6 Replies Latest reply: Aug 3, 2013 11:46 PM by léonie
William Porter Level 1 (45 points)

I've read what I think are the relevant parts of the Aperture User Manual, especially pages 40-42. I'm posting here in hope of getting confirmation that what I'm about to do makes sense and will work.


My main, rather large library of raw files is on my iMac (and is backed up using Time Machine). I'm happy to work on the iMac most of the time but I would like also to be able to do some work on my Macbook Air. I can think of two ways to do this.


Plan A: Dropbox

One method would be to use Dropbox. I have enough storage in my Dropbox account itself (about 125GB, most of it presently free space). And using Dropbox in this way would ensure that my files continue to be backed up, in fact, it would make them extra safe, because they'd get backed up to Time Machine and synced to Dropbox's servers (and my laptop). The main problem with this approach is that I'm kind of in a hurry right now, and syncing, say, a 40GB Aperture library to Dropbox would take a good while — perhaps a day or two. All that data has to be uploaded from my iMac to Dropbox's servers, and then synced from there (i.e. downloaded) to the Dropbox folders on my Macbook Air.


I understand quite well that I wouldn't want to work on the library simultaneously (or even close to simultaneously) from both computers, because it would confuse Dropbox's sync methods. But I wouldn't do that.


Plan B: Portable hard drive

The other approach I'm considering is to export selected projects to an Aperture library (with originals) and put the library on a portable 50GB hard drive. I could plug the drive into my MBA to work on projects there. Then I could dismount it and plug it into the iMac to work there. Eventually I'd use the File > Merge Libraries command to get the remote library back into the iMac's master library.


I don't think I'd be risking too much using this method. As I understand it, exporting a library from Aperture on my iMac (with originals) essentially makes a second copy of everything. So even if the portable hard drive failed and became unrecoverable (unlikely, but if), I might lose any edits I'd done in the library on the portable drive, but at least the original raw files would still be on my iMac (along with any edits I'd made in Aperture prior to the export of the library).



Does this all make sense? I'm leaning toward Plan B (external portable drive) because of its speed.





Aperture 3, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.4)
  • léonie Level 10 (90,876 points)

    Plan B is the safer solution.


    Plan A is tempting, but afaik, syncin Aperture libraries in Dropbox is not yet supported. Dropbox can sync files, but syncing the Aperture library package can break the links between edited versions and original images. This may change soon. The Beta version of Dropbox promises to be able to sync iPhoto libraries, so it may be available for Aperture libraries soon, see: http://petapixel.com/2013/06/08/dropbox-beta-now-lets-mac-users-import-iphoto-li braries-and-share-screenshots/


    Do you have the same user name on both your macs? If not, set the "ignore Ownership on this volume" flag for the drive you are using to store your exported library.




  • William Porter Level 1 (45 points)



    Thank you for the quick reply!


    I should have mentioned that all the Aperture master library on my iMac uses only referenced files, not managed files. Seems to me that, if I were very careful, Dropbox ought to work.


    But I appreciate your thoughts and I'm going with plan B for the moment. Thanks for the tip about ownership, too. Apparently that flag was already set as you advise on the portable drive. I just checked it, and I hadn't done that on purpose earlier. Still good to know about.



  • William Porter Level 1 (45 points)

    By the way, are there any other tips about working with "satellite" libraries that you hope later to merge into the mothership? For example, should I avoid renaming projects or files in the satellite library?



  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 (25,722 points)

    Also keep in mind that Time Machine's backup's are incremental and not archival. What this means is that it is possible (actually almost certain) that if you remove a file from the disk being backed up by TM eventually that file will also be removed from TM.


    As a minimum you should be backing up your originals to a separate drive apart from the TM backup.



  • William Porter Level 1 (45 points)

    Sheesh — not quite familiar with the way the forum works here. Want to thank both of you for your helpful answers. Meant to indicate that Léonie's answer was both help AND answered my question. Appears that I clicked something that claims that I answered my own question (does that even make sense?) and I can't figure out how to correct that.


    Anyway, thank you very much for the help. I have the files on the external drive now and things seem to be working okay.



  • léonie Level 10 (90,876 points)

    Appears that I clicked something that claims that I answered my own question (does that even make sense?) and I can't figure out how to correct that.

    You are welcome, Will.

    Don't worry about the green mark - thank you for the golden star. There seems to be a bug in the Forum Software. When you click the "Solved" or "Helpful" buttons directly after writing an answer while your answer is still uploading, your own answer might be marked as solved.


    And there is no way for you to change that. I'll add your answer to my collection of bug reports for the community hosts.