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Apple Releases Aperture 3.4.5 with Import and Memory Card Bug Fixes

aperture_lens_iconApple today released Aperture 3.4.5, bringing fixes for several issues related to the handling of memory card and camera import and handling, as well as general stability improvements.
What's New in Version 3.4.5

- Addresses an issue that could cause Aperture to quit unexpectedly when deleting items from a camera or memory card after import
- Memory cards are now ejected correctly when using the Delete Items option after import
- Includes stability improvements
Aperture 3.4.5 is a 523.15 MB download and requires OS X 10.7.5 or 10.8.2 or later, along with Aperture 3. Apple has also made the updated version available in the Mac App Store. [Direct Link]

Top Rated Comments

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17 months ago

Lightroom? Be ready for a $50/month subscription plan coming to you with the next major release. And if you stop to pay? Sorry, no more access to your photos. I guess you could pull them out of the file structure.


One of my photographer collegues assures me that Adobe has said they will not do this with Lightroom. I myself use Aperture, so I couldn't care less what they do. Although secretly I wish they would.. then I can stop listening to him brag about how much better Lightroom is all the time. Stupid Apple update non-schedule. :mad:
Rating: 7 Votes
17 months ago

Is aperture basically beefed up iPhoto?


Basically - no. It is more a professional app whereas iPhoto is a toy.
Rating: 5 Votes
17 months ago
Quick Aperture Guide. Excludes entirely all sorts of Aperture facilities like vaults, which I don't use at all. I will explain the choices I make though. Here goes :

1.) The Aperture Database

Aperture uses SLQlite, a file-based database, to keep information about all the revisions, edits, EXIF, import dates, and any other data associated with each and every photo you allow Aperture to manage. The Aperture DB is also where versions are kept. More on those later. SQLlite is not a particularly fast DB, but it is simple and reliable ( usually ... ). It is file-based and has lots of tiny files held on disk. You absolutely must have this DB on an SSD. Every action you perform in Aperture updates this DB. Every time you open Aperture it runs a DB sanity check, and also whenever you close Aperture. Moreover, when you browse Aperture, you ( generally ... more later ) are browsing versions, not the original files. The versions are stored in the DB. So it's a MAJOR cause of slowness if the DB is on a spinning disk.

How to make sure the Aperture Database is on the SSD ? It's easy. It's the location of the Library that Aperture opens on startup. Start Aperture while holding down the Option key to reconfirm that the library you are using is stored on your SSD. Aperture defaults to the last library you worked on on startup, so just confirm. You can switch Libraries or open a new Library from the Aperture File -> Switch to Library menu.

A quick note before going further, on the purpose of this advice. The mission, if you will ! If you follow all these instructions, you will only need ONE Aperture Database, forever, and it will perform like lightning regardless of how many pics you import. Having one rather than multiple Aperture Databases makes finding, sorting and editing your photos much much easier. Which is the whole point of having a photo management system, after all.

Once you have your Aperture Library ( and thus Database ) open and confirmed on SSD, now you have choices where to store the original files. The default for Aperture is to store them in the same directory hierarchy as the Library, but "hidden" in a normal MacOS application Package container.

If you don't change this behaviour, and browse in Finder to your Aperture Library, you can right-click on it and select "Show Package Contents" just like any app in the Application directory. You will see all your original files under a Masters subdirectory of the Aperture Library. Again, this is normally hidden.

This default is not what I recommend.

The reasons are:

a.) It mixes your originals in with the Aperture Database, in a file hierarchy of Aperture's choosing. This is "simple", reliable, but not flexible. How to backup only the originals ? Difficult. How to share the originals read-only to a networked device ? Painful. How to recover the originals if Aperture collapses or you decide to use Lightroom in the future ? Nasty. How to move just the database without moving hundreds of gigabytes of photos ? Impossible.

b.) It means your Aperture Library will grow like crazy. The actual Aperture Database data will only grow at about 15% of the rate of growth of your actual picture files, depending on how large you choose your previews. There is no need to waste your SSD space with original files.

You can safely, and with no performance hit, store the originals on spinning disk away from your DB in a file hierarchy of your choosing. The originals are never written to once stored. All edits and previews are stored in the database, for fast browsing, but the originals are always left read-only and untouched. No writes means you don't need them on an SSD.

So splitting the Database from the Originals gains you manageability, expandability, and future proofing. if Aperture ever becomes broken, obsolete, or you just find something better, you can find all your original files, in your chosen location with your chosen hierarchy, safely unmolested on disk where you put them.

