Can someone help me? I am a software engineer by day, so I am pretty computer savey.
I currently have my Aperture library in my Pictures folder. As I understand it, LR can import that library and it will put all the pictures in a file system (directory hierarchy?)
Should I put that on the external drive? Another question, I also have an iPhoto library. Can I import both into a single LR library?
Thanks in advance.
Lightroom's library - called a "catalogue" - is purely an SQL database and cannot physically contain the photos. So it's different from Aperture whose library is a package file and contains its SQL database and also photos, if you told Aperture to "manage" them and not import them as "referenced" (ie leaving the photos in regular Finder folders).
This means Lightroom's catalogue is usually smaller than an Aperture library with the same photos, and it can be located anywhere you want, except on a network location. The photos, however, can be anywhere because Lightroom only imports them as referenced files.
So Lightroom's catalogue can be in an internal folder or on an external hard drive. Speed and security might be a reason for keeping it on an internal drive, but you might choose the external drive if you often want to open that catalogue on another computer (if so, look into "smart previews" which are small proxy copies of your originals and allow you to make edits even if this other computer is not connected to your network and can't see the originals).
When LR imports the Aperture library, it will always copy Aperture "managed" photos in a date-based folder hierarchy. So this doubles the disc space requirements. By default, it also copies Aperture "referenced" photos - but there is an option to leave them in their existing folders. See here for some screenshots and recommendations on how to handle this.
Lastly, you can import iPhoto and as many Aperture libraries as you want into a single catalogue, so everything is organised in one place.
I have LR6 Stand-alone.
In the menu FILE is an entry PLUGIN EXTRAS, I see there "import from Aperture Library" and "Aperture Import Info", the same for iPhoto.
I don't know what happens, because I haven't used these import facilities. But it seems rather straight forward to me.
John, wow, what a treasure of information on your website!
I can't wait to read it all.
Thanks for the link!
I started reading your page (at that link provided).
This is my situation. I have an old copy of Aperture that won't work on Yosemite. It was working fine in Snow Leopard on my (former) iMac. The iMac died and I was forced to purchase a new one, that came with Yosemite preinstalled. I was able to find my Aperture library, but have no way of opening it (Aperture app on my new iMac shows a (\) on it (unsupported). So I'm hoping that LR6 will do the trick of recovering all my photos.
I really don't like the way Aperture stores the photos. I would prefer to use the "real" file system if possible. That way I can easily find the files in the future. You mentioned that LR uses an SQL database, which contains references to the actual files. So I assume that once you reference a file (photo), you really can't move them? Also, is there any good reason to reference the Aperture library? If I do, where do newly imported photos go? I assume they are not placed in the Aperture library?
Sorry for all the questions. I appreciate your help.
Lr references your images, as noted, which can be stored pretty much anywhere in the filesystem. A great thing about Lr is that if you have photos in say ~/Pictures/2015-07-09/beach and ~/Pictures/2015-07-09/farm, you will see both those folders displayed in Lr once they are imported/referenced. Then, from within Lr, you can move img_1234 from "beach" to "farm." Or even move the folder. Or rename it. All without having to go out to the Finder to do so. And the Lr folders follow similar rules; i.e. an image can only be in one folder (collections are a different story).
Now the bad news: if your Aperture library is too old, Lr's plug-in importer may not be able to parse it to import it into Lr. Check around. I hope that it at least could copy out the images; Aperture stores them in structured file/folder system in the library package. Here's a good description: Bagelturf - Inside the Aperture Library. It might be that the importer can copy out all the images, but you might lose some stuff in the Aperture database; you'll have to experiment to see. Also, at some point iPhoto and Aperture went to the same library structure, so perhaps you could open it in iPhoto if you can get that. Or even Photos; I think the Lr importer can import from Photos, which should have come with Yosemite.
But the good news is that before the Lr Aperture importer plugin existed, we manually did much the same thing: copied or moved out the originals (and maybe even previews) from the filesystem in the library package and then imported those into Lr. I've even used a symbolic link to the orginals in the library and then imported that, so that I could access those photos (but not change them!) from within Lr at the same time Aperture was using them. It's not a good long term solution though, just a hack. The difficulty would still be the data (ratings, keywords, adjustments, etc) that Aperture had stored in its database; that's hard to get at.
