I mentioned last week that my iPhoto library imploded. And it did.
In spectacular fashion.
I had just uploaded my photos from San Diego. 1,200 photos spanning a week-long vacation. I was editing and tagging them when a weird message popped up on my screen ordering me to shut down. Not just close iPhoto, but shut down the machine. Knowing how stable the Mac has been thus far, it was unsettling to say the least.
I shut everything down.
It came back up just fine and everything looked okay until I restarted iPhoto and got an error message. Uh-oh.
Some googling and panic time ensue and I discover that something got corrupted. Frick on a Stick.
The good news is that because of how iPhoto stores photos I didn’t actually lose even one image. The bad news is that in recovering everything and getting past the corruption that all of my ratings and keywords were lost.
It was traumatic, but not as bad as it could have been. I then spent several days waffling back and forth on whether to continue using iPhoto or move to Aperture. I read everything I could find and finally decided on Aperture for several reasons:
1. Large library management. My photo library is approaching 15,000 images and shows no signs of stopping. Clearly I am not going to stop taking photos. Everything I read indicates that iPhoto just isn’t designed to handle huge libraries. I don’t know if that’s what led to the corruption or difficulties, but I’m not willing to risk it.
Aperture is the professional level of photo management and according to all reports will handle a large photo library.
2. Non-destructive editing. Pretty self-explanatory – I can edit photos, but retain the original. No more worrying about accidentally saving a photo as black and white when I might want to use it as a color image later.
I saw references to iPhoto being set up that way too, but I never saw evidence of that, so….
3. Referenced Masters. This was the most exciting to me. What it means is that the original photos that I import can live wherever I want them to. Including on my external hard drive and Aperture will know where to look for them. Bonus? I can still view thumbnail images even without the EHD attached. But really, the best part is knowing that I have the power to move my images off my main hard drive and free up some space.
I haven’t moved stuff yet because I am still sorting things out, fixing files up and slogging through the process of checking metadata for actual dates and filing photos appropriately. Then I’ll go back through the process of rating and tagging photos. If I understand correctly the information then becomes part of the metadata and sticks with the photo. But maybe not until it is exported. Anyway, my hope is that I won’t have to re-do it all again.
Well, if I lose that info again then let’s just say that my photos will be doomed to living without keywords. Forever.
Anyway, I’ll keep you all updated as I move through this process.