Skip navigation

Is Aperture 3 the best software for working on a databse of images from different photographers?

564 Views 12 Replies Latest reply: Feb 4, 2013 2:45 PM by Kirby Krieger RSS
helenpp Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Feb 4, 2013 8:56 AM

Hi everybody,


I have only been using Aperture for a few months and am unsure of its suitability for this project.

It seems to me that Aperture is designed for the photographer who wants to work on his own photos. I need to select, re-name, add metadata, keyword & eventually improve photos & re-size photos to be used on a website. Photos come from all over the world & different copyright names & rights.

In my previous job, I  used XnView for PC for the selection, renaming & metadata process  & Extensis Portfolio for adding keywords & Photoshop for working on technical improvements, I would like to know whether somebody out there uses Aperture (3) for much of this process.


Can you share an ongoing project over 2 different computer owned by 2 different people in Aperture 3 updating each simultaneously?


I will work on some photos on my computer and other photos at my client's house. I presume that I will have to export the photos that I work on on my computer to my USB stick in order to be able to read the information that I have saved on my computer on her computer??. It seems that even if one chooses to save photos to the original file and thus work on 'managed masters', it doesn't save over the original file. I have just done some more work on this photo database on my computer I decided to save to 'referenced master', ie: the aperture library.


However, when I want to continue working on this big project, I want to update the aperture photo library on my client's Aperture library, do I have to export the work I have done in my computer in Aperture to my USB stick and then re-import on the other computer to keep all the images up-to-date, this will be an ongoing situation. Can this work? I cannot see a way of joining the Aperture library from 2 computers in another way.


I have just read this article: acs-syncing-projects-more.html

It's very good but, I still don't understand how to take my edited images worked on in Aperture from my computer to my client's one. Do I have to connect the computers and if so how is this done?


I have also read this:

If I want to constantly update each Aperture library when switching computers, do I have to follow this procedure of exporting the photos as a library from one computer to another with the updated images?


I really appreciate any clear help I can get from this forum.


Thank you in advance!

Aperture 3, Mac OS X (10.7.5)
  • William Lloyd Level 6 Level 6 (19,205 points)

    Aperture is not intended to be a multi-user asset management database.  Attempts to use it as such will likely result in frustration.


    You may want to look at something like Extensis Portfolio or equivalent.

  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 Level 6 (11,555 points)

    The questions in your subject line (Can I use Aperture to work on photos from multiple photographers?) and in the body of your post (Can two people use Aperture on two different computers?) don't overlap much.


    Aperture can be used by one person to catalog and manage multiple collections.  More information is needed to recommend a specific approach.


    As William mentions, Aperture is not designed for multi-user asset management.  He has perfectly stated the likely result, and an alternative that better meets this need.  (Added:) If having the Library on a portable external drive, and having only one person at a time access is, does not meet your needs, you are well advised to find another solution.


    Message was edited by: Kirby Krieger

  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (22,760 points)

    Aperture would be fine for a single editor editing images from multiple photographers. It would not work well (if at all) for multiple people trying to edit the same library.


    so the answer to this:

    Can you share an ongoing project over 2 different computer owned by 2 different people in Aperture 3 updating each simultaneously?

    is no.



    I will work on some photos on my computer and other photos at my client's house.


    The images at your client's house will be from where? Will the client have  Aperture running in the house on there computer?


    Apart from those two the rest of your post is a bit impenetrable.


    But a few thoughts you can mull over:


    You could put the Aperture library on an external drive and carry the drive between locations. If you wanted to leave the library of a part of the library there you could copy to the clients drive (if you're leaving the whole thing) or else export the projects/albums/images as a library and have the client import that into there library (or just run it as a standalone library)



  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,405 points)

    If I follow your advice of having the Library on a portable external drive, which was my intention, how do I update when I go from one computer to another as all the information stays in Aperture and not in the photos saved on my USB stick unless I export them each time as a library which seems to be much too confusing, and not a clean way to proceed.

    If you carry the Aperture library with you on the portable drive there will be no need for exporting or updating. Just connect the "sneaker drive" with the Aperture library to the computer you are working on.


    Or is the problem that you need to leave a copy of the Aperture library at your clients home, for your client to work with? And you need a second copy of the library for you to work with?

  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 Level 6 (11,555 points)

    Just to underscore what Léonie says:  your _Library_ contains _all_ of your data.  You can open it on any machine that has the appropriate version of Aperture (the same as was used to save the Library) as long as the Library is locally available (e.g.: on avdrive that is connected to the machine and mounted so the OS can read it).


    For better answers, you need to more carefully and exactly define your needs.  It seems, from what you've said so far, that Aperture may meet your needs, and may be a good choice.  One issue that (I think) we are all confused on: does your client need to access the Images in the Library when you (and thus the Library on a portable drive) are not there?  Does your client need to access the Images _as part of an Aperture Library_?

  • SierraDragon Level 4 Level 4 (2,665 points)



    As noted, Aperture is single-user, a very important distinction. However despite much of the verbiage it sounds like you do have what is basically a single-user usage.


    Note that Aperture has a very serious flaw is its inability to synch a single-user Library between two Macs. Inexcusable IMO; Apple's Filemaker DB has synched for decades.


    One of the many available workarounds is to use a "sneaker-net" by carrying around a portable drive with the Aperture Library on it as described. Back up the Libary to independent drives and the workflow can work fine. Just keep the primary Library clear in your mind and remember that there is no "synch" there is only backup and you should do fine.


    Note that this is not some USB-stick-for-the-images process. You want a quality dedicated hard drive on which the one Aperture Library is going to live (others are backups plain and simple).


    Originals should be separately backed up before using any images management app like Porfolio, Aperture, etc.


    I strongly recommend that every computer used have the exact same OS and Aperture versions maintained. If you do not intend to diligently do so I recommend not embarking on such a workflow.




    -Allen Wicks

  • SierraDragon Level 4 Level 4 (2,665 points)

    Important to remember is that all Aperture including the proposed sneakernet workflow is single-user. Only one user (the user whose Mac is connected to the one portable drive with the one Library on it) can use the database at a time.


    Expensive Extensis Portfolio Multi-User is what I recommend for true multi-user operation.





  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 Level 6 (11,555 points)

    helenpp wrote:


    You are suggesting that I copy the program Aperture to my USB Stick/external drive and then work with this on both computers. If I understand this to be the case, maybe this could work, (providing my client does not need access to the library when I am not there).

    I wanted to say "Yes!", but reading more carefully, "No".


    1.  The Library and the Aperture program are entirely separate sets of files.  All programs have program files and data files.  Your Aperture program files are in your Finder folder "Applications" (with some other files elsewhere).  Your data files are automatically consolidated into file packages called "Libraries".  They show in Finder as files with the extension ".aplibrary". You want to have Aperture (the program) installed on each machine.  Then put this Library on an external drive, and carry it between your home/office and your client's home/office.


    2.  Forget (as SierraDragon says) the USB stick.  You want a fast, large-enough, external drive.  Get the fastest BUS that your machines support (FW400 is OK, FW800 is good, USB-3 is excellent; USB-2 is not recommended).  Even with a fast BUS, spend extra for a fast drive (7200 rpm, but check for read/write speeds).  Buy THREE (I am not kidding!).  One for your working copy, two for back-ups of your working copy.  Rotate you back-ups each week. Never have all three drives in the same location.


More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)


  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.