By default Lr generally imports to a date based folder structure in ~/Pictures. Most of us use it that way for a variety of reasons, but it's a good place to start.
I believe my version of Aperture is only one version back from the most recent. So it isn't THAT old. In fact, if I use "show package contents", I can see the actual directory structure, as you can see here:
I guess me main question is, do I just keep the aperture library as is and specify "import as a reference" in LR? Or do I tell LR to import, but copy the pictures to a new location (on my external drive)? Is there a setting for that in LR? does it make sense to do this? I really don't plan to ever go back to Aperture now that I have LR.
Make a backup, then import it in the File menu as discussed.
Thanks everyone for the help, but I'm still not getting the answer to my question about importing as a reference to the aperture library contents, or copying the files to another location (file system). Am I asking a dumb question? I realize the import from aperture option is in the file menu...
One bit of good news, I was able to copy the Aperture app to my son's mac mini, copy my aperture library there too, and open it in Aperture 3.2.4. At least I have the original setup working again (all my stuff is safe). But, I need a Yosemite solution, so I will be switching to Lightroom 6. I can so as is suggested and import, but will it ask me how I want to import (reference or copy)?
Thanks, and sorry if I sound dense, I just am confused about the details of the import process.
Importing the files INSIDE the Aperture library will fail. That's why I mentioned I had to use a symbolic link. It really isn't worth it.
That leaves some choices. Note that ALL of them involve Lr referencing files.
One method is to try Adobe's Aperture import plugin. It copies (not moves) files from "Masters" out of the restricted library/package to a new folder called IIRC "LightroomMasters" using roughly the same year/date structure, and then imports THOSE folders into Lr. It does other stuff as well: like trying to import keywords, project/album structures, etc. Adobe has a list somewhere. You can also copy out the previews that Aperture created; some do that so they have at least a picture of the adjustments they made in Aperture, since adjustments do NOT get imported. Then you could delete the old Aperture library.
Another method is to do it yourself. You could copy out those masters (or move them) and import into Lr per usual without using the importer plugin. You might want to try that, using a copy of say one year's photos, just as an experiment.
Aperture 3.2 is, in fact, considerably older than the latest Aperture, which is (was) 3.6. But you could use it to export all the photos so as to establish a REFERENCED Aperture library (not sure of the details of how to switch to referenced in a version that old). And also export photos you have adjusted as TIFFS. And write as much metadata as possible into the images. That way you could import those images, and the internal metadata would carry over keywords and other metadata into Lr during Lr's import process. And you would have preserved your adjustments in the exported TIFFs. This essentially preserves a lot of the info from Aperture. Some use keywords in Aperture to preserve the project/album structure (project/albums behave pretty much like hierarchical keywords, so it's not hard to do this, although kinda tedious).
Well, good news. I was able to install Aperture 3.2.4 on my macbook pro running Mavericks. I then found an update online that upgrades me to 3.4.5. That was good enough to get my laptop to open the application. I'm copying my 136G aperture library to an external USB3 drive. I am looking at using an application called Aperture Exporter to export my library so I can import it from LR6. This app appears to retain more info than the LE plugin.
That's a great application. It gives you more control over migration than Adobe's plugin, and you can sort out some stuff in Aperture before you export to make it easier. I'd still recommend you commit as much metadata to the images themselves before you make the switch; it's one of the best ways to store the data because it's independent of these programs. If you have a complex structure within Aperture it also helps to review the differences between the virtual containers for both applications: projects/albums/folders vs collections/collection sets. Because of the different rules pertaining to each it's sometimes easier to make changes in Aperture before exporting that structure.
I guess me main question is, do I just keep the aperture library as is and specify "import as a reference" in LR? Or do I tell LR to import, but copy the pictures to a new location (on my external drive)? I
As I explained earlier and in my Moving from Aperture to Lightroom, for Aperture-referenced photos it's your choice. Lr's import tool has an option. But Aperture managed files will always be copied.
If you've lots of disc space, you can let Lr copy everything. My preference (explained in the link) would be to start in Aperture and make all photos referenced. Then use Lr's option to import them in that location.