Monthly Aperture Library Maintenance

Last weekend brought in a new month, a reminder to me for periodic maintenance on my Aperture Library. There's an excellent set of articles on library maintenance on ApertureExpert. I do many of the things listed there, some monthly, some yearly. A few other monthly maintenance items I do are:

  • Check for managed originals: I run my main library referenced, but import lots of libraries sourced on my MacBook Pro. After the import, the originals are managed. Part of my workflow is to relocate the originals - but I can always miss a step. I use a smart album to watch for those.

A smart album to find managed originals

  • Check for missing EXIF data: Scans of negatives or prints obviously don't have EXIF data...and I'll ignore those. But I've found that some plugins and external editors will not carry over all EXIF data to an edited image. Another smart album to find those files (and I should add in a keyword or two to filter out print and negative scans). What I find in this album goes through my EXIF Lift & Stamp script.

A smart album to find photos missing EXIF data

  • Delete all previews: I configure Aperture to disable preview generation to save disk space. I will create on-demand previews to share images. And for certain smart albums that sync to other devices (iPads, etc.) I will generate previews. It's inevitable I'll forget to delete some on-demand previews. So monthly, I'll delete all the previews and regenerate them on any of my "sync" albums.
  • Check IPTC city & country: I'm a bit pedantic when it comes to metadata. I want all my photos to have the city and country recorded in the IPTC metadata. I have quite a backlog of images that don't meet my standard thanks to not firming up my import strategy early on with Aperture, so each month I attack some of the IPTC backlog. This smart album finds the images that need IPTC work.

A smart album to find IPTC discrepancies

  • Update your vaults: In addition to Time Machine backups, I keep a vault of the library. The beginning of the month is a good time to make sure your vaults are updated.
  • Attack the backlog: I'm still weeding my way through photos of years past, working them into my Aperture workflow. Progress is steady, but slow, and each new month is a reminder to keep on top of new projects, and tackle 2-3 months worth of backlog photos. I'll get there eventually!

Here's to you keeping a happy and tidy Aperture library.