Aperture Folder Counts Differ for Projects vs. Albums vs. Smart Albums
In my Aperture library, I make liberal use of folders to organize my projects and smart albums. When working with projects, I'd become accustomed to selecting a folder containing several projects and seeing all the versions across all the projects in the viewer. The same way the Photos view works at the library level.
I planned to exploit this folder view to simplify syncing photos to the family iPads and iPhones. As I've previously discussed, I've disabled preview generation for my Aperture library, choosing to create previews on-demand when I need them. The plan was simple: Create an "iSync" folder containing a set of Smart Albums for the photos I'd sync. Then, record an Automator service that highlights the "iSync" folder, selects all the images, and generates previews. Periodically I would run the service to ensure photos for sync'ing have a preview. That was the plan. But as I made plans, fate was laughing.
First, let's see what does work as I'd expected. In the screen shot below I have a "2012" folder highlighted, and the viewer displays all the images in all of the projects contained within that folder.
Now, create the "iSync" folder. In "iSync", create a simple Smart Album with all 4-star and higher images. In this example, there's 4 images that meet the criteria. Also, create an "Animals" Album and manually added 7 images to it.
Next, select the "iSync" folder. I'd expected to see all 11 images. Turns out only the 7 images from the manually created Album are shown. The contents of the Smart Album is ignored. Observe:
In summary, images from Smart Albums aren't "rolled up" into a folder view. Put another way, "manually created image containers" will roll up. Both Projects and Albums are manual containers - the user chooses what goes in them. Whereas a Smart Album is system generated based on user criteria.
My only guess as to the why behind this behavior is that the Smart Albums are generated in real time. And the programming logic when a folder is selected doesn't trigger Smart Album generation. Whatever the reason, it dashes my simple "iSync" folder approach for iPad and iPhone sync. I don't want to keep updating an Automator action as more Smart Albums get added to the "iSync" folder. Back to the drawing board on that one...