11 Replies Latest reply: Jan 28, 2013 8:08 PM by DLScreative
DLScreative Level 4 Level 4 (1,595 points)

My mostly non-problematic library now refuses to finish updating not one but two vaults. (hangs at the same place with both vaults) I wiped one of the drives and just drag copied the library to it in the finder.  This made me think of Kevin Doyle's thoughts on defraging from way back in 2010. One of his thoughts was that drag copying would defrag the library. Another was that iDefrag would do the job for those who didn't have the time/ resources for drag copying.  I had good luck with this but let it slip away.  Now I'm thinking that defragmentaion might be worthwhile while trying to clean up a library before upgrade.

 

I know that the issue of defragging a Mac is controversial- even beyond photo circles.

 

Your thoughts?

 

DLS

 

https://discussions.apple.com/message/11146388?searchText=current%20thoughts%20o n%20iDefrag#11146388


MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.4), 2.2GHz quad i7/8GB RAM/1GB VRAM
  • 1. Re: current thoughts on iDefrag/ the "Doyle Papers"?
    Kirby Krieger Level 6 Level 6 (11,945 points)

    Hoping others would reply, but since no-one has, I will, with the primary intent of giving this a bump.

     

    I got nothing measured.  Up through 3.2.x all of my Libraries were less than robust.  As part of regular maintenance I copied them from one drive to another, with the expectation that this would help not just performance but also robustness.  It seemed to help.  I used Drive Genius 3 to measure fragmentation, but rarely used it to defrag.  I think I tried iDefrag once and, for reasons forgotten, abandoned it.

     

    Since 3.3 all of my Libraries (about 10, of greatly different sizes, contents, and uses) have been robust.  I regularly run "Repair Database" on all of them (at least 1/mo).  I have stopped copying the Libraries to other drives in order to force a defragmentation, and haven't even measured the degree of fragmentation in months.  If I get a chance, I will measure a few later today and report back.

     

    My hunch -- no more than that -- is that OS X and Aperture fell behind in file/drive maintenance, but have now caught up.  OTOH, I am now using a machine that is fast enough (rMBP, 16, 500ssd) that I may not notice drive fragmentation issues.  (Is fragmentation even an issue with SSDs?)

     

    In short, I recommend regularly running "Repair Database".  IME, that is more important and useful than regularly defragging the drive holding your Library.

  • 2. Re: current thoughts on iDefrag/ the "Doyle Papers"?
    William Lloyd Level 6 Level 6 (19,355 points)

    I think defragmenting a library would be a waste of time.  Mainly for 2 reasons:

     

    1)  The database part of the library is constantly being written, read, and rewritten.  About 20 minutes after a "defragement" much of it will be rewritten and the whole operation would be for naught.

     

    2)  The photos part of the library (i.e. the RAW files themselves) are read quite infrequently and written only once.  Given reads are so infrequent, nothings likely to matter here, so the whole defragment operation would be for naught.

     

    So I think it's of marginal to no value.  Also, with an SSD you would NEVER want to use any automated defragmentation software (and any that purported to do so would likely be scamware or downright damaging).

  • 3. Re: current thoughts on iDefrag/ the "Doyle Papers"?
    Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (23,850 points)

    To allow this level of access to third party software is really asking for trouble. So first off it you are going to use any defrag software make very sure you have a good working backup.

     

    Having said that I agree with William and would take it a step further, defragmenting any drive is a waste of time. With modern OS's and drives the whole iea of fragmentation has little meaning.  And if this did somehow turn your plodding Mac into a super speed computer don't you think Apple would supply the tool?  Or better still build it right into the OS as they have done with the Fusion drive?

     

    The best thing you can do to maintain good drive access speed is to make sure you don;t let the drive get to full.

     

    regards

  • 4. Re: current thoughts on iDefrag/ the "Doyle Papers"?
    Neil G Level 3 Level 3 (740 points)

    Agree with Frank & William. Any notion that the physical location of the images or database have any relation to the robustness of Aperture is false. If your disk passes "Verify Disk" in the "Disk Utility" application and you don't 'run it into the wall' (i.e. you keep 20-30 gig of free space) then Aperture has no concerns with where the actual database and images reside. Running "Repair Database" should be harmless but is advised if you had to Force Quit for one reason or another. Multiple backups of everything is important.

     

    For large libraries, Referenced libraries are generally preferred because the image files are more static and can be backed up in a number of ways --- then Aperture Vaults are much smaller and more easily scattered among several disks.

     

    Back to DLScreative, "wiping" an otherwise healthy drive (per Disk Utility) should have no benefit for a Library or a Vault. Nor any effect on a Vault update that hangs. Does your Library pass "Rebuild Database" and/or "Repair Database" in Aperture? Can you create a new Vault? If your Vault is from a few Aperture dot-versions ago it has to do a substantial update to the Vault (at least it reports several steps). I have had no problems with updates but YMMV.

  • 5. Re: current thoughts on iDefrag/ the "Doyle Papers"?
    DLScreative Level 4 Level 4 (1,595 points)

    Thanks to all for taking the time to share your thoughts. 

     

    Neil, you misunderstand me: I wiped the disk to make room to drag copy my library because I was unable to update either of my vaults, and I needed a backup.  Now I have three copies of my library and no vaults.  I'm keeping it that way for now because i'm breaking up my library into smaller chunks. I just don't have time to find out if I can make a new vault  Also, we were talking about fragmentation not file location, and I wasn't thinking that defragging would solve the vault issue.  It just popped up while I was doing housekeeping.

     

    The copying just made me think of a long running thread from a few years ago when the nightmare that was A3 was released.  We lost a lot of users because of that, and it was very uncomfortable to defend the upgrade when deep down I thought it was a train wreck.

