Missing Aperture

Started 6 months ago | Discussions
Huxmiller New Member • Posts: 4
Missing Aperture

I am running Big Sur, and using Photos.  I had used Aperture for many years before being forced to switch to Photos.  I don't mind Photos.  I think it does an adequate job for me, an amateur.  My problem is that now I can't find my Aperture files.  Nor for that matter, can I find my iPhoto files, used before Aperture.  Of course I tried to migrate my Aperture files to Photos as instructed, but I could never make it work.  I eventually stopped trying because I became so frustrated and angry I was afraid I would smash my laptop.

Now, older, wiser and calmer I thought I would make another attempt.

No go.  I can't even find any files from before 2016.  Aggravating, because when I used Aperture I new exactly where all my files were.  And I've been shooting digitally since about 2005.  A lot of files to lose.

Thanks, Apple.

robgendreau Veteran Member • Posts: 8,364
Re: Missing Aperture
1

Huxmiller wrote:

I am running Big Sur, and using Photos. I had used Aperture for many years before being forced to switch to Photos. I don't mind Photos. I think it does an adequate job for me, an amateur. My problem is that now I can't find my Aperture files. Nor for that matter, can I find my iPhoto files, used before Aperture. Of course I tried to migrate my Aperture files to Photos as instructed, but I could never make it work. I eventually stopped trying because I became so frustrated and angry I was afraid I would smash my laptop.

Now, older, wiser and calmer I thought I would make another attempt.

No go. I can't even find any files from before 2016. Aggravating, because when I used Aperture I new exactly where all my files were. And I've been shooting digitally since about 2005. A lot of files to lose.

Thanks, Apple.

It's been dead for years, but I think the extension was .aplibrary. So what happens when you search for that?

If you can't find any of your pre 2016 files, then you've got other problems.

What about your backups?

Did you lose an entire drive? This isn't a common problem, and doesn't seem like Aperture's or Photo's fault.

JPAlbert Senior Member • Posts: 1,020
Re: Missing Aperture
1

You can STILL USE Aperture with Big Sur.

You need the freeware app called "Retroactive" which will modify Aperture so that it will run.

Try it.

nick101 Senior Member • Posts: 1,370
Re: Missing Aperture

As @robgendreau says, the file type is .aplibrary. A Spotlight search should find any Aperture libraries you have.

I still use Aperture on Big Sur, using Retroactive. But - it won't work with Raw files from recent cameras (such as the Sony A7Riii).

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Dan Dare Forum Member • Posts: 85
Re: Missing Aperture

Huxmiller wrote:

I am running Big Sur, and using Photos. I had used Aperture for many years before being forced to switch to Photos. I don't mind Photos. I think it does an adequate job for me, an amateur. My problem is that now I can't find my Aperture files. Nor for that matter, can I find my iPhoto files, used before Aperture. Of course I tried to migrate my Aperture files to Photos as instructed, but I could never make it work. I eventually stopped trying because I became so frustrated and angry I was afraid I would smash my laptop.

Now, older, wiser and calmer I thought I would make another attempt.

No go. I can't even find any files from before 2016. Aggravating, because when I used Aperture I new exactly where all my files were. And I've been shooting digitally since about 2005. A lot of files to lose.

Thanks, Apple.

You will find all your image files are now in a folder called Originals.

Open the Pictures folder and right click on the Photo Library and select Show Package Contents you should then see a number of folders including "Originals"

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Tom_N Forum Pro • Posts: 18,980
Re: Missing Aperture

nick101 wrote:

I still use Aperture on Big Sur, using Retroactive. But - it won't work with Raw files from recent cameras (such as the Sony A7Riii).

At some point, there must have been changes to the Apple Raw support APIs (or data) that old versions of applications like Aperture would not understand.  Since Aperture was discontinued, it never got an update to let it understand the extensions.  So it got cut off from new Raw format support.

A workaround – in some cases – might be to use Adobe's DNG Converter to convert Raw files to the latest version of DNG that Aperture supports.

dlevitt Contributing Member • Posts: 844
Re: Missing Aperture

Tom_N wrote:

nick101 wrote:

I still use Aperture on Big Sur, using Retroactive. But - it won't work with Raw files from recent cameras (such as the Sony A7Riii).

At some point, there must have been changes to the Apple Raw support APIs (or data) that old versions of applications like Aperture would not understand. Since Aperture was discontinued, it never got an update to let it understand the extensions. So it got cut off from new Raw format support.

A workaround – in some cases – might be to use Adobe's DNG Converter to convert Raw files to the latest version of DNG that Aperture supports.

