11 Replies Latest reply: Sep 6, 2013 6:40 AM by DiploStrat
txinfl Level 1 (20 points)

I am having to move several 2 TB Managed Aperture 2 Libraries to a new drive because the drives they are on are full and cannot be upgraded. I am copying them over to a new 4 TB drive and can either export the images out of the managed Aperture 2 Libraries or should I, once they are on the new drive, upgrade the "Managed" Libraries to Aperture 3 then export the images. I have been using Aperture 3 for about a year and have about 7 TB of images in an "unreferenced" Aperture 3 Library which is where ultimately I want to be able to access the old images.


Also what is the best way to export them out to maintain the integrity of the "Project/Folder/Album" structure I use.


And finally, is there a theoretical limit as to how large the Aperture 3 "Unreferenced" Library can be? My Unreferenced Aperture 3 Library is almost 200GB's. I have about another 6 TB's of images to add once upgraded.


Thanks for your help!!

iMac (27-inch Mid 2011), Mac OS X (10.7.4), i7 3.4GHz 16GB RAM
  • léonie Level 10 (85,375 points)
    I have been using Aperture 3 for about a year and have about 7 TB of images in an "unreferenced" Aperture 3 Library which is where ultimately I want to be able to access the old images.


    If I understand you correctly, you want to create a consolidated single aperture 3 library on your new 7TB drive.

    And now you have a small aperture 3 library on that drive and want to add the images from several Aperture 2 libraries, that are now on a different drive, that is filling up, correct?



    Also what is the best way to export them out to maintain the integrity of the "Project/Folder/Album" structure I use.


    To keep the integrity of your old projectaa and albums, your edits and tags, without losing the lossless workflow, I suggest to import your old libraries as libraries and not to export the images from these libraries to reimport them.


    I'd do the following for each of your Aperture 2 libraries:


    Do you still have Aperture 2 running, along Aperture 3, or can you reinstall it? Then I'd run the Aperture First Aid Tools on each of your old libraries to rebuild them and to ensure that they are having no glitches. Do that in Aperture 2, if possible. To launch the First Aid hold down the key combination ⌥⌘ and double click the Aperture 2 library. Then select "Rebuild".


    • Copy the rebuild library to your new drive.
    • Double click your Aperture 3 library to launch Aperture 3 on it and use the command "File > Import > LIbrary" to import the Aperture 2 library into the Aperture 3 library. This will maintain all your projects, albums, edits, metatdata tags.
    • Repeat for all your Aperture 2 libraries.


    Before you delete any copy of your old libraries, check carefully, if they imported well.  And check, if your backup of the old libraries is current, before you do the rebuild in Aperture 2.






    And finally, is there a theoretical limit as to how large the Aperture 3 "Unreferenced" Library can be? My Unreferenced Aperture 3 Library is almost 200GB's. I have about another 6 TB's of images to add once upgraded.

    There is no limit to the size of an Aperture library, that I know of. For merging libraries by importng one into the other you will need plenty of free space.  See this: Aperture 3.4.3: Release notes

    Scroll down to the paragraph "A note on upgrading your Aperture library" at the end of the document.


    It might be better, to distribute your combined library over two drives. 6TB on a 7 TB drive might be problematic, because the OS may occasionally more free space to perform repairs and rebuilds.

  • txinfl Level 1 (20 points)

    When I started using Aperture I was told by Apple to use "Managed", I guess they did not consider filling up discs is a physical limitation to the Library. So when Aperture 3 cam out I upgraded computer and Aperture and converthed to Referenced.


    I now use external thunderbolt drives which hold the Aperture 3 "Referenced Library" with current work. The images are spread over multiple drives. I can back up the images and the library independently. It is by far the safest way to go. I can also put backups of the "Referenced Library" on multiple external drives so if a drive ever chashes, I am no more than a week behind with the tags, and all the images are there.


    I have about 15 total drives with Aperture 2 "Managed" Libraries on them. It is not easy enough to go back and forth between what I am working on currently and what I need from the archives. Also it is easier to work with the images unreferenced instead of this big huge Aperture Managed Library. I back up what needs to be backed up and not the clutter. Also, I don't like that the images are within the "Apple Shell".


    So on my old system, I am doing the transfer to a new 4TB external drive  and can put either Aperture 2 or 3 as I just had to replace the internal hard drive and reload applications. I have been putting this off for several month as I am in the rainy season and cannot risk transferring TB's of Managed Libraries and have the power go out...  


    Thanks for your input Léonie!!!





  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 (25,715 points)

    Just want to stress this point, make sure you rebuild the 2 libraries with Aperture 2 before you try to upgrade them to Aperture 3.


    Users have experienced a lot of porblems going to 3 if they did not follow that step.



  • txinfl Level 1 (20 points)

    Yes, I do it reguarly... but you know what, I was not even thinking about it now!! Thanks Frank!!

  • DiploStrat Level 2 (345 points)

    If memory serves, the Aperture 2 to Aperture 3 move involved rearranging the library. Originally, Aperture put the preview, thumb, and master all in the same folder. Later this changed and the masters were all moved to a separate folder to make it easier to access them from outside of Aperture.


    Why does this matter? If you have a managed Aperture 2 library and migrate to Aperture 3 the migration will involve a long rearrangement process. This is not bad in itself, but if you remember all of the paniced posts, you MUST  have TWICE as much free disk space for the library during this process. If it runs out of space, you will have problems.


    This is not an issue if your Aperture 2 library is referenced as your masters are already physically separated.


    Speed is not that much of an issue as with large libraries this is probably going to take overnight, but make sure that each library that you convert is sitting on a disk with lots and lots of free space.

  • txinfl Level 1 (20 points)

    I think I am going to export the images out of Aperture 2 once the Library is on the new drive. Then move them back to the old drive & import them as referenced images into the exitsting Aperture 3 Library.