So ... store the originals on spinning disk ( large, cheap ) or even NAS if you must, and store the Aperture Database on SSD ( small, expensive ). This is called having Referenced Masters. The database just has a link, or reference, to the location of the actual original file, rather than containing the actual file.

2. ) Referenced Masters

All you have to do to ensure this, is on Import, under "Store Files", do NOT select "In the Aperture Library". Select anywhere else.

Under "Subfolder" you can choose your file hierarchy. Aperture gives you all sorts of possible hierarchy options, or you can make up your own by selecting "Edit". Remember to include the forward slash character when making your own ... there is a big difference between 2013/Jan/My Project/filename.JPG and a directory full of files called 2013JanMyProjectFilename.JPG. Don't ask how I know this.

THIS IS THE IMPORTANT BIT. THINK HARD ABOUT THE HIERARCHY !

It is changeable in the future if you change your mind, but it's time consuming. Better to get it right first time. You may already have a system, like "Image Year / Image Month / Image Name" which you could certainly use. I tend to import my files as "Projects" ( project name is right there on the Import pane ) and give them a meaningful name. Such as "2013 Jan - New Year Drunkenness". Then I simply store them under my preset "Current Year / Project Name". So I get a folder hierarchy like :

2012/2012 Jan - Project Name 1
/2012 Jan - Project Name 2
/2012 Feb - Project Name 1
2013/2013 Jan - Project Name 1

and so on. So I am including project metadata ( year / month / description ) in the actual directory name, as well as in the Aperture database. There is a reason for this redundancy. Which I will explain shortly.

The good thing is, once you have decided your hierarchy, you don't need to change it again. Aperture remembers, and all your subsequent imports will follow your rule. No extra clicking required.

As the hierarchy thing is the most important decision, I'll add a few "learning" points I made :-)

a.) Be careful of using "Image Year" or "Image [anything taken from EXIF]" as a subfolder. It sounds great - all photos arranged automatically by year/month taken ! But, potential problems. Firstly, imports often span two months. I'd end up with two folders, 2012/09/2012 Sep - Phuket and 2012/10/2012 Sep - Phuket. Which is confusing and a pain to manually navigate at the disk level.

That's why I hard code the date ( Year and Month ) in the name of the project too. It's so easy to scan through my photo collection at the disk level, just a year-ordered collection of subfolders with meaningful names. One day, if I ditch Aperture, or break it, or whatever, I don't have to rely on Aperture having the photo project metadata. That's the reason for the redundancy.

b.) EXIF may be unreliable or missing. So sometimes, a picture taking in 2004 on a camera that doesn't support EXIF, would be imported under the current year instead of 2004, as Aperture couldn't find any EXIF. Most confusing. Or a bunch of files restored from Windows backup DVDs would be imported under the year the files were created, not the photos taken. Nasty. If all your photos have reliable EXIF, no issue, but ... worth considering.

Think about the hierarchy and try a few test imports to get it how you want before doing your whole collection.

Spending time here, more than any other activity, will serve you well in the future.

c.) You can immediately check if a file you are looking at in Aperture is "Referenced" or not - it will have a little arrow and rectangle in the lower right corner of the preview. Right click and "Show Referenced File" or "Reveal in Finder" and you'll see the original untouched file, regardless of any edits. Very reassuring.

3. Minor and not so minor other things

Assuming you've got an Aperture Database on SSD, and Referenced Masters all setup to import into a good hierarchy on another disk, you are just about there. There are some minor and not so minor other things worth mentioning.

- The referenced masters should remain just that, masters. Untouched and not moved around. It's not the end of the world if you go in and change the location of the masters ( Aperture will just ask you where they are, next time it tries to show the file ) but it's unnecessary. Aperture lets you non-destructively do anything you want to your files, with complete "revert to master" at any time, precisely because these masters are held as inviolate. Obey this :-)

- if you REALLY want to change the hierachy at some point, do it from Aperture rather than with Finder. There is a command "File -> Relocate Originals" which can be used to do just that.

- Under Aperture Settings : General. Disable Faces until your Library is all sorted out. It takes some CPU while it works. Switch it back on if you need it after your Library is fairly stable. Enable gestures.

- Under Aperture Settings : Import. Select No Application for what to do when a camera is connected. Personal choice, but I don't like Aperture springing into life when I put an SD card in the slot. It's no bother to me to open Aperture when it's needed. I use "Camera Previews" but it's a non-issue if you don't use RAW.

