OK, I've been putting off updating to the latest version of Aperture (3.4.3) because I had a sort of premonition about something bad happening to my library. But I finally got around to doing the upgrade, having felt this version had been around long enough to be stable. Big mistake. It worked OK initially, but suddenly today won't open my library, no matter what I do.
When I launch Aperture, it opens a little window with a spinning marker in it and the message "Opening Aperture Library". This is normal prior to the main window opening, but usually I see it for no more than a second or so. Now, it's all I see; the main window never appears.
Oddly, Apertur's menu structure seems to work OK while this 'loading' window is open. I can, for example, open the Activity window. However, it contains no useful information to say what's going on; the entries are just blank in this window. Also, I can quit Aperture normally (whereupon it says 'updating previews' as usual).
I've tried all three of the database-reparing options that Aperture offers if you hold down Option-Command when starting: repair permissions, repair database, rebuild database. In all three cases, it goes through the repair process and then just reverts to showing the little 'opening library' window and nothing has improved.
The upgrade to version 3.4.3 apparently went OK the other day, and I've opened and quit the software a few times since I upgraded it, and I thought everything was fine. The one thing that wasn't quite right (and I wonder if this has somethnig to do with my problem now) was Photo Stream. It didn't seem to be working properly. If I clicked the Photo Stream entry in the list at the left of the window, what I saw was just the 'welcome' message with buttons below it to sign in or turn off the service ("No, thanks" button). I didn't see any actual Photo Stream content. In this window, however, it *did* say that I was signed in with my usual Apple ID, so it wasn't very clear to me whether it was OK or not.
There's a photo I took on my iPhone which I was expecting Aperture 3.4.3 to download from Photo Stream, but it never did. I.e. just one shot that failed to download; all the previous ones had been downloaded by my previous version of Aperture. I couldn't see why the missing picture was failing to download, so I tried turning Photo Stream off and on again from within Aperture. I'm really not sure whether this worked or not; there didn't seem to be any meaningful feedback from the software.
Anyway, after having tried to launch Aperture today (and failed), I checked System Preferences and found that Photo Stream was turned off. So I turned it on again. Unfortunately it makes no difference: Aperture still won't load its library at all now.
I have tried all of following:
1. Rebooting my Mac
2. Verifying the disk contaning my Aperture library (it was fine)
3. All three of Aperture's database-repair options
4. Turning Photo Stream on in System Preferences
...and nothing makes any difference. Aperture simply will not open my library but just sits there, twiddling its spinner.
NB My library still appears to be OK, in that I can access its contents from other software successfully using the media browser.
What I haven't yet attempted is to create a blank new library and import my existing library into it. Failing any better ideas I'll try that next, but it's going to be a big operation that will take a lot of time and disk space, so I'd like to see if there are any better things to try first.
I must say I'm very disappointed that Aperture can apparently break so easily. I haven't lost any actual pictures because I'm paranoid and keep a separate copy of all my shots just in the Finder, external to any management software. But I've lost access to lots of photo books I've created over the years and various other resources, not to mention all the editing work I've done on thousands of shots within Aperture (which I haven't retained separately).
This is supposed to be professional level software. How can it seriously (a) break this easily and (b) not be able to retrieve itself via its database repair options?I'm very disappointed.