10 Replies Latest reply: Mar 5, 2013 12:27 PM by Ernie Stamper
njwight Level 1 (0 points)

I was hoping to get some advice...I have been using Aperture for a few years. Now using v3. I currently have a MBpro and an Imac-both 3 years old. I use 3 managed  Aperture libraries - one that has all my travel, one for local work and one for an organization I work with. I just do better with 3 than one large. Right now I am at about 700GB and all 3 reside on a Rugged 1T drive. I backup to a 3T drive  and another 1T. So 3 copies in all...(A 4th copy for the 2 personal libs) I am not using Vaults. I do use Time Machine.


I do a lot of casual work in the living room on the MBP and I also use it when I travel or go out in the city. I do more serious editing on the 21" iMac. I move the Rugged between the laptop and iMac but it is now making me nervous as it disconnects too easily. I happen to be looking to upgrade my computer and am thinking of going to a one computer set up. A Retina 13" (which would be great for travel) and a desktop setup with a 27" monitor and keyborad etc. I will not be able to keep all the libaries on the laptop-(even if I max out with the 700GM flash memory, which is an expensive option.) But with 500 I could keep 2 on there. So, I would need to buy another portable drive if I want to continue to work in two places with access to all 3. Likely a Thunderbolt 2T if that exisists. At least with one computer I would not have to keep mounting and umounting the external drive-which seems to be causing issues. I am often getting Aperture messages for inconsistanceis - directly related to the Rugged drive unmounting by accident. I understnad my issue may be directly related to this particular Rugged drive/and or cable. It never has issues on the iMac-only the MB pro.


Can anyone speak to working between two locations and having to keep libraries on a portable drive? Aside from being nearly impossible to upgrade, is the Retina setup with an external  Thurderbolt monitor a smart one? Obviously I lose the glory of the R diplay when I do this.


If there  are other considerations for a 2 location setup, I am all ears.




  • e2photo Level 2 (165 points)

    Several things:


    1. I have an iMac that is my desktop machine.


    2. For Aperture projects that are active, I keep them on a portable drive (Western Digital Passport drives (USB 2.0, 3.0, Firewire 800).  I backup my portable drives daily


    3. Whe projects are completed, I move them to long term 'storage on a 6TB Western Digital drive that has a backup plus an archive copy.  I back up my permanent storage drive nightly.


    4. I also have a 15" Retina display MBP that I use in the studio, but also at a second home where I hook it up to a 27" Thunderbolt display device. 


    I work in Aperture with D800 RAW files (about 40MB each on 50-70 GB libraries) and Final Cut Pro X using the MBP linked to the Thunderbolt display.  I just plug in my portable drives that contain my active project and I am up and running.   I have used this solution a couple of times a month for several days each at my second home without any difficulty.  I feel like it is an excellent solution.  I also use a wireless keyboard and mouse.


    Wishes:  I wish the Thunderbolt display had USB 3.0 ports.


    I know that at some point in the future this solution will become limiting, but it has served me very well.


    MBP-16 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD.  Fastest processor that I could buy at the time.

  • njwight Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks. I realize I should probably have used a subject line pertaining more to sharing an Aperture library between two computers!.:-)

  • e2photo Level 2 (165 points)

    Just so I am clear, I keep my incomplete, working libraries on portable Western Digital Passport drives.  While I am working on them, I use three different computers (two different iMac's and my MBP).  Only when I am done, I move them to a less mobile, more permanent storage which is connected to my desktop 27" desktop. 

  • njwight Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks again. So, just to understnad your workflow...you have multiple libraries, referenced?

  • e2photo Level 2 (165 points)

    I use both managed and reference libraries.


    When I am working on a project between different computers, I maintain those on portable drives and they are managed libraries.  I just move the drives between different computers and open the library.  I could make them referenced.


    Once I am done with the project, I import the library into my master library (I maintain a master library for each year), and once imported, I relocated my masters to a folder based system with a separate folder for each project.  I do this because it is easier to get to the master picture outside of the Aperture Library.  My current master libraries for the years 2011, 2012 and 2013 reside on an internal 2TB drive and I keep their size small by storing my referenced images on a Thunderbolt drive.  BUT, my libraries from 2001-2009 are stored on firewire drive with the images stored as referenced images on other firewire drives.


    At the start of each year I create a folder structure on an external drive for storing my referenced images.  The top folder is the year called for example 2013 Pictures.  Inside this folder I create a series of folders, one for each month of the year plus Miscellaneous plus Misc Libraries.  I also add folders for things like the pictures I upload to Facebook, Photo.net, or the place I have things printed.  Inside each month of the year folder, as I complete projects, I create a folder with the project date (YYMMDD) and relocate the master files for the project to this folder.  This project folder can have subfolders, but I make sure it contains all of the working files related to the project. 


    Does this make any sense to you?

  • Ernie Stamper Level 8 (37,545 points)

    You might be interested in what I once wrote at:




    Smart Update with SuperDuper makes this child's play, provided you are one-to-one on the purpose of a disc volume.


    I use a Thermaltake SATA stand to also do clones.  Ordered the USB 3 version of that, yesterday -- the one with two slots for two SATA drives at once.


    Obviously, I am favorably impressed with my rMBP, but can't wait to get a new Mac Pro when those are released as expected with both Thunderbolt and USB 3 interfaces.




  • e2photo Level 2 (165 points)

    I also use SuperDuper for backup and archiving.  My computer turns on at about 3AM and SuperDuper does it's daily backup.  I have to check it in the morning as everyone once in a while something does work quite right.  I have old drives that I back my portable drives to (only 2TB hence those tend to be older).


    Ernie.... I am looking for a Thunderbolt to USB 3 hub or an esata hub.  Suggestions?

  • njwight Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks. Not familiar with Superduper and Smart Update. I have Time Machine backing up everything but prefer to have several copies, including an off site. That is what I was trying to do. Are you suggesting this instead of Time Machine or as a way to do copies instead of drag and drop?


    Thanks for the link to the thread-I am at this moment considering a rMBP 13" to replace my current 13MBP (circa 2010) I also have an iMac.  A little concerned I won't see much improvement with speed and adding the 512 SSD makes it a little costly.  I would like the 15 but for travel the 13 is very helpful.

  • Ernie Stamper Level 8 (37,545 points)

    Haven't thought about needing one of those, and don't have any advice on those.



  • Ernie Stamper Level 8 (37,545 points)

    My primary work station has been my exisitng Mac Pro (original 8 Core), and currently it has four, 3 TB drives within.  With video editing and Aperture, and this much storage, I have never seen the practicalilty of Time Machine.  What I want are clones of volumes that I can simply switch out in the Mac Pro if some drive goes bad, and requiring no rebuilding from anything.  A few files are backed up by direct copy via the Finder, to externals.  I also use SuperDuper to clone my boot volume.


    My rMBP has the 762 SSD (nominal 750) and 16 GB of RAM.