Browse Your Aperture Library Online

by Micah Walter

From Aperture Plugged In:

If you have been patiently waiting for a way to share your Aperture library over a network with multiple users, you'll want to check out PHPture.

PHPture, created by a software developer from The Netherlands has just been released as a free download and open source project. This new web application allows Aperture users to share their libraries via a web server, offering users an "Aperture-like" user interface complete with stacks, thumbnails, and a complete listing of all of your Aperture projects. By utilizing Aperture's Previews, PHPture can make all of your image versions available to other computers on your network, or via the web.

I spent about a half hour figuring out how to install PHPture and although there are a few important pieces you will need to be sure you have installed, the installation was pretty simple. Once installed I was able to view my Aperture library in Safari. I could download the Master image file (if it was available) or a version preview image.

The interface is very similar to Aperture in that you can customize the view, hide panels, and get quick access to metadata. There is even a HUD-like view for keywords, which you can use in PHPture to search through your library.

Although PHPture is in its infancy, I can easily see this application becoming a really useful tool. Since setting up a local web server in a home is so easy now with OS X, an application like PHPture makes really good sense. And, if I want to be able to have access to my Aperture library from a remote location, or allow clients to view a project online, PHPture could easily become the tool for the job.

I really hope this application, and others like it begin to take off in the not too distant future. These are just the types of tools Aperture users are really waiting for!

For more information, be sure to check out PHPture at


Michael Ball
2007-05-18 18:16:53
yeah it looks nice but it isn't playing nicely with my library. It won't see a single file.
Mark Connell
2007-05-19 19:28:08

Same here - just a blank interface, no projects or images. I had to manually set file permissions on subdirs in the phpture folder to execute permission otherwise Apache didn't even have read access to the scripts.

Maybe this is a version issue - I'm running Apache 1.3.3 with PHP 5.2.2 on 10.4.9 (PPC).

Wing Wong
2007-05-20 03:43:38
Wow, that's pretty cool. Wonder if there will be options for export from Aperture to Gallery2? Love the straightforward presentation. Would be great for an online class to go over photos and the settings employed.

Thanks for the great heads up and overview!

2007-05-21 05:23:57
Next step could be an option to write Metadata (like caption) thru a web interface to photos in the Aperture library.
I know this would mean, we are writing in the Aperture library, but it would also help to fasten workflows, if you don't need Aperture on every machine, just to write the caption for photos.
Matthew Brown
2007-06-06 01:15:32
You may need to change the permissions on your Pictures directory. The permissions on every directory above the Aperture library has to allow read and execute. My Pictures directory was mode 700 (full control to owner, no permissions for group or other) - it should be 755 (read and execute to everyone, write to owner).

You can see error messages in /private/var/log/httpd/error_log, which can help.