13 Replies Latest reply: Jan 10, 2014 8:31 AM by Ken Jacob
TechAddict Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I've read countless threads and articles on this but remain a bit confused.

 

My MBP is too full with Aperture 3 RAW masters.  So I plan to move them off the hard drive to, most likely, a FW 400 external HDD.

 

There seems to be two ways (for what I want to do).

 

1) Close Aperture.  Seelect the Library File and copy it to the external HDD then double click if from Finder so Aperture notes the new location.

 

2) Export inviduals projects as libraries.

 

Questions I have:

 

a) Does option 1 lead to the creation of a Referenced Library (e.g. is not on the Mac HD) or is that a seperate process?

 

b) For importing photos I presume the external HD has to be connected? 

 

c) Or do you import locally then export the project to the library when connected?

 

d) Will I be able to view any of the library pics when the HDD is not attached.

 

I thought I 'got' the managed v referenced thing but the more I've read the more confused I've got.

 

Essentially I just need the disk space back and the least confusing and problematic way of doing it.


MacBook, Mac OS X (10.6.6), iPhone
  • léonie Level 9 Level 9 (79,550 points)

    Hello,

    what are your Aperture and MacOS versions? Is Mac OS X (10.6.6) correct?

     

    There is a third option.

     

    The two options you listed, will move managed libraries to your external volume.

     

    To sum up "referenced" versus managed: This describes where the master image files are stored:

    • managed: the masters are included inside the Aperture library package.
    • referenced: the masters are located outside the package and "referenced" by Aperture.

     

    If you want to save space, but want to be able to work with your external volume not connected (e.g. tag and rate your images) you should create a referenced library.

     

    Make sure you have a working backup of your library and do the following:

    • Connect your external drive. Make sure it is formatted MacOS X extended (check with Disk Utility)
    • Create a folder on your external volume, where you want to store your master image file.
    • Select the projects you want to move to your external volume and select all images in these projects at once.
    • From the Aperture main menu bar select "File -> Relocate Masters", and in the File chooser panel navigate to the folder on the external volume. Pick a name format and a subfolder format, then press the "relocate" button.

     

    Now your masters will be located on your external drive, and you only will be able to edit them, when you connect the external drive. But you still can use them in slideshows, as your desktop wallpaper, or share them from the Media Browser, if you generate previews for them.

     

    You can relocate all masters, or only those from projects you are no longer working with.

     

    Regards

    Léonie

     

    Post back, if you have more questions.

  • TechAddict Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi

     

    Thanks very much.  OS is 10.6.8 and Aperture is 3.2.3.

     

    So essentially managed means in the library and the library could be on the Mac HD or on an external one?

     

    Referenced just means the originals 'pot' is not in an Aperture Library wherever that might be?

     

    I nearly went the copy/relocate the library but it seems I can only work with the library when connected to the external HDD?  That's OK except for importing pics while travelling and it's perhaps overly limiting.

     

    Your option sounds the best apporach.  I suppose you would need to keep careful track of what Masters have been relocated to the external storage with any new projects, perhaps by using colour coding or the 'offline' icon.

     

    Just one question, do the masters get dumped into projects of the same name in their new location or does the new folder just become one massive melting pot of all the masters?

     

    I've read that there can be some downfalls with going the referenced route.

  • DiploStrat Level 2 Level 2 (345 points)

    I am wearing this link out, but it is excellent: http://photo.rwboyer.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Aperture3Organization.pdf

     

    ApertureSpeak is not really clear on this but:

     

    -- The Library contains your Thumbs, Previews, Versions (edits), and all of the pointers to hold things together.

     

    -- If your Master images, the files that came out of your camera (or scanner), are physically inside the Library, it is called a Managed Library and you are said to have Managed Masters.

     

    -- If your Master images are not inside the Library; that is, they are either in different Folder(s) or on physically different drives, then you are said to have a Referenced Library with Referenced Masters.

     

    But wait, there's more! You can have your cake and eat (most of it) too! You just have to decide what you want to do - do you always want to "see" one unified Library (which is what I do) or do you want separate Libraries? In other words, do you want many smaller libraries or are you merely trying to save space on you laptop?

     

    If the former:

     

    -- Create a new Library wherever you want and Export Projects as Libraries to populate it.

