iPhoto & Aperture

I'm thinking about making the upgrade jump from iPhoto to Aperture.

I downloaded the trial, (thanks Apple!) and let it re-build my library as it imported it from iPhoto into Aperture. Right now both are running. Meaning I've got double libraries. Talk about a space eater.

The main reason I considered the jump is this: iPhoto manages photo's in an unsustainable manner, meaning as my library grows out of control from what the average user was intended to use, the file system gets insane.

Every time you edit, crop, touchup, fix red-eye or anything in Aperture it saves that metadata and preserves the original photo without touching it. You just "see" the edits as if the original photo was altered, but if you need to, you can wipe away all the edits, "restoring" it to the original photo.

iPhoto logoWell iPhoto kind of does this. But like I said it's not sustainable in the long run. iPhoto, to protect your original, does this... As soon as you make any kind of edit, it makes a duplicate copy of that photo and lets you edit away on the copy. So you can "restore" it there too, but it's only achieving this feature by cheating. When you restore a photo all it does is deletes the duplicate with all the edits and puts the original back.

But wait a minute in the meantime, my photo library is like, double? Yes. This is what makes iPhoto a consumer product. The average consumer is not doing much editing, they're leaving the photos. And if they did, the photos are maybe 2-3mb. My photos are pushing 9-10mb, each, and any slight edits makes a copy, so then 18-20mb for the pair.

That can't be sustainable in the long run when I edit almost all my photos.

iPhoto locks all this information in one folder that cannot be split up.

I have a MacBook with a 500GB Hard Drive installed. That's as big as they get right now. My iPhoto library, that's locked down to this one folder and can't be moved to an external drive or anywhere... huge. Let's see just how huge:

iPhoto Library: 296GB

What? Two Hundred and Ninety Six. WHOA People. Add 60GB in photos and we've only got 150GB left. Well that's alright, except I shoot VIDEO. High Definition video. Oh my goodness...

My hard drive has approximately 13GB left. WHOA is this recent? No it's been slowly growing to that point but has been at less than 50GB for almost two years. WHOA.

It is ALWAYS recommended for system performance to have at least 10% of your hard drive open. 13GB out of 500GB is less than 3%. I'm crawling.

Welcome, Aperture...

Aperture LogoWhen Aperture moves your photos from iPhoto over into Aperture, it deletes the duplicates by transferring them into Apertures system of editing. It does not flatten them locking your edits forever. In fact it saves the metadata and you can pick up where iPhoto left off. YIP YIP! Strike up the band we have a winner. You know what that means? All those duplicates got elimated on the transfer? What does all this nerd ridiculousness mean and why in the world does the blog need to hear about it?

It means by moving to Aperture my library has gotten smaller and manageable. Very manageable.

iPhoto: 296GB
Aperture: 233GB

Much bettah! 63GB bettah. WOW. What does this really mean? Aperture is worth it for any photographer who is beginning to outgrow the consumer limitations of iPhoto. Do not do what I did and wait WAYYY too long for this upgrade. What did waiting this long save me?

Aperture was introduced at $299. Last year they dropped the price to $199. With an educational discount I could have bought it at $179. However about a month ago Apple redesigned the way they sell software, and re-priced the Aperture Application at...

Seventy-Nine bucks folks.

That seventy nine bucks, even if Aperture did absolutely nothing at all besides re-manage the file library, saved a lot of money. I have been inches from having to buy a new computer with 1TB of storage (double) just to move iPhoto to to keep running. They don't make laptops quite that big yet so it would have been a desktop.

If you know me, I'm kind of reliant on this laptop lifestyle. A desktop would be nice for a bigger screen, faster guts and a bigger storage option, but would really really change how I have to do business.

Black MacBookSo thank you Apple, $79 has put me in a wonderful mood. Now I can keep my head above water another 6 months or so. I can't ride out this $1100 MacBook forever, but I cannot believe what it has been able to do for me.

MacBook Pro, you'll be next, but until then, sit back and admire how hard this MacBook is working. Keeping up with the same software people are using on $6000 computers, but doing the exact same thing.

Black MacBook, hats off to you old friend. :)

Thanks for reading!