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Why doesn't Consolidate Originals delete the external file?

439 Views 11 Replies Latest reply: Feb 5, 2013 10:32 AM by léonie RSS
Charlie in NEK Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Feb 4, 2013 7:15 AM

I'm considering moving from managed originals to referenced, and so trying to understand the facilities for moving originals between managed and referenced. I find that although Consolidate Originals offers a choice between "Copy" and "Move", it seems to leave the external image file in place regardless which option is chosen. What then is the meaning of "Move"? Is this a bug in Aperture, or am I missing something?


It seems an unwelcome behavior because if you then go and relocate the original back to the external folder it was in, Aperture creates a new file to avoid overwriting the one that's already there. You have to remember to delete the consolidated original to avoid this behavior.


Why do I want to move originals around like this? Well, my managed library has gotten unwieldy (200 GB) since I've started shooting mostly RAW. Rather than breaking it up into pieces, I'm thinking I'll mostly keep the files as referenced, and allow my normal Time Capsule backup to back them up. That way my Aperture Library will be small enough to keep everyhting in one place. But I foresee the need to sometimes keep some images managed, for example if they don't logically fit (yet) into my referenced file structure and I want some time to work out how to set up permanent folders for them.


An important side benefit of this approach is I can try out Lightroom without having to make a total switch to it.


Anybody who has comments on this approach in general (as opposed to my specific question) is welcome to post them as well, I'll appreciate it.


Thanks all.

iMac 27", Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • William Lloyd Level 6 Level 6 (19,205 points)

    When I use it, it does move the original files. All it leaves behind are empty directories.


    FWIW my library is about 520 GB of managed masters.

  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,375 points)
    I find that although Consolidate Originals offers a choice between "Copy" and "Move", it seems to leave the external image file in place regardless which option is chosen. What then is the meaning of "Move"? Is this a bug in Aperture, or am I missing something?


    Move should do exacly that - move the referenced file back into the Aperture library. It works well in all my libraries, just as William Lloyd said, even between different drives.


    I found three situations when it did not work this way, however:

    • If the Aperture library needs repairing (you might try to repair / rebuild your Aperture library, if you have not done so already Repairing and Rebuilding Your Aperture Library: Aperture 3 User Manual ).
    • After using an external editor and saving the edited quasi masters back into the same same folder using "Save as" instead of "Save", then the connection between version and quasi master can be broken and Aperture can no longer move the files.
    • After relocating original files with "copy" some original files may be left behind and can no longer be moved from the folder by Aperture.



  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,375 points)

    SO - now I need to repair each and every Aperture Library, right? Yikes. I do have backups, mostly 2 for each Library. But do you have advice about what to do before such a large-scale set of repairs? For example can repairing further damage a library?

    Make sure your backups are in working condition. Repairing is a fairly routine fix, but occasionally it can go wrong, if the library is badly corrupted, or you are repairing and upgrading to a newer version at the same time.

    Don't forget to repair the permissions as well.

    And I would never try a "Rebuild" without checking the backups first.



  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,375 points)

    I'm not clear how I should make sure my backups are working, as you suggest. Do I have to do a full restore of the Vault?

    If your backups are vaults, there is nothing much else that you could do. At least try to double-click the vault, to see, if Aperture can open the vault and starts the restore dialog.

    I guess I would do this on another drive?

    For a trial restore create a new, empty library on another drive and switch to the new library. Then Aperture will restore the vault to this drive, if you double-click the vault.


    My backup usually is simply a copy of the library on a clone of my media drive. Then it is easy to open this copy as the current library, to see if it is working.

  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,375 points)
    So you don't use Vaults - only copies of Libraries? I would love to know wny not. Or why not just have Time Machine up the Library file?  I've noticed that Vault updates are usually faster than a full copy of a library, but creating a Vault is massively slow.


    My regular backup is a routine Time Machine backup that I do frequently, to save my current work. But one backup is not enough - your drive may fail while backing up, and then neither the backup nor the original will work. 

    As a second backup I prefer clones of the disks, i.e. when upgrading software. A bootable clone makes it easy to revert to the previous state, if the software should cause problems.

    And you can test easily, if the update is working by booting from it or switching to the backup of the library. Super duper or carbon copy cloner make cloning easy; you can have incremental backups, just like with Time Machine.


    Occasionally I make a third backup, and that I keep at a different place - just in case the house should burn down or be flooded by heavy rain through a leak in the roof or something similar catastrophic.




  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,375 points)

    You are welcome, Charlie!


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