Even with Retroactive, things are not 100% functional.  I had some problems with some old Panasonic FZ50 raw files - the preview went to blank, dark grey when doing a fresh export from the raw file. The exported jpeg seems ok, and I even uploaded it to my gallery.

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nick101 Senior Member • Posts: 1,370
Re: Missing Aperture

Tom_N wrote:

nick101 wrote:

I still use Aperture on Big Sur, using Retroactive. But - it won't work with Raw files from recent cameras (such as the Sony A7Riii).

At some point, there must have been changes to the Apple Raw support APIs (or data) that old versions of applications like Aperture would not understand.

Exactly

A workaround – in some cases – might be to use Adobe's DNG Converter to convert Raw files to the latest version of DNG that Aperture supports.

That's what I do for the Sony files - works well (although takes time if there's a large number fo images to convert)

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Xipper Regular Member • Posts: 430
Re: Missing Aperture

I do miss Aperture, it was such a phenomenal all-in-one photo editing and library management app. I use Mylio now, which does a pretty good job but also lacks support for some of the iOS proprietary features (e.g. depth information for Portrait mode photos).

You might be able to get Aperture to still run though: https://github.com/cormiertyshawn895/Retroactive

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edit to see I now see someone else mentioned Retroactive already, doh!

lightandaprayer Senior Member • Posts: 4,308
Re: Missing Aperture

Tom_N wrote:

nick101 wrote:

I still use Aperture on Big Sur, using Retroactive. But - it won't work with Raw files from recent cameras (such as the Sony A7Riii).

At some point, there must have been changes to the Apple Raw support APIs (or data) that old versions of applications like Aperture would not understand. Since Aperture was discontinued, it never got an update to let it understand the extensions. So it got cut off from new Raw format support.

A workaround – in some cases – might be to use Adobe's DNG Converter to convert Raw files to the latest version of DNG that Aperture supports.

I would not convert all of my RAW files to DNG primarily because of compatibility problems with non-Adobe software.  And that isn't the only reason to be cautious. . .

I suggest using Startpage/Google with the search term "converting NEF to DNG problems" and do some reading before taking a potentially radical step that cannot be reversed. (Substituting RAW for NEF will pretty much get you the same hits.)

Tom_N Forum Pro • Posts: 18,980
Re: Missing Aperture

lightandaprayer wrote:

Tom_N wrote:

A workaround – in some cases – might be to use Adobe's DNG Converter to convert Raw files to the latest version of DNG that Aperture supports.

I would not convert all of my RAW files to DNG primarily because of compatibility problems with non-Adobe software. And that isn't the only reason to be cautious. . .

I suggest using Startpage/Google with the search term "converting NEF to DNG problems" and do some reading before taking a potentially radical step that cannot be reversed. (Substituting RAW for NEF will pretty much get you the same hits.)

Thanks for the warning.  This is an argument for keeping all of your original Raw files, as well as the DNG copies.  I'm not sure that it makes a case for abandoning DNG.

Realistically, if you have an application (Lightroom 6.14 or Aperture 3.6), that will not ever get additional Raw format support, what are your choices?

  • Abandon the software in favor of the camera vendor's software, or other (possibly "subscription") Raw processing software?
  • Convert Raws to DNGs and live with any limitations?
  • Convert Raws to "cooked" TIFFs and live with any limitations?
  • Or give up using Raws from your newer cameras, at all?

Seems like DNG is the only option that might let you use your old application with a good fascimile of your newer Raw files.  If it doesn't work well, that places you between a rock, and a hard place.  Take away the rock, and you're still in the hard place.

nick101 Senior Member • Posts: 1,370
Re: Missing Aperture

Tom_N wrote:

lightandaprayer wrote:

Tom_N wrote:

A workaround – in some cases – might be to use Adobe's DNG Converter to convert Raw files to the latest version of DNG that Aperture supports.

I would not convert all of my RAW files to DNG primarily because of compatibility problems with non-Adobe software. And that isn't the only reason to be cautious. . .

I suggest using Startpage/Google with the search term "converting NEF to DNG problems" and do some reading before taking a potentially radical step that cannot be reversed. (Substituting RAW for NEF will pretty much get you the same hits.)

Thanks for the warning. This is an argument for keeping all of your original Raw files, as well as the DNG copies. I'm not sure that it makes a case for abandoning DNG.

I agree with this. I always retain the original Raw (after all, the fact that I still use Aperture doesn't mean I use it exclusively - I also have DXO Photolab and ACDSee).

