Libraries and Previews

by Steve Simon

I'm still in the process of moving my archives over to Aperture. I'm taking my time, pre-organizing and story-boarding my collection to maximize efficiency. I love that I can create a new folder in Aperture and under File Menu > Import> "Folders Into Project", (which maintains the folder hierarchy) import images into new Aperture Projects, Folders and Albums.

There is no limit to the size of an Aperture Library, but projects are limited to 10,000 images. However, the bigger the library, the more it might bog down if it gets too big--so multiple libraries are common among Aperture users, and how big is too big --is still open for debate, depending on your hardware.

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You can't contain Mother Nature but you can keep your digital assets safe in Aperture. Photos Copyright Steve Simon

I keep waffling between referenced and managed libraries. Though I love the idea of taking my referenced library and it's large JPEG Previews with me everywhere, there is the seduction of easy back up using the vault system. And I can still export projects to take with me to work on while on the road.

With managed libraries, Aperture takes care of everything. I'm choosing to keep it simple and safe by with managed libraries in Aperture and backing them up using the vault system. The beauty is I can move back to a referenced system or combination of referenced and managed at any time if I so choose.

With multiple libraries, it makes sense to rename them for easy recognition. For instance, I have a "Aperture Personal Projects" Library and an "Aperture Commercial Library" on my external drive. You can only have one Aperture library open at a time, so when switching libraries I just quit out of one and double click on the other to open it up.

If there is one library you use most, make that the default library in the preferences panel, so when you click on the Aperture Icon in your dock, that is the library that opens.

A shortcut for Preferences Panel is Command > Comma, which lets you choose which Aperture library will open by default, and can be changed at any time in seconds.

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Also in the Preferences Panel, you can choose your external editor, set copyright and email size and decide if you want new projects to automatically generate previews.

When I first got Aperture, I allowed Aperture to automatically generate previews, but I have since decided it is more efficient for me to only generate previews for my three-star "good" to five-star portfolio images; keeping the size big and the quality at maximum which makes these previews usable for everything from slideshows and web galleries to publication.

As you no doubt know, it takes a while for Aperture to generate previews and I don't need previews of everything I ingest, but I can always change my mind, and generate previews of any image(s) at any time. Just choose the images you want previews for, and go to Images > Update Previews. To delete unwanted previews select those images and go to Images > Delete Preview.

8 Comments

Steven Alexander
2007-06-07 06:02:11
I have been thinking that keeping old, last year and back, as referenced and the current year as managed libraries might be the workable scheme for me to manage my work. I do like the idea of dividing the referenced libraries into meaningful catagories as oppossed to year.


My main concern still with using Aperture is someone without Aperture needing to search my library being able to do so.

anthony
2007-06-08 06:17:27
I currently have aperture manage my single library, but as it grows, I always contemplate splitting it up, and struggle with offsite versus managed...


Thing is, some personal pics could go both ways. what if you split that library up? Then you can't cull all your pics that meet criteria @ once, you gotta do it at least twice.


I think the post right before mine (or is it right after? the direction of the posts is kinda haywire) has the right idea. The ONLY problem I forsee is projects that span that timeframe. I have a few "Orphaned pics" projects, for various things like nature shots that I take unrelated to anything else, etc etc. It spans more than a shoot, it's continual. Guess I could just keep those always managed, huh?

anthony
2007-06-08 06:17:27
I currently have aperture manage my single library, but as it grows, I always contemplate splitting it up, and struggle with offsite versus managed...


Thing is, some personal pics could go both ways. what if you split that library up? Then you can't cull all your pics that meet criteria @ once, you gotta do it at least twice.


I think the post right before mine (or is it right after? the direction of the posts is kinda haywire) has the right idea. The ONLY problem I forsee is projects that span that timeframe. I have a few "Orphaned pics" projects, for various things like nature shots that I take unrelated to anything else, etc etc. It spans more than a shoot, it's continual. Guess I could just keep those always managed, huh?

Lee Love
2007-06-11 21:29:05
Steve how to you take an existing library and move some of the projects into a new library if you can only have one library open at a time ?


Your article made me consider splitting up my library of 28,000+ images.

Bill Swingle
2007-06-21 08:23:18
Oh man, I'd love to hear some solutions for the problems described in the other comments. My aperture library is around 10,000 images right now but it's swelling even more now that I'm a father.


My problem is specifically disk space. I have a macbook with a 100gb drive, which is nearly full. I have quite a few "old" images that I wouldn't mind keeping on a firewire drive but am not sure what the best path to getting there is. I know I can export the masters and then reimport them into another library but with several hundred projects that would take quite awhile. Anyone know of another solution?

Bill Swingle
2007-06-21 08:30:39
Also, is there anyway to delete previews for all projects at once? I recently disabled auto-creation of the previews but have a ton of the previously created previews hogging up disk space.
skelly
2007-07-05 05:42:56
Re: Setting the default library


I have been trialling Aperture and it doesn't work for me as you describe. I have 2 Aperture libraries which I open by double-clicking the library file. The Library Location in the Preferences changes to reflect whichever library I have open. Thus I am unable to set a default location because not matter what I set in this field, Aperture will simply change this field to the location of the currently open library. Aperture then retains this location info when it closes and uses it to decide which library to open the next time it is launched directly from the app.


In other words, if I open Aperture by selecting the Aperture application it defaults to the last opened library not a 'default' library. The only way I can open a specific library is to double-click directly on the library file to open Aperture.


Am I missing something here?



Also, I'm sure I stumbled across a way to open multiple libraries simultaneously in Aperture by opening the first library as usual and then holding down the Option or Command key while double-clicking the second library file (similar to the method for viewing multiple projects), but I have forgotten which key combination I used and trial and error hasn't rediscovered it. Is this a feature in Aperture? Has it been removed?

skelly
2007-07-05 06:00:23
Bill


Re: delete all previews


Goto Library>All Images in the Projects pane
Select the first image in the browser pane
Command-A to select all images in your library
Goto Images>Delete Previews (or right-click and choose)


I have 3000+ images (RAW, TIFF, JPG) and it doesn't take that long. Also I have found in the past that keeping Previews has caused problems with glitches in exported JPGs and prints.