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New to Aperture - Library vs Reference files

3341 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Feb 18, 2011 6:30 AM by Frank Caggiano RSS
TxH Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Feb 17, 2011 6:17 AM
I'm coming to Aperture from Picasa, which replicated and managed my folder structure as it appeared on my hard-disc, which was nice.

Am I better off importing images into my Aperture Library, or managing the folder structure how I want and just having Aperture work with the reference files?

I'm not a pro-photographer, just a pretty basic user, so will not have loads of large raw image files. What's the benefit of using the Library over using Reference files? I've tried Google-ing but everything I've found just addresses folder/project management within Aperture.

If I use the reference option, can Aperture manage my photos on my hard-drive in the same way Picasa could (ie if I moved a photo from one folder to another in Picasa, it also moved on my drive)

Thanks
MacBook
  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (22,760 points)
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    Feb 17, 2011 6:39 AM (in response to TxH)
    Your last question is easiest so I'll answer that one fist. There is a command in Aperture *File->Relocate Masters..* that will do just what it says, move a master file from one location to another. This is the preferred way to move master around. If you were to move a master with the Finder lets say, Aperture would have no way of knowing where the file moved to and it would be missing. There are tools in Aperture to locate and reconnect missing master files but its just a lot easier to use Apertures tool to do the moving.

    As for which structure is better, managed or referenced, that's really not answerable. It depends on each users setup and usage. Your hardware profile only says Macbook so there is no way to make suggestion based on your setup.

    Briefly your looking at keeping your library on the fastest disk you have for most users that means the internal HD. If there is sufficient space on this drive to hold both the library and the masters then there isn't a lot of difference between managed and referenced.

    If your fastest disk isn't large enough to hold both the library and masters then it would be best to put the library on the fast disk and put the masters somewhere else as referenced.

    There are other considerations but for a 'pretty basic user' the disk speed really is the primary consideration.

    If you supply your hardware profile and an idea of how big your library is we might be able to make more specific recommendations.

    regards
    iMac Intel 3.06 GHz 8GB Mem; Macbook5.1 2.4ghz 4GB Mem, Mac OS X (10.6.6), Aperture 3.1.1
  • Mr Endo Level 3 Level 3 (990 points)
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    Feb 17, 2011 6:43 AM (in response to TxH)
    Hi TxH,

    Welcome to the user-supported Aperture discussion group.

    I'm coming to Aperture from Picasa, which replicated and managed my folder structure as it appeared on my hard-disc, which was nice.


    If you use Aperture for even a little while, you'll realize that the structure of your photos in your hard drive is not as important as how you organize them in Aperture, especially when you start making albums, which merely contain a pointer to the image in your library. You can have a picture in many albums, but your library (and therefore hard drive) only contains it once.

    Am I better off importing images into my Aperture Library, or managing the folder structure how I want and just having Aperture work with the reference files?


    That's a matter of opinion. Some people are very opinionated that using referenced files is the only way to go, some are opinionated the other way. Sometimes there really is a better solution for you depending on what you are doing.

    What's the benefit of using the Library over using Reference files? I


    You will find loads of conversation if you search this discussion group for "managed" and "referenced".

    You will always have a library. Your managed pictures will live in the library and you won't have direct access to them through Finder (and you should not want direct access to them for the most part). Your referenced pictures live wherever you tell Aperture to take them from, but the bookkeeping parts of the Aperture library/database are still stored in the Aperture library package.

    Benefits of managed include: you don't worry about where the files are; Aperture backs them up if you use its vaults; they are always with you.

    Benefits of referenced include: you know exactly where the files are; your Aperture library is significantly smaller than if all your photos were in the library; you can find them with Finder if that's important to you (and a lot of people think it's important to them but then realize they only think that because they're really not using Aperture to its full potential).

    If I use the reference option, can Aperture manage my photos on my hard-drive in the same way Picasa could (ie if I moved a photo from one folder to another in Picasa, it also moved on my drive)


    Yes. I've never used Picasa, but Aperture allows you to "relocate" your photos in order to manage their external directory structure. You can also choose to "relocate" a managed master to make it referenced.

    nathan
    MacBook, Mac OS X (10.6.6), Aperture 3.1.1
  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (22,760 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 17, 2011 7:24 AM (in response to TxH)
    TxH wrote:

    With the images I've already imported as Reference images, is it possible to make these Managed images instead?


    *File->Consolidate Masters*

    If you haven't already you need to spend some time with the user manual. Apple did a good job with this one. The front section describes in detail Aperture's interface and the different components which make up the Aperture library.

    regards
    iMac Intel 3.06 GHz 8GB Mem; Macbook5.1 2.4ghz 4GB Mem, Mac OS X (10.6.6), Aperture 3.1.1
  • appuser Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 17, 2011 9:46 AM (in response to Mr Endo)
    library versus reference ?
    Im so confused? i love APPLE but this Aperture part is SO VERY confusing ;-(
    is there not just a VERY simple way to "back up" ALL my FINISHED photos/projects onto an external drive (vault ???) without worrying if they are 'referenced' managed' master' edited' blah blah blah ..... and so the list goes on.
    I would just very much like to hit 'Back UP' and the finished project is saved in whatever (style/ format) apple decide to confuse us with.
    then months / years later when something bad goes wrong (total crash Grrr) I can simply click onto the external drive, open it up and budda bing .. there is my project all all the lovely photos ??
    *WHY IS APPLE MAKING THIS SO (stupidly) complicated ???*
    Time Machine backs everything up with no fuss....
    HELP I just would like a simple BACK EVERYTHING UP solution, Please...
    I-mac running Snow Leopard, Mac OS X (10.6.5), lacie & freecom & WD external hard drives
  • Mr Endo Level 3 Level 3 (990 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 17, 2011 10:35 AM (in response to appuser)
    Whoa, whoa whoa, appuser.

    You should probably start a new thread for your query. It doesn't seem to be related to the topic except that you are confused by a newbie's question and did not properly read the responses of experienced users.

    If you read my response to which you replied, you will see that I don't say "library vs. referenced" at all because those aren't the right terms to use.

    When you post your new topic, maybe you can express why you think that what you request isn't already in Aperture.

    nathan
    MacBook, Mac OS X (10.6.6), Aperture 3.1.1
  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (22,760 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 18, 2011 6:30 AM (in response to TxH)
    TxH wrote:
    Seems to be two schools of thought on this, am going to try the managed Library and see how I get on


    Thats one of the great features of Aperture. When it comes t managed vs. referenced it's very very easy to switch from one to the other and back again.

    You're not locked into any one scheme.
    iMac Intel 3.06 GHz 8GB Mem; Macbook5.1 2.4ghz 4GB Mem, Mac OS X (10.6.6), Aperture 3.1.1

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