Before I even start with this post I must make a disclaimer: The process I’m about to describe works great for me and I have had no problems as a result of using this process. …however I do not guarantee anything and you should back up your Aperture data before attempting anything in this blog post. I am not responsible for your data.
So, with that out of the way… A while back I found that I wanted to have a current copy of my Aperture library with me at all times in case I need to search for an image, send a sample image to a client or if I just wanted to upload some images to flicker. I also wanted to do all of my editing at my desktop machine.
Since my MacBookPro has a 120GB hard drive and my Aperture library was about 80GB and growing all the time (It’s currently 202GB) I figured the first thing I needed to do was get an external 250GB hard drive for my MacBookPro. Once I had the external drive I plugged it into my desktop machine and copied my Aperture library to the external drive. I figured I’d just delete the library off the external drive about once a week and re-copy it. But after copying 80GB to the external drive I realized that this was not a good plan … it took forever.
Then I remembered that I owned a cool syncing program called ChronoSync by Econ Technologies. I thought if ChronoSync could see inside the library container file and look for new, changed or deleted files it could sync the two files (libraries) without recopying everything every time. ChronoSync could do it! So I set it up and gave it a try and I haven’t looked back since.
The two thumbnails below show my configuration (click to see larger images). The “Left Target” is my desktop machine and it points to a folder I created called “Aperture”, the library file is in that folder. The “Right Target” is the external drive that I use with my MacBookPro. I am only doing a one direction sync, just keeping my MacBookPro in sync with my desktop machine, I do not know enough about the library structure to know if bi-directional syncing is a good idea or not … proceed with caution if you choose to go that route. The most important setting to make this work is on the Options page (second thumbnail) and it’s marked “Dissect packages”, this is the option that tells ChronoSync to look inside packages like the Aperture library and not look at the entire package as a single file.
I feel that important to mention one more time, this is a one direction sync. If I was to make changes to files on my MacBookPro, those changes would not be synced to my desktop machine. This is just a good way to have a current, portable version of my Aperture data with me where ever I go.
Until next time,
Allen Rockwell Photography