On The Road Workflow

by Allen Rockwell

One of the things I like to do on this blog is to discuss features in Aperture that I've recently discovered or perhaps just started using. And with the hundreds or thousands of features in this program it looks like I'll have plenty to write about for a long time.

Normally when I'm on the road I take my MacbookPro and an external 500GB firewire hard drive (I recently outgrew and replaced my 250GB USB drive). I have a copy of my main Aperture library on the firewire drive for two reasons; 1. It's a backup copy that goes with me wherever I go, just in case my home burns to the ground or a satellite drops out of the sky and crushes it. 2. I have my entire library with me in case I need an image for any reason.


Steve Parker
2007-01-13 20:59:11
Did you consider using a SATA2 Express card with a SATA drive for your external to increase performance, or is a Firewire/Firewire 800 drive "sufficient"? I've always wondered about using Firewire 800 or the newly released SATA2 Express cards, but I haven't heard from anybody who's used the SATA solution (yet)...

TIA, Steve

2007-01-13 21:35:44
Thanks for the article Allen - this is really informative, and touches on an issue I'm having to deal with right now.

I'm a Windows guy, and I still want Vista on at least one machine. I currently have a Macbook, and I can't decide whether to pay the extra $$$ for a Mac Pro and dual boot w/ Vista, or to get a Dell for Vista and upgrade to a MacBook Pro. Mac Pros are just so darned expensive.

Is the perf between a MBP and a Mac Pro really that significant? I want to be able to use Aperture, Photoshop and someday soon start dabbling with video, all of which are better on the Mac.

Is it really worth the extra $$$ for the Mac Pro versus a Dell/MBP combo?

Allen Rockwell
2007-01-13 21:53:20
Of course the MacPro is much faster than a MacBookPro, especially if you go with one of the higher-end graphics cards (remember Aperture uses the GPU more than most apps).
Regarding price, I paid about the same for my MacBookPro as I did for the MacPro (without monitor) ... I think the real issue is how much you need a portable Aperture solution. If portability is not a huge issue I would go with the MacPro and invest in a big monitor and fast graphics card.
BTW, I run Vista with Parallels and it runs very fast, as does XP.
Get the MacPro ... you won't be sorry.
Allan White
2007-01-13 22:55:31
Good grief - I'd never even notice the "Import Project" function. I was wondering how I was going to merge several libraries.

Regarding SATA: FW800 is nice, SATA is definitely better. It would be most worthwhile with a striped multi-disk RAID; I don't think it would be much advantage connecting to a single drive.

2007-01-13 23:21:38
I think it is a sad statement on the speed of aperture that you actually notice the difference between a MBP and MP.
Daniel Mendez
2007-01-14 09:18:57
To Allan:
Notice that the import brings in a new project and not a new library. You still have the 10,000 images limitation for your library. A nice thing you can do with this feature is to export a project of images from years past so you can keep adding to your current library or just make a new library for OLD images and add those projects there.
I think it would be nice to write about this option, but I am not sure that anyone can write for Inside Aperture... probably just the select few ;)

To Steve P.
The SATA drives through the expresscard are faster. The only bad thing is that you also need to carry the extra card and the SATA drives need their own power supply. Some FW drives (small factor) do not need extra power and that makes it more portable.

Allen Rockwell
2007-01-14 11:45:01
Actually the 10,000 image limit refers to Projects, not the library. My aperture library has 49,338 images in it, but no project has over 10,000 images.

I disagree. Aperture runs just fine on a MBP, it just runs better on a MP. The reason is higher end graphics cards, more RAM and 4 processors (rather than 2) on the MacPro. The MacPro is a workstation class machine, if it did not run Aperture (or any app) noticelbly faster than a laptop I would be seriously disapointed.

2007-01-14 12:11:54
was there any other problems with a copy of your main library on a HD? Did you just drag and drop copy it from your machine to the HD?
Allen Rockwell
2007-01-14 12:15:13
Yep, just copy the Aperture Library.aplibrary file to any drive you want. Check out my article on keeping the library sync'd with ChronoSync at http://www.oreillynet.com/digitalmedia/blog/2006/11/syncing_aperture_libraries_on.html
Daniel Mendez
2007-01-15 11:23:19
Allen, thanks for the correction. :) I have no clue what I was thinking since my own lib has over 65K
2007-01-16 01:50:42
Allen - off topic, but just wanted to say thanks for these posts. I use iViewMediaPro and Capture NX, now own Aperture for my MacBook Pro and want to make it my number one application, but trying to figure workflow before I dive in. I know I'll still want to use Capture NX for some specific Nikon options, seems I'll have to export the pic to do that though. OK, apologies for going off topic, but thanks again for all this info.
Doug Wilson
2007-01-16 12:52:01
Allen, thanks for the tip. This is how our studio has worked since we switched to Aperture and it works great. We take our MacBook Pro on the road and dump into it and then export the project to our MacPro once we get back to the studio. It allows some rough editing by the shooter before it gets into our system.
Torstein Ihle
2007-01-16 14:03:13
When you export en project e.g. from Macbook Pro. Will it be possible to import the project on my main machine (Mac pro) as referenc files to my main hardrive (my main photofolders)?
Or do I have to import the files and then move the files to this hardrive with Aperture?
2007-01-21 05:55:17
Allen, many thanks for your tips SPECIALLY keeping MBP Aperture Library sync'd to Mac Pro with ChronoSync. Just tried it and looks great! Have you encountered any problems? Anything we should not do? Thanks