Referenced files in Aperture 2

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by jontucker, Sep 28, 2008.

  1. jontucker macrumors 6502

    Nov 5, 2007
    Hi all,

    I have organized my 10,000 odd photos in Aperture by creating folders named by the type of shoot it is.


    Family & Friends

    and then I've created Projects under the folders for the specific 'shoots'.

    After sorting through all my photos I then selected "Relocate Referenced Files" from the menu and Aperture sorted the files on the disk as per my folder structure (after a few attempts at the options!).

    My question is.... is there a way to have Aperture keep my referenced files organized automatically if I move them from one Folder/Project to another rather than having to run the relocate tool every time? I'm thinking along the lines of the way iTunes does it with audio files.

    Many thanks and apologies in advance if this is addressed elsewhere in these forums (I did search!).
  2. jontucker thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 5, 2007
  3. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2008
    I could be wrong, but I don't think Aperture plays all that nicely with referenced files. It can see them, but I don't think it can move them and if you move them manually, it loses track of where they are. I decided to just let Aperture manage everything internally and got rid of referenced files.
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I've always wondered why people care in which folder an image file is stored on the disk. Are you ever going to look at the file outside of Aperture? If so then how? The edits are not applied to the file. Edits are inside an XML file that only Aperture can read. Just let Aperture keep the data in it's Library.

    Worrying about this is like making sure the plumbing pipe in your walls is installed so that the "made in USA" print reads right side up. It's not like anyone would ever look.

    But if you really care about this, just keep clicking that "relocate" function every time you import an image. It will keep your plumbing nice and neat.
  5. troyhark macrumors member

    Jun 27, 2008
    And the chance of Aperture being around in 40/50yrs time?
    Far better to have a good date and label structure, that has metadata added for content searching. This way, the file structure is OS + programme independent. Best of all worlds.
    To continue the pumbing analogy, imagine having to take your plumbing with you whenever you move home. :D. So if you never intend moving/changing programmes/OSes , it's less of a problem. But Apple + MS could easily be replaced in that time. IBM were as ubiquitous once. All businesses can disappear, no matter how big. Apple nearly went down tubes in the 90s. Even long established banks collapse, after all nothing is a safe as houses!
  6. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    Unfortunately no, because you will end up losing most work. The work is not in the files or in labels, but in adjustments, keywords and the structure of pictures (e. g. in albums, books, etc.). This is particularly true of RAW files.

    Recovering the file structure doesn't help you recover those things. All you need to do with either app is to export your images and/or projects.

    I have learnt that the hard way when I had to switch from iView 2.6 (or 2.8?) to Aperture because of iView's silent database corruption problems. I literally had to start from scratch with keywords and lost several hundred hours of work.

    Just let Aperture manage your files and use the export projects or export pictures function.
  7. jontucker thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 5, 2007
    I might go over to the Managed method at some point but for now I'm happy with referencing files. I usually edit in PS anyway but if I start using Aperture more for editing then maybe that's the best way.

    The only thing that bugs me about it is accessing the photos from other Macs/PCs'on my network and also using the images for other things, like uploading to websites for example.
  8. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
  9. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    Did you know that you can mix managed and referenced files in Aperture?

    How about you try managed files (change it in the Aperture prefs)? If you don't like, change back the preferences and change back the images that are managed to referenced.
  10. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2007
    I have a relatively small Ap. library and saw a speed boost by moving from Managed to Referenced. I just let Ap. stick all of the images in a file identical to the album name (year-month-date_subject).
  11. 66217 Guest

    Jan 30, 2006
    I have just started referencing images in Aperture. I made this because my internal drive was getting full.

    My workflow is as follows: import images to Aperture and put them in my internal drive. This way I can edit them even if I don't have my external drive. Once I finish editing, I'll relocate them to the external drive.

    I don't like this solution, but I don't see any other viable option. Putting my whole library in an external drive isn't practical, because I won't be able to see my photos unless I have the external with me. Right now I am at least able to see the previews, which are good enough for showing off photos to family or friends.
  12. troyhark macrumors member

    Jun 27, 2008
    So you swapped from one database to another - so potentially the same problem can occur. And is exactly why I would not use Aperture for a library. LR stores the important information in the file or in XMP sidecar. So I can use Bridge to look through my developed files as settings are not just inside LR. The only thing in the database is the history of the editing process, but seeing as it non destructive anyway, that's not really a problem. So if LR dB dies I still have everything, bar versions, if Aperture DB dies, you are stuffed.
    Another benefit of this is for backing up. You only have to copy/move the modified text files [xmp] rather than an entire database.
    Alternate versions of a file are in database, but it would be easy to export just those few files as oposed to all files.
  13. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    That still doesn't transfer my RAW editing adjustments in `20 years time'. Or the albums my photos were in. Or even if I want to switch from Lightroom to another app, say the upcoming Bibble 5.

    If you want to switch from Aperture to another app, you can export projects and choose whether Aperture should put things into a sidecar file or if it should write it directly into the exported file.
    If your Aperture database dies, you're not screwed, all the files are still there. You can probably even reimport most projects individually while retaining all edits. (Of course, each project bundle only contains the files located in that project; you may create albums, web galleries and books as parts of a project which may contain files from other projects. These pictures are obviously not copied as they are still located in the other project.)
    It seems to me that you simply don't know how Aperture saves its information. The Aperture Library is just a bundle (which is really a directory that is shown as a single file by default). But it's not a single file. You can dive down its subdirectories and you can see your folder/project/album structure in Aperture.

    Projects are self-contained projects (which also appear as bundles) and contain all images. If you want, you can copy projects from your library and import it on another computer. Versions are small text files that contain only the image edit instructions, just like Lightroom does.

    The Aperture Library is, put it simply, just like iTunes: it automatically creates (and deletes) directories, stores your image files into proper subdirectories and creates the proper auxiliary files. The main Aperture library database file is just an xml file (in my case almost 11 MB in size) which keeps track of the projects.

    So even if the main library is toast, I wouldn't lose everything like I did with iView (which is one big file that contains everything, from the thumbnails to keywords). Besides, as I mentioned, I have backups and I could restore from four different sources. (This is not Aperture-specific, I have always been careful with backups, although Aperture vaults are nice.)
  14. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination
    Lots of FUD going on.

    Referenced files work amazingly in Aperture. I have them stored on my tower and access them through my network with my MBP. I have over 8000 referenced "in action" images referenced, about the same in the "bone yard" and about 4000 on my machines HDD.

    When I am finished with a project I either export the project with images gathered inside and move to bone yard, or if the project is worth going back to I MOVE the images over the network to the referenced library images.

    Keep in mind that I am not accessing the app.library file over the network, just the images. For Lightroom users, this method of archiving and saving space was derived from Lightroom when Aperture didn't do referenced images. Now it's probably the best way to keep your images safe, and mirrored on multiple drives.

    Referenced files on Aperture is wonderful and is probably the most effective was of using the application.

    p.s. When not in Aperture I browse the images on my tower via Bridge, or the Finder since my files carry the names of the projects they are in. It's all about workflow people.... workflow.

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