     

    -- If you put the new Library on an external drive, you will only be able to "see" it when that drive is connected.

     

    If the latter:

     

    -- You can simply relocate the entire Managed Library to the external drive. You are very likely to see a severe performance hit, especially if that drive is USB 2.0 or FW400. Even FW800 will be slower, unless, of course, your internal HD is so full that it is already gagging. And, of course, you won't be able to see any part of Aperture unless the external drive is connected. Bad news all around.

     

    -- The better solution, what I (and others) would recommend, is to use the Relocate Masters command to move some Projects to your external drive. Do this until your internal HD is at least 30% empty. Now when you open Aperture you will "see" your entire library. As Lónie noted, you can still do lots of things like e-mail and slideshows will all of your images. But you will only be able to Adjust images when the external HD is connected.

     

    Assuming that you clean out more space on your internal HD and use a FW400 drive, you will probably notice a real performance increase. The only delays are likely to occur when you first read a full resolution file into memory. (So be sure you have as much RAM as possible.) And this happens a lot less often than you think.

     

    This link has more ruminations on this subject: https://discussions.apple.com/message/18221097#18221097

     

    As you can see, some of us have spent way too much time analyzing this stuff.

    --

    DiploStrat

  • léonie Level 9 Level 9 (79,550 points)

    Diplostrat's links explain this very well, but I'd like to address your questions directly:

     

    Referenced just means the originals 'pot' is not in an Aperture Library wherever that might be?

    Yes, the library does not include the image, only information where to find it, and that way the library is smaller.

     

    I nearly went the copy/relocate the library but it seems I can only work with the library when connected to the external HDD?  That's OK except for importing pics while travelling and it's perhaps overly limiting.

    If you keep your library on your MacBook(Pro) you can work with it, import, export, tag, browse - even if the referenced masters are not online. Only to adjust your referenced masters you will need to mount the external volume. That is why I always keep my most recent import managed, until I have done most of the editing, and then I relocate the older projects to free the space for new images.

     

    When you are travelling, and your external volume is not connected, import your new images as "managed". When you return, relocate them.

     

    Your option sounds the best apporach.  I suppose you would need to keep careful track of what Masters have been relocated to the external storage with any new projects, perhaps by using colour coding or the 'offline' icon.

    That is right; I would turn on badge-overleys; then you see which images are online or offline. More important is that you remember where you relocated your masters to and that you do not delete them accidentally, or edit them in any other way but by using Aperture. That is the main reason that managed libraries are safer for a beginner.

     

    Just one question, do the masters get dumped into projects of the same name in their new location or does the new folder just become one massive melting pot of all the masters?

    That is up to you. You select a naming scheme when you relocate the masters. I'd relocate each project on its own; that way you get to pick the name of the folder.

     

    Regards

    Léonie

     

    P.S. The problems with referenced masters occured mostly, when the external drive failed - make sure you have a working backup. Another problem was the wrong formatting of the external drive. Do not use a network volume (here opinions differ) and make sure your external volume is formatted MacOS Extended. Do not share the master image files with iPhoto, if you still use iPhoto to edit your images.

     

    Message was edited by: leonieDF, added P.S.

  • TechAddict Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks both.  It's been a ton of help.  I read up LOADS on this before when I nearly did this about a year ago.  Forgot most of it and lost my links to articles.

     

    What I'm contemplating is:

     

    Forget copying or relocating the library file to an external HDD. Too limiting I think.

     

    Get a couple of 1TB drives.  Use one for back up and one for working Masters.

     

    Format the drives as suggested (Apple - Journaled)

     

    Create a folder say 'Aperture Masters' on the working drive.

     

    Export the various non working projects (85%) to the working Masters Drive.

     

    Back up that drive to the spare drive using whatever is felt to be the best option (maybe partition the drive to a Working Masters and Aperture Masters and back up the external masters to the former and the projects still in the Aperture library to the latter?).  Will explore the various options for this inc. Vaults and / or Time Machine.

     

    My MB is ageing now. 5 years.  Only 2GB of RAM and a 120G HDD (of which now only 2.7G is free!!!!!).  It needs an upgrade really but I'd rather sort all this out before I upgrade.  The only issue might be, once the masters are all on an external HDD, I wonder how the new MBP will work (or not) with that external HDD if I use some form of Migrate option?  Unless of course I upgrade now. Copy the library file to an external drive.  Re-import it to the new machine then proceed as above.

