7 Replies Latest reply: Oct 29, 2012 11:53 AM by Kirby Krieger
julesnewtoMac Level 4 (1,250 points)



I have an iPhoto library of some 340 GB on a MacBook Pro 500 GB.  I use iPhotos as when I first got the Mac I knew nothing about the apps and this was default.  I have it backed up well.  I recently purchgased aperture app.  I want to move the library from iPhotos to Aperture and onto an external HDD not on my MBP.  The photos are show RAW and I need to keep them in TIF.  I have had help on importing them from the card but I now need to sort out my historic mess!


Can anyone tell me how to do this, please in absolutly basic steps!


Many thanks



Aperture 3, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 (12,510 points)

    What versions of iPhoto and Aperture?  If not the most recent, is there a reason you haven't upgraded?


    The reason I ask is that current versions of iPhoto and Aperture share the (identical) Library format:  you can open a Library created in either app in the other app.  So you have no reason to merge anything.  Simply open your existing Library in Aperture.


    Libraries are Finder packages, but they show in Finder as single files and can be treated as such.  If you want to move your Library to an external drive, make sure it is not open in either iPhoto or Aperture, and, using Finder, move it.  When you open it from its new location, Aperture will remember where it is and always open it from there.


    Later, after you have become familiar with Aperture, you can make some of your Image's Originals "Referenced".  This will allow you to put a smaller Library on your system drive (where it is likely to run faster), while keeping most of your RAW files on your external drive.  There is no rush to do this.  Move your Library, get used to Aperture, and then you can tweak your set-up.

  • RDKone Level 1 (0 points)

    I have many old photos libraries  and want to manageg them, but when I import many images have dublictes or even more same file names. how to fix that ?

  • julesnewtoMac Level 4 (1,250 points)

    Thanks Kirby


    The main reason I got aperture was for a robust app to keep the files original and safe.  From what you say it doesn't matter about the library as it is the same files in Iphoto and Aperture, just what I can do to them changes?  If that is correct it answers my question and I can start learning about Referenced Originals etc once I have full back ups.  I use Adobe CS 5 to edit still.  My end state is to have my photo files in tif on the most robust storage possible (on a muinimum of two external HDDs) with my MBP free for the next shoots!


    Thanks again for the reply.  I will hit the green button once I have a go!



  • RDKone Level 1 (0 points)

    I have make filter so In several Libraries same time period are diferent numbers of photos,  and 80% is really same, so how to cach that 20% , but when i tray to merge, result only all files go to one library.

  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 (12,510 points)

    Hi Jules --

    julesnewtoMac wrote:


    From what you say it doesn't matter about the library as it is the same files in Iphoto and Aperture, just what I can do to them changes?

    Yes.  Details regarding the differences are at the following two links.  It is worth reading through them, particularly before you go any further:

    Using a unified photo library with iPhoto and Aperture

    How to use Aperture to merge iPhoto libraries


    julesnewtoMac wrote:


    I use Adobe CS 5 to edit still. 


    Many do (myself included) but you will find that you can do _a lot_ of what you currently do in PSCS5 in Aperture, with many important benefits -- primary among them Aperture's non-destructive workflow, and its enormously more efficient storage (more on that in a minute).  In Aperture, you will want to set you External Editor to PSCS5.  When you want to edit an Image that is in Aperture in PS, you select "Edit with Photoshop" and Aperture will create a duplicate of the currently selected Version and open it in PS.  After you are finished, close the file in PS, and your changes will show for the Image in Aperture.


    If you are unfamiliar with Aperture's terms, you should carefully read the first seven chapters of the User Manual -- they provide a guide to the interface elements, and a sturdy foundation on which to rest your picture collection.  Here is a concise guide I wrote.


    julesnewtoMac wrote:


    My end state is to have my photo files in tiff on the most robust storage possible (on a minimum of two external HDDs) with my MBP free for the next shoots!

    And here is where you come to the first and perhaps highest of the conceptual hurdles you must clear to take advantage of the novel but excellent system around which Aperture is designed.  Using Aperture entails making a shift -- continental, if not tectonic, imho -- from conceiving of the task of software as being file-management to being image-management.  The importance cannot be overstated.  I touch on it in my concise guide.  Here I'll mention just two things I think you'll find helpful:

    - In Aperture, your Image is not a file.  It is created on-the-fly from two files: the digital camera file you imported (once imported, called an Original in Aperture-speak), and a text file of instructions detailing changes to make to your Image (Adjustments in Aperture-speak) and changes to the Image's metadata.  When you close Aperture, your Images do not exist.

    - Aperture is then best thought of as storing your original digital camera files, and information on how to make new, share-able, image-format files when you need them.  You don't make them until you need them, and you don't store them in Aperture.  You can always make them again.  When you need a TIFF for sending for printing, you make it and send it on.  There is no reason to save this file anywhere on your system.

  • julesnewtoMac Level 4 (1,250 points)



    Thank you so much (I think).  I feel I am just taking the blue pill on the Matrix but what you say makes sense.  I will look to this and your guide.  I really appreciate your time on this, but please forgive me if you see another post, I am cautious and streaching this part of my knowledge!


    Thanks again,



  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 (12,510 points)

    By all means, ask away.  I did  .