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Help! Errors migrating from Aperture to Lightroom Classic CC

New Here ,
Jul 15, 2020 Jul 15, 2020

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I know, I know... I'm the last guy on the Aperture boat and I'm finally jumping off from this Titanic and trying to swim to safety (Lightroom). I saw you guys waving from the life boats and I'm sorry I didn't heed your calls and jump sooner. My Aperture library is just so big and so I was reluctant to jump and well, here we are. 

 

Set-Up:

MacBook Pro.

~1TB Aperture Library, years of photos on an older (800 firewire baby!) external hard drive, w/ its own power cord. Managed (*not* referenced).

Another external HD, newer (USB-C let's goooo!) with more space, bus powered.

 

Idea: I'll migrate my Aperture library to Lightroom, and at the same time, have Lightroom copy the photos onto my newer, larger external HD as it imports, so they'll be copied over to the new external HD *and* imported/organized for Lightroom. Genius. 

 

haha

 

What Happened: I followed the migration guidelines/tips from the official Adobe page about it and this guide I found. I didn't have any "offline" files since my Aperture library was managed, not referenced, so I just made high quality previews of my important photos like the guide suggested, used Lightroom's built-in plug-in for importing from Aperture and clicked start. 

 

Fast forward 161 hours later... (That's six, full 24-hour days and 17 hours)... 

 

I deeply regret having the settings ticked so that it pings everytime a photo is imported. But more importantly, Lightroom notifies me it's done, and asks do I want an error log. Sure, I want an error log, save it as a txt file... if I were to print it, it would be 356 pages long, single-spaced. Literally.

 

Problem: It seems that about 30 GB of random photos failed to import. By random, I mean random. It does not appear to have a rhyme or reason (or be organized in any coherent manner... see the picture of the log below)

Screen Shot 2020-07-15 at 16.43.51.png

The vast majority are all normal, RAW (.NEF) files or JPGs or PNGs, plus a handful of .AVIs or .MOVs. the error log states "Possible reasons include asset offline or unsupported asset type." I know it is not because the file is "offline" - My Aperture library is managed, not referenced and I double checked that before starting the import. I filtered for any offline files and of course, Aperture found none. And I know Lightroom supports images, so the filetype isn't the issue.

 

The only other thing I can think of, is the power cut out for just a couple of seconds one night while I was away (enough to force my router to reboot but not enough for my 1997 Philips stereo clock to need to be reset?). But when I returned, Lightroom was still pinging and showing it was importing files as if it hadn't missed a beat.

 

My question to you: Oh ye wise ones, who made the journey to the Lightroom years ago, I beg thee to share your knowledge and experience and help me understand where I went wrong...

  • How can I get those 30GB of photos properly migrated/imported?
  • Should I try erasing the new drive (where Lightroom imported/copied the photos to) and do the whole import anew and hope there's not another storm that might cut out the power for a second? (spoiler alert: it's going to storm again at some point in the next 7 days, I'm sure).
  • Should I try, in Aperture, converting from a "managed library" to a "referenced library" first, and then try, in Lightroom, importing everything anew?
  • Should I try breaking down my Aperture library into smaller libraries (perhaps by year?) and import into Lightroom, one at a time, anew?
  • Should I bribe Shantanu Narayen to handle the import process for me? Or blackmail Tim Cook into doing it since his team decided to dump Aperture by the side of the road? (These are jokes, people).

 

I just ask because if you're like me, your photos are important to you and you want to make sure they're safe, acessible and organized. And I just don't have the patience to waste literally 7 full days on the wrong strategy. I want to get this done and get it done right. 

 

I appreciate any suggestions and advice you have and I especially appreciate you reading all the way through. I tried to add a little humor to spice it up for you. 

TOPICS
How to, Import and export, Mac, Problem or error

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correct answers 3 Correct answers

LEGEND , Jul 15, 2020 Jul 15, 2020
Many people (including me) have experienced such problems attempting to import very large Aperture libraries. Adobe used an inappropriate algorithm, which slows down progressively as more photos are imported (technically, an O(n^2) algorithm). I recommend starting over with a clean LR catalog. Many people have had success breaking their large library into smaller multiple libraries (e.g. no larger than 5K photos).  These smaller libraries import relatively fast, and while it will be tedious ...

