 in the Mac App Store a couple of hours ago, but feel like I hit a barrier made out of concrete when I was to decide where to store my library and how to import files. As reference files or moved to my library.

The thing is, I have two Macs. A 17" MBP (128GB) sits on my desk most of the time, connected to a screen, keyboard etc. The other one is a 13" MBA (256GB), always within reach. I have a 500GB portable hard drive and a 50GB dropbox account.

As it turns out, I have no idea what to do here. I would very much like to be able to access the same library from both machines, but I guess that's not an option. I currently have all my photos stored as files in my dropbox, and like the idea of them being safe there. Any suggestions?
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Old Aug 1, 2011, 07:51 PM   #2
emorydunn
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I would put everything on the external hard drive because I think you'll find that storing everything in your dropbox is going to be a couple of things: 1) slow. You'll have to upload (and download) every single photo. Plus you'll be using up that space on both computers. 2) as your library grows you're going to run out of space on Dropbox.

That being said, if you're using a referenced library you could store the actual library file in the dropbox and it should sync and everything should be fine.

Personally I like having managed libraries and I store them on a big external RAID. Of course I don't have two computers, but if I plug the drive into any computer with Aperture I can edit my photos.
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Old Aug 2, 2011, 05:53 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by emorydunn View Post
I would put everything on the external hard drive because I think you'll find that storing everything in your dropbox is going to be a couple of things: 1) slow. You'll have to upload (and download) every single photo. Plus you'll be using up that space on both computers. 2) as your library grows you're going to run out of space on Dropbox.

That being said, if you're using a referenced library you could store the actual library file in the dropbox and it should sync and everything should be fine.

Personally I like having managed libraries and I store them on a big external RAID. Of course I don't have two computers, but if I plug the drive into any computer with Aperture I can edit my photos.
My original thought was to keep a referenced library in my dropbox, but keeping them stored on the external drive seems like the way to go. I've heard a lot about issues with dropbox and aperture libraries before so.

I'm going to use my "desktop" more often than the air. But when I need my library on the go, can I just move it over to the Air's hard drive? And then move it back to the hard drive when I get home?

Another scenario: If I go abroad on vacation, take a lot of pictures and import them to my Air, will I then be able to merge them into my main library when I get home?

EDIT: Another Q: What is the advantage of having the photos stored on a RAID system? Wont the data be easily corrupted? I'm thinking of getting one of those raid wd studio's, but I'm not sure. Maybe a dedicated TM disk would be smarter.
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Old Aug 2, 2011, 06:11 AM   #4
OreoCookie
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Originally Posted by T-bag View Post
My original thought was to keep a referenced library in my dropbox, but keeping them stored on the external drive seems like the way to go. I've heard a lot about issues with dropbox and aperture libraries before so.
That's definitely the worst option: either you want your whole library reside on your dropbox or nothing at all. After all, you want the libraries in sync.

In any case, Dropbox is too slow (rather: your average internet connection is too slow) to handle big libraries of photos. For me, it's quite easy to fill 1 GB worth of photos (they are now ~20 MB a piece). Syncing that much data with Dropbox over a normal internet connection takes ages. So what may happen quite easily is that your libraries are out of sync, because you work on both machines before they are properly in sync. This is a recipe for disaster.

Using referenced files on an external machines is not a solution either: what you probably have in mind are libraries that are in sync. Using referenced files just means you have a bunch of image files in a folder hierarchy, but none of the metadata, edits and such go with it. They are stored within the Aperture database. So if you want a truly transferable library, you need to store the Aperture library on the external drive.

If your Air is your `on-the-go machine', a third option is doing things manually: you can export projects in Aperture. Meaning that you can use your Air to do rough edits while on the road and then you transfer files, settings, versions, everything to your desktop. I would probably go for that third option if I were you.
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Originally Posted by T-bag View Post
EDIT: Another Q: What is the advantage of having the photos stored on a RAID system? Wont the data be easily corrupted? I'm thinking of getting one of those raid wd studio's, but I'm not sure. Maybe a dedicated TM disk would be smarter.
A RAID system offers two benefits:* (1) It offers you more contiguous storage space on a single volume. (2) It protects against hard drive failure.

* Note that this excludes RAID0 which increases performance and probability for data loss alike.
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Old Aug 2, 2011, 06:22 AM   #5
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That's definitely the worst option: either you want your whole library reside on your dropbox or nothing at all. After all, you want the libraries in sync.

In any case, Dropbox is too slow (rather: your average internet connection is too slow) to handle big libraries of photos. For me, it's quite easy to fill 1 GB worth of photos (they are now ~20 MB a piece). Syncing that much data with Dropbox over a normal internet connection takes ages. So what may happen quite easily is that your libraries are out of sync, because you work on both machines before they are properly in sync. This is a recipe for disaster.

Using referenced files on an external machines is not a solution either: what you probably have in mind are libraries that are in sync. Using referenced files just means you have a bunch of image files in a folder hierarchy, but none of the metadata, edits and such go with it. They are stored within the Aperture database. So if you want a truly transferable library, you need to store the Aperture library on the external drive.

If your Air is your `on-the-go machine', a third option is doing things manually: you can export projects in Aperture. Meaning that you can use your Air to do rough edits while on the road and then you transfer files, settings, versions, everything to your desktop. I would probably go for that third option if I were you.

A RAID system offers two benefits:* (1) It offers you more contiguous storage space on a single volume. (2) It protects against hard drive failure.

* Note that this excludes RAID0 which increases performance and probability for data loss alike.
Thank you for clearing things up. I realize referenced files in Dropbox wouldn't work! I think I'll go with the third option. But just to make sure I understand how the libraries work: Will I be able to move the entire library to let's say a drobo system in a couple of years?
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Old Aug 2, 2011, 07:21 AM   #6
OreoCookie
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Thank you for clearing things up. I realize referenced files in Dropbox wouldn't work! I think I'll go with the third option. But just to make sure I understand how the libraries work: Will I be able to move the entire library to let's say a drobo system in a couple of years?
You can relocate the library at any time. If you move the library, the easiest way to set a new default location is to double click the Aperture Library after moving it to the new location.
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Old Aug 2, 2011, 07:43 AM   #7
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You can relocate the library at any time. If you move the library, the easiest way to set a new default location is to double click the Aperture Library after moving it to the new location.
That's great, thank you. I'm good to go now!
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