You could try the Do not import duplicates setting in the import window of Aperture. Users have had varying amounts of success with that depending on the changes (if any that make to the master).
You could also import into Aperture as managed that would eliminate the problem entirely. If you do not want to have managed masters you could import as managed and then relocate the masters to make them referenced.
I haven't figured out if any adjustments are lost in an accidental overwrite yet.
Don't know what this is suppose to mean or how it applies to your question.
Aperture is an image manager. Your concern with the storage location of your files will fade as you adopt the practices of image-management and concurrently relax your grip on file management.
Your file management needs, once you have committed a digital negative to Aperture for management, are storage, back-up, and (when needed) retrieval. Aperture provides for all of these (both directly, by doing these, and indirectly, by allowing you to create a set-up that allows you to do the same outside of Aperture).
Why are putting your files in the Finder folder "Pictures"? Aperture provides ample file-management tools, and doesn't care where you files are, as long as they are on a local drive.
In any case, the workflow of dumping files you want to import into a Finder folder that is already populated, and then importing just those files, is (as verified by your experience) clumsy and un-sustainable. (I think that's what you're doing -- if not, sorry, and please correct me.)
You could colour tag all the images already in your pictures folder, then new items added will be easy to find as they won't have the coloured icon. However, I'd try and find a better way of doing whatever it is you are trying to achieve, it sounds like you're making it much more complicated than it needs to be.
Instead of putting the files in the pictures folder and then importing which is what is causing the problem, if he imported them from wherever they are into Aperture and then have Aperture put them in the picture folder it eliminates the problem.
Actually he could just import as referenced and do the same thing, have Aperture put them in the pictures folder.
Oh, I think I now understand. The duplicates the OP is referring to are the ones being created by first copying them to a Finder folder?
I was thinking about duplicates inside Aperture. Thinking that having a Managed Library would help eliminate importing duplicates. I assume that Managed or Referenced, duplicate issues are the same. Meaning one Library method or the other isn't really any better at handling duplicates.
To quickly find the newest images that you want to import, sort them in the Import panel:
Set the Browser to list view, and then click at the header of the date column, to sort the image files by date - ascending or descending. Uncheck all images with a date older then your last import.
Then import the selected.
And after you imported the last image from your messy Pictures Folder , find a new workflow based on the good advices given in the posts above. I personally use Keith Barkley's strategy - always a clean, reformatted card, and no duplicates to import.
Pretty much, but I think in the OP's case it is even simpler that that. He adds files to the pictures folder and then can't remember which he just added and need to be imported and which he imported already and winds up importing files he's done already.
(at least that's my read)
Anyway there are many ways around this. From doing the import from a different folder and having Aperture relocate the files to the picture folder to setting up a hot folder which will import the images just added the folder to just sorting folder with the finder and selecting the recently added files.
I personally use Keith Barkley's strategy - always a clean, reformatted card, and no duplicates to import.
I try to not reformat my cards until I am sure I have a second copy of my files (a back-up of my Masters). My practice is to not reformat a card until it is full, and I leap-frog my two fast large-capacity cards (FILO, iirc).
I always import into a new Project. If I mistakenly import files I have already imported, they are already grouped and are easily removed. In practice, this never happens. I habitually un-check all images in the import dialog, and then select the ones to import.
If I purchased more cards, I could do both: use only "clean, reformatted" cards, and keep my camera files on a card until I am sure I have backed-up Masters.
I try to not reformat my cards until I am sure I have a second copy of my files (a back-up of my Masters).
Don't you worry - I always have a backup of my masters, before I erase the card. But I got into the habit of reformatting my cards regularly and never to rely on the card as only backup, after I noticed that occasionally I had weird corruptions on my masters - and I am pretty sure by now that those corruptions occur on the cards. I always could track back those corruptions right to the originaly imorped masters and to the backups. Since I format the cards regularly, I have never again seen Images like this:
I suspect that Aperture probably doesn't adversely affect an "edit" by overwriting the file imported into Aperture.
I haven't found the time to really dive into the application intensely yet, so I am forming the questions.
What I meant was, if I import a file, "doctor" it to suit - then accidentally, or deliberately reimport the same image file again - whether I will be overwriting whatever changes I made & saved.
I gather that those edits are likely stored separate & nondestructively. Most usually, when I edit an image in PS, I wind up with one, two or three copies --- different treatments for the same image. I might be using a small version of an image, in which case I need to change the brightness to suit the size, etc. just as an web image might be manipulated depending on the presumed gamma value of the chosen audience's screens.
The "import to a separate folder" is why I am keeping a test set in the "Pictures" folder.
I have tons of photos, graphics & Illustrations in a rats nest collection of folders on several drives.
My current working (test) album is named something else. When I import the test set into the Pictures folder (off external drives), then import into Aperture, the default album name given is "Pictures."
I want a small test set of images for comparison between LightRoon & Aperture: to have an equal comparison.
That doesn't tell me what's going to happen (speed) when I have tens of thousands, but its manageable to compare other features.
If decide I don't want to invest in one manager or another, I haven't mucked up my rat's nest. I don't think that complete chaos is the way to go, despite Kirby's kind assurances. Having a solid structure is like having a good naming scheme for images: its just a good idea.
I can't imagine that manager-based chaos would be a good business model if photography were my primary source of income!
(I have other projects in the works while I'm doing this, using Photoshop, Final Cut, Photo-to-Movie, Posterino, etc. I don't want to have to reconnect media once I move it & track is lost, I do that too much already).
I'm testing workflows as well, but I don't dare get too invested unless I have sufficient time at one sitting.