Problem #1 is that Aperture is designed to work with images stored on local drives, not on NAS.
If you are going to use Aperture transfer your images to a local drive or drives and reference to them. Sorry but that is just the way Aperture works.
The good news is that Aperture is very, very powerful. Folder-style storage is terribly limiting. Many of us got used to folder-style organization because there was no other way to organize with film, but digitally images are easily and powerfully much better organized.
July 4 Picnic 2002 may be easy to find with folders, but try to find all pix of Aunt Sally with folder organization. Or all flowers pix. It is easy with digital organization.
Folders may make events and holidays easy to find but that is about it. The Library is not meant for browsing, that is what Albums are for. Each new batch of pix is simply imported as a Project, and keywords are assigned: 120930_Aunt_Sally_Bday might be a Project, for instance. Maybe another Project 120930_HS_Car_Wash also happened on 2012-09-30.
During the Project import the 120930_Aunt_Sally_Bday Project gets assigned key words like birthday and family and event; the 120930_HS_Car_Wash Project gets assigned key words like CarWash and HighSchool and event. Individuals get their own key words that are managed via Faces.
Albums just consist of pointers (that can be created or destructed at will) to image files, very powerful and they take up no space. In a few seconds search on AuntSally and find every photo ever taken. Sweet when it comes time for posters for Aunt Sally's 100th birthday celebration.
Uisng the Library, Keywords and Albums is by far the preferential way to organize.
Hi thanks. I understand all that about the advantages of using Aperture to manage it, over folder organisation, but I need the NAS drive to stream photos to my TV, then on my TV media player I can browse folders (organised by Event) or start a slidehow etc. I am not prepared to have a computer "always on" so iTunes can stream the photos to the AppleTV. So because this requires folders the photos are stored as folders. I tried storing an Aperture Library, and although the photos are picked up, the folder hierarchy in a Librarymakes the ability to browse and find events is impossible. So thats why I store them as folders, but then I lose the management ability in Aperture and importing is a chore. Hence me wondering if there is another solution. The only one I can think of is export all photos as files but that processes everything and takes ages rather than some incremental/difference.
For info I found this nifty little tool:
Not fully tested it yet but looks to be the perfect little app to sort my issue out.
I am now consolidating the images back into Aperture. Once in there I can then use this tool to export to external folders on the Mac. The great thing about it (which I haven't tested but it claims) is that it syncs, so it wont export the entire library but just the difference... this is the important part for a massive library.
So if this works then problem solved! I just periodically run this. So not only acts as a great backup but allows event navigation on other devices like PS3/Xbox/Media servers etc.