     

    Drag copying the disk did significantly defragment it:  looking at the most fragmented block, it reduced the number of fragments from six digits to one digit.  However, I was still unable to update the vault from the new copy.  That's why I wiped my offsite backup and copied it there too.  I had run all the trouble shooting routines the day before for an unrelated reason.  I still think that a library as old and large as mine could do with being defragged using the copy method from time to time. 

     

    This library goes back to A1.1, and I've been an early adopter of updates up to now.  The truth is that I would have jumped ship a year ago if I weren't so invested in and so proficient with Aperture.  Still, as a documentary photographer, I have to think about the longterm (e.g., after I'm dead) and I can't have all my eggs in one basket.  In any case,  the reason for this thread was that I remembered that Doyle thread from years before and wanted to know what users thought of that now.  You all make valid points, and, once again, I appreciate your time.

     

    DLS

  • 6. Re: current thoughts on iDefrag/ the "Doyle Papers"?
    Kirby Krieger Level 6 Level 6 (11,945 points)

    Fwiw ...

    DLScreative wrote:

     

    Still, as a documentary photographer, I have to think about the longterm (e.g., after I'm dead) and I can't have all my eggs in one basket.

     

    ... I have in my papers instructions to export from specified Aperture Libraries all specifically marked Images to 16-bit, full-size TIFFs, and to collect these separate from and exclusive of anything else.  These are my artistic legacy, photography edition, digital files sub-set.  As a documentary photographer your obligation to your work is slightly different, but -- to me, at least -- your response should be substantially the same, viz.: Images selected by you should be converted to TIFFs  and these TIFFs should be made a singular collection on your death.  No?

  • 7. Re: current thoughts on iDefrag/ the "Doyle Papers"?
    Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (23,850 points)

    But who's to say TIFFs or the media you put those TIFFs on will be readable in the future.

     

    I had 8mm analog tapes from when my kids were growing up. Try to find a camera or player for those now, impossible. I was lucky enough to secure one of the last SONY decks for these.That technology isn;t that old and already it is unreadable,

     

    I can go to the shelf and pull down 8mm film and slides that my father took in 1947 and view those with no problem but tapes made a few years ago?

     

    Digital has its good points but long term storage and retrieval is not one of them. Not sure what the answer is but I know my kids and any kids they have and on will not have the same access to what we are producing now as we have to what was produced pre-digital.

  • 8. Re: current thoughts on iDefrag/ the "Doyle Papers"?
    Kirby Krieger Level 6 Level 6 (11,945 points)

    Frank Caggiano wrote:

     

    But who's to say TIFFs or the media you put those TIFFs on will be readable in the future.

    That's not the point.  I fully expect TIFF and the media of the day to be replaced.  And either I will be change the instructions, or those who maintain the files will adapt them to newer formats (or not, depending on the value they place on them relative to the resources required to keep them viable).

     

    But that's just the "digital files subset".  Important work I will have already printed. 

     

    More broadly:  it's enough.  Anyone who thinks that durability will ensure perdurance is fooling themselves.

     

    Of interest: _all_ five hundred year old paintings are significantly restored (or else damaged).  Stuff doesn't last without care.  Stuff in museums has received a tremendous amount of care.

  • 9. Re: current thoughts on iDefrag/ the "Doyle Papers"?
    Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (23,850 points)

    That's not the point.  I fully expect TIFF and the media of the day to be replaced.  And either I will be change the instructions, or those who maintain the files will adapt them to newer formats (or not, depending on the value they place on them relative to the resources required to keep them viable).

     

    I think that's exactly the point. I didn't have to do anything to the old film and slides and negatives sitting in the shoebox (other then maintain a reasonable environment all these years). I didn't have to go through it all every ten years deciding if it was worth keeping and then spending considerable time transferring it to some new storage medium.


    Of interest: _all_ five hundred year old paintings are significantly restored (or else damaged).  Stuff doesn't last without care.  Stuff in museums has received a tremendous amount of care.

     

    But again the point is digital is different.

     

    As badly damaged a 500 year old painting might be you can still see something without anything more then your eyes. The same with film I can see those old slides and 8mm film with noting more then my eyes.

  • 10. Re: current thoughts on iDefrag/ the "Doyle Papers"?
    DLScreative Level 4 Level 4 (1,595 points)

    Documentary is far from all I do, but it's the work I consider the most important. I want all my images referenced with a folder hierarchy that reflects at least my ratings .  On the important stuff, I'd like to have all my IPTC data ride with the master somehow.

     

    The thing about documentary work is that an image that is not relevant to me now might be relevant to me 10 years from now- or to a historian 100 years from now. There may be elements that make what is a one star image in my eyes a five star image in the eyes of history.  I can't just preserve the ones I currently think are important, and I don't want someone to have to upgrade my library to Aperture version 25.x to get to my images and metadata.

     

    I'm also starting to seriously scan my first 25 years of work, and the post-scan workflow makes LR a better choice for that work.  I'm not planning to depart anytime soon, but I am fifty with a solid 10 years of work to do- even if I never shoot another frame.

     

    BTW: I'll never actually jump ship: I'll always maintain and update my Aperture library, and I'll renew my trainer certification when A4 comes out.

     

    DLS

  • 11. Re: current thoughts on iDefrag/ the "Doyle Papers"?
    DLScreative Level 4 Level 4 (1,595 points)

    The way I look at it, art is largely about what you put on the wall: it's about the prints- the tangible work.  (that includes the flat file and not just what you literally put on the wall)

     

    That being said, I would be negligent if I didn't digitally archive my work to the best of my current ability.

     

    DLS