Feature request: Aperture migration


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  • #23672
    sslupsky
    Participant

    Hi Nik,

    I’ve been following RP for almost a couple years now and I would like to say thanks for all the work to put this together. With the impending release of Catalina, I (and a number of others) are about to loose the ability to run Aperture on the new OS because Aperture uses some older 32 bit libraries (even though Aperture itself is 64bit).

    Anyway, I (desperately) need to migrate to another platform. I think I would like to use RP as a stand alone app. Could I bother you to consider including some sort of Aperture migration tool with the release of RP 3? What I would like to see the tool do:

    1. Export photos from an Aperture managed or reference library to a stand alone reference location and create the XMP sidecar files.
    2. Migrate the Aperture edits to RP edits with the sidecar.
    3. Keep all the EXIF & IPTC metadata with the sidecar.
    4. Keep all the Aperture metadata relating to rating, label, place, flag, filters you possibly can with the sidecar.
    4. I understand keywords may not make it into the initial release, is there some way to “temporarily” store the keywords so they can be imported/migrated when they are supported?

    Some other items that interest me:
    1. What to do about the slideshows?
    2. What to do about books?

    Thank you,
    Steve

    #23707
    Nik Bhatt
    Keymaster

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for the question. Yes, Catalina represents the final “end of the line” for Aperture, which is tragic (and stupid, frankly).

    – Apple has finally added the ability for 3rd party apps to read the Photos library – this support was added in Catalina.
    – RAW Power 3.0 will add this support, which means you can use it as a front end for a Photos library. The feature set will be *at least* what you have in RAW Power for iOS, plus ratings. I’ll provide more info when I know more.
    – I don’t have a release date for RAW Power 3.0, but my goal is toward the end of the year. Catalina itself doesn’t ship until sometime in October.
    – With this functionality, you can convert your Aperture library to Photos (using Photos). This preserves adjustments, metadata, etc. There are some exclusions and some conversions (e.g., ratings become keywords), but most data goes right over.
    – When RAW Power 3 is out, you can use it as a front end instead of (or in addition to) Photos. So you get the benefits of both.
    – I recommend NOT upgrading to Catalina until at least RAW Power 3.0 is out. There is no forced upgrade to Catalina, unless you buy a new Mac after Catalina ships, which will have Catalina pre-installed. Aperture will continue to work on pre-Catalina systems, so you can just leave a machine running an older OS if you like.

    I hope this helps.

    #23853
    sslupsky
    Participant

    That sounds like a promising upgrade path. I will definitely hold off upgrading until RP 3 is out.

    Thank you for the feedback.

    Steve

    #23855
    sslupsky
    Participant

    One question comes to mind. I have quite a few photos across several Aperture managed libraries. Will I be able to convert those to those to individual reference libraries using photos?

    #23859
    Nik Bhatt
    Keymaster

    I ran a small test with a Catalina beta and found that referenced libraries are still supported, and RAW Power was able to see the images in that library. So, you should be able to convert each library with Photos and use them with RAW Power 3.0.

    However, Photos only allows a single library to be viewed at a time – you switch it with Photos itself, and referenced libraries are not supported with iCloud Photo Library.

    –Nik

    #23861
    Nik Bhatt
    Keymaster

    Another customer was asking me a question over email with respect to referenced files. I thought I would include some information here because Photos handles referenced files differently from Aperture (basically, it’s identical to iPhoto):

    – Photos supports images located on external drives (mixed with ones on the drive holding the photo library itself).
    – These externally located files are called “referenced files”
    – Thus, you can store the library on the internal drive, but store as many of the original files on the external drive.
    – The edit information and full-size JPEGs are stored on the internal drive with the library.
    – Albums and folders can include referenced files.
    – The only time you would need the external drive is when you are editing an image.
    – Referenced files are not uploaded to iCloud Photo library
    – Photos cannot move a file from the internal location to an external location, nor can it move it from one external location to another.
    – this is a problem if you run out of space on your external drive and want to relocate all the files to a new, larger drive.

    That last point is the most important one – you cannot move files around as you could with Aperture.

    #23940
    sslupsky
    Participant

    Thank you for the feedback. I suppose this information suggests my search for a DAM solution is not over. Photos will not work. I was hoping some sort of hybrid filesystem and photos solution would have materialized by now. Rats. Such short sightedness on Apple’s part. Apple really is an enigma. So much effort has gone into helping to take a really great photo … and then practically no effort to support doing anything with the photo. It is as if they have forgotten that photography is an artistic creative work.

    Maybe back to my earlier suggestion. Just a folder on an apfs volume with the photos contained there. I would need a way to migrate my Aperture libraries to folders of files and the XMP sidecar files and use RP for my workflow.

    #23942
    Nik Bhatt
    Keymaster

    Aperture has remarkably powerful file management features which have yet to be duplicated.
    There really isn’t a good way to convert Aperture adjustments to another editing system. LR doesn’t do it, nor does anyone else really.
    There is a company that is working on a translator for a wide range of applications and attempt to convert a subset of adjustments (cyme.io), but I have not tried their beta so I cannot speak to it at all.

