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Who has decided to merge iPhoto and Aperture libraries? Pros and Cons? #1
Ken Loh's picture
by Ken Loh
June 16, 2012 - 8:14pm

I'm thinking the Merged Library option in Aperture 3.3 is pretty awesome but I'm a little scared to do it. I use both Aperture and iPhoto pretty extensively, but for pretty different reasons.

Aperture:
- Photos & HD video from my DSLR (Canon 5DMKII, plus a few years worth of Rebel XT)
- Photostream NOT enabled

iPhoto:
- Photos and video from my iPhone as well as all other old photos (pre DSLR)
- Photostream enabled

I'm using Referenced Masters (now called Originals) in Aperture, but of course, iPhoto does not have this feature, so my iPhoto library is significantly larger (131GB vs 35GB). My actual Masters folder for Aperture is currently 413GB. This is stored on an external Drobo.

I would prefer to keep my Aperture library as my main source library for any edited images, but don't want it to get bloated with my iPhoto library. I'm also worried that it will get harder to keep organized by merging the two.

My workflow for iPhoto is now very easy. Shoot on iPhone and it automatically makes PhotoStream events for each month. If I decide I want to create distinct events within a month, I can go ahead and do that. Occasionally I will use PhotoSync to move my iPhone videos over since PhotoStream doesn't work with videos.

My Aperture workflow is very much manual. I create Projects as I shoot, but since I'm using Referenced Originals, I organize my Master folder by year and project (project folders start with MM-YY designation for organizational purposes)

When you merge an iPhoto library with Aperture, how does it handle the Originals? Managed or Referenced? And if it's Managed, can it easily be switched to Referenced so the library stays as small as possible?

My iPhoto library currently contains over 25k images whereas my Aperture library has less than half of that.

I've also noticed that when I open my Aperture library in iPhoto, iPhoto doesn't seem to retain all of my keywords, but it retains some. This seems like a bug. Anyone else notice this? I've created a lot of smart albums in iPhoto based on keywords that I don't want to stop working. How well have you all found keyword syncing across both applications to be? It seems ratings are syncing just fine.

What have your experiences been with merging libraries? Good idea or messy? I like the idea of having one main library that contains all images, but don't want either app to get bogged down.

PhotoJoseph's picture
by PhotoJoseph
June 16, 2012 - 11:28pm

Ken,

I’ll test the keyword issue — that’s disconcerting. There is no syncing; don’t use that word as it confuses the issue. You aren’t syncing anything. It’s a database that can be read by two different applications.

I think the rest of your questions were answered in the post that you just saw… if you still have questions, let me know.

@PhotoJoseph
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PhotoJoseph's picture
by PhotoJoseph
June 16, 2012 - 11:43pm

Ken,

Thanks for posting this. Bad news and good news.

Bad news is, I tested and saw similar results. Out of five images in my test, two showed zero keywords in iPhoto, even though they existed in Aperture.

Good news is, I added a keyword in iPhoto to one of those and not the other, opened the library back up in Aperture, and fortunately all keywords were still there — the ones I’d added before in Aperture (that didn’t show up in iPhoto), as well as the one I added in iPhoto.

Still disconcerting… but at least there’s no data loss.

@PhotoJoseph
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Tim Doyle's picture
by Tim Doyle
June 17, 2012 - 12:21am

Regarding the keywords - Aperture can handle a multi-level hierarchy of keywords. Could it be that iPhoto is ignoring any keyword which isn’t at the top-most level? Could it be default versus custom-made keywords?

PhotoJoseph's picture
by PhotoJoseph
June 17, 2012 - 12:54am

Tim,

Good though, but no, in my test the keywords I applied were all top level

-Joseph

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vidpixarts@gmail.com's picture
by vidpixarts@gmail.com
June 17, 2012 - 1:09am

Joseph I understand what you have said to ken. Dont use the word syncing. It’s a database that can be read by two different applications. I understand THOSE WORDS. But then I don’t understand why one photo with identical name in aperture and iPhoto can be read in APERTURE when I click on it but not In iPhoto. Exclamation point in iPhoto when I click on image to see it in viewer mode. So I can see image In aperture and not In iPhoto . Note: when I delete this photo in iPhoto I can still see it in aperture.

All of this Sounds like there is more to this APERTURE/IPHOTO/ONE DATABASE architectture than that description would suggest. What am I missing?

Thanks.

PhotoJoseph's picture
by PhotoJoseph
June 17, 2012 - 1:13am

I’d say you’re seeing a bug.

There are reports of images showing up inaccessible in one app, or offline, or somehow not quite right. I saw it myself and commented as such in the post “iPhoto Externally Edited Image message”.

I believe one fix is to create a new version. Also try reverting to original.

If you feel this is similar to what you’re seeing, please continue the comment thread on that post. Thanks.

@PhotoJoseph
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Ken Loh's picture
by Ken Loh
June 17, 2012 - 2:21am

In my case, the keywords were not top level, so that potentially could have been the issue, but it sounds like it’s a consistent problem regardless based on Joseph’s experience.

One question that I’m still unclear on…when you merge iPhoto into Aperture, I presume it will take the previously managed iPhoto library and merge them in as managed Aperture library. Is there a way to prevent this and have them imported as referenced, then specify where you want the originals to be placed?

Also, if I switch PhotoStream to be managed by Aperture (instead of iPhoto like my current setup), can Aperture specify where PhotoStream can place referenced images? Or does it need to remain managed?

PhotoJoseph's picture
by PhotoJoseph
June 17, 2012 - 2:28am

Ken,

Not on merge, but you can relocate them later using the Relocate Masters command.

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Matt's picture
by Matt
October 15, 2012 - 8:55pm

I just merged a 126.xx GB Aperture library with a 165.xx GB iPhoto library (two days, fresh 1 TB drive on which to perform the operation). Now I know that some of my files were exported work from Aperture and imported into iPhoto over the years. But, my unified Aperture library is 343.xx GB … 57 GB larger than the two sources.

Anybody know how to find the duplicates?

Or, does anyone know how to tell the source of a file now in the unified library (e.g., Aperture master/original, Aperture edited version, iPhoto original, iPhoto edited)?

Thanks.

--
M.A.Stough Photography

PhotoJoseph's picture
by PhotoJoseph
October 15, 2012 - 10:37pm

Matthew,

Thanks for posting this here. I just replied in the comments but will paste my answer here as well:

First off the extra size could simply be due to Aperture Previews, if that is enabled (and it is by default). You may want to read this: “A Comprehensive Look at Thumbnails, Previews, and More in Aperture 3”.

As far as telling edited vs unedited photos, which is really what I think you’re asking, you can look for the Adjustments badge on a photo to see if it’s had any Aperture adjustments applied.

Master is still the correct term to use in Aperture when referring to unedited Aperture images. The “Original” is the actual image file, be it a .CR2 or .NEF or .JPG or whatever that came off the camera.

As far as edited vs. originals from iPhoto, if they are old edits, you will, I believe, see two versions of the same photo, as iPhoto used to edit destructively. Now I believe you’ll see same thing as with Aperture edited images — a badge indicating that it has Adjustments applied.

If this doesn’t answer all your questions, please start a conversation in the support forum. Thanks!

@PhotoJoseph
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