Aperture Time Zone Metadata Nightmare

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by BiggAW, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. BiggAW, Jun 12, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012

    BiggAW macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #1
    So I went on a trip to Alaska in May. I was shooting mostly with an almost brand-new Nikon D5100 in RAW+JPEG mode, as well as with a small Canon camera and my iPhone. I had previously decided to use Aperture because I need a photo management program, and iPhoto doesn't cut it because I don't want to have the actual files stored in a library file, and I need RAW handling. I'd like to learn how to actually edit the images in Aperture, but that's still to come.

    Because I left a couple days after graduating on this trip, I didn't have time to learn Aperture, and ended up not using it until the end of the trip, when I was in Michigan. I shot a total of 5,332 images in Alaska and Seattle, probably 80% on the D5100, and some on the Canon and iPhone.

    I started importing into Aperture, but I didn't adjust the time zone when I imported, as I was in a rush to get it done, and figured that I would just go back and figure it out later. I had to change the D5100 and Canon's times to "mesh" up with the pictures from iPhones, as I forgot to change the local time on the D5100 and Canon, but the iPhone changed automatically from AT&T's and ASTAC's networks.

    That was a mistake. I manually changed the time, not realizing that the time zone is also written into the metadata. When I first changed the time zones, I also had it change the originals, which I thought it would change properly. Wrong. I'll get back to that in a second.

    The metadata was screwed up beyond belief, with many days being wrong, many 4-hour offsets that would start in the middle of albums, etc etc. Lesson learned: Aperture can't handle changing it reliably later. Do it right the first time.

    I finally got it all fixed, and got it showing the right time zone (AKDT for Alaska, PDT for Seattle). I found a great forum post here that described how to fix the time zones without changing the time (since I had manually adjusted it.

    However, back to changing the original files' time stamps. Aperture lied. It said it would change the original files to the new metadata, but instead, it changed the "date created" and "date modified" to the current date (when I was working in Aperture), not based on the Metadata.

    I do have backups in Time Machine of the unmodified image files, but they are still off 4 hours, show EDT, and would be a nightmare to restore. I don't have a full backup set on the drive (an old iPod) I was using on the trip, as it got full, so I deleted a lot of the backups of the RAW images, keeping just the JPEGs.

    The better option would be to have Aperture write it's metadata to the metadata in the files. How do I do this? This time around, I will test it with one image to make sure Aperture is doing what it says it will do.

    A few other lessons I learned:

    1. The Aperture library HAS to be on an SSD. Otherwise it is a real turkey. After I moved my XP VM off to my HDD, and the Aperture library onto the SSD, it became buttery smooth. It's also a space hog galore. I only have just over 6,000 images in Aperture (a fraction of my collection), and the library is already 9GB. At least that VM was about 40, so I have plenty of space for it.
    2. The Facebook integration basically doesn't work. It exports them all out of order, so what I do now is export the album I want to upload as 2MP JPEGs in a folder on the desktop, and then upload those through a browser, and then I delete the folder of 2MP JPEGs.
    3. Aperture isn't very stable. When switching from one long task to another, exit, let it save the library and open it back up again, so that you know everything is saved, and restarting might make it more stable.

    EDIT: 4. Aperture is a RAM and CPU pig. It uses multiple GIGABYTES of RAM and at times uses a noticeable portion of a quad i7 (almost everything else, including 1080p H.264 video use a few % at most of that beast). Good thing I got that 8GB of ram and that i7 that I would "never need".
     
  2. BiggAW thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Location:
    Connecticut
  3. Prodo123 macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    #3
    Sounds like a problem with your computer.

    First, I manage two libraries, one photography and one archive. Combined, the two libraries stack up to a total of 110GB, 85GB on the archive and 25GB on the photography. Aperture can switch between these without any hiccups.

    Facebook integration works perfectly. It uploads photos arranged by name, and if it's out of order you can drag the photos into order, all within Aperture. The trick is to upload all of the photos at once.

    Aperture is very stable; it has never crashed on me, even when exporting 160 full-resolution PSDs from RAWs.

    As for your RAM problems, everything sounds normal to me. Usually these programs take up anywhere from 2GB to 7GB of RAM and up to 99% of CPU. A scratch disk might be helpful as well.


    I don't know what to tell you about the timestamps. Usually Aperture works well when managing time, especially when you enable location services and Aperture can track where you are based on your internet connection. Were you offline for the duration of the trip? Otherwise I can't think of any other way this could have happened.
     
  4. BiggAW thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #4
    The only thing I can think of is a specific software incompatibility on Aperture's part. The speed is just a fundamental limitation of accessing data off of a 5400RPM laptop drive that's usually also doing other stuff. The lag issues in terms of scrolling and whatnot are completely gone when I run it off of my OCZ Vertex 2. It's buttery then.

    And those are referenced not in the actual library?

    I may give it another shot, but it was really a mess.

    Good to know. Aperture must just be a porker. You mean a scratch disk for RAM? I have 8GB. If I ever need more, I can get 16GB for my MBP.


    I was on an off, but I didn't start importing to Aperture until after I was back in the Detroit area (Eastern time like home in CT). That started the problems. I may just have to restore the originally-timestamped files from my Time Machine, and then I'll finish fixing the time zones on the images in the Aperture Library. I don't mind too much if the ones in Aperture are somewhat screwed up, as long as the original images have their original EDT timestamps that are shifted 4 hours from local time.

    It's still not updating things when I tell it too. I selected all and updated the time zone, and it didn't change it on many of the images. It's just getting aggravating that it will change some of the items I select, but leave sets of them unchanged. I'm going to have to go and try it again.
     
  5. Prodo123 macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    #5
    Try turning down the quality of the previews. Your computer might be having a hard time loading them all.



    Some are, some aren't.


    It's one of the smoothest integrations I've seen.


    Yes, a scratch disk for RAM. A hard drive dedicated to pagefiles could actually help when dealing with heavy RAM load.
     
  6. BiggAW thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #6
    I have tons of room on the SSD, so I'll just leave them be.

    I'll have to give it another shot.

    I really don't need ANOTHER hard drive just as a scratch disk. If I need more RAM, I'll add more RAM. Plus, using a USB 2 hard drive as a scratch disk just sounds like a terrible idea. That's the fastest interface I have for external stuff.
     
  7. sapporobaby macrumors 68000

    sapporobaby

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    Location:
    3 earth minutes from your location....
    #7

    Good call about the scratch disk... How do you set that up. I am using Aperture...
     
  8. BiggAW thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #8
    I restored the original image files from my TM drive, and the metadata changed back in Aperture. I then used the batch time zone adjustment, and it was fairly smooth except for one or two days of images, where Aperture, inexplicable, didn't change them all, but it was pretty obvious what was going on when I sorted by date.
     

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