7 Replies Latest reply: Apr 24, 2008 5:31 AM by brettgross
luvsoccer Level 1 (0 points)
Still new to Aperture, and so far LOVE the metadata tagging functionality, but am troubled by the huge size of the Aperture library. Here's my stats so far, after a couple of days of importing, with no image management done so far other than assigning some metadata...

# photos managed as reference files=1175
Size of folder where reference files are stored=883MB
Size of Aperture library (.aplibrary)=1.44GB

My expectation would be that the ratio of Aperture library to reference file folder would be about 1/10. But 1.6/1 seems way out of whack. I selected all photos within Aperture and then selected "Manage Reference Files..." and all 1175 file references showed up. On that basis, I'm pretty confident that the jpegs aren't being copied into the Aperture library. But I cannot explain why the library continues to be 1.5+ times as large as the reference file folder.

This seems to defeat the purpose of keeping reference files external from Aperture.

Am I missing something, or is this to be expected? If these ratios hold, then it seems if I end up managing 10GB of photos I will incur another 15-16GB of storage requirement just for Aperture to do its thing.

What is Aperture doing with all that hard drive storage space?

Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • William Lloyd Level 7 (21,040 points)
    Aperture stores thumbnails for images (they're not tiny), and it may store JPEG previews for each file, depending on how large they are.

    RAW files (Aperture's bread and butter) are generally quite large, and so the JPEG previews and thumbnails are relatively small compared to the original files.

    In your case, you're saying you have 1175 files which overall take up 883 MB of space. That's an average of about 750 KB per image... which sounds like low-quality JPEGs (perhaps quality Fine from a point-and-shoot camera). In that case, Aperture's previews aren't going to be any smaller than those files, and the thumbnails also won't be that much smaller. So you may see what you're seeing. Turning off previews may save you some space in the library.

    But, frankly, 1.44 GB isn't that much space. Many people that use Aperture can shoot 10-20 GB of RAW photos in an hour or two.
  • KBeat Level 3 (790 points)
    By default, Aperture creates previews of all of your images. A preview is little more than a JPEG copy of the original. The size of these are determined by the settings in Aperture's preferences. When you're dealing with RAW images, the size of the previews are significantly smaller than the master image, but if you're working with JPEGs, then the previews can balloon the library to as large (large when you add up the thumbnails and duplicates) as the referenced files.

    You can reduce the size of the previews, or delete them and turn them off all together if you're not sharing your photos with other iLife & iWork apps from Aperture. There are some other reasons you may find them beneficial, and this article will help you determine if they are right for you:

  • luvsoccer Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks William and KBeat, for the valuable info. Going forward I may start adding RAW images - right now I am just working to organize existing photos which have all been shot and stored as jpegs. Your advice was great - thanks again!
  • Peter Drier Level 1 (15 points)
    There's also the existing issue/bug where Aperture doesn't compact the library when photos are removed. And that's at the project level.

    So if you've reorganized what photos are in which projects, then chances are there's wasted space there as well..

    I opened a bug with Apple for this, and they've marked it as a dupe of an existing bug, so they do know about it.. No eta though unfortunately.
  • Ian Wood Level 5 (4,350 points)
    Peter Drier wrote:
    There's also the existing issue/bug where Aperture doesn't compact the library when photos are removed. And that's at the project level.

    Yes, but that's ~0.5MB per Version so it's not likely to have had much impact in a new Library of just over a thousand images.

  • Steve Weller Level 3 (690 points)
    For the long-winded answer and an equation that estimates the size see:

    Aperture: How Big Should My Library Be?
  • brettgross Level 1 (20 points)
    Your posting made me curious so I did some digging into my Library. I've been moving a lot of maters between Projects lately and I was wondering how much extra space my Library was taking up...

    The short answer is that I saved 4.7GB by making Aperture rebuild all of the thumbnails.