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Community Beginner , Dec 01, 2020 Dec 01, 2020
Did you take a look at Avalanche? It is a bit pricy but does the job very well, including for migrating the different versions of your images from Aperture to Lightroom. https://cyme.io/store/

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Community Beginner , Dec 02, 2020 Dec 02, 2020
Yes I do have. I used it some months ago to transfert my Aperture library that contains 214 000 images in 298 albums (more than 2.2 To including the images). The conversion took about 1h48 on a Mac Pro 2012 bi-proc 3.33 GHz with 64 Go RAM (1hr for reading the library, 47' for converting the library). The photos (Masters) were not included in my Aperture library but stored on a separate hard drive. Moving them would have been much longer. Now my (Aperture) albums have become collections in Lightr...

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LEGEND ,
Jul 15, 2020 Jul 15, 2020

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Many people (including me) have experienced such problems attempting to import very large Aperture libraries. Adobe used an inappropriate algorithm, which slows down progressively as more photos are imported (technically, an O(n^2) algorithm).

 

I recommend starting over with a clean LR catalog.

 

Many people have had success breaking their large library into smaller multiple libraries (e.g. no larger than 5K photos).  These smaller libraries import relatively fast, and while it will be tedious to import 20 separate libraries of 5K photos each for a 100K-photo Aperture library, you're more likely to actually get the job done.

 

There have been many reports of other gotchas other than the number of photos, and if you encounter them, importing small libraries will make it easier to troubleshoot and work around.

 

If you run into unsurmountable problems using the Aperture import plugin, you could try the old manual method, well described here (the article also includes useful hints for using the plugin):

http://lightroomsolutions.com/articles/migrating-from-aperture-to-lightroom-where-do-i-begin/

 

It's a shame that Adobe and Apple did such a bad job with the Aperture end-of-life (Apple explicitly recommended LR, and they may have provided technical help to Adobe, and if they didn't, shame on them). But not unexpected from either.

 

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New Here ,
Aug 16, 2020 Aug 16, 2020

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Thank you John! I have started over and working through it with the suggestions/steps you outline and with the help of the links you provided. So far, a much better, albeit "piecemealed" experience. With terrabytes worth of photos, I knew it would be a process no matter what. This approach is proving more successful and also allowing me some time to think about better organizing files, etc. Thank you again! 

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LEGEND ,
Aug 21, 2020 Aug 21, 2020

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Glad you're making progress.

 

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Advisor ,
Aug 21, 2020 Aug 21, 2020

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I see you are making progress, so this may not be helpful. I helped a friend bring in to Lightroom Classic his 160,000 image Aperture library through the Adobe process. Interestingly, on the second day he experienced a whole house electrical failure shutting off his iMac of course. When he was able to restart the process, it picked up right where it left off, nothing lost. The entire process took more than a week.

Kenneth Seals

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 30, 2020 Nov 30, 2020

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Hi - I am in a worse boat because my imac w/ aperture died (fusion drive died).  I ended up getting a new imac (3.8GHz 8 Core i7, 64GB memory), Catalina installed.  (I had a Backblaze backup, not a recent Time machine backup) No more Aperture, and I have a 1.65TB library with 232K images, all managed.  No problem, just use the Lightroom utility.  As I've watched the first day progress, am up to 4% (~11.5K images so far) I realized I'm in for the long haul.  I have muted my computer to not hear the ding on every import.

 

I'm a little discouraged reading these posts because I can't do anything in Aperture now to remove photos, break up the library, etc.  I thought I had more time to get stuff out of Aperture - I promise it was on my todo list.  

