Aperture Library Spanner

by Ben Long

With the ability to import referenced files, Aperture 1.5 makes it much easier to manage a large archive of images than it was under version 1. However, depending upon your storage strategy, you're probably also using the internal, managed library for some images. This library still has the same size limitation as the 1.0 Aperture library. That is, it's limited by the size of the volume it's stored on.

You can, of course, change the location of the library using Aperture's Preferences. In the Preferences dialog, click the Choose button beneath the Library location field.

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If there's no library at the new location that you choose, Aperture will create a new empty one. If you want to move your existing library to another volume, you need to move it to the new location using the Finder, and then change the preferences to point to that new location.

You must restart Aperture to view the new library. If you moved your library and changed the preferences to point to it, Aperture won't look any different. If you pointed it to a new location that didn't already have a library in it, then when you re-launch, you'll be looking at an empty library.

Using this mechanism you can, of course, keep different libraries on multiple drives, whicih can ease your organizational headaches and afford you more space. However, you won't be able to look at imags from multiple libraries side-by-side.

Another option is to use my Aperture Library Spanner, which lets you span your Aperture library across multiple drives.

Note: What you are about to read is NOT officially sanctioned by Apple. It's an admitted hack, but it seems to work without complications. I have yet to have anyone report any type of problem. Nevertheless, back up your library before trying this.

You can download the Aperture Library Spanner here. The zipped archive includes a simple application that allows you to configure your spanned library, as well as a full set of documentation.

Note too that once you've spanned your library, you can easily UN-span it, so you don't have to worry about committing to this scheme.