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How can I move my old iPhoto library into a Referenced Library format and use that as my default?

579 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Jan 30, 2013 9:38 AM by Kasebeekas RSS
Kasebeekas Calculating status...
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Jan 29, 2013 11:42 AM

Hi, I have been using iPhoto for photo management where all the jpegs have been living, in organized events by date and subject for some time. I recently upgraded to aperture and am using the same iPhoto library. The issue I have is that I use Carbonite for my cloud back up and I am able to look at the pictures I have on my PC with the same folder organization I have them on my PC hard drive. This is apparently not possible for iPhoto library. The only way to access a picture on the iPhoto library in the cloud is to go through the master and hope you can find the specific picture since they are not organized in a comprehensible manner (like events or folders) in there.


So the only solution I can think of is to move the current iPhoto library to a referenced image library and use that as my default library from now on. This way I get cloud access and the events will hopefully turn into folders with dates and subjects that I can continue to keep organized to satisfy my OCD tendencies.

So the question I have is that:


1. How can I make a reference Library for Aperture/iPhoto?


2. How do I move the current library to the Referenced Library in an Organized manner? My wish list would be a series of folders labeled with the date and the subject, like I have in my iPhoto library right now.


3. If there is any alternative, your suggestions and recommendations would be much appreciated.


My computer: Mac Mini (Mid 2012), Lion, 16GB RAM.

Thank you kindly,

Mac mini, Mac OS X (10.7.4)
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,695 points)

    File -> Relocate Masters. You can do that project by project...

  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,475 points)

    Or is there a way to go through aperture to make a new reference library that I can move the masters into later?

    you do not move the masters into a references library - you turn your current library into a referenced library.  As Terence Devlin said:

    File -> Relocate Masters


    What you should set up:

    • Select a folder, where you want to store your referenced files - probably on an external drive.
    • Decide on a hierarchical folder structure inside this folder - that is completely up to you.
    • Select a project from your library and use the command "File -> Relocate Masters/Originals" to move the original image files to the folder where you want to go them to. Only take care not to send two projects to the same folder.

    Alternatively, if you do not care about the folder structure Aperture will use, select all images at once from the "Photos" view and let Aperture decide how to assing the folders - in the "Relocate Originals" dialoge you can specify a subfolder format.




  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,695 points)

    Seriously, rtfm. The Manual explains how to import photos into Aperture while deciding where to store them. These are options in the Import Panel.


    When you delete Referenced Masters you get asked if you want to also delete the Refenced File.






  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,695 points)



    Sincere apologies. I did not mean to be rude and I can certainly see how I cam off that way. Even the simple addition of a smiley face after rtfm would have changed the reading of that reply. What I meant, in my lazy way, was that the manual actually does a really good job of explaining this - and not one that I could improve on. Plus, it's quite simple in the import dialogue to do it. But I did rush my answer, and I did phrase it badly, and I do apologise for being rude and thoughtless.







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