Anyone have more than 50,000 images in a single library?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Phrasikleia, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #1
    If so, are you having problems with very buggy behavior? I now have about 52,000 Raw images in my Aperture library, and it is approaching the point of being unusable. :mad: I'm considering switching to Lightroom, but I do prefer the interface of Aperture. I'd rather not split up my library into smaller ones, either. Anyone having success with a very large library of Raw images in either of these programs?
     
  2. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #2
    Both Aperture and Lightroom have trial versions. I have nowhere near 52,000 images, but Aperture works very well for me. For what it's worth, I recommend it highly.

    I think Apple's trial is fully functional for 30-days (http://www.apple.com/aperture/trial/). I'm not sure about Lightroom.
     
  3. Phrasikleia thread starter macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #3
    Um. Did you read what I wrote? I'm using Aperture and have 52,000 in it right now. And who is going to load 52,000 images into a trial version anyway?
     
  4. wheelhot macrumors 68020

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    #4
    Hmm, I think even Lightroom will slow down when it has 52k RAW files :eek:, hmm, truthfully speaking, why do you have such a huge amount of photos? What kind of photography business are you running if you dont mind me asking.
     
  5. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #5
    Nope. Missed you already had Aperture. I skimmed right past that. It must have been obvious I missed what you read, so it's not necessary to be condescending about it. You also didn't mention whether you had Aperture 2 or not. Usually queries are about moving from iPhoto or the like. Oh well. Sorry for the trouble...:rolleyes:

    As far as loading all 52,000 images into a trial, you certainly could pick some representative number to get an idea of performance before plopping down $300 on a application.

    (Just checked the specs at Apple, and there's a limit of 10,000 master images per project. It doesn't say how many projects, just "thousands". No limit on number of versions per master. Hope that helps.)
     
  6. Phrasikleia thread starter macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #6
    I fear you may be right about that. I may just have to settle for multiple libraries.

    No, I don't mind you asking about my work. I specialize in Graeco-Roman culture and photograph artifacts (sculpture and pottery, mostly) and archaeological sites throughout the Mediterranean. So I have the items/sites all organized by country, then city, then museum/site. I mostly find an object by navigating to its album, but I like the idea of being able to type in the keyword "Athena" or what have you and get a cross-section from all countries.

    I may have to give up that idea and find a way to split the library, probably doing it alphabetically by country. I don't even know if know if there is a way to do that while retaining all of my edits and keywording. It's certainly not something I look forward to doing.
     
  7. cosmokanga2 macrumors 6502a

    cosmokanga2

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    #7
    Not sure if this might help, but this utility allows Aperture to have more than one library open.

    Also, when you open Aperture holding down the option key, it gives you the option to create a new library, and open a different existing library. Splitting your images into separate libraries might help.

    Before switching to Lightroom, I'd try holding out for Aperture X or 3.
     
  8. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #8
    I have around 60k RAW and everything runs fine. My Aperture library is on its own disk (separate from the OS and application) but that shouldn't make much difference.

    If you delete all previews and rebuild with 1024x768 as a max (the internal sharing with iLife etc.) then you can cut down your library size significantly. Or don't render previews (for use in other apps) at all.

    I copied about 40k images over to LR once to see how things flowed and the speed was identical. With that many images, the computer CPU and HDD are the bottlenecks.

    The speed of the drive becomes very important, and that many images on a laptop will certainly choke; though I'm not sure what kind of setup you are running. 50k+ pictures usually implies pro use, so you may want to upgrade the system to something a little more "pro". I have no hiccups at all with my Mac Pro system:

    Bay 1: 1TB System Drive (apps, iTunes, Documents, Movies, etc)
    Bay 2: 1TB Aperture Library
    Bay 3: 1TB Aperture Vault 1 (just in case)
    Bay 4: 1TB Aperture Vault 2 (paranoia)
    External 5GB DroboPro (for Time Machine and yet another Aperture Vault)
     
  9. Phrasikleia thread starter macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #9
    OK, I'm not sure which part of my short reply was condescending, but I didn't intend to be. Things were pretty much OK in Aperture up until about 35,000 images, at which point things started to get very buggy. I think it's a volume issue, and the only way to test it would be to have a great volume of Raw files loaded into a program. Hence my query to see if anyone else has this situation and is getting better results than I am.

