How should i manage my Aperture install

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by bp1000, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. bp1000 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    #1
    Tomorrow i'm ready to start organising my 300GB of photos in Aperture for the first time.

    I plan to have all my masters on an external drive (backed up by timemachine on another drive).

    I have

    - Various folders (pre iPhoto mac days), folders are usually camera name, then inside, year, month, event.
    - Several iPhoto libraries

    I'm new to Aperture, but i think i need to turn off managed libraries, switch on referenced libraries. Then do i add folders to Aperture from external drive? Will it create thumb caches but keep masters on external?

    Will it just organise the photos by EXIF data (date/time) ? I assume so, it will ignore my folder structure.

    My iPhoto libraries contain organisation. How do i import these with organisation, all 4 of them. Do i simple add each iPhoto folder and it will retain the events / albums organisation too?

    thanks
     
  2. swordio777 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2013
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    #2
    Simply opening an iPhoto library in Aperture should maintain any organisation you have.

    First things first - back up all 4 of your iPhoto libraries. Once you've done that, I'd open a brand new library in Aperture, then go to: File > Import > Library... and try to import one of your iPhoto libraries. Assuming that goes well (and retains all your metadata), do the same with the other 3 iPhoto libraries.

    You should now have a 5th library which contains all the images from the other 4. The files in these libraries will presumably all be managed - not a problem though, because you can have both managed & referenced files in the same Aperture library.

    Once you've imported your 4 iPhoto libraries, go to File > Import > Folders as projects... and start to import your referenced files. Aperture will ask if you want to import the files into the aperture library or leave them where they are - you'll obviously want to chose the latter.

    If you import each folder as a separate project then you should find it easy enough to manage your files afterwards. With that said - I'd definitely recommend importing in small bitesized chunks. You don't want to import 300GB just to find out that something went wrong and you don't know where anything is.

    At the start, be sure to only import 1 folder at a time & make sure it's doing exactly what you want and you understand how aperture references the photos. Unlike some other DAM's, Aperture won't make reference to the file / folder structure on your computer. Bear this in mind if you use a lot of sub-folders.

    Start small & be patient - it can be time consuming, but once you've finished it'll be worth the effort.

    Hope that helps.

    ----------

    One other tip I'd recommend: Create a top-level folder called "Aperture referenced files" that all your referenced files reside in. You can keep your current folder structure, but move the whole thing inside this folder.

    The reason I recommend this is that breaking the links to referenced files can be the bane of an aperture user's life. Make sure that any files referenced by aperture are not moved or altered manually, or by any other application. Doing so can break the referenced link and lose any edits you made inside aperture.
     
  3. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #3
    The post above is a good start, but I would be a bit more clear about backup. Copy all of your existing photo libraries and folders in their existing forms with no changes to an external drive, disconnect it and put it in a drawer before you do anything to your stuff. If you have to go and buy a drive to do this, I advise it as money well spent.

    When I upgrade my system, I create a complete bootable backup of the system using Carbon Copy Cloner and an external drive. After I prove to myself that I can boot off it and run a normal (but slower) system, I put it in a drawer and have at it. Never regretted the extra time it took.

    And yes, I've crashed and restored a system or two in my time.

    Dale
     
  4. bp1000, Oct 3, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2013

    bp1000 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    #4
    Thanks guys this is much appreciated

    About the backups I just bought 2 new external drives. 1 for my masters to live on and iPhoto libraries. The other is a backup drive which won't be touched.

    I also have all my iPhoto libraries scattered over various other externals but I bought 2 new ones for a clean and fairly redundant start.

    I will take it step by step to make sure I don't end up with too much to manage. I have time and to be honest regardless of their folder structure they need correctly tagging, staring and organising.


    Ps is it wise to have aperture cache this much data even though I plan only to reference everything or should I be looking to split aperture up by year?

    And thanks for the tip on top level folders. I read about moving folders is terrible for referenced files. I assume if I ever do that I batch change the path before the top level folder.
     
  5. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #5
    My Aperture Library is on an internal 7200rpm HDD in the optical bay and is managed by A3. It just runs and runs at 203 GB. In these parts, that's considered child's play.

    One thing that I know aperture will do when it manages it's own Library that I'm not sure of with a Referenced Library is self repair. Every now and then something goes hooey and Aperture will open with a warning that the data base is corrupt and offer to repair it. Following a few simple prompts puts everything back in order with no lost files. I have been through this maybe twice or so in three years. Not really sure if it will handle a referenced setup as well.

    Dale
     
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #6
    Don't use referenced libraries. The whole point of Aperture is to manage photos. Yes it is best to put the whole thing on an external disk drive. That way it can grow with no limit and you can just keep buying larger and larger disks. The library and the image files are ALL on the same disk and NEVER look at the folder structure again.

    It is easy to import an iPhoto library. You do NOTHING. Aperture can directly open it and that's it.

    Make a new Aperture lib ray on the external disk, import the entire iPhoto library and then one folder at a time of your other photos.

    Design a set of keywords, write them down along with what each one means. You can expand this as required. Aperture works best if you have good meta data. Then you make smart albums that capture various collectionsof images based on the data.

    As for backup. there are two rules (1)always have at least three copies of the data (even while a backup is under way, so if your backup over wirites old data you need four) and (2) always have the data in at least two geographical locations, again even while you are refreshing the remote copy.

    Time machine can bepart of the solution but you need more.

    If you only have 300GB of data then it will be easy because you can buy a few 1TB or even 500GB drives
     
  7. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #7


    Regarding the bold passage above:

    If you import and leave the originals in the current location... then wont the originals be located within the old iPhoto libraries? I do not think that is what the OP wants.

    I think the OP will want to store the originals on the HDD that will house his masters.

    There are three options for location of originals on import:
    1. In the Aperture library (managed)
    2. In their original location (referenced)
    3. In a location specified (referenced)
    I think the OP wants option 3.

    If it was me... and if #3 was not acting as desired... I would probably import them as managed using the existing iPhoto structure... and then use the aperture>file>relocate originals command. Then the reference originals could follow whatever project organization the OP decides to apply within Aperture.

    /Jim
     
  8. swordio777, Oct 4, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2013

    swordio777 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2013
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    #8
    I meant for the OP to do his import in 2 distinct stages:
    1) import the iPhoto libraries as Managed using File>Import>Library;
    2) once he has finished doing this, import 300GB of photos (the ones currently saved in folders) as Referenced using File>Import>Folders as projects.

    The bit you highlighted refers to the second stage where he'll import the files from folders rather than from an iPhoto library. At this point, he will want to leave them where they are.

    The reason I suggested importing the iPhoto libraries as Managed first was precisely to avoid the problem you described (ie - original photos living in iPhoto library and being referenced from Aperture).

    Apologies to the OP if my previous description wasn't clear. Thanks Flynz4 for raising this.

    Regards
     
  9. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #9
    Got it... thanks.

    /Jim
     

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