Realistically, if you have an application (Lightroom 6.14 or Aperture 3.6), that will not ever get additional Raw format support, what are your choices?

  • Abandon the software in favor of the camera vendor's software, or other (possibly "subscription") Raw processing software?
  • Convert Raws to DNGs and live with any limitations?
  • Convert Raws to "cooked" TIFFs and live with any limitations?
  • Or give up using Raws from your newer cameras, at all?

Seems like DNG is the only option that might let you use your old application with a good fascimile of your newer Raw files. If it doesn't work well, that places you between a rock, and a hard place. Take away the rock, and you're still in the hard place.

All good points

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robgendreau Veteran Member • Posts: 8,364
Re: Missing Aperture

nick101 wrote:

Tom_N wrote:

lightandaprayer wrote:

Tom_N wrote:

A workaround – in some cases – might be to use Adobe's DNG Converter to convert Raw files to the latest version of DNG that Aperture supports.

I would not convert all of my RAW files to DNG primarily because of compatibility problems with non-Adobe software. And that isn't the only reason to be cautious. . .

I suggest using Startpage/Google with the search term "converting NEF to DNG problems" and do some reading before taking a potentially radical step that cannot be reversed. (Substituting RAW for NEF will pretty much get you the same hits.)

Thanks for the warning. This is an argument for keeping all of your original Raw files, as well as the DNG copies. I'm not sure that it makes a case for abandoning DNG.

I agree with this. I always retain the original Raw (after all, the fact that I still use Aperture doesn't mean I use it exclusively - I also have DXO Photolab and ACDSee).

I haven't seen many, if any, compatibility issues with DNG in this day and age. What editing program can't open DNGs? Many can even work with linear DNGs from scans of film. If I were worried about raw compatibility, what I would avoid is Apple...they still don't have raw conversion for many cameras introduced in 2020. And hence you'll see many using DNG converters so they can do raw conversion with macOS programs that use Apple's own engine.

Realistically, if you have an application (Lightroom 6.14 or Aperture 3.6), that will not ever get additional Raw format support, what are your choices?

  • Abandon the software in favor of the camera vendor's software, or other (possibly "subscription") Raw processing software?
  • Convert Raws to DNGs and live with any limitations?
  • Convert Raws to "cooked" TIFFs and live with any limitations?
  • Or give up using Raws from your newer cameras, at all?

Seems like DNG is the only option that might let you use your old application with a good fascimile of your newer Raw files. If it doesn't work well, that places you between a rock, and a hard place. Take away the rock, and you're still in the hard place.

All good points

But having noted that, I don't see much of a reason to convert wholesale to DNG vs just getting one of the many many many programs that can work with proprietary raw files, like Capture One, Adobe products, etc. DxO tends to be kind of slow, but still faster than Apple to get support for new camera and lens combos. Not so great for organization, but there are alternatives there too. Aperture's been deprecated for years; the world has moved on and improved.

Or select cameras from manufacturers that actually bother to provide software that is usable enough to process and organize images. Or those that do support the more universal DNGs out of camera.

lightandaprayer Senior Member • Posts: 4,308
Re: Missing Aperture

Tom_N wrote:

Thanks for the warning. This is an argument for keeping all of your original Raw files, as well as the DNG copies. I'm not sure that it makes a case for abandoning DNG.

I did not make a case for anything, much less abandoning DNG. . . I simply wanted to point out that there are various issues with DNG. Compatibility is only one of them.

The simplest way to go is to only convert to DNG when you have a good reason for it and retain the original RAW file. Is it really necessary to convert every file in a large catalog? By being selective you avoid the problem of needing around double the storage capacity in order to house all of the duplicate DNG files. Not to mention the time and effort to convert many files.

If I was seriously considering a mass RAW to DNG conversion I would find up-to-date information regarding the DNG related issues that could affect my work. It would take some time and effort but IMO it would be time well-spent. 5-year old Petapixel articles aren't very helpful when it comes to image file submission rules followed by editorial clients, image buyers, photo contests, etc. Technical issues aren't the only things to be concerned about. . .

The issues regarding DNG files vary in part depending on what you plan to do with your images now and in the future. I favor being selective about such conversions and always retain the original RAW files. That way I am more likely to have options should DNG not be possible for a particular use that I did not anticipate.

darinb Contributing Member • Posts: 774
Re: Missing Aperture

Try PowerPhotos.

It will automatically find all your Aperture, iPhoto and Photos libraries and will allow you to remove duplicate images in a library, merge libraries, update libraries, whatever.