    Yes, I'm using Aperture 2, and I said in my original post that I prefer it over Lightroom because I have used Lightroom (otherwise, how would I know that I prefer it?). I actually started out with Lightroom and then migrated to Aperture because of the dual screen support. Now I'm wondering if perhaps that was a bad decision.

    Thank you Grimace for a very helpful reply. If you're up over the amount I'm at with no problems, then my system must be to blame. I'm frequently getting a black frame instead of a second image on my second display, or sometimes a checkerboard of black plus the image (divided into four quadrants). Very often when I go to edit an image, I'll make some minor adjustment and the whole image turns almost white with bits of cyan or yellow in the image still showing (as if the image were grossly overexposed or something). Then there is the random red "file type not supported" screen. I can't work in Aperture for more than a few hours without one of these things happening, and lately, they've been happening immediately. It's really frustrating and is a major time sink.

    My system is hardly what I would call pro. I change locations (between Europe and the US) about four times per year, so I need to stay mobile. My solution has been to travel with a laptop and a couple of hard drives, with everything else (monitors, keyboards, mice, etc.) duplicated in both locations. It's a difficult situation. I can't possibly schlepp a MacPro back-and-forth with me, alas. :(
     
  10. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

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    #10
    Adobe is offering Lightroom 3 as a public beta right now, perhaps you should download it and give it a try. I've not downloaded it yet, but with my 20,000 photo library Lightroom 2 performs very well on my MacBook Pro.
     
  11. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #11
    No problem. I might have just read it wrong.

    Moving on... :)

    It sounds like you just need to organize your library into projects. I'm betting that will help your performance issues. I'm probably overdoing them, as I seem to start a new project with each import. I think it's because I have it create a new Finder folder along with each import.
     
  12. fiercetiger224 macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    Give Lightroom a try. It's actually a 64-bit native app, so it'll make use of all your memory if you're running Snow Leopard. I have around maybe 20,000 photos, but everything runs very zippy. Not sure if Aperture is 64-bit yet...
     
  13. Phrasikleia thread starter macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #13
    Do you mean projects or libraries? I am using projects. Each visit to a museum or site gets a new project. So I have folders for countries, then projects arranged alphabetically by city, then more folders under those in some cases. For example:

    Greece (folder)
    Argos, Archaeological Museum 2005 (project)​
    Athens, National Museum 2008 (project)​
    Athens, National Museum 2009 (project)​
    Athens, Olympieion 2008 (project)​
    ...etc...

    Individual projects might be as large as 1,000 images.

    Thanks, I don't think Aperture is 64 bit. I already own Lightroom (an old version), and I have plenty of respect for it. I'm just in no hurry to pack up and move 52,000 images anywhere unless I think it's going to be bug-free.
     
  14. romanaz macrumors regular

    romanaz

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    #14


    If you don't mind me asking, but what is your workflow? Are all those photo's external, or are some internal, some external on the laptop? And also, what laptop? Maybe there is something there bottlenecking it that could be improved upon?

    I'm around 23k raw files in my aperture library, and I'm doing fine, the only issue's im having are with 2k + in one project and when importing/exporting my machine takes a while to process it all. I house all my apps internally on the 7200rpm drive, as well as the aperture library file, and the photo's themselves are located externally on a 1tb firewire 800 drive. I'm sure with a newer, faster machine and even lets say an eSATA drive, and it might tide you over (just throwing it out there).
     
  15. Phrasikleia thread starter macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #15
    My laptop is a MacBook Pro (Penryn 2008 model) with 4GB RAM. Hard drive (where the images are) is a 1TB FW800. The library itself is on my internal drive. My hard drive does have eSATA, so that's an option (though I'd need a card for the laptop), but I seem to recall in my research on it that for some reason it wouldn't be any faster than FW800, which is why I didn't go that route.