     

    Odd thing is 0f the 111 G available on my HD, only 52 G is Aperture.  19 G is iTunes.  There still 40G of space I cant fully account for as docs and apps etc only number about 7-10 G between them.  I'm wondering if Aperture has some files still which are hogging space.

     

    Lots to ponder.

  • DiploStrat Level 2 Level 2 (345 points)

     

    Forget copying or relocating the library file to an external HDD. Too limiting I think.

     

     

    If you mean the core Library - Previews, indices, etc., agree completely.

     

     

     

    Create a folder say 'Aperture Masters' on the working drive.

     

    Export the various non working projects (85%) to the working Masters Drive.

     

     

     

    Remember, you are only Relocating Masters, not Exporting Projects as Libraries. This means that all of your images will be visible, all the time. You will not be able to Adjust images unless the HD is connected. Given that your base machine is a laptop, then the most important criterion is the need to be able to adjust an image while away from "home." Depends a bit on your workflow. If you are like a lot of us, you will really only be adding (Importing) images while you are in the field. So Import them as Managed and, when you get home, Relocate the Masters to your external HD. The layout of your Aperture Library will never change, only the little "Referenced Master" Badge will change. Take a moment to wrap your brain around this as it is really slick.

     

     

     

    My MB is ageing now. 5 years.  Only 2GB of RAM and a 120G HDD (of which now only 2.7G is free!!!!!). 

     

    Warning Will Robinson! You are only moments away from a serious system failure. With a 120 GB HD you need at least 20 GB free for work space. Really. We could be talking minutes as opposed to days.

     

    I have a 2 GB 2006 MacBookPro. It runs Aperture, but it runs much better when I swap in a 240 GB solid state drive, and I only really use it in the field, not for serious work at home.

     

    So you need to offload a ton of Masters, real fast, or spring for a new drive in the MB.

     

    Remember OSX takes up some space. I also found a 40 GB "sync" file, left over from a previous release of the OS.

     

    With Mountain Lion on the horizon, it is probably not worth spending a lot of money on a computer that old. I would, however, get a 1 or 2 TB HD, even USB 2.0, and use it to run Time Machine. And be sure to let Time Machine back up both the internal HD and the external HD. A full discussion of backup strategies is beyond this thread, but basically, you want three copies, at least one of which is off site.

     

    Best wishes!

    --

    DiploStrat

  • TechAddict Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks again.

     

    Went and checked out some drives today. 

     

    There's a WD My Passport Studio, only 500GB but it has FW 400.  Current Aperture is 50GB so may be good for a few years.  Different shops might stock the 1TB version

     

    Another option is a the WD My Passport which is 1TB but only USB (2 on this Mac, 3 on the upgrade when I get it).

     

    Finally there is the My Book options, powered drives but only USB (that I can find at tge moment).

     

    I suspect a USB 2 1TB non powered drive we be OK for the Masters???

     

    I'll visit the local WD shop tomorrow or the next day.  May have a bigger range.

     

    I also considered, in light of the impending upgrade to the MB, copying the whole Aperture Library file to an external HDD.  Then import it when I get the new machine, and go the external HDD Referenced route from there?  Not sure if that's gonna be easier than trying to get the new MBP to work with an already referenced library??

  • DiploStrat Level 2 Level 2 (345 points)

    Others may offer further refinements, but, as I see it, when working from a MacBook/iMac/Mini, where you cannot use internal drives, there are a couple of options:

     

    -- Self powered, plug in drives. (e.g. LaCie "Rugged") These tend to be slower and, of course, suck power from your battery. But they are smaller, sometimes shock protected, and can be used in the field.

     

    -- Full size, powered drives. These are larger and faster, but demand wall power and tend to be useful only at your desk at home.

     

    There are multiple interface options.

     

    -- The fastest, off the shelf, is Thunderbolt. If you have a Thunderbolt capable computer, you could stick a whole Managed Library on a Thunderbolt drive an never see a performance hit. Great option for an iMac or Mini, probably not so good for a laptop. Thunderbolt is discussed here: http://www.macworld.com/article/1158145/thunderbolt_what_you_need_to_know.html There isn't a lot of Thunderbolt stuff out there and what there is still carries a price premium.

