Whoah… Aperture is Running on macOS Big Sur
Retroactive may have met the end of its life. Many users are now reporting that thumbnails fail to load in Aperture, and according to reader Walter Rowe, there are some core requirements that Retroactive uses which may themselves be no longer compatible. Read his full comment here, and be sure to visit the Retroactive GitHub page before attempting to use it.
This is the first post in a long time I've made on Aperture, but it turns out (yes, this is old news) that you can run Aperture on Big Sur, with the help of a little app called… Retroactive.
The end of Aperture was announced on June 02, 2014 (for a bit of nostalgia, here's the article I wrote that day), and last updated in October 2014. Officially, macOS Mojave was the last version of macOS that supported Aperture. But for many users, the app has lived on. Personally, I froze an iMac at macOS Mojave 10.14.4 and have been running Aperture on there. Not for any new photos — regular readers will know that I've been using Lightroom for quite a while now — but for my old libraries. But I finally decided to put the time into migrating these old Aperture libraries to Lightroom.
That, however, is a different post. I'm in that process right now, and it's going… well… ish… but it's happening. I'm documenting it all so I can write a complete story, summary and advice once I'm done.
However in the process of starting this, I learned of a tool I'd never heard of before (someone probably told me about it and I ignored it, if we're being honest), and that's the tool Retroactive.
This is an open source project, and you have to download it from GitHub, but it's fully documented and easy to get to. Just visit the GitHub page and follow the instructions. You can read more about the app and its development in this Medium post.
Obviously I wanted to try this! So I downloaded Aperture from the App Store… I wasn't sure if it'd actually download (I thought in the past I'd seen a “not supported” error and it wouldn't download?), but it worked! You'll have to find it in your previous downloads (just click your name in the lower left corner of the App Store), as it won't show up in search results.
Once installed, this is what you'll see in the Applications folder…
So, you download Retroactive, launch it, and it walks you through a couple of steps, and then…
Whoah. Holy crap. It worked.
I gotta say… I never thought I'd see Aperture running on a Mac Pro!! My library opened just fine. I suspect this will be a bit faster than the old iMac I've been running Aperture on ;-)
Well, back to the process of converting this library to Lightroom. I'll update you as soon as that's completed. For now though… wow. I can't believe this works!