  • DiploStrat Level 2 (345 points)

    As noted above, do a database rebuild before you start. You must be sure that your Aperture 2 installation is perfect. Likewise, be sure you have a complete backup in case you make a hash of things.


    Were I thee, I would move the Aperture 2 library to the 4 TB drive first, BEFORE upgrading to Aperture 3. That should give you lots of free space. Then, if need be, you could clean out one of your old 2 TB drives and use that for workspace for converting the other Aperture 2 libraries.


    None of this is hard, it just takes some concentration, time, and space. Remember, you will ALWAYS be safer moving the files with Aperture commands, as opposed to Finder commands.


    FWIW, I would not "Export" anything; I would only use the "Relocate" and "Consolidate" commands from within Aperture so as to save my internal folder arrangements.


    Good luck! This isn't hard, but read the manual carefully and, if necessary, do some tests first to be sure things are working as you expect.


    Again, this process only requires patience (copying gigbytes of files takes time) and space (Aperture will make a 100% copy of your library first, before creating the new Aperture 3 library.


    A word on nomenclature. Be sure you understand exactly what is meant by "Managed" and "Referenced" libraries. All Aperture installtions consist fo three elements:


    ++ The Application itself. This belongs on your fastest drive.


    ++ The Library. This is a package (a kind of foldercontains all of your previews, thumbs, edits, metadata, and all of the database pointers needed to keep the whole mess organized. This belongs on a fast drive.


    ++ Your masters (now called, I believe, Originals) are either inside the Aperture library package (called Managed) or outside the package, wherever you place them (called Referenced) or any combination you choose. Your masters can be on your slowest drive as they are not read all that often.


    Scholars differ on this but, In my opinon, a managed master library is best unless:


    ++ You want to put the Aperture application on an SSD, or,


    ++ Your total collection of images is too large to fit on one drive


    N.B.2 Should you go to referenced masters, there is a small speed improvement that can be achieved if you use a dedicated HD - that is, a HD that holds nothing but Aperture masters. This is because the masters are written only once and never moved or editied again. (All of the edits actually live in other files.)


    Hope this is clear and helpful. (And apologies if you already know all of this.)

  • txinfl Level 1 (20 points)

    Thank you Diplostrat! I am moving the old Aperture 2 Library to the new 4TB Drive now. Once there, I will install Aperture 2 and do a rebuild on the Aperture 2 Library, then I will "Relocate" the "Masters" from within Aperture to a new folder on the new Drive, then I will copy them back to the old drive, then import them to the existing Aperture 3 Library I am using on my newer system. (With an SSD Drive).


    I know it is time consuming and I do have backups of all the images. The move from the 2TB drive to the 4TB drive has been running for over 24 hours now and has about 25% more to complete....


    Thank you for your input!!!





  • DiploStrat Level 2 (345 points)

    Sitrep? Things working out?


    You got all of this free advice, need to know if it worked.

  • txinfl Level 1 (20 points)

    Okay, got the library moved over to the new drive (27 hours), but not sure what is the best way to move the images so I can get them back into "projects" in the Aperture 3 Library. I did the "Relocate Masters" function, but it put 54,000 images in one folder. Then I tried to Relocate a project and it was better, but still will have a lot of sorting out to bring it into the Ap 3.


    I use the Project -> Folder -> Album structure, so it will take some wrangling to get it back together.


    I am thinking of just "exporting" the Masters into Folders with this sturcture, and then I will be able to recreate in the Ap 3.


    If there was someway to get them out in the same structure they are in it would be great???


    I will keep you posted.... Thank God it is not a crisis situation, as this is very time consuming!!!!

  • DiploStrat Level 2 (345 points)

    Take a deeeeeeep breath, this is easy. Some things to remember/consider:


    • The arrangement of the masters/originals on disk bears NOT relation to the arrangement of the Folders/Projects/Albums within Aperture. There is really no reason that it should, unless, for example, you wish to access your masters independently with another program.
    • If you have managed masters, Aperture will arrange them by accession date. If you have referenced masters, you can arrange them as you wish. Again the arrangement of yours masters is irrelevant to the operation of Aperture. They can be in one file, 100 files, sorted by folders, scattered across several disks, even on CD's.
    • One of the great advantages of managed masters is that you simply don't have to worry about all of this.
    • In my case, I went to referenced masters because I wanted the speed of having the Aperture program and the library on my SSD and it was not large enough to hold all of the masters as well.
    • To do this, I created a Folder called "Masters" and then, within that, I mirrored the Folder arrangement that I had previously set up in Aperture. Here is a screen shot:


    AP Masters.jpg


    Again, Aperture never "sees" this arrangement, only me. Here is a screen shot showing how Aperture arranges managed masters inside the Aperture Library Package. (This package is sitting on my SSD.)


    AP Internals.jpg

    You can see that the files are arranged strictly by date.


    Sooo, if things are getting out of control, I would recommend the following:


    • Think out your basic Aperture arrangement. Remember that, in most cases, Projects should tend to be your lowest elements as they actually contain the images. Remember too, that Aperture gives you date arrangements automatically through Smart Albums. Search this forum, there are lots of good studies on this.
    • Lay out and name folders for your masters as you think best and then relocate masters to these folders. If you get lost, simply consolidate masters back to the Aperture library and start over again.
    • Relax. You don't have to get it right the first time, you don't have to do it all at once, and you don't have to be consistent.

    A small tip on using an SSD: Import from your camera directly to the Aperture Library and make your first edits, cuts, etc. This has the advantage of the greatest possible speed as everything is on the SSD, your fastest drive. Once you have done the heavy lifting, you can relocate the masters to your HD at your leisure.


    Hope this is helpful. Good luck!