8 Replies Latest reply: Nov 5, 2011 6:46 PM by MarkPek
MarkPek Level 2 (155 points)

Hi all,


I have Aperture 3.2.1 on a 2010 MacBook Pro with a 500GB hard drive.  I'm starting to get concerned about disk space (since I'm now working with TIFFs in PSE 10), so I'd like to archive my 2011 library to an external disk and create a 2012 library for use on the MacBook Pro.  I use only managed images so far.

Creating the 2012 library seems simple enough.  How about moving the current library to a hard disk.  Can someone help me with the steps there?  I would like to rename the current library "2011 library" and move it.  Should be simple enough????



Aperture 3, Mac OS X (10.7.2)
  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 (25,715 points)

    How you move the library to the external drive will depend on whether there are any referenced masters in the library.


    If there are no referenced masters then all you need ot do is drag the library from the internal to the external disk. This will do a copy and depending on the size of the library and how the extrnal disk is conected this could take a while as in overnight.


    If there are any referenced masters in the library the easiest thing to do is to consolidate those back into the library so that there are no more referenced masters and do as above. You could move the referenced masters over separately but that will only increase your workload.


    Once the library is copied over to the external drive double click it to open Aperture on it. Make sure everything is OK. Once you are sure its OK you can delete the library on the internal drive.


    Of course this might not be the best solution to your problem. If you were to make the masters referenced and move those over to the external disk you could keep your library on the internal and continue to just have one library. This would be the way to go if you will be continuing to access the 2011 library.


    If you will be basically mothballing the 2011 library and only accessing it rarely then moving it onto the external is fine.


    And as all things Aperture if you change your mind in the future it is relatively easy to change the library setup.



    good luck

  • MarkPek Level 2 (155 points)

    Thanks, Gomez . . . er, Frank.  That's extremely helpful, and I'm grateful. 

    Two more questions: (1) I don't think I have any referenced masters. Is there an easy way to confirm that?

    (2) Where exactly do I find the library?  Is it a file called "Aperture library" somewhere?

    Sorry for the very basic questions.

  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 (25,715 points)

    To determine if you have referenced masters first select the Photos icon in the Library tab of the Inspector:



    Go into Browser mode and then create a filter as below (use the Add Rule pulldown to add File Status to the search box)




    If anything shows up in the browser window those masters are referenced.


    Normally Aperture creates the library in your Home:Pictures folder. So if you didn;t change anything that is where it will be. As for the name again if you didn;' change anything it will be called Aperture Library.aplibrary. You might not see the extension depending on how you have your Finder setup.


    The name of the library can be any legal name you wish. So when you move the current library over to the external drive you could rename it to 2011 Aperture Library (or anything that makes sense to you). You could also call the new library 2012 or whatever,

  • MarkPek Level 2 (155 points)

    Excellent.  Thanks.  I did that, and I don't have any referenced files (which is what I had suspected).  So if I move the library to an external disk, I assume that all those folders, projects, albums, etc., will disappear from the Library inspector?

  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 (25,715 points)

    If you have no referenced files in the library you can just drag it from the internal to the external disk and the library on the external will be identical to what you have now. You will loose nothing, the library structure will remain.


    As I wrote in my first post this will be OK  as long as you don't intend to actively use this library anymore as the performance running from an external drive will not be good.



  • MarkPek Level 2 (155 points)

    Well, my library is 79GB on a hard drive of 500GB.  Maybe I could wait a while, but I sort of like the idea of moving nearly 80GB off my laptop . . .

  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 (12,510 points)

    Aperture seats you at two very powerful tool benches:

    - the adjustments are good for 99% of the work done to make digital negatives publishable, and

    - the organizing ("digital asset management" is the term of art) is second to none.


    That second part -- organizing -- gets throttled the instant you split up a Library.  If you split your Library, you are (to show that this metaphor has at least one use) closing the door on a part of your Library, turning out the lights, and locking it away.  No search will turn up any information in your archived Library unless you "un-archive" it.  You are -- to update the metaphor slightly -- removing every bit of information in your Library from your info-grid.


    This may work for you.  For most users, it is not recommended.  Most people are much better served keeping the Library whole, and finding ways around the problem of storage limitation (when it occurs).  Aperture includes a clever, easy-to-use, reversible method for greatly and smartly shrinking the size of your Library.  This is to convert your Images' Managed Masters to Referenced Masters.  These are moved to a second or external drive, while the Library itself remains on your faster-accessed system drive.


    Many users do this.


    If, at some point, your Library gets too large for the largest system drive you can install, you can still move the Library itself to a second or external drive.


    Imho, the best (fastest, smartest, easiest to administer) set-ups, in order of increasing Library size are:

    1. Managed Library on system drive
    2. Library on system drive, Referenced Masters on second or external drive
    3. Library on one external drive; Referenced Masters on another external drive


    (This holds true even for SSDs, but then you have to make some allowances for which is your system drive.)


    I recommend moving from 1 to 2, and from 2 to 3, only when your system drive has less than 20% free space.


    IOW, unless you have specific reasons for archiving a Library (storage space is not among them; security is), don't do it.


    This is what Frank had in mind, when, in his initial response, he provided this advice:


    Of course this might not be the best solution to your problem. If you were to make the masters referenced and move those over to the external disk you could keep your library on the internal and continue to just have one library. This would be the way to go if you will be continuing to access the 2011 library.


    Message was edited by: Kirby Krieger

  • MarkPek Level 2 (155 points)

    Aha.  I definitely see the logic of that.  That makes sense.  I'll sit tight and not move the library.  Thanks so much for taking the time to offer such a detailed and helpful view.