     

    -- The next fastest is FW800, but FW 800 is a tiny bit of an orphan. Thunderbolt is faster and the PC gang are all going for USB 3.0.

     

    -- Next comes FW400. Again, a bit orphaned, but faster for sustained read/write than USB 2.0.

     

    -- Last is USB 2.0. Faster on paper than FW400, it is a bit slower in real life. Apple supports it, but Apple performance is said to lag that of PC's.

     

    But here is the good news/dirty secret - if you are only using the drive to hold your Masters (as opposed to the Library), disk speed is not a big factor as once the Master gets read into RAM, it stays there.

     

    With only 2 GB of RAM, you are in a bit of a quandary. You need the fastest drive you can get, but your machine will not support Thunderbolt and an SSD in a machine that old is not really cost effective.

     

    Were I thee, I would buy a large, cheap and nasty USB 2.0 drive. Costco has Seagate USB 3.0 drives at great prices and USB 3.0 is backwards compatible to USB 2.0. I would use one of these as a Time Machine or SuperDuper! clone backup of your Mac immediately. USB 2.0 is plenty fast enough for backup and restore.

     

    Then I would Relolocate Masters, as discussed above, to you choice of external HD. Self powered if for use in the field, wall powered if not. When you migrate to a new Mac there are various strategies for moving everything over safely. But they all start with good backups.

     

    Best wishes!

    --

    DiploStrat

  • TechAddict Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Great help, thanks.

     

    I'll do that I think.  I have a disk I can use for the Super Duper back-up.  I'll then get a 1TB wall powered desktop HDD and relocate the masters.

     

    The 2GB RAM MB won't be in service much longer.  I may just use it as a field machine or an iTunes store / manager.  Or even give it to someone to to use as an iTunes holder for their iPhone.

     

    Both have been a great help. TQVM

  • ticoloco27 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi All...

     

    So I have followed the guidance posted on this thread and have relocated all my masters to an external hard drive, leaving the library on my macbook pro (mbp) but something does not seem right...i had about 23gb left on my mbp, my aperture library was 190gb. I relocated the masters to an external HD yet the space on my mbp only went up to 80gb, while my aperure library went down to 45gb..sooo how come i only gained about 60gb on my hard drive?? shouldn't i have gained about 150gb?

  • MarkPek Level 2 Level 2 (155 points)

    This is a great thread. I'm learning a lot, as I too am contmeplating saving some disk space on my MBP.

     

    I don't want to distract from ticoloco27's question, but if you move Masters ("Originals"!) to an external HDD, how then does Aperture do the vault back up?  If the vault is on a second HDD, do you just hook up the two HDDs and hit "update vaults"?

  • Ken Jacob Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm running Mavericks and iPhoto 9.5.1 on a Macbook Pro 15" Retina and have decided to upgrade to Aperture after doing a bit of research.

     

    I have a large (40,000 items, 215GB) iPhoto library I recently constructed using iPhoto Library Manager that resides on an OWC 1.5T external drive connected via Firewire800 and a FW/Thunder adaptor to the MBP.

     

    I'd like to create a library in Aperture that relies almost completely on "referenced" originals so that the library can live on the internal drive of the Macbook but the originals on the external drive.

     

    I opened the iPhoto library in Aperture and used the "Relocate Originals" function to successfully relocate all the originals to the external drive.

     

    So far so good.

     

    I quit Aperture and looked at the size of the iPhoto library (the one I opened in Aperture and did the relocating).

     

    I was surprised (and disappointed) too see that while the file size was reduced, it was still 168 GB (down from 215 GB). The whole point of using referenced files was to greatly reduce the size of the library so I could move it to the SSD on the Macbook and only need the external drive when I'm in the office or doing editing of old files.

     

    Can anyone help to explain what's going on here?

     

    Thanks!

  • Ken Jacob Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Update: I discovered that Aperture did not relocate all of the images. I used a Smart Album to collect all images that were "managed" and there were a lot. So I then relocated all of them and that smart album was then completely empty.

     

    Then the size of the library was down to 55 GB which is reasonable for use on the SDD on the MBP.

     

    Ken