MBP+ MB+ Aperture+NAS

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by wrz0170, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2008
    Hi everyone!

    I recently d/l Aperture on my MBP. My Wife has a MB w/o Aperture but uses a dated version of Elements. We keep all our pics on a mirrored, 2tb Netgear ReadyNas network drive.

    Is it possible to have two computers and edit photos on the drive? How about the revisions? I would have no problems d/l Aperture for her computer if that is needed.

    Any direction on how to proceed would be welcomed! Thanks!
  2. macrumors 68000


    Sep 30, 2007
    NSW, Australia.
    You could share the Aperture library on the NAS, but you'd need to be careful Aperture is only ever opened on 1 computer at a time, otherwise you may corrupt the library.
    Not sure if Aperture will warn you if two machines are accessing the same library (one machine may "lock" the library), but you could always test with a dummy library.
  3. macrumors 6502


    Jan 22, 2007
    I did some research into this about 18 months ago for work. From what I remember* both Adobe and Apple don't recommend keeping the library on a network drive - as the previous poster mentioned, corruption issues and/or issues if tried to be accessed by multiple users at once.

    Also, what happens when the library is on the network drive but you want to use Aperture/Lightroom using one of the laptops when out and about?

    However, images can be stored on the network drive and referenced by Aperture/Lightroom. However, you may come up against performance issues (slow loading of the images in the viewer, etc) - Aperture is well known for benefitting from a fast HDD/SSD. The library (on the local hard drive) would still store low res thumbnails allowing you to work on the laptop and make adjustments to images when out and about, although without the 'Master' file to hand locally you wouldn't be able to export an image and/or edit using a plugin (eg Nik plugins).

    *I'm getting older by the day, my memory isn't as good as it used to be these days ;)
  4. thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2008

    Thank you both! So the common denominator on potential issues I'm seeing is accessing the drive at the same time? If we avoid that issue, we should be Ok?

    I would also surmise for me to d/l Aperature on her laptop? Otherwise, we could be looking at getting a second plug in drive for the pictures and the NAS for strictly Time Machine use.
  5. macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Aperture is designed for use on Multiple computers. The license allows you to use one copy of Aperture on one desktop and one notebook. The idea is that you'd keep the "main" library on the desktop and move project on and off the other computers.

    In Aperture the "Project" is a self-contained unit that has all the files and edits. The previews remain if you move a project.

    If you have multiple computers and use Aperture, that is how it was designed to be used, You'd swap projects.

    Next think about backup: One good way is to keep the library on a disk that is directly attached to the computer (not networked) intherthe internal drive of a notebook or a big external on a desktop. Then let Time machine make backup copies to your NAS. Then in addition Apertue has a "vault" system Keep some drives in a fire safes both at home and in some other location and periodically rotate the drives and re-fresh the them using Aperture's interface

    Vaults also are how you might move images between computers, they are self-contained and re-sync like an iPod you you plug them in.
  6. thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2008
    Got it! Thanks! Right now we are just two MacBook family. No desktop. Looks like I will need to spring for a good, plug in external to keep the Aperture library on and then point Time Mchine to back up that library to our NAS. Luckily, I did not do anything in Aperture yet to the pics on the NAS.
  7. macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    My Lightroom and Aperture library share the same library structure. Since they use exclusive edits unique to each program, the edits made on one are not reflected on the other. Moreover, Aperture should store edit metadata not in the RAW file or the sidecar but rather in the .aplibrary file. I think the same goes for Lightroom catalogs.
    That being said, switch your Aperture library to a referenced library. This will allow Aperture to have a similar library structure as Elements. You can find good guides on how to do this on the internet.
    Once that is finished, move your library folder containing all your images to the NAS and point both libraries to that folder. Voilà, you have your library on an NAS, available for use by both Elements and Aperture simultaneously.

    BUT BEWARE! As many others have mentioned, most NASes lack error correction. This may lead to data loss in which case your photo will not have a good backup. It does not matter if the array is mirrored (I assume RAID 1), since the corruption will be reflected on the mirrored copy as well. In effect you are storing your photos on a drive that has absolutely no backup.

    But in the future, it is better to dedicate a single computer for use as a NAS, sort of like a home server. That's essentially what a NAS is, except it's only designed to make the hard drive available on your LAN and nothing else. By using a full computer as a NAS you get the benefit of automatic disk defragmentation, precise drive management, remote file sharing, etc.
  8. macrumors 65816

    Feb 14, 2007
    SF, CA
    interesting point, when you say the NAS does not have error correction, what do you mean? Will a shared drive on a mac mini server have this error correction?
  9. macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    As NASes are pretty much bare bone computers stripped of all things other than what is necessary for file sharing, yes they are mostly incapable of such high-resource tasks.
    However, something like a Mac Mini or even a bare bone desktop computer like one of these will be able to run a full-fledged desktop or server operating system and will be able to cover the data corruption that can happen with remote transfers.
    Server operating systems are the best for this use because servers are purposefully designed to have as much uptime as possible without errors.
  10. thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2008

    Thanks for the alternative with the ability of using Elements! I think I am going to try the external route, i.e. 1 or 2 TB Lacie or WD My Passport as they are cheap enough and get Aperture for Mrs.. Then use the NAS for the TM. Thanks again for the suggestions. :D
  11. macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    Personally, I think it is a mistake. The database is not meant to be shared. People who try to share a single user database often end up very disappointed.

    Aperture license is dependent upon how it is purchased. The bolded section above is true if you bought the physical DVD copy. If bought on the MAS, the licensing is for all the computers that you own.

    Chris is absolutely correct. Aperture is great at transferring projects from one machine to another. Your very best approach will be to have a single master library. It can reside on either computer. If someone needs to work on a project... transfer to the other machine, do whatever work... then transfer it back into the single master library.

    There is a lot of other great info in this thread (NAS vs server, data corruption, backup, etc)... but that is all orthogonal to making a fundamental mistake of sharing a database that is not intended to be shared.

    Excellent choice.


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