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Export Issues #1
John Thawley's picture
by John Thawley
April 24, 2010 - 11:01am

I’ve been working with Apple on this issue for over a month. In the end, they’ve admitted they don’t have a solution… but the Apple team is continuing to work on it… etc.

My system is a 15” MacBook Pro 2.6 with 4GB of RAM.

In a nutshell, it’s taking forever to export ADJUSTED versions. An apparent common denominator is 5D MK11 files. However, it doesn’t seem to be consistent. My typical adjustments are brightness, exposure, edge sharpening, definition and maybe a spot repair here and there. On occasion shadow/highlight and straightening. Race cars don’t use skin smoothing. :)

If I do them one at a time, they can take nearly 3 minutes. In batches, all hell breaks loose. Time spans between image/file times in Finder indicate sometimes as high as 9 minutes. It’s as if it hangs.

I recently uploaded 110 full size images to my Photoshelter account. It took an hour and forty five minutes. I exported the EXACT same batch to a folder on my desktop size to 640 pixels and it took…. wait for it.. THREE and a half hours. I started the batch at 1:30AM and it completed at 5:04AM. Obviously I went to bed, so I’m not sure if the sleep mode interfered…. but Finder indicates files exported at all times.

My 40D files and Leica files don’t seem to share the same inconsistency… though export times seem to relevant to the camera’s resolution. The Leica is 5mp, 40D 10mp and the 5D MK11 is 21mp.

To my knowledge, this is not system related. I’ve done comparisons of running a Library on my local drive, external drive… no difference. I’ve given away my 27” external monitor. I’ve disconnected my Cinema display… I’ve reset PRAM… I’ve fixed permissions.

The last input with Apple tech was to send them a Library containing two “known” images with the masters consolidated.

Here is Apple’s response:

Thank you for the Aperture Library. I can reproduce your issue with your library. The image with the red car does take longer than the image with the white car. If I add a watermark to the image with the red car then it take 3 1/2 minutes to export. If I pull a master copy of that image out of the library and bring it into a different project in Aperture and export it with watermark then it exports out in about 5 seconds. If I lift and stamp the adjustments from your original version to the newly imported copy and export then it once again takes 3 1/2 minutes to export.

Currently, I don’t have any further information or troubleshooting other than Apple is currently investigating your issue and as soon as I have further information I will get back to you.

I understand that this is frustrating and can be a real inconvenience and hopefully we can have more information or a resolution for you soon.

There is a clumsy workaround if anyone else is having this issue. You can drag previews to a folder on your desktop. This takes literally seconds. You can then import those temporarily as a new project to your Library. They will export without any issues. The only caveat here is they aren’t full size if that’s what you need.

I have to tell you, I’ve been an Aperture fan boy for three years. I’ve completed the certification course, I’ve shared, I’ve blogged, I’ve converted… and the worse, I’ve committed sever HUNDRED thousand images to Aperture Libraries. I’m VERY concerned. I’m at a point where I have to consider other options. I hate threatening “I’m going to Lightroom,” but I’ve got a huge business problem. Nearly two hours to transmit 110 images is unacceptable.


PhotoJoseph's picture
by PhotoJoseph
May 7, 2010 - 4:54pm


Thanks for sharing your experience and workaround. I’m sure others will benefit from that.

Your workaround mentions the problem that the preview images aren’t full-sized, but you know you can change that size in the preferences, right? Default is 50% original, but you can make it 100% or set any size you like. Also in a previous post, I discussed file-size management strategies, which include generating preview for only selected projects—that may be worth a read: Reducing Library Size—Dramatically.

I’m assuming you’ve rebuilt the library (hold down command-option on launch of Aperture).

What happens if you export the project (just drag it out of Aperture) and import that into a brand new library? I’d be curious if that fixes it, which would point to a database issue, and in which case you could potentially fix the problem by importing your entire existing library into a new, empty library.

As always… back up before trying anything too clever ;-)

— Have you signed up for the mailing list?

John Thawley's picture
by John Thawley
May 7, 2010 - 6:24pm


Thanks for the reply. Let me address your comments in reverse order.

Yes… all of those scenarios have been tried. To no avail.

Regarding the preview(s) work around and running full sized previews, well…. you’re damned if you do. I tried that route too. What happens is you end up with an even worse case scenario since now ALL your images are processing a larger preview… just as they do on export. The end result is you’ve now inherited the potential export time lag as a d’ facto standard for every image in the project and the project workflow.

Apple is still working directly with me at the development team level…. again, to no avail.

I should add, however, we’ve determined the Definition adjustment in the Exposure brick is a killer. Leaving it out will save 30 seconds on export easily.


Brad O'Connor's picture
by Brad O'Connor
May 10, 2010 - 7:49pm

I am having the same issues with Aperture (5D MII as well). Takes hours to export. I have also noticed after I straighten an image it losses sharpness big time. not sure if anyone is having that issue or not.

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