Aperture: How many photos in your library?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by ipedro, May 19, 2010.

  1. ipedro macrumors 68040

    ipedro

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #1
    I've been very happy with Aperture since it was launched and it's been consistently getting better. I rarely ever need Photoshop now. Where I think it needs improvement is in dealing with large libraries.

    My library just passed 40,000 photos (240GB) and things were getting slow on my 2009 17 MacBook Pro (Intel Core 2 Duo 2.66 GHz, 4GB DD3, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M 256MB) so I upgraded to Aperture 3. Needless to say, it was in fact a downgrade. Aperture is barely useable.

    How many photos are in your library? How's your performance? Anybody have a large library like mine but finds Aperture 3 to work well? What machine are you on?
     
  2. flosseR macrumors 6502a

    flosseR

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    the cold dark north
    #2
    well i only had a 100GB library before, now its more like 120GB BUT i split them. The library management in A3 is soooo much better. I now go by chunks of 3 months and store them in separated libraries.. when i want to open another one then i just switch. Granted, this approach will not work for people that have a need to constantly go back and have ALL their photos of ALL time at the ready (who does??) but you can even go by year and have one library per year.
    I do heave in my library a project for each day of shooting and each photo is meta-tagged. I then use smart albums to organize.. works extremely well...

    specs: a lowly macbook pro 13" with 4GB ram and a 128GB SSD drive, plus a FW 800 external 2TB disk that contains the libraries. Should I need one to take with me on a trip i just copy it to the laptop and use from there.

    just my 2c
    //F
     
  3. A Pittarelli macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2007
    #3
    Ive sitting with about 15,000 with aperture 3 and it works decently on a similarly spec'd 15" macbook pro
     
  4. ipedro thread starter macrumors 68040

    ipedro

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #4
    Thanks for sharing guys.

    I thought of splitting up my library but I do rely on it all being unified.

    My library is organized by client (for regular clients) and by themes for one offs (i.e. weddings).

    I mainly shoot events so I'm accumulating on average about 600 photos per week.

    Both your posts suggest that a smaller library should give me a useable app so I'm going to seriously consider going through all 40,000 photos, give them star ratings, keep the 4 and 5 stars, burn the 3 stars to disks in case I need them and discard the rest.
     
  5. ipedro thread starter macrumors 68040

    ipedro

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #5
    I just got an idea with your library management suggestion:

    I can have a library for each client and/or occasion instead of putting them in folders.

    I'm gonna do a trial run and I'll report back if it works :)
     
  6. flosseR macrumors 6502a

    flosseR

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    the cold dark north
    #6
    I was gonna suggest that next. have a main library for your events for example and then one for each client... that should cut down your library size by a LOT...

    //F
     
  7. peskaa macrumors 68020

    peskaa

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #7
    Last count, 156,878 images, varying in size from 21mp 5D Mark II files, to 20D JPEGs to film negative scans.

    Performance in Aperture 3 is fine on the Mac Pro. Library has its own 2TB HDD.
     
  8. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #8
    "Barely usable" doesn't make sense.

    Look under Window--->Activity and see if anything is still processing. Sometimes upgrading a Library that large takes days and the program is "barely usable".
     
  9. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #9
    I suppose I have a small library (libraries that is) in total, I have 16,915. Running aperture 3 on my 2.53 C2D MBP is unusable. I find I'm getting a better experience with Lightroom, so for all intent purposes AP3 is collecting dust.
     
  10. ipedro thread starter macrumors 68040

    ipedro

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #10
    Nothing was running in the Activity but it did take a couple of days for processing, finding faces, etc. when I first installed it.

    I'm continuing my review of 40,000 photos and so far I've deleted about 6,000 with more to come I'm sure.

    I did a tuneup of OS X, removing all the caches, deleting preference files, moving files off my internal HDD (500GB with 100GB remaining, now 150GB remaining). Once I did all that and rebooted, Aperture is quite a bit quicker. It seems that it was the OS itself that was slowing things down.

    As it turns out, having different libraries for each client still might not work too well because I often need to have access to my entire library for certain albums which contain the best of "nightlife" for example which spans several clients.
     
  11. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #11
    The speed of your hard drive (laptops often have 5400rpm drives) combined with the amount and type of RAM, along with the graphics card can all play in too.

    Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed solution, as Aperture may just not respond well above 25,000 images with your hardware. It may be fast as lightning on your machine with 15,000 photos but not as responsive (wherever the bottleneck exists) with the library you are trying to manage.

    As an on-the-road workhorse for a project, Aperture and an MBP are an unbeatable combo. But, if you are also using that same device as an archival device (bringing all of your other photos along too) - the performance does take a hit.
     
  12. sth macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Location:
    The old world
    #12
    AP3 chews up huge amounts of RAM, up to the point where I can see 1gb+ of swap usage in Activity Monitor after a not-so-big editing session. AP3 really makes me think about upgrading to 8gb.

    Anyway, try running in 32bit mode and see if it helps.

    Also check that your aperture library isn't fragmented (especially with a slow 5400rpm drive).
     
  13. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Location:
    In my imagination
    #13
    I reference all of my images, and just carry all the previews and current projects with me.

    Having that many images in one spot will choke any application.

    Counting images for me is also tough, I don't get the fascination with keeping that many images in one spot ever. For me, it's around 20,000 in Aperture, another 4,000 in Lightroom, and countless (about 150GBs - 200GBs) on an external.

    As to the OP's situation, I'd just make multiple libraries as you suggested, but also reference them and keep the folders you are referencing organized. You might not want to do it by client since you'll end up with tons of library files.

    Separating by genre, year, etc might be a better option.
     
  14. odinsride macrumors 65816

    odinsride

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2007
    #14
    I don't know what your requirements are but I was thinking of the following strategy for myself:

    Multiple libraries split by year for my RAW/Working photos

    One master library with final versions of ALL my photos in JPG format...this is where i would go to view photos, show to family/friends, export for web, etc.

    My libraries for each year would simply be for going back to my edits/working copies.

    I haven't tried it yet as I am still stuck in LR2 but wanting to switch back to Aperture, because frankly I HATE LR2 :D
     

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