- Under Aperture Settings : Previews. Check New Projects Generate Previews. Share Previews always. Then, most importantly, choose a smallish size for previews ! I use 1280x1280. The significance of your choice here is NOT MINOR ! Remember many chapters ago I talked about the Aperture Database, the thing that holds all your edits and so on ? Yes it contains the previews too ! Meaning, what you see on Aperture as you use it are previews, coming from the Database. NOT your original files. Pause. Got it ?

Every time you scroll, or select a new project to view, you are reading previews from the Aperture Database. Make them smallish. They will load faster. Aperture will operate faster. Your Aperture Database will remain a manageable size.

There is no downside. Every time you actually do an edit, it will load up the Master ( read only ) and write back a preview. If you want to export a preview, you can do so AT ANY SIZE. Aperture just tracks your edits and simply applies them to the full sized master as you export. Or you can export the ( always untouched ) Original master file. At any time. So there is no need to have huge previews.

Under Aperture Settings : Photo Stream. I switch it off. It was marginally useful but be aware it takes bandwidth ( uploading to Apple servers ) and a load of space ( 5GB ... ) in your Aperture Library to hold the stream. Use it if you need it, of course.

Under Aperture Settings : Web. The Facebook integration is slow. Changing the names of files uploaded on Facebook changed the names of those files in Aperture. Not what I wanted. I just switched it off. If I want to upload to Facebook, I just Export to my desktop and upload as normal.

Seems quicker.

- Raw files. Personal choice and far be it for a rank amateur like me, etc etc, but ... consider using RAW. I can't see a downside. It used to be necessary for non-pros to use JPG as raw files were too big, took too much disk space, too much processing power, weren't natively supported by the OS, and were a pain to manage. Well, none of that is true anymore. Macs read RAW files natively. Aperture allows you to manage the files beautifully. You have CPU and disk space to go.

And RAW is the negative to JPEGs print.

Aperture makes a JPEG "print" from each RAW with default settings as you import, or you can alter to suit your requirements ( a bit less noise, correct the white balance perhaps ). Once you've allowed the camera to output the JPEG though, you've lost the RAW ! Whatever sharpening, white balance, noise and colour choices were programmed in by the camera maker, that's it. They have no idea what look you are trying to capture. Sure you can alter a JPEG later, but you are altering the "print" - you've already discarded the negative. For someone with as much invested in quality equipment as yourself, I'd consider it. Even if you do nothing other than shoot RAW and never edit, at least you'll have that option open in the future.

Lecture over ;-)

And next ...

4. Folders and Projects and Albums and other stuff
Aperture allows you to arrange how you view your photos entirely separately from how you store them on disk. I use a simple "Folder -> Project" setup.

Each year is a Folder.
Each import is a Project.

When I Import, before hitting the "Import X photos" button, I first click on the folder ( "2013" for example ) before naming the Project in the Import pane. This makes sure the Project is shown under the right folder. It's no issue if you accidentally forget to click the folder first. Just drag the Project to the right folder afterwards.Remember I use names like "2013 Jan - Rabbit" as I want the folders on disk to maintain some project metadata, as redundancy.

Important : After you've imported, anything you do in the left-hand sidebar as far as arranging your photos in albums or projects, does not affect how they are stored on disk. It's entirely up to you how you use folders/projects/albums.

5. And finally some proper techie stuff :-)

Backups !

Obviously ensure that your Aperture Database AND your Referenced Masters ( wherever you store the original photos ) are backed up. Time Machine is the obvious choice. I'm completely insane about backups, so my system is doubtless over the top, but for your amusement :

Time Machine backs up the whole computer - SSD ( containing the OS, Apps, and Aperture Database ) and spinning disk ( Internal 2TB SATA drive, containing my development files and Aperture Masters.
Nightly, I use Carbon Copy Cloner to make a clone of the SSD to a spare internal SATA disk. Carbon Copy Cloner wakes up the computer at 2am, mounts the disk, clones the SSD, makes the clone disk bootable, dismounts the disk, and sleeps the computer. This gives me, at any time, a second bootable OS disk which is never more than 24 hours out of date. Yes I could do the "replace SSD and restore from Time Machine" thing, and have done in the past, but it takes time. Whereas holding down the B key on booting and selecting my clone disk takes no time at all. Overkill, but, I had the disk spare and it's put to comforting use.