 

Questions - I'm on the latest Lightroom Classic, do I have any hope for this completing in the next 21 days?  Is there any file I can check to make sure it's not reporting errors?  (I can see photos getting copied to the new location, so it's working so far.). If it fails, it looks like I can restart from where it stopped?  Is there anything else I need to do except be patient, and smack myself for procrastination?  

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LEGEND ,
Nov 30, 2020 Nov 30, 2020

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You are in a tough spot.

 

I recommend monitoring the progress of the import over the next few days. If it continues to do about 11K photos per day, then maybe it will complete in 21 days.

 

However, my experience converting an 88K photo Aperture library was far grimmer -- it took 4.5 days to do 50K photos, and the rate at which it was importing was slowing rapidly. Plotting a graph of the day-by-day performance suggested that the plugin was using a so-called n-squared algorithm (the amount of time proportional to the number of photos squared).  So a very crude estimate for your 232K photos based on my measurements: 97 days.

 

A number of people have reported that the plugin often stops with mysterious errors, tripping over "poison" photos.  If that happens to you, you're out of luck -- this article suggests looking at the LibraryImporter.logfile to see which photo might be poison, removing the photo from the Aperture library, and starting over. But you can't do that.

 

If the plugin is slowling down progressively over the next couple of days, you might consider other options:

 

1. I believe a managed library's photos are store insided the library itself. In Finder, right-click the library and do Show Package Contents. That should expose the photos in hidden subfolders. You could import those photos directly into LR, but you'll lose albums (I don't know about metadata you entered in Aperture).

 

2. Try installing 10.14 on your new machine. Apple makes that very difficult. You could google for it and see if you can find a straightforward way to do it.  

 

3. Look for a machine to borrow or rent running 10.14. Put your Aperture library on a large external drive and split it up into small libraries.

 

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 01, 2020 Dec 01, 2020

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Did you take a look at Avalanche? It is a bit pricy but does the job very well, including for migrating the different versions of your images from Aperture to Lightroom. https://cyme.io/store/

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LEGEND ,
Dec 01, 2020 Dec 01, 2020

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I hadn't seen Avalance discussed here before --its marketing looks promising. Do you have experience with it?

 

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 02, 2020 Dec 02, 2020

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Yes I do have. I used it some months ago to transfert my Aperture library that contains 214 000 images in 298 albums (more than 2.2 To including the images). The conversion took about 1h48 on a Mac Pro 2012 bi-proc 3.33 GHz with 64 Go RAM (1hr for reading the library, 47' for converting the library). The photos (Masters) were not included in my Aperture library but stored on a separate hard drive. Moving them would have been much longer. 

Capture d’écran 2020-12-02 à 16.01.29.jpg

Now my (Aperture) albums have become collections in Lightroom and I can see the different versions and the metadata (EXIF, IPTC, faces, stars). The links to the Masters have been preserved.

I only had 106 errors in the log files. The vast majority of them come from not allowed formats (PDF files).

Capture d’écran 2020-12-02 à 16.03.07.jpg

So.. I am very satisfied as you can image. 

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 01, 2020 Dec 01, 2020

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I am going to try it out on my 1.65TB Aperture library - I wrote them and they told me if it didn't work they would refund my money.  I'll report back!

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 02, 2020 Dec 02, 2020

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All - success!  I let it run overnight, so no idea how long it took but it created a new catalog and mostly everything is there.  I can check errors in the library file, so far it looks pretty good!  I had also imported my old iphoto library into Aperture, and those photos and the structure are all there.  I am extremely happy and relieved!

 

Now I'm just wondering if i should merge this into my current library - but otherwise the Avalanche SW was well worth the money !

 

Image 12-2-20 at 11.11 AM.jpeg

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New Here ,
Dec 09, 2020 Dec 09, 2020

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Maybe I shouldn't feel so relieved just yet but this looks like fantastically good news. Reading various other reports on Aperture -> Lightroom felt like listening to Leonard Cohen when he was off antidepressants. Thanks for sharing !

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LEGEND ,
Dec 02, 2020 Dec 02, 2020

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@patrice_bellot Thansk much for sharing your experience.  That could be very helpful to others.

 

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