To Generate Previews or Not

by Ellen Anon

When Aperture v1.5 was first released, I was sure that I wanted to generate previews for all my images. Being able to generate high res JPEGS for slide shows and share them with other iLife applications made sense and seemed like a good idea.

I travel a lot and so my workflow begins on my MacBook Pro. I import the images, generate previews, edit - or at least try to do a rough edit - while in the field. (BTW, I also download the images to two backup drives I bring along.) When I get home I relocate the masters to my RAID 5 setup and I export the project to my main computer, and then import it into my "Ultimate Library." I had been leaving the projects on my MacBookPro (with the masters stored on the Raid at home). That way I could generate custom slide shows while on the road to showcase my portfolio.

Convenience comes with a hefty price tag in terms of memory. After awhile I noticed I had significantly less free space on my MacBook Pro ... and I realized that I can't afford to have previews for all the images in all the projects. I was constantly having to juggle for space. (Yes, I'd love a new MBP with more than twice as much storage, but eventually I'd face the same issue.)


2007-08-22 07:56:48
This is a great option for previews, an option to only generate automatically from 1* upwards.
2007-08-22 08:22:18
Great tip. I do exactly the same thing on my desktop. Previews - while being much smaller than RAW files - end up gobbling disk space like crazy. And I never need previews of my lower rated images anyway. It would be great to be able to generate previews automatically on a per album basis (instead of per project) but for now, I do the manual thing. Not a big deal.
Blair Cook
2007-08-22 08:45:54
Thanks for the post I myself have struggled with previews. Normally when working on a project I know what I am going to need in JPEG form and can just export (I like the control over size, etc.)

However when I got my iPhone I thought to myself, "How cool to have all my latest greatest images automatically on my phone to show off." Well my venture back to previews has been less then positive, slow... didn't play all that well with iTunes and the updates to iPhone.

Now that I have seen your post I am going to turn off automatic previews and just use your method of generating previews for outstanding images (the kind you want on a phone).


Alexander K
2007-08-22 13:05:10
I chose to have auto-preview off, and only generate previews on by project/album basis for those images that I need. But I've found that you can't tell and album, at least not a smart album, to auto-generate previews. For example, I have smart albums that I then sync with my iPhone. However, you must select those images and generate previews by right clicking and choosing the generate previews options; and as such, new images added to these albums dont have previews auto-generated. Is there something that I'm missing???
Antony Blake
2007-08-23 13:42:13
This is really interesting stuff as I have only just purchased a MBP and have a central library on a Desktop PRO. I keep all my library on a riad in the MAC and backup to 2 vaults from here.
I was hoping to load images in the field, edit them in Aperture and then somehow move the images, RAW, changed etc to the Desktop.
Read the book doe snot say how ?? Or Im being stupid. I read above you export as projects etc and move raw . I guess my question is, is there a process or workflow published to do this ?
Also does APerture allow you to run 2 licences one desk one laptop. ? Thanks everso this was timely.