I've stopped using Aperture and gone back to Photoshop out of frustration. But I would like to try Aperture again.
In Photoshop, I open the image file. Then I edit it and save it. It couldn't be simpler. But Apple has to produce this hard to understand way of dealing with pictures. You cannot just edit and save your image to your hard drive. It has to be in a...um...Project? Library? Album? Folder? Assuming Projects are embedded in Libraries, how do I get a Project into a Library? Would I even need to do that? Should I make Albums too? Should I put Projects into them, or vice versa? Neither? Are these a hierarchical series of containers, or what? I find it absolutely amazing that Aperture has all these things built in (libraries, projects, albums, folders), with the expectation that users will use this system intuitively.
I know I'm not the only one who is confused about this. After doing some checking, I found that apparently DougBraz's explanation is the one that people find the clearest. Unfortunately, if anything it only made me more confused. He really didn't get into, for example, how an Album relates to a Library. Basically, what I need to understand is how each of the 4 relates to the other 3. Do I need to make use of all 4?
An aside: iTunes had me confused, but after using it for years, the light bulb finally went on regarding Playlists. It turns out they are just a user's list of pointers to songs. (not the songs themselves, or copies of the songs) You can create them and delete them without affecting the songs themselves. Would it kill Apple to just say that?
I wish one of the Apple honchos would read this and see how this can be very, very confusing for the average Joe who cut his teeth on DOS and the command line, then later used Window's visual representation of folders and subfolders. Unix / AIX / OS X / Linux has the old folder / subfolder system too, and it worked fine for everyone for decades. Why create this abstruse system when the older way is simpler and gets the job done?
One other thing, when it comes to backing up my work, am I supposed to save my Library to a 2nd hard drive? Or is it Albums that I'm supposed to back up? No? Projects, maybe? Folders? Let Time Machine do it?
I'd love it if Apple would just take about 30 average people and put them in a room and let them use Aperture for the first time (with instructions to make use of Libraries, Projects, Albums and Folders) and watch how easy or hard it is for them. They'd see it isn't as simple as they (Apple) think.
In a nutshell, I'm wondering: How do I think of this weird system? How do I use it? How do I manage it? How do I back it up?
Sorry I couldn't make this shorter, but I wanted to underscore the vastness of my confusion. Thanks to whoever can help.