Previous 1 2 Next 22 Replies Latest reply: Feb 25, 2015 3:29 PM by rbhix
Phil95h Level 1 (0 points)

Is it possible tu split a huge library in Aperture 3 ?

Aperture 3, Mac OS X (10.7.4)
  • léonie Level 10 (91,124 points)

    To spilt a Library do the following:


    1. Backup the existing library and make sure the backup is nin working condition.
    2. Move a part of your library items (projects, books, folders, ...) to a new folder in Aperture and then export this folder as a new library.
    3. After you checked that the exported part of your library works delete the exported folder from the original library.


    But why do you want to split your library? This should not be necessary in Aperture. It is designed to work with very large libraries distributed about several volumes.


    If you are running out of disk space the usual routine is to turn your library into a referenced library: keep the library itself on the system volume (for better performance) and relocate the master image files (or originals in AP 3.3.) to an external volume.


    If you are thinking about splitting the library because of performance problems check the size of your projects. This should be kept small, also your hard drive should have at least 20 % free space (or even more).




  • Phil95h Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for your advice.

    In fact, time access seems to be very long with this library which is made of :

    - 497 projects in 45 files

    - 37631 photos

    - 280 Go

    see below.

    I precise that my machine is an imac 27", 3.4GHz Intel Core i7 with 16 Go Ram

  • Phil95h Level 1 (0 points)

    Here is a copy of my library


  • Ernie Stamper Level 8 (37,545 points)

    My manage Library (primary one -- have others) is over 1 TB in size, has 64,000 masters, mostly RAW, and 540 plus projects.  Access not an issue.  Operation can become sluggish as OSX walls off RAM as inactive, apparently under the belief that it is more important to me to be able to quickly return to a prior image than to continue operating.  But have tested that wih pint size libraries, and no difference.


    What version of Aperture, btw?




    Message was edited by: Ernie Stamper

  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 (12,510 points)

    Size is not a concern.  I built a test Library of 500,000 Images in 20,000 Projects.  Works fine on any machine which can run Aperture and has 6 GB of RAM.  In the notes to 3.3, Apple says Aperture will handle 1,000,000 Images in a Library.


    As Léonie mentions, the bigger your Library the more useful it is.  Unless security concerns force you to quarantine Images, you should make your Library as inclusive as you might ever need.

  • wombat2007 Level 1 (5 points)

    This thread ineterests me. I'm a photographer and reaching a library that is pushing 1T. I don't see a performance isue as much as the backups I run are painful - even the vaults. I back on two other network drives as well, so I could be out of commision for a day.

    What are the pros doing out there ? Are you using referenced or masters ? Do you keep one big library or smaller contextual libs and why ? Are there any really good tutorials on heavy workflow ?

    Presently I have 1 library, but the thought of seperating and referencing is tempting ? Any opinions ?



  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 (12,510 points)



    Worth exploring in your own thread, imho.  .

  • effixu Level 1 (0 points)

    I actually find this very helpful because my Aperture (version 3.4.2) is extremely slow and crashes very often. A frind of mine told me Aperture tends to run slow when library is huge compared to iPhoto. After reading the comments above I'm not sure it's because of the size of the library or projects...though I did find it slower and slower when I added more and more photos.

  • effixu Level 1 (0 points)

    How large is too large for a project? Coz I'm having performance issues and I suspected the size of the library.

  • léonie Level 10 (91,124 points)
    I actually find this very helpful because my Aperture (version 3.4.2) is extremely slow and crashes very often.


    This can also be an indication that your Aperture Library needs repairing, or you may have imported corrupted media - image files or incompatible videos.


    I'd try the Aperture lIbrary First Aid Tools to repair the database and permissions, if necessary to rebuild the Library, see:

    Repairing and Rebuilding Your Aperture Library: Aperture 3 User Manual


    After a crash it is always a good precaution to repair the library, since a crash may interrupt a database transaction and leave the Aperture library in an inconsistent state.


    If repairing/rebuilding does not fix the slowness, check your recent imports, if they contain incompatible videos or images that cannot be adjusted and cause Aperture to crash.

  • Jeff.Bradham Level 1 (0 points)

    I too want to split a big iPhoto library.


    So far I'm seeing is more enery in explaining why not to do it rather than how.  No one seems to see the purpose of doing it.


    My motivation is simple.... easy and cheap archive / backup.


    If I can break that big library that spans many years down into smaller chunks and just throw them on in expensive flash drives I can drop them in my safety deposit box at the bank.  With this approach, as time goes on I'm only having to fuss with archiving the most recent data instead of continually backing up a larger and larger file.


    Sure time machine sounds good.  And external driives aren't that expensive.  But, either of those solutions leave the backup in my house.  So no protection from fire or theft.




  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (137,945 points)

    Hard Drives are cheaper than flash drives, and the portable ones are the size of a cigarette packet. That would save you having to split the library. Also, with the ability to export as a Library you won't need to split the library at all. And the instructions for splitting a library are in the second post on the thread.

  • Munak Level 1 (0 points)

    I was looking for a way to split my library too, for two reasons : my hard disk is full, and Aperture is extremely slow.


    For the speed, what I read here remembers me that Aperture became really slower when i updated from Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion. Suddenly, everything was going slow… So OK, split my library won’t fix this issue. Need to return to Snow Leopard or change my MacBook… great…


    But now, more interesting, you all said it’s not a problem to have a huge library if you keep the originals outside Aperture library. Ok, unfortunately it’s too late for me because they are all inside the library. Is Aperture provides a way to move the original out of the library automatically, clean and organized?


    MacBook Pro 13" mid-2009 (4 Go) - OS X 10.8.2

    Aperture 3.4.3

  • léonie Level 10 (91,124 points)

    Suddenly, everything was going slow… So OK, split my library won’t fix this issue. Need to return to Snow Leopard or change my MacBook… great…

    As I said previously, slowness can be caused by a corrupted library; try the Aperture Library First Aid tools and repair or rebuild your library: Aperture 3 User Manual: Repairing and Rebuilding Your Aperture Library


    Launch Aperture's Activity viewer (Window > Show Activity) and check, what Aperture is doing. Check, if Aperture is giving alert messages in the Console window; perhaps you have incompatible software installed.


    Or your harddrive could simply be too full; check, if you have enough free disk space left.

Previous 1 2 Next