Merging Aperture libraries

Started Apr 5, 2013 | Questions thread
Najinsky
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,598
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Re: Merging Aperture libraries
In reply to Rmark, Apr 5, 2013

Edit: DPR seems screwed. re-arranged my paragraphs into random sequences an removed paragraph markers. Here's an edit inserting divisions to try to keep things in sequence.


As others have said, this feature is built into Aperture. It's very powerful and convenient, but it's best to have a little play first to really understand fully how it behaves, especially over time, in order to prevent accidental loss of your work. Here's an example:


Main Library (M):

  • Project A
  • Project B

Portable Library (P):

  • Project C
  • Project D

When you return, you merge library P into library M. There is no conflict, the merge proceeds and you end up with:


Main Library (M):

  • Project A
  • Project B
  • Project C
  • Project D

Portable Library (P):

  • Project C
  • Project D

You do some work on the main library before taking the portable library on the next trip, so when you leave it looks like this:


Main Library (M):

  • Project A
  • Project B
  • Project C <- new edits 'X'
  • Project D <- new edits 'X'
  • Project E <- New

Portable Library (P):

  • Project C <- Old (does not include 'X' edits)
  • Project D <- Old - ditto

Now if you only work on new stuff, when you come back your portable library looks like this:

Portable Library (P):

  • Project C
  • Project D <- new edits 'Y' but doesn't include main edits 'X'
  • Project F <- New

But if you also worked on you older stuff, it could look like this:

Portable Library (P):

  • Project C
  • Project D
  • Project F <-New

When you import your P library into your M library it will detect the potential conflict due to Project D edits 'X' in library M and Project D edits 'Y' in library P and it will ask you which library to use to resolve conflicts.


If your latest work (on images that already exist in M) is in P, you'll want to choose P as the source, but the danger is that any minor unintentional changes in P, have the ability to wipe out your deliberate edits in M.


So if you do adopt this workflow, it's worth maintaining some discipline about which files you edit where.


One approach could be to delete library P from your MBA once it's been merged in Library M, and create a new library for each trip to avoid the risk of conflicts.


Another approach is to export from you M library, any projects you may want to work on while you're away. You do this with 'Export project as new library'. That way you can work with up-to-date projects on your MBA, rather than the old copies that just happen to be on your MBA from the last trip.


I hope I didn't overcomplicate that!


One more thing. If you merge libraries and get the conflict warning, it's worth while re-starting Aperture once the merge is complete. I've noticed some odd behaviour (probably due to caches becoming out of date), but a re-start sorts it out. It's repeatable and I filed a bug report with Apple.


-Najinsky.

Rmark wrote:

I use Aperture on  a MacMini, keeping the Aperture library on one external drive, with second drive for backup, and third drive running time machine. However when traveling I use a Macbook Air. After importing photos to the Air, I have been importing them a second time to my home system to keep in the "master" library.

Is there a way to merge the laptop library with my home library? I do some basic editing on the laptop....ie delete obvious errors and bad shots, may do some cropping, rate the photos etc. Would like to not have to redo the first edits.

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