Aperture 3: Upgrading Aperture 2 Libraries May Cause Headaches


So Aperture 3 is finally out. The trial has been an absolute dream to play with. It doesn’t upgrade your existing Aperture 2 library, so you need to test it on newly imported images. However, for those who immediately bit the bullet and upgraded with a full license, it hasn’t been all roses. If you’re new to Aperture in version 3, you may carry on with your day — but if you’re moving from version 2 to the 3, you should probably read on.

Hopefully, you’re reading this before you’ve run into any problems. Here at TheAppleBlog, we aim to lessen your pain. It should go without saying, but please, please, make sure you’ve got at least one backup of your Aperture library. You should have this on any given day of course, but it counts double when you’re planning on upgrading and performing any changes to software in general. With that public service announcement out of the way, we can talk tragedies (hopefully averted).

I haven’t had issues first hand (thankfully), because I’m still just using the trial version on a newly created version 3 library. But as my father-in-law dove right in, he’s had nothing but pain and frustration as Aperture 3 has attempted to update his existing library to the newer database structure. Looking at the Apple Support forums for Aperture shows that he’s not alone.

The culprit seems to be at the point in time when the library file is being converted/upgraded. The beach ball of death comes on full force, and in turn makes the Mac unusable. This can go on for hours! At best you can restart and avoid the upgrade until there’s a fix to the issue — at worst, you may lose library data.

Apple Support has recommended trying the Aperture Library First Aid. You have the option to Repair Permissions, Repair Database, or Rebuild Database with this tool. To access, you’ll need to open an Aperture Library file directly, and hold Option+Command while doing so. These processes have not proven to fix the issue, but are at least worth attempting.

116 responses (at the time of this write-up) may not be a lot, relatively speaking, but clearly represents an issue to be aware of. If you’re considering buying the upgrade to Aperture 3, you may want to keep an eye on this forum until there’s an identified issue or fix. Happy upgrading!

Thanks to Tom for the tip on this, and good luck!

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