SSD editing w/HD archival file management w/Aperture

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by rhp2424, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. rhp2424 macrumors regular


    Jul 23, 2008
    I am setting up a refurb Mac Pro 5,1 and while in that process I am installing a 1 tb SSD for system operation and using the included 1 tb for file storage. Since the SSD is faster for file editing, I am trying to establish best practices to import files from SD card, archive files I do not need to edit (but want to save for archival purposes) and use the files I want to edit within Aperture. I expect to need space for a few 64gb SDXC cards at a time.

    Should I import the whole card into Aperture and do a file transfer for the files I do not need to edit to a separate library that is stored on the HD? That will require maintaining two libraries. This also means once I am done with editing those files, I would need to transfer them again to the 2nd library.

    Anybody with experience with this? Any recommendations to best move files around and best practices to import, edit, and archive photo and video files from my SD cards?

    All help is appreciated. Especially those with exact experience with this situation.

  2. swordio777 macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2013
    Scotland, UK
    My recommendation for you would be to use a referenced library. That way, the library itself and your previews can live on the SSD (making them very quick) but files that you don't access very often can live on the slower HDD.

    Using referenced files gets around the need for 2 libraries as you've discussed - you'd only need a single library, but your image files could live on any number of internal or external discs.

    One thing to consider if you do go down this route is how you will backup your files. Vaults don't backup referenced files, so you'd be better using something like SuperDuper, or CarbonCopyCloner to backup each of your internal drives to some external drives that you can keep safe.

    Hope that makes sense & answers your question.

    All the best!
  3. rhp2424 thread starter macrumors regular


    Jul 23, 2008
    That is something I am going to look into. Thank you for that suggestion.
    I am curious what you would recommend for a workflow using referenced images? Can I import the entire card via Aperture and then move those files after I've decided which ones I only need for archives? Do I have to make this decision before I start my import?
    Assuming the decision is first, would I then import the best ones onto the SSD and the archives onto the HD?
    Perhaps you have a different workflow suggestion?
  4. swordio777 macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2013
    Scotland, UK
    Yes. You can import everything to one location & then move it to a different location later. However, you MUST move the files using Aperture – if you were to try moving the files in Finder then you can break the referenced link (ie - Aperture will still be looking for your images in the original location as it won’t know you've moved them).

    Nope. You can import your images straight into the Aperture library. Or from the memory card to a location of your choice & write them to the Aperture library at the same time. Or you can copy the files over to your hard drive manually, then add them to the library from that folder. Whichever method you choose, you can still move them later if you wish - it's all completely flexible.

    I think we have a different understanding of what "archiving" is. You said: "…ones I only need for archives", however it’s really your best shots that you want to archive as they're the ones you definitely don’t want to lose. I would always recommend archiving to an external drive, or possibly even to optical media (blu ray).

    SSDs obviously have a limited number of reads & writes. If you're copying hundreds of GBs onto the SSD regularly & immediately moving them off again, it might be putting a lot of strain on the SSD.

    Assuming you don’t shoot thousands of photographs per week, I think the best workflow would be to import all your new photographs into your library as managed files - this means you don’t need to make any decisions about where to keep them on import. I would also recommend turning OFF automatic previews in the Aperture preferences.

    Once imported, you can go through & delete any images that you don't want to keep then rate & edit the rest. Once you've picked out all your favourite shots and have edited all the shots you want to, generate high quality previews of only these shots. You can then move ALL the raw files over to the HDD. The high quality jpeg previews will still live in the library on your SSD, meaning these shots will display very quickly. However this approach also means your SSD won't be getting clogged up with JPEG previews of photos that you'll only look at once a year.

    Hope that makes sense. It's just one approach - probably the way I'd tackle it, but I have no idea if that'll work for you. Aperture is hugely flexible so experiment and see what works.

    Hope that helps.

Share This Page