Aperture 3 Backup and Storage

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by slackmachine, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. slackmachine macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2012
    Hi! I've been looking for a solution for what I'm doing here and gone through a good amount of threads on this sight but I'm still trying to figure it out.
    I have a pretty big aperture library on my late 2010 macbook air, over 200gb. I'm looking for the best solution to reduce the size of my library and back it up as well. I have considered
    1. putting the whole library onto an external drive and starting a new one of my computer
    2. putting the raw (master) images older than 3 months on an external and continuously syncing to put on new masters

    I'm willing to accept any solution. And to do either of those two, I'm not 100% sure what setup to have either. I've considered
    1. (for #1 above) putting the library on two externals to keep it safe, and daisy chaining two external hard drives for time machine backup of the new library on my computer
    2. (for #2 above) daisy chaining two external drives to keep the masters and having a single external drive to time machine backup everything continuously, including the non-referenced images/ the jpgs and newer than 3 months masters.

    I'm open to any suggestions. Sorry it's really confusing! One more question:
    My macbook air has an ssd so that's pretty fast but only 2gbs of non-upgradeable RAM. So it's not the fastest aperture machine, although it's decent. I have a 2007 metal iMac that I'm considering completely updating. It has a 2ghz processor and 1gb of ram, but if I updated the processor, put in around 8gb of ram, and completely factory restored it would it be better than my new air for editing pictures? Thanks!
  2. AxisOfBeagles macrumors 6502


    Apr 22, 2008
    East of Shangrila
    For my purposes, I find keeping the aperture library intact is preferable to constantly bringing items in and out. So I use the referenced masters preference, putting all items to an external 2TB drive. I then have a second 2TB drive that I use as a backup drive.

    Lots of ways to do backups - for my workflow, I import RAW photos from camera to system with the EOS Utility which changes names to my preferred naming convention. I import those photos - as referenced masters to the first of the two 2TB drives - into Aperture, adding standard metadata, into projects from which I can keyword and edit. I backup the original import files, and the Aperture referenced masters file, to the second 2TB drive. I use DeltaWalker for my backups to save time - only backing up new items since last backup.

    Can you support multiple external HD's from the iMac? If so, that might be a good argument for using it versus your Air.
  3. slackmachine thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2012
    So to do the referenced masters, could I just use Aperture's Vault to make it automatically put the raw images/ masters on the external drive, and keep the jpegs on the computer? Also, is there any backup for the 2tb drive you have with the masters? So if for example it fell or something, would you lose all your masters?

    The iMac could use a firewire for a drive and then a usb 2.0 for another drive or even two usb 2.0 drives as well as the firewire. My air does not have firewire.
    But do you know how the speed of an upgraded imac like that would compare to the speed of my air?

    Thanks for the reply!
  4. AxisOfBeagles macrumors 6502


    Apr 22, 2008
    East of Shangrila
    Sorry, don't know about the comparative speeds.

    As for the drives - as I mentioned, I have TWO external hard drives. The Aperture referenced library one one, as well as a full set of the original images, and a complete set of both on a separate backup drive - so yea, if one breaks I've still got em all.

    I only import RAW and do my editing from those - generating jpegs only for something I wish to publish to the web. So I'm not sure why you'd want to keep them separate like that. Nor do I use Vault - someone else will have to assist you, sorry.
  5. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    My A3 Library hasn't gotten away from me as of yet, but I am planning on that happening soon. My solution has been to get a drive dock similar to the one in the link at the end of this post. Mine is eSATA and usb 2 and is connected to my '08 MacBook Pro with an eSATA card in the Express34 card slot. The card is "Multi Port" aware and sees the drives separately. USB on your Air would do the same. Thing that I like about using the eSATA connection is that the data transfer speed is the same as an internal drive. Drop a full size server class drive like a Western Digital Caviar Black in the dock and it's like a new drive in the computer. LaCie makes a Thunderbolt to eSATA adapter that would let you use a set-up like I have. It's pricey, though.

    I will be upgrading my computer this Spring and will move back to a desktop. I will then put my A3 library on a SSD and add a Thunderbolt/eSATA adapter to the desktop if it's an iMac or an expansion card if I go to a Mac Pro. Then I will be able to use the Library on either computer without having to sweat about syncing anything.

    Hard Drive Dock

    Thunderbolt to eSATA Adapter


    Edit: Keep in mind that Firewire is a "pass through" technology. Most Firewire drives have two 800 ports on them. Link your second drive to the first one and you only use one port on the computer. Their are Firewire 800 to Thunderbolt cables on the market.
  6. donlab macrumors 6502


    Jun 3, 2004
    Thanks to everyone contributing to this thread there are some great ideas for storage and backup. I too have an never ending aperture library since my son was born with a thousands of photos and hundreds of video clips. I'm taking a slight different approach to buying more spinning rust. I have enough old drives laying around already that I just don't want to buy more to backup more data. Instead, I'm exporting each year's events created in aperture to to Blu-Ray M-Disc. I want to create an archive of my most important docs and photos and store them on a media I hopefully won't have to worry about for the rest of my lifetime. I bought a LG blue ray burner that supports burning 25GB M-Disc Blue Ray and a 5.25 case from New egg all for around $100. I use toast to burn exported folders. The M-Disc cost around $5 each but you won't have to copy/re-burn to new media/worry about the data for they say a millennium. The discs just hit the market a few months ago so I would expect the prices to fall eventually.
  7. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    Perhaps the discs will be usable in 10 years...but will there be readers?

    Even now, lots of us have CDs and no way to view them. I saw one reviewer who suggested storing a reader to insure you'd be able to get your data out, and to convert to new media as technology changed.

    I prefer contracting all that out to someone who can worry about it, so I store stuff in the cloud.

    And then there's the question posed by the OP: can you find what you're looking for? If the 25GB m-disc is mounted you can probably find stuff, but what if you're got 4-5 of them?

    Just because we can store every photo we take doesn't mean we should. Having inherited photo collections, I think I've learned that for really long term storage, especially stuff that has to last longer than me, some careful editing is required. Even when I went through my own physical photos I found that it would have been a lot easier if I had tossed the junk a long time ago.

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