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Smugmug Aperture 3 Export Plug-in Available in 64-bit (And More on 64-bit)

PhotoJoseph's picture
February 25, 2010 - 3:40am

Aperture 3 is a 64-bit app, but many of the plug-ins aren’t yet updated to run in 64-bit. However, lucky lucky me, the SmugMug plug-in by David Holmes is! In fact it appears it was done 10 days ago. Thanks David!

Why does this matter? (More on 64-bit itself towards the end.)

Without a 64-bit updated plug-in, you’ll see the dreaded (32-bit) notice…

…which when selected, will give you this warning.

Which, let’s be honest, Apple’s made it dead easy to reopen in 32-bit mode. Just click the Reopen button, and Aperture will quit and reopen in 32-bit mode for you. It’ll even open the plug-in you just tried to launch automatically!

You’ll know you’re in 32-bit mode because at the top of the Aperture menu, you’ll see this.

And even more interesting, next time you launch Aperture, it automatically comes back in 64-bit mode. Nice!

You can also manually open Aperture in 32-bit mode, by selecting Get Info… on the Aperture icon in the Applications folder, and enabling 32-bit mode there.

Check that and the app will always open in 32-bit. But I think it’s safe to say Apple’s made it easy enough so we don’t have to. Very cool indeed.

So what is this 64-bit thing, anyway?

I’m no engineer so I’m not about to even pretend to explain 64-bit addressing. All you need to know is that a) it’s faster than 32-bit, but b) not all apps can take advantage of it. If you want to know more, check out Apple’s page on it here, and then go to this site, A Hat Full of Sky where you can also download the 32- or 64-bit Kernel Startup Mode Selector app.

You can also boot your Mac into 64-bit mode by holding down the 6 and 4 keys on startup. You know if you’re running in full 64-bit mode by checking out the System Profiler and looking at Software > 64-bit Kernel and Extensions: Yes or No.

So here’s the funny thing I learned while writing up this blog post. For one, the Mac doesn’t remember that you booted into 64-bit the next time you restart. So unless you remember to hold down the 6 and 4 keys, you’ll be back to 32-bit next time you reboot.

But in reading the article on A Hat Full of Sky I’m of the understanding now that it doesn’t really matter. I’m interested now to know if anyone out there is running in full 64-bit mode (which I presume would mean the above “reopen” procedure would NOT work for you), and if there’s any difference to Aperture. As I see it, Aperture runs in 64-bit mode even though the Kernel is running 32-bit.

I’m quite possibly more confused now than I was when I started this post… damn, hate it when that happens.

At least I don’t have to relaunch to use the SmugMug plug-in anymore ;-)

Apple Aperture

Interestingly, when I open the Aperture Info window, I don’t see the “Open in 32-bit mode” option. I have Aperture installed on two different model iMacs and the behavior is the same on both. Anyone else have that experience? Any way to make that option show up?


I had this same thing happen with Aperture 3 on my iMac. The “Open in 32-bit mode” checkbox was not there. Just FYI, here is what I’m running on:

iMac 3.06 GHz C2D 4 GB RAM
Mac OS X 10.6.2
Installed Aperture 3 from the boxed Upgrade DVD, not the downloadable trial version

Here is how you can fix so it shows in the Get Info window:

- Restart your Mac and right after you hear the startup tone/boot/WALL-E chime, hold down the Shift key until you see a progress bar start moving on your screen. This will take you into “Safe Boot” mode. This will take some time so be patient and let it finish. Once you get to the login screen, you will in red text “Safe Mode”.

- Restart you Mac again but this time let it boot normally.

- The Get Info window should now show the “Open in 32-bit mode” checkbox.

From other discussions that I’ve seen about this, it appears that there was a problem with the boxed copy of Aperture. If you downloaded the trial version from the Apple website, people didn’t appear to have the problem. It will be interesting to see what your install experience was like.


Thanks, Dwayne,

That did the trick. I did indeed install the 3.0 upgrade from a boxed DVD.

I am on a 24” 2.8 GHz iMac running 10.6.2 with 4 GB RAM.

I will have to do this on the 20” older iMac as well.


Good fix to have the 32 bit option to show up for Aperture!

Now I thinking I’m missing out by not having 64 bit running on my MAC at all time. 64 just sounds better than 32.


Thanks for the update on the Smugmug exporter. Apple seem to be stuck in 2008 on this one :-)

Joseph, it seems David Holme’s site is no longer and I can’t find a listing for this plugin. Is this still a valid post, are there other options out there?

Looked a little harder, the site and plugin are now here:


I downloaded and installed ApertureToSmugMug, but I can’t find it in Aperture. Do I have to do something special to allow the plugin to show in Aperture?


It should show up in the File > Export menu [screenshot]

If it’s not, you’ll need to contact the manufacturer.

For what it’s worth, I’m now using SmugInProForAperture myself.

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