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Consolidating masters from referenced iPhoto Library (and little space). #1
mrkgoo's picture
by mrkgoo
January 16, 2011 - 7:53pm

Hi all,

So I upgraded to Aperture about a year ago when 3.0 came out. At the time, I was an extensive user of iPhoto (people really underestimate how good that software is!), and was scared to mess with the library, so I imported it as a referenced library into Aperture.

It was rough at first, and I did it several times - my iPhoto Library is large (some 130GB), so you can imagine the ordeal it was.

Anyway, I eventually had it all up and running, and after a year of keeping it referenced in my Aperture Library (which has its own set of nightmares, with dozens of rebuilds being needed), I am considering very soon to actually consolidate the masters into Aperture entirely, mostly because I am running out of space on my main internal drive, and I know getting rid of the iPhoto Library will be a boon.

However, as I AM running out of space, I cannot just click on “Consolidate masters”.

I am thinking, therefore to do the following steps:

1) buy a new external drive.
2) copy my iPhoto Library over to the external drive and delete it from my internal.
3) Open Aperture and relink the iPhoto Library reference to the external copy.
4) Consolidate masters.

Am I thinking along the correct line? I am hoping consolidate just copies over the original files from the source library and that Aperture already as all my edits and adjustments from when I first referenced my iPhoto Library. In other words, it should be EXACTLY the same, just that now the master files (nearly all jpegs) are just situated within the Aperture Library instead of the iPhoto one.

Would my attack be appropriate? that is, deleting the iPhoto Library before relinking? Or does that not matter? (I thought if two iPhoto Libraries existed, it may not allow me to relink to the external correctly).


Thomas Emmerich's picture
by Thomas Emmerich
January 17, 2011 - 4:13am

I think you should copy your Aperture library to the external drive and then open the new copy before consolidating masters. Then you won’t have to try to relink the iPhoto library. I’ve had trouble in the past trying to relink photos that are inside iPhoto’s library because Aperture won’t let you see inside the iPhoto library package file during the relinking process.


PhotoJoseph's picture
by PhotoJoseph
January 17, 2011 - 4:39am

Mr. Kgoo,

The advice from Thomas is very sound. Once you’ve copied your Aperture library to a new drive, launch and consolidate masters on there—you’ll have much more free space to work with. Then you can back that up, and then (and only then) delete the iPhoto library and old Aperture library and move the new one back onto your drive.

Be careful along the way, always check that you have your masters intact, and back everything up before deleting anything.

-Joseph @ApertureExpert

— Have you signed up for the mailing list?

mrkgoo's picture
by mrkgoo
January 17, 2011 - 5:54am

Thanks folks,

Sounds like a great suggestions! So basically:

1) make a copy of the aperture library on an external drive
2) open the copy (I assume it figures out that it’s in a new location, but the iphoto referenced files are back on m y internal?)
3) consolidate masters in the copy ( assume that it COPIES the masters from the iphoto library)
4) back up - both time machine, and perhaps copying both my aperture andipgoto libraries on my internal to the very same external.
5) delete both libraries on y internal
6) recopy the aperture library with the consolidated files back to my internal.

I guess this way if anything goes wrong, it happens on a copy of the aperture library?

PhotoJoseph's picture
by PhotoJoseph
January 17, 2011 - 2:56pm

Mr. Kgoo,

That sounds great. For your questions:

2) double-click on the new Aperture library (the copied one on your external drive) and it will open in Aperture. If you just launch Aperture, it will open the original Library.

3) you will have a choice to COPY or MOVE. Choose COPY.

good luck!

-Joseph @ApertureExpert

— Have you signed up for the mailing list?

mrkgoo's picture
by mrkgoo
January 17, 2011 - 6:37pm

Thanks! I won’ t do this straight away, but keep it as a project in the near future. Thanks to all for their help.

mrkgoo's picture
by mrkgoo
January 19, 2011 - 7:22am

Well, I’ve done it. It seems to work fine so far, so yay!

I think the relinking would’ve worked fine too - I know of the issue that is mentioned, and supposedly that was on of the fixes.

Anyway, I bought a new 1TB drive, copied my Aperture Library to it, then consolidated iPhoto referenced files. After checking that, I copied both my iPhoto Library and original Aperture Library to the external drive also, deleted them from my internal, then recopied the consolidated Aperture over.

It seemed to be fine. As a consequence, however, the new Library is so large, it’s wreaking havoc on my Time Machine. Since my iPhoto Library is 130GB, my Aperture Library being 180 GB, I knew that my Time Machine would require deleting ALL previous backups just to fit the new Aperture Library on, so I did the scary thing and reformatted it and am starting a new Time Machine from scratch.

Don’t worry, all my pictures should be backed up onto the new drive, and I have two older external drives which have backups of my computer (although not as recent).

My next job, after Time Machine is finished doing the initial backup is to try a complete rebuild of my Library (which I have to do regularly anyway, due to the .xml bug) to see if that is robust. If that works, I’ll be convinced everything is solid.

Thanks for the help!

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