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Aperture Library on Internal HDD with Managed Video Files

698 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Aug 4, 2013 9:10 AM by Kirby Krieger RSS
Paddy99 Calculating status...
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Jul 29, 2013 11:16 PM

After spending quite a few hours reading through the discussions on how to set up Aperture Libraries and the best practices on where to import files and how to treat them (managed/referenced), i'm finally about to dive in, but there's still one unresolved question which i hope someone can shed some light on ...


From what i can gather:


1. It's best to keep the main Aperture Library on your Internal Startup Drive

2. Use a mix of Managed and Referenced files

3. Keep Highly rated Photos and Recent Ones as Managed

4. Relocate older Managed Photos to an External HD to limit the size of the main Library

5. Managed and Referenced files are not fixed, they can be changed at any time

6. If possible, it's best to keep everything on one big Library so that all files can be found in one place, instead of using multiple libraries


My Internal HD is only 212GB and there's only about 100GB free at the moment. I've got a 2TB and another 1TB (USB connected) External HDD as well.


If i am just working with photos, i could probably juggle things around with the 70+GB avail space on my Internal Drive (assuming 10-15% is left free), but even then, it will be quite a tight setup that doesn't leave much room for growth. The thing is, i've got lots of large video files which are taking up most of the space, and there doesn't appear to be much option to keep them as managed files within the main Aperture Library.


As it is, my iPhoto library (which i've just moved from the Internal HD to the External HDD) is already about 90+GB (over half must be from videos). And i've got 200+GB more photos and videos to import into Aperture too. Before starting, i really want to make sure i've got a suitable infrastructure and system, but the rather limited space i've got on my internal Drive and the large storage requirements for my video files has got me stumped on how to proceed.


For users who have quite a fair bit of videos, what's the best way to use Aperture with managed files on the Internal drive? Is it just a matter of getting as large a Startup drive as possible, getting a Firewire connected external drive (that's faster than the USB connected ones), or is there some better work around?


One option is to keep the videos as referenced files, but (i think i read) that they won't be visible in Media Browser (and iMovie?) unless they are managed. After importing and cataloguing the videos in Aperture, i would like to access and edit them in iMovie, which is why i thought it would be essential to keep them as managed files.


Thanks for any advice and thoughts shared. It's been a long journey over the last few days to do backups, upgrade to Mountain Lion, buy Aperture, upgrade iPhoto, and read through countless discussions in these amazing forums. Hopefully, that first import is only around the corner.


Message was edited by: Paddy99

Aperture 3, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.4)
  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 Level 6 (11,550 points)

    To your numbered list: yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.  Well done  .


    To your path forward: the short answer is to replace your system drive with a much larger drive.  IMHO, it's a "no-brainer".  You'll waste a lot of time working around what is the primary limitation to what you want (reliable Aperture performance with video).  That time is more valuable than the cost of a new, fast, large, internal drive.


    If you are working with video or other large files, I recommend leaving c. 100GB free space on your system drive.


    Beyond that, we need to know which USB and FW ports you have.  USB-2 is outdated.  FW-800 is still usable.


    Be sure to find and follow LeonieDF's advice in this forum on preparing your iPhoto Library before opening it in Aperture.  (Generally, make sure you repair it before you "convert" it -- but I don't use iPhoto and don't know the specifics.)


    This issue

    but (i think i read) that they won't be visible in Media Browser (and iMovie?) unless they are managed

    is important.  I don't know the answer.  Should be easy to check with a small test Library.





  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 Level 6 (11,550 points)

    Paddy99 wrote:


    Thanks for your feedback Kirby.

    You're welcome.  Sorry more knowledgeable folks haven't chirped up.

    You're right, getting a larger internal drive is the way forward. It appears that (from Apple) 750 GB seems to be one of the largest sizes

    I would call OWC (or browse the site) and see what the largest drive you can install is.  You might also look into replacing your system drive with an SSD, and putting a large drive in place of the Super Drive (if you have on).


    750 GB should be big enough to comfortably hold your currently-being-worked-on video files.  If it's not, you should probably upgrade to a Mac Pro.


    You can put not-currently-being-worked-on files on external storage (in Aperture-speak, convert them from Managed Originals to Referenced Originals).  Aperture makes it very easy to convert your Originals from Managed to Referenced and back.


    (Just to be clear, the distinction is whether or not the files are inside the Aperture Library package.  You could have Referenced Originals on your system drive.)


    I've currently got a mid-2010 MBP, so i think there's a USB2.0 and a Firewire 800 port. I presume getting a External HD connected via Firewire 800 is a good temp solution.

    Yes, it is.  FW-800 works fine for Libraries and for Referenced Originals.  I don't recommend relying on USB-2 (FW-400 is OK as a part-time compromise).  Note that the performance needed for a Library is much higher than that needed for Referenced Originals (they are read into system RAM).  If you need to cut corners, the first place to do it with the storage for your Referenced Originals.


    There must be many other video heavy iPhone users who come across this issue with iPhoto or Aperture, but it's strange that there aren't too many discussions about this topic.


    Aperture is really a photography workflow tool.  The DAM is excellent -- and it can handle video.  But nearly everyone who works regularly with video uses other programs for their workflow.


    Message was edited by: Kirby Krieger -- corrected formatting.

  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 Level 6 (11,550 points)

    Just performance.  I did not intend to convey there might be reliability issues.  But some Library-wide operations can take days rather than hours over a slow pipe to a slow machine.

  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,380 points)

    I've currently got a mid-2010 MBP,

    Do you need the optical drive in your MBP?  I rarely need to burn CDs or DVDs, so I replaced the optical drive with a second internal disk and stored my Aperture library there.


    To burn CDs or DVDs I transfer the files to another mac,.

  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 Level 6 (11,550 points)

    Paddy99 wrote:



    Do you need the optical drive in your MBP?  I rarely need to burn CDs or DVDs, so I replaced the optical drive with a second internal disk and stored my Aperture library there.


    Yes, i came across that suggestion as well.

    Erm ... yes, you did


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