Pretty much a required purchase if leaving Aperture.

Btw, I can't believe nothing equals Aperture all these years later. I've tried (almost?) everything and nothing is as good. So strange.

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robgendreau Veteran Member • Posts: 8,364
Re: Missing Aperture

darinb wrote:

Try PowerPhotos.

It will automatically find all your Aperture, iPhoto and Photos libraries and will allow you to remove duplicate images in a library, merge libraries, update libraries, whatever.

Pretty much a required purchase if leaving Aperture.

Btw, I can't believe nothing equals Aperture all these years later. I've tried (almost?) everything and nothing is as good. So strange.

I agree about PowerPhotos. One of those utilities that Apple should have built.

Aperture though? Nothing now equals Aperture since numerous programs long ago surpassed various capabilities it had, and of course added new ones. I liked it for a while until I found something better, and I liked MacPaint too, and even System 6, but c'mon, it's like pining over floppy disks and Appleworks.

And there's RAW Power, which is one of those that surpassed Aperture in many ways, since it's made by the person in part responsible for developing Aperture. The new version works with Apple's ProRaw images from the new iPhones too. A good explanation and tutorial for processing said images in RAW Power is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LguSpnDoShM&t=76s

wco81 Contributing Member • Posts: 683
Raw Power users?

One of the Aperture developers has created Raw Power, which supposedly works with Photos.

It's $40 on the App Store.

Anyone using Raw Power?  I guess they're trying to appeal to former Aperture users.

nick101 Senior Member • Posts: 1,370
Re: Raw Power users?

wco81 wrote:

One of the Aperture developers has created Raw Power, which supposedly works with Photos.

It's $40 on the App Store.

Anyone using Raw Power? I guess they're trying to appeal to former Aperture users.

Raw Power is very good, either standalone or as a plugin for Photos.

It doesn't have any of Aperture's DAM features and it doesn't have local adjustments/brushes. It's less feature-rich than the likes of C1 or DXO, but it works pretty well as a Raw processor

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nick101 Senior Member • Posts: 1,370
Re: Missing Aperture

robgendreau wrote:

darinb wrote:

Try PowerPhotos.

It will automatically find all your Aperture, iPhoto and Photos libraries and will allow you to remove duplicate images in a library, merge libraries, update libraries, whatever.

Pretty much a required purchase if leaving Aperture.

Btw, I can't believe nothing equals Aperture all these years later. I've tried (almost?) everything and nothing is as good. So strange.

I agree about PowerPhotos. One of those utilities that Apple should have built.

Aperture though? Nothing now equals Aperture since numerous programs long ago surpassed various capabilities it had, and of course added new ones.

True up to a point, but the combo of raw processing and image management hasn't been bettered (my opinion, of course). I've tried C1, ACDsee DXO, Raw Power, Affinity Photo Mylio, Photo Supreme, Photo Mechanic. They all have their strong points and some features that Aperture didn't have (especially support for newer cameras).

For all that, Aperture is the best all-in-one for me. And I say that knowing I could lose it at any time

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Nick5
Nick5 Senior Member • Posts: 1,416
Re: Missing Aperture

nick101 wrote:

robgendreau wrote:

darinb wrote:

Try PowerPhotos.

It will automatically find all your Aperture, iPhoto and Photos libraries and will allow you to remove duplicate images in a library, merge libraries, update libraries, whatever.

Pretty much a required purchase if leaving Aperture.

Btw, I can't believe nothing equals Aperture all these years later. I've tried (almost?) everything and nothing is as good. So strange.

I agree about PowerPhotos. One of those utilities that Apple should have built.

Aperture though? Nothing now equals Aperture since numerous programs long ago surpassed various capabilities it had, and of course added new ones.

True up to a point, but the combo of raw processing and image management hasn't been bettered (my opinion, of course). I've tried C1, ACDsee DXO, Raw Power, Affinity Photo Mylio, Photo Supreme, Photo Mechanic. They all have their strong points and some features that Aperture didn't have (especially support for newer cameras).

For all that, Aperture is the best all-in-one for me. And I say that knowing I could lose it at any time

I made the move from Aperture to Lightroom in 2018. It took me a good solid year to navigate and map out the route, to export Aperture Library RAW images only to additional external drives, to then importing by DATE into One Lightroom Catalog. And then of course copies of external drives in triplicate. 
I was not worried about Aperture “Edits” as features, techniques and changed from 2014 to  2018. 
A long process indeed, and yes I was a fan of Aperture as well.

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