    Does nobody else get those bugs I described?
     
  16. jampat macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    This is probably a stupidly easy question, but here it is anyway. How can I get Aperture to tell me how many images it has in its library?
     
  17. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #17
    So long as you have a backup (Vault, etc.) - I would strongly recommend moving the library off of the primary computer and on to an external drive. The computer will always tax the laptop hard drive, RAM, GPU etc, but the external hard drive can also be of use for doing some of the heavy lifting (two hard drives working are better than one.)

    The laptop hard drive is already doing a lot of other things related to running the OS, etc. Let the system resources run Aperture and let the external hard drive take care of the images themselves. No matter the program: Aperture, LightRoom, whatever - you have a lot of images and the computer is slowly reaching saturation.

    I know it should go without saying, but make a backup Vault of everything you have -- ***** happens!

    [Edit] I guess I am a little confused when you say that the "library itself is on the internal drive" but the "Hard drive (where the images are)" is an external drive. If you have just one library, you don't have to manage an external library. You can have the entire Aperture library (with images) on the external drive.
     
  18. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #18
    Click the Library arrow, then select "All Photos" - making sure that your "View" option is set to "browser only". The number should show up toward the bottom of the screen.
     

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  19. romanaz macrumors regular

    romanaz

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    #19
    Grimace - when I import I choose to keep the images where they are, aka my external drive. My aperture library file is nothing but pointers out to the external. Granted it IS 15gigs worth.

    and as soon as I post here, I import 280 more photo's and of course, one of them is giving me that red screen with "image not supported" thing.
     
  20. Phrasikleia thread starter macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #20
    Well, I left the library on the laptop so that even when I don't have my external hard drive(s) with me, I can still do keywording and make stacks. I do this kind of work a lot on long flights. I don't need the external drive with the actual images for those tasks. So I'm doing 100% managed images (none of them are stored in the library). Sounds like maybe that's not so good for my system?

    As for making a vault: I'm not really clear on why I would want to do that; I'm all ears for an explanation. Right now all of my images are backed up in duplicate on USB hard drives (these are separate from the 1TB FW800 drive that Aperture accesses). So I actually have three copies of every Raw file, but only one Time Machine back-up of the (managed) Aperture library. I do not travel with the back-up USB drives. Those are all permanently in Europe, so I only do back-ups of the images about twice per year.
     
  21. cosmokanga2 macrumors 6502a

    cosmokanga2

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    #21
    Not sure how you back your images up currently, but with a vault, the vault is identical to the library. To update it, all Aperture does is copy any new changes to the vault including metadata, adjustments, sorting etc. One click and it does it all. Really fast and easy. And if you have to restore, "Restore from Vault" and you're exactly back to where you just where.
     
  22. Phrasikleia thread starter macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #22
    I explained how I back up in my previous post (second paragraph). Right now Time Machine backs up my library, and I back up the images separately to USB hard drives (twice over). Those hard drives are six thousand miles away from me half of each year (I can't carry it all with me). Would using the vault be an improvement?

    Only one other person so far has mentioned experiencing any of the bugs that I'm struggling with. Is it just me?
     
  23. thomahawk macrumors 6502a

    thomahawk

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    #23
    Lightroom saves it's photos via folders on your hard drive rather than 1 library file like aperture. thats what i see on my computer

    so in some ways i believe lightroom could handle the immense amount of pictures since it probably reads the pictures off each folder in the area you have it save into.

    just my thoughts
     
  24. TheReef macrumors 68000

    TheReef

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    #24
    I used to sometimes have photos turn black after/during adjustments (and a relaunch of Aperture was required to fix it) on my G5 (ATI 9800) but since upgrading to a mini (9400M) I haven't' seen those problems. (I have 16,900 photos, on an external). Just thought I'd mention.


    You could try changing your primary display around, that's fixed things for me for other apps.
     
  25. romanaz macrumors regular

    romanaz

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    #25
    you can setup aperture the same way, I keep ALL 23k of my photo's on my external fw800 drive, but it has all the masking on the adjustments and such in that giant library file.
     

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