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What is BIG, what is F  A   S    T  ?

610 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Sep 5, 2012 3:25 AM by Kirby Krieger RSS
DiploStrat Level 2 Level 2 (345 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Mar 26, 2012 6:14 AM

Aperture is a rather complex application and image files are getting larger. All of this can lead to slow downs and other problems. And this, in turn can lead to a bit of thrashing by folks who don't fully understand how Aperture (and Lightroom) works.

 

Aperture is a data base application. An Aperture application starts out as two files/folders:

 

-- The Aperture application, normally installed in your Applications folder. This folder, of just under 900 MB, is a "Package" full of goodies that actually runs the application. It belongs on your fastest drive so that it can load into RAM when you start the application. No mysteries here.

 

-- The Aperture "Library." This is another Package, that is, a folder that does not normally open. Open it, by right clicking and you will see a list of folders. The most interesting, the only ones that you can really control, are labled "Previews" and "Masters." The largest single item in the Library will be your Masters, followed, normally, by your Previews and, finally, your Thumbnails.

 

So how can you make your Library smaller?

 

-- Take fewer photos.

 

-- Shoot lower resolution Masters, ie., JPG as opposed to RAW.

 

-- Reduce the size/resolution of your Previews.

 

When you are using Aperture, you spend most of your time looking at Previews and Thumbs, not Masters. In fact, the only time that I am sure that you are actually using the Master is when you export, print, and when you view at full resolution. (Others may be able to clarify this.)

 

So I find the following to be reasonable:

 

-- Set the size of Previews at or one size smaller than the resolution of your largest monitor.

 

-- Set the quality as low as you can accept, generally 6 - 8.

 

-- Rebuild your old  Previews and Thumbs at a lower size/resolution. There was a problem with one release of Aperture 3 that caused it to create bloated Previews and Thumbs. If this happened to you, then deleting your Previews and Thumbs will get you back some space. (Be sure you backup first and have ample time and disk space.)

 

That is about it. You can make slight reductions by limiting your metadata, or not using Faces (Faces create tiny thumbnails) but none of these amounts to much.

 

So what's next? RAM,RAM, and more RAM! Why. Because during any given Aperture session it is going to read the application, scroll the Thumbs, read the Preview, read the Versions, and, finally, read the Master. And then it will rewrite various of these as you adjust. If everything is in RAM, this will be fast. If not, then you will have to page to disk and this will be slower. And if your hard disk (HD) is full, much slower.

 

ALL HD slow as they fill. So, for best speed, you want to keep your HD as empty as possible, the sweet spot being somwhere between 50% and 75%. (Bigger HD can get fuller.) Why? Because Mac OSX is constantly making work files and rearranging data for the best fit and speed. The more free space available for this, the better.

 

So, after you buy all of that RAM, spring for the multi-TB HD.

  • Newmanity Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 4, 2012 10:56 PM (in response to DiploStrat)

    Nice description.

     

    I'm trying to fit my library on my Macbook Air doing what you said.

     

    Faces just won't work on my Aperture for some reason.  On top of that, for just about every photo, it makes another 3-4 thumbnails of the faces.  I'd call this huge bloat for my 50k photo library. 

     

    Is there any way to get rid of all these face thumbnails?  I'm guessing I'll get back at least 2gb which would make a big difference for me.

  • patH72 Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 4, 2012 11:16 PM (in response to DiploStrat)

    One problem with referenced files is that, in certain situations, Aperture can "forget" where the orginal file is. In other situations, it attempts to find the file it cannot locate and fastens on to another file with no relation to the original image file itself.

     

    It's also a problem if you move your masters to a new disk. Correct me if I'm wrong, but if I move all of my referenced files from a volume called "DiskA" to a new hard drive called "DiskB", there's no simple way to reconnect all of my references. You have to go through the tedious reconnect process, folder by folder, which Aperture provides. You would think there would be a simple way to tell Aperture to just substitute "DiskB" for "DiskA" in all the references but I don't think there is. If someone knows a simpler way to handle this I'd like to know about it.

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,745 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 5, 2012 1:29 AM (in response to patH72)

    The trick is to do it with Aperture.

     

    File -> Relocate Masters

  • Newmanity Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Anyway, no tips on nuking all the Faces thumbnails?  If I turn off Faces, then delete the thumbnails directory and then rebuild the thumbnails (yet another overnight operation) will it do the trick, or is it impossible to prevent the Faces from working.

     

    Just trying to slim down my Aperture library to fit on my 128GB Macbook Air. 

  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 Level 6 (11,570 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 5, 2012 3:25 AM (in response to patH72)

    I think this misleads:

    patH72 wrote:

     

    One problem with referenced files is that, in certain situations, Aperture can "forget" where the original file is. In other situations, it attempts to find the file it cannot locate and fastens on to another file with no relation to the original image file itself.

     

    It's also a problem if you move your masters to a new disk. Correct me if I'm wrong, but if I move all of my referenced files from a volume called "DiskA" to a new hard drive called "DiskB", there's no simple way to reconnect all of my references. You have to go through the tedious reconnect process, folder by folder, which Aperture provides. You would think there would be a simple way to tell Aperture to just substitute "DiskB" for "DiskA" in all the references but I don't think there is. If someone knows a simpler way to handle this I'd like to know about it.

    When you import an image-format file into Aperture you commit to using Aperture (and only Aperture) for all file management.  That includes moving your Originals (formerly "Masters") to any new location, including a new HD.

    (As Terence said, use "File‚ěěRelocate Masters".)  It's simple, and it works.

     

    I have had well over half a million Images under management by Aperture.  This spring, in a worrisome "cluster", I had five drives fail in as many weeks.  Between keeping things running, restoring backups, and creating new backups, I moved millions of files.  Not one Image or Original was lost, or "forgotten", or "fastened" wrong.

     

    Over several years, several computers, and many drives, I have lost two Originals.  I never found out why.  I assume user error.  IME, Aperture is a robust and reliable image and file manager.

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