A Small Issue With Disabling Previews

by Josh Anon

A while ago, I posted a blog about previews, discussing when they're useful and how to turn them off. A friend of mine, Ralph Hill, recently told me about a potential problem when you disable previews, and it's worth sharing with everyone.

Specifically, if you turn off previews, quit, but do NOT force quit, Aperture as soon as possible after changing your settings (if Aperture crashes before you quit it normally, that counts as an accidental force quit). It is possible if you force quit Aperture that you will end up in a funky state where the preference for preview generation displays that generation is off, but Aperture is still creating previews (try saying that three times fast! :) ). If you do happen to end up in this state, simply turn previews back on, quit Aperture, re-open Aperture, turn previews off, and quit Aperture again to restore everything to the correct state.

Lastly, to all of our American readers, Happy Thanksgiving!


random bob, a.r.c.
2007-11-21 08:41:35
I had to read that 3 times slow to understand what was going on... !
Josh Anon
2007-11-21 08:46:10
Yeah, sorry, it is slightly confusing to read :P Put a different way, what can happen is:
1. You turn previews off.
2. You force quit Aperture
3. You reopen Aperture and look at the prefs. It says preview generation is off.
4. Aperture actually still is generating previews.
random bob, a.r.c.
2007-11-21 15:56:04
Previews.... they need to be revamped in 2.0, along with the library list options. Let me explain:

previews are nice, but really aperture does them at some funky times if you have it set to auto-create them for each project. Why in the hell do I want AP churning hard on my CPU making previews of photos I haven't even edited yet? Thanks for taking up my RAM & CPU power creating previews that are simply going to be recreated after I actually edit the photos, slowing down my CURRENT editing... great.

OK, so the smart thing to do would seem to be to turn off auto-generation of previews, right? So now, you have to remember to manually turn on preview management for each project that you finish editing. God forbid you forget. god forbid you forgot like 5 projects ago. Now you have to go back and find those projects that you forgot to turn on previews for. And of course, AP doesn't let you organize the projects pane by date (you can do individual images by date, but not the whole panel). So now, say you have a project or two you need to turn on previews for, buried in a folder of 20-30 other projects. What'd you name it again? Ah, this is going to be fun!

I've gone to putting the date[ (2007.11.21) ] in the project names so I can find them fast for just such a case. Ah, the fun!

Simon Pride
2007-11-25 11:47:28
Maybe I'm being thick, but why wouldn't you expect Bad Thingsā„¢ to happen if you force quit from any app, be it Aperture or no? It's hardly a supported use case.
Josh Anon
2007-11-25 22:12:38
Hi Simon,
The general answer is "it depends." I would accept that if you force quit Aperture, it wouldn't save any changes you made to the preferences.

However, Aperture doesn't just forget the changes you made. The problem is that Aperture will display in preferences that previews are off, but it will make them anyway. I wouldn't expect an app to get that out of whack if it's force quit--imagine if something like that happened when you force quit every application!