    #24184
    Valdo
    Participant

    Sorry for advertising a competitor, but seems that Capture One resolved the migration from Aperture.

    Capture One is a very fine raw editor, but insanely expensive in the last few years, so I give it up.
    The free Fuji/Sony versions allows only import to catalogue, no direct editing from folders possible!

    https://blog.captureone.com/migrating-apple-aperture-libraries-to-capture-one-pro/

    Except the extraordinary image quality provided by Capture One I like the very configurable tools menu!

    #24192
    Nik Bhatt
    Keymaster

    (Edit: I have been looking more into the way Photos handles Aperture data)

    Thanks for letting us know. I think it’s good that people will have multiple choices for moving off of Aperture. It looks like C1 has done a decent job of migrating data, though they have the same problems moving adjustments over that everyone else does (they move some global adjustments but they say the conversion is only an “approximation”).

    In the past, Photos did a really good job of converting Aperture adjustments (and rendering them faithfully and non-destructively). That has changed. I have run some tests with Mojave and Catalina beta and have found that, for the most part, Aperture adjustments are no longer converted. Instead, Aperture edits are generally treated as foreign data made by an external editor. In a few cases, Photos will convert the data (e.g., if there is only crop or a few other adjustments). In most cases, Photos simply creates (or reuses) a JPEG preview to represent the Aperture adjustments. Any further edits are made to the JPEG, not to the original (unless you revert to original). In some cases, the adjustment data is completely discarded, and you just get an unadjusted image. Whoa.

    This is definitely a lot worse. On top of that, if you used a Photos on an older OS to convert (a version of Photos that did a better job), once you move to Mojave or Catalina, you get the new behavior. I’m still wrapping my head around what it all means, but I do know that it is really bad news for people, like me, hoping to move to finally move from Aperture to Photos.

    • This reply was modified 1 year ago by Nik Bhatt.
    #24205
    Nik Bhatt
    Keymaster

    I edited my reply, but I see that notifications don’t always go out for those. So, I’m going to paste that edit here:

    In the past, Photos did a really good job of converting Aperture adjustments (and rendering them faithfully and non-destructively). That has changed. I have run some tests with Mojave and Catalina beta and have found that, for the most part, Aperture adjustments are no longer converted. Instead, Aperture edits are generally treated as foreign data made by an external editor. In a few cases, Photos will convert the data (e.g., if there is only crop or a few other adjustments). In most cases, Photos simply creates (or reuses) a JPEG preview to represent the Aperture adjustments. Any further edits are made to the JPEG, not to the original (unless you revert to original). In some cases, the adjustment data is completely discarded, and you just get an unadjusted image. Whoa.

    This is definitely a lot worse. On top of that, if you used a Photos on an older OS to convert (a version of Photos that did a better job), once you move to Mojave or Catalina, you get the new behavior. I’m still wrapping my head around what it all means, but I do know that it is really bad news for people, like me, hoping to move to finally move from Aperture to Photos.

    #24230
    Erik Brammer
    Participant

    Hi Nik,

    does that mean that even I have migrated my Aperture library to Photos several years ago, I will lose all the edits and be presented only with hard-baked JPGs once I will update the OS to Mojave or Catalina? I understand you are still investigating all this, but it would be insane for Apple to do this. That would be another proof point that users should avoid locking themselves into an ecosystems of catalogs, libraries and all this stuff. Hence, the better Raw Power will deal with these aspects, the more people you can win over – see the other discussions we have had around the Raw Power sandbox directory and integrity of the modification data therein.

    Best regards,
    Erik

    #24234
    Nik Bhatt
    Keymaster

    Hi Erik,

    How Apple treats Aperture adjustments changes with each release (I did not know this until yesterday – I assumed they had some conversion code and left it at that). In Mojave, Aperture edits are considered external edits. I do not know if Aperture adjustment data is stored in the library for future use, or if they just store a placeholder that says “nothing to see here – external editor was used”

    I ran two tests today. One with half-sized Aperture previews and full-size previews. With half-sized previews, the images came through upgrade with NOTHING at all. The images were treated as unadjusted. With full-size previews, the JPEG appears. Attention: people who are upgrading their Aperture libraries in Catalina – make sure you have your previews set to “No Limit” [aka full-size] and ALSO rebuild all of your previews (changing the preview preference in Aperture affects future previews, not existing ones).

    (If you already upgraded in an earlier release, you have already have full-size previews)

    While this does serve as a warning for people, any time you have data in an application, you are at risk of losing it. This is true of RAW Power as well – if the app stops working for some reason, then you would not have access to the adjustment data either. Apps can conceivably document their adjustment formats, but someone still needs write a very good converter.

    #24238
    Erik Brammer
    Participant

    Thank you, Nik, for your candid outline of all the traps people may fall into. This alone is very much appreciated.

    Good luck to us all! 🙂

    #24240
    Valdo
    Participant

    The conflict between Aperture and Photos seems to be broader, the (or some) catalogues are also affected.

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204487

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