Jeremy, maybe asking here is a bit like asking your wife for divorce advice? While you may get good advice if she happens to be a divorce lawyer, you'd have to be a lot more subtle with your questions.
One thing that is good about Aperture is that you can get out your images and their metadata. Export means duplicate, and the latter is in xmp sidecar format which programs like iView or Lightroom can read. There is also an Aperture plugin called Annoture which allows you to copy metadata directly into iView. If you've lots of projects, and haven't bothered with much keywording and other metadata, it may make sense to export by project, less so if you have added lots of other metadata.
But seriously, this ain't the place. http://thedambook.com/smf/ or http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/ are good places to discuss such things.
Leaving Aperture is possible but there are some complications depending the type of image files that you originally imported. I started moving my Aperture Library of 32,000 masters last weekend. I have been busy all week so I plan to continue working on that later today. I have decided to work with Lightroom and Microsoft Expression Media (iView Media Pro) for now.
Here is what I have learned so far.
File type = supported camera raw: This is the easiest situation. Use the Export > Save Masters command and select the 'create XMP sidecar' file option. Both LR and iView will read the sidecar file.
File type = JPEG, TIFF, PSD, DNG. The problem here is that although Aperture will create a valid xmp sidcar file for these files LR and iView expect these files to have metadata embedded directly into the file so they don't actually read the sidecar file. Aperture exports an exact copy of the file you imported. The result is that the metadat that was in the file you imported is still there on export but any changes, ratings, keywords that you applied from inside Aperture wind up in the xmp sidecar and get ignored.
Everyone will suggest using Annoture to sync from the Aperture database to an iView catalog. However Annoture is not running on my computer under Leopard. I think that changes to Applescript to expand multi-language support may have broken the Annoture script for Leopard users.
Likewise there is a good export plugin from Josh Anon that will add Aperture's custom metadata fields (if you have any) to the XMP sidecar files. If you haven't created custom metadata fields then you probably don't need to use this plugin. The plugin seems very unstable for me under Leopard. It won't process more than about 50-100 files at a time. Very impractical for a whole library export.
When I moved into Aperture I wrote my own Applescript to transfer metadata from iView to Aperture. If nothing off the shelf works I may decide to spend the weekend updating and reversing that script.
I think that Aperture's a great program. I hope that I may be a user again in the future. I just couldn't get it to run at useable speed on my up to date system. LR by contrast is going much faster so far with the test catalogs I have been working on so far.
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What's the necessity to move all the files to somewhere else?
That's a lot of work and how many of the files will you really need. I moved about 6000 photos to Lightroom but even then only moved the originals. I should have been satisfied to just work with the new stuff in Lightroom. 2007 and back could have been left with iPhoto and Aperture.
It's kind of like one of the offices I work in going to electronic files. It just wasn't manageable or cost effective to scan all the old files-some were done but most of the project was-work forward.
Apologies for being negative, I am simply frustrated in watching this thread. Am using the trial version on a new MacBook Pro. Aperture is scary if it is so difficult to get away from a few years down the line. Any software application should have a simple exit routine. Things change. If you get locked in it is like a cult, which, IMHO is a deal breaker.
Any software application should have a simple exit routine. Things change. If you get locked in it is like a cult, which, IMHO is a deal breaker.
I wouldn't fault Aperture yet for not providing an exit route--they do through the xmp sidecar file. There have always been metadata sharing issues between different applications. When xmp debuted in CS1 then it broke Adobe's connections iView which was the most popular DAM at that time.
I would wait and see what comes out of the Aperture 2.0 release. I hope and expect that it will take care of some of these issues. If you want an application today that is as open as possible then better stick to ones (LR and iView) that support the xmp standard.
I can only repeat that it isn't the design or features of Apertuer that have caused me to jump ship. It's the way the program runs on my top of the line hardware. It's so slow and erratic that it kills my productivity.
Jeremy Henderson wrote:> One interesting idea seems to be to use iView as a go-between, especially as iView has (or had, at least) the ability to write metadata back to a NEF file.
As already mentioned iView is now Expressions Media and it's not clear that iView/MS/Expressions has any plans to support newly released raw camera prior to their next major release. Somewhere I had a seen a quote purported to be from iView/MS/Expressions saying as much.
Additionally, never, ever, I repeat never ever have iView/Expressions do anything to a raw file other than changing the file name. It's asking for trouble.
I too am one of those who committed to Aperture. All my hardware is now apple and my family here in the US and in the UK have converted to Mac's over the last two years or so.
Personally I use my Mac as my main machine for dealing with the 1,000's of digital photos taken with my D300. Apple of course does not support this and I have yet to see anything which gives a firm date for this to happen. I like aperture and I love apple products but this has gone on too long and today I downloaded and started converting all my photos to Adobe Lightroom. I feel bad at the time and money I have invested in but there comes a time when you need to make the decision and just get out. Apple seem more intent on the hardware side of things now so maybe we all need to look elsewhere for our software needs. Once you have made this painful move once it is unlikely, regardless of what, if anything Aperture eventually produces, you will come back.
Sorry this does not help with the OP question but at least it lets me vent a little bit of my utter frustration at having one of teh best pro consumer cameras and being unable to use it in a workflow which I spent a great deal of time perfecting through apple products.
About the "exit strategies" and migration possibilities:
in the music and video industries, both which moved to Digital way before photo, there is very very little that is possible: if you recorded an album with such and such softwares, it's impossible to recreate it with another, except by playing the mulittrack in the original software and have another software recording at the other end.
Artists in those fields never worried about this: you work on a project, release it, then move on.
I understand that users of database programs like Aperture would want freedom to migrate later, but as with all creative software, no two photo app will render a photo and its adjustments in the same way... so trying to 'bring along' the work accomplished in one app is not very likely to give good -or repeatable and reliable- results.
I think using Aperture in "referenced masters" mode, and importing images in LR or Capture one, should be a good start for evaluating the other guys.
TO reply more specifically to Thomas80205 about exporting the metadata for JPEG TIFF and other non-RAW files, it's very easy:
1- remove adjustments on the image (if you don't want those, only metadata) (you can do this on thousands of files in one click if needed)
2- export VERSIONS. set quality at max. you'll have a new jpeg, granted, but the data will now be embedded.
Kind of easy. Your procedure works fine for PSD and TIFF-no problems there
For JPEG this will do a second layer of compression on those files. The suggestion below to export those as versions then overwrite them with the original seems promising.
Difficult - I have about 10,000 compressed DNG files from my old Nikon D2x. Aperture can only export these versions as some other format and it won't embedd metadata into the file which other DAM apps would expect.