Help me fix this mess! New to Mac :)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by jranaudo, Jul 15, 2013.

  1. jranaudo macrumors newbie

    Dec 19, 2012
    So I have a NAS drive with pictures. Most are all organized by year. So 2012, 2011, 2010 are all folder names. Subfolders are sometimes MM-DD-YY or even an actual descriptive name!! Like "Xmas". Can anyone suggest how they would tackle importing these photos into Aperture?

    I can import all the folder at once but as far as I can tell I will have to go through thousands of pictures to separate into projects, folder or albums etc.

    THEN there is the whole story on hacking up! Do I keep my library on my local machine or NAS? Do I use the vault feature in Aperture?

    Any tips anybody could suggest would be very helpful. I need to get this organized then come up with a backup plan asap.
  2. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    I don't use Aperture. I use Lightroom, which is similar. If you're using a digital camera, I don't see the point in organizing folders by date because date is already included in the Exif data for each image. In Lightroom, I can display all my 2012 images in about 2 seconds. Same for any other year.

    Given the above, I organize my photos by subject externally. Lightroom can't know subject (it's not in the exif data) unless I tag each photo.
  3. fcortese macrumors demi-god


    Apr 3, 2010
    Big Sky country
    Go to You can join for free on the top bar right hand corner. Post your question in the Forums>User Questions area just like you stated here and someone will give you an answer. Joseph Linaschke, the creator of the blog, or anyone of several high end users will give you a far better explanation and naswer on how to make the transfer. Somewhere in the back of my head there is a memory of problems with NAS drives and Aperture, but it's a foggy one. Good luck
  4. nneufeld, Jul 16, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2013

    nneufeld macrumors newbie

    Jul 15, 2013
    Minnesota, United States
    Personally, I would do it manually just to have control over the organizational structure of the Library. Depending on how many photos you have and how detailed you'd like to be, I would consider creating a Project for each month and dumping all the photos from that month into that project.

    If you want to be a bit more detailed, you could do it the way I do it: create folders for each month and within each folder create projects for each event date.

    As a side note, you may want to split your photos into multiple Aperture libraries (I split mine up by year). This depends on the number and size of photographs you'll be cataloging but a library that gets too big becomes a major drag on Aperture, especially at startup. This will also help with HDD space if you move old libraries off your local disc.

    I keep my library (current year) on my machine but store all of the actual files on an external HDD. The Vault feature backs up the Library itself (metadata, adjustments, previews, thumbnails, and locally-stored photos) so I have my vault setup to store in the same place as all of my photos on that HDD. Then, I have the entire HDD setup to backup to another HDD creating a complete backup. A bit complicated but needed due to the immense size of my library.

    I hope this is mildly helpful. I realize you were looking for something a bit more automated but this may assist you in actually being able to find your photos in the future.
  5. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    SSDs make a huge difference in my aperture library. My library is pushing 400GB, and it is typically "instantaneous". I am not sure where the "breaking point" is for libraries on an SSD.

    As mentioned, breaking up your library into multiple smaller libraries... can also speed things up, but it comes at the cost of not being able to create smart albums or other collections that span the various libraries.

    In many cases... it probably does not matter... or can be an advantage. A pro might keep separate libraries for different clients, if there is no need to share photos across them... or especially if there is a reason to keep such photos physically segregated.

    For my family collection of photos... splitting by year would kill the most valuable features of Aperture.

    Bottom line... splitting libraries can be an asset, but how you do it is very individual to specific needs.

  6. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    You really have two decisions to make. The first and more important one is how you want your photos organized going forward. Don't cripple your use by making the library easy to get your old photos into at the expense of the future. The second is how to get those old photos into the organizational structure you've decided on.

    I was lucky when moving to iPhoto that my folder based system closely matched iPhoto's method so I imported one folder into its own iPhoto event (project in Aperture). Now that I've moved to Aperture, I've maintained the same structure.

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