Weekly, I use Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the entire Aperture Masters from the 2TB disk to yet another internal SATA disk. ( Love the internal storage capacity of the Pro ! ). Reason again, is speed of recovery. I have 1/2TB or so of photos. A Time Machine restore would take half a day. I like having a copy online. Also helps if I have a "senior moment" and blow up my 2TB disk accidentally while messing around.
Offsite backups in realtime to Safecopybackup.com of my entire Aperture Masters tree. This is my "house burns down, now what?" recovery option. Would be dog slow to recover, but I could recover. Enough said.

If you have a whole heap of disk, I'd recommend using some of it for backups. Over and above Time Machine. Maybe use an internal spinning disk for the Aperture Masters ( spinning disks are so cheap now ) and backup the lot to a NAS folder or something.

Aperture is a good product. Lots more functionality than iPhoto ( which is also a good product, simply more limited ) and I haven't touched most of it here.

Hope that helps someone.
Rating: 4 Votes
17 months ago
Over 500MB for a few bug fixes... :-/
Rating: 3 Votes
17 months ago
I hope Aperture will get a major update soon. It started feeling left behind in terms of attractive features with Lightroom 4, and even more so with LR 5 and its new editing tools.
Rating: 2 Votes
17 months ago

Is aperture basically beefed up iPhoto?


Basically, yes and then some. If the darn thing' wasn't so slow I would come back as an active customer. It is very easy to use the basic functions but Lightroom continues to be on top. Honestly, I would like Aperture to my fav photo app but Apple just doesn't provide enough support.
Rating: 2 Votes
17 months ago

Lightroom? Be ready for a $50/month subscription plan coming to you with the next major release. And if you stop to pay? Sorry, no more access to your photos. I guess you could pull them out of the file structure.


For clarification, Adobe has advised that LR5 will remain available as a separate purchase outside of the Creative Cloud, but also advised that CC members will get added features that retail owners won't. Also, Adobe was silent as to future releases of LR
Rating: 2 Votes
17 months ago

Lightroom? Be ready for a $50/month subscription plan coming to you with the next major release. And if you stop to pay? Sorry, no more access to your photos. I guess you could pull them out of the file structure.


Oh really? Considering it is only $150 to purchase currently, I kinda doubt Adobe would make people pay that amount every 3 months. Photoshop on its own is only something like $19/month and it is much more expensive.

Plus, Adobe has already said that Lr will be available as a standalone product for the foreseeable future. Which makes sense to me. They have been positioning Lr as the gateway product. Make it as widely available as possible to photographers, get them hooked, send them promo emails with promo prices to Photoshop, get new subscribers. Adobe are smart cookies.... this is just basic good sales technique.

Has anyone here used Capture One?


Not daily, but my intention is to make it my main RAW convertor/editor. But it has an interface that I find bewildering at times. Though I just have to buckle down and spend the time on the curve. That said, the editing power of what it can do far surpasses what Lr and Aperture can do. I can say that with confidence, even only having scratched the surface.

For instance.... In Lr the colour correction panel allows you to pick one of half-a-dozen colours, and then you can adjust hue/saturation/colour for that colour. In C1 you can use the eyedropper to choose the colour from the photo. Adjust where on the colour wheel that sample is chosen from. Adjust how much for the adjacent colours/hues/tones you want to adjust. And then once you have the exact tone/hue/shade/colour picked, then you can adjust its properties. Oh, and you can do this on a masked layer.

There is a steep learning curve, but there are lot of videos on their website.
Rating: 2 Votes
17 months ago

Basically - no. It is more a professional app whereas iPhoto is a toy.


No - iPhoto is for casual users who want to do a bit more with their photos than simply keeping them on their camera or phone and upload them to Facebook, such as minor corrections (cropping, brightness etc) and adjustments, but who don't want or need the heavy-duty capabilities of something like Aperture such as levels, sharpening, colour correction and shooting in RAW.
Rating: 2 Votes
17 months ago

Is aperture basically beefed up iPhoto?


Basically - no. It is more a professional app whereas iPhoto is a toy.


I don't think it's fair to iPhoto to call it a toy. Such connotation suggests it has no practical use at all.

I also think it speaks too highly of Aperture to call it a pro app. Once a upon a time it was, but Lightroom has eclipsed it to the point most pros have switched over. Aperture now is at best "pro-sumer".

But let's get to brass tacks. iPhoto is primarily a photo library with basic editing capabilities, including most RAW files. Aperture is primarily a RAW photo editor with photo library capabilities. They are distinct from one another even if some aspects overlap.

Even the most entry level DSLR shoots RAW. Aperture isn't that sophisticated or expensive that any joe off the street couldn't figure it out in 2 seconds.
Rating: 2 Votes

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