Customer Review

137 of 153 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Frequent crashes... SGML, February 13, 2010
This review is from: Aperture 3 - MB957Z/A [OLD VERSION] (DVD-ROM)
Yes, Aperture 3 is very fast compared to Aperture 2 and 1, and it has a lot of wonderful features, but its instability on my system is a show-stopper. SGML: Sounds Good, Maybe Later!

I downloaded the trial version of Aperture 3 from Apple. It's the same as the standard version but requires a purchased serial number after 30 days. Unfortunately, only one hour was needed to determine that this software is not yet ready for prime time. It crashed 3 times during the first hour of use, and then I deleted it from my system (iMac 27" i5, 8 GB RAM).

Instead of buying Aperture 3 now, I'd recommend waiting until at least the first few patches are released by Apple. I'm sure these issues will be addressed sooner or later. Google "Aperture 3" and "crash" and "unstable" online to see what other photographer are saying right now.

If you're feeling lucky, here are a couple of tips that might save you from spending hours and hours of frustrating work:

1. Use IPTC tags for each shot so even if Aperture "goes away," the keywords, caption, photographer, copyright, etc. tags are preserved for each shot.

I've been using Aperture on a daily basis since version 1 was released, and still have Aperture 2.1.4 on my system. With both Aperture 1 and 2, I have experienced occasional "library" (database/catalog) corruption. I don't know if Aperture 3 has the same issues but given its current instability, I'd suggest erring on the side of caution.

Aperture has sometimes associated the wrong metadata (captions, keywords, etc.) with some of my shots, as well as the wrong thumbnails. The standard fixes include rebuilding the Aperture catalog by holding down the option and command keys while starting Aperture, and manually deleting the thumbnail files from library packages. Sometimes these methods have worked, sometimes not. When they haven't worked, I've lost many hours of time rebuilding the library and re-applying adjustments to thousands of shots.

Fortunately all the metadata for each of my shots is in IPTC format, embedded in the image files rather than just in Aperture's library, so I haven't lost any critical image information as a result of these problems. At least a couple of times per year I've had to delete a corrupted Aperture library, which means losing all the image adjustments, plus waiting while all the thumbnails get rebuilt.

2. Import your images into Aperture by reference, leaving them in their original folders. Don't allow Aperture to move your shots into its "package."

If Aperture crashes or corrupts its own library, you'll be happy that all you have to delete is the library, knowing your shots are safe and sound where you left them. Yes, you could probably extract them from an Aperture library package if necessary, but if the package is truly corrupted by Aperture, you'll have a much bigger job ahead of you. As a side benefit, if you use other software packages such as LightRoom or PhotoMechanic to manage or edit your shots, you can do that very easily if the shots are in their original folders.

I'm sorry to write this negative review. I've been waiting for Aperture 3 for a long time, but I won't buy it until Apple fixes it. I wish you better luck than I had with it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in


Tracked by 1 customer

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-10 of 20 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 13, 2010 11:20:41 AM PST
HSM says:
There are always patches released very soon after new software is released. In 2 weeks, people will be wondering what you are talking about.
Sorry you have had corrupted libraries, I have never experienced that. If I did, everything is backed up anyway.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 14, 2010 9:55:32 PM PST
M. Kwaterski says:
I wish people would stop writing reviews based on trial versions of software.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 14, 2010 10:42:29 PM PST
You apparently don't understand that the downloaded copy of Aperture 3 from the Apple website is the same version you can buy right now from Amazon, Apple, or any other vendor. Apple offers a 30-day trial of downloaded copies so that you can see if it works well for you before you buy it. This is pretty standard for a lot of software vendors.

Posted on Feb 15, 2010 5:22:54 AM PST
Scott says:
I have been running the trial on my Mac Book Pro 2.6ghz with 4GB ram for a week now with no problems at all. Zero. I did have Aperture 2.1.4 installed, but purged it prior to installing the Aperture 3 trial. Maybe the problems you and others are experiencing are because of conflicts between the two? Or, maybe you have a bad stick of RAM?

When the Lightroom 3 Beta trial came out a few months ago I tried Lightroom and it constantly crashed. I complained to Adobe and they told me to check my RAM. Sure enough, I had a bad stick. I replaced it and Lightroom ran fine.

Just a thought.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 15, 2010 12:08:07 PM PST
Thanks for the helpful suggestions, Scott.

I did leave 2.1.4 on my system. I'll try removing it to see if that makes any difference in Aperture 3's stability.

Regarding bad RAM I don't think I have any, but in any case that would cause more than one program to crash. My Mac's System Profiler says all my RAM is OK, and more to the point, the only program that has ever crashed on this system is Aperture 3. Everything else has been rock-solid, even MS Office 2008 (and that's saying quite a bit about stability).

Regarding Lightroom's own stability, I've been spending a couple of hours a day with the Lightroom 3 beta since it came out, and I've never had a single crash or anomaly show up.

The reason I was playing with LR 3 beta before Aperture 3 came out was that I was trying to decide if I wanted to switch to LR instead of upgrading from Aperture 2 to Aperture 3 when it came out, since the release of Aperture 3 has been one of those great unknowns for a long time. I've got a lot of experience with Aperture 2--mostly good, but not entirely--and I know most of its features and quirks already, so switching to LR isn't an easy decision.

Again, thanks for the kind suggestions.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2010 1:02:56 PM PST
Scott says:
SnouterShooter, you sound like me. I'm constantly trying to decide if I should stay with Aperture or switch to LR. Two things keep me with Aperture. First, I personally think Aperture does a better job with Fuji S3/S5 Pro RAW files. I have both bodies. Second. I prefer Aperture's approach of giving you more screen for your photo. LR wraps around your photo whereas Aperture has everything on 1 side with tabs for album, metadata, and adjustments. Works better for me.

After leaving my comment to your original post, I all of a sudden started getting crashes with A3. Talk about bad karma. Hopefully Apple fixes the bugs asap as I really want to use A3. Also, although it is purely a shot in the dark with my RAM comment, my system profiler said my RAM was ok too. I downloaded a free Mac product from the web and ran the full test and it found my bad stick. I don't want to say what it is because Amazon might delete my post, but you should be able to find it.

Posted on Feb 17, 2010 3:13:11 PM PST
J. Mallery says:
I would suggest using the real (not trial) version before posting a critique.
To review a product one should have a good deal of familiarity with the product, which
you clearly do not.
It took 48 hours, but Aperture 3 upgraded my 440,000 image library. I have used it for
about a week now and am extremely pleased. No bugs so far. Really excellent RAW image
rendering. I am quite pleased.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2010 3:14:50 PM PST
J. Mallery says:
Not exactly the same. Can't upgrade your prior library, for example with the trial version.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2010 6:32:58 PM PST
Sorry, J. Mallery, but you're wrong on all counts.

First, the downloadable version that I got from and reviewed on Amazon IS the same "real" version that you seem to have bought. It's not any different from the software you got from Amazon. Apple offers a trial PERIOD, not a trial VERSION. I hope at least some of the other photographers who read my review do understand the difference between a "trial period" and a "trial package."

Second, I have several years of experience with Aperture, and based on the crashes I had with Version 3, I thought a gentle warning might be helpful to other photographers for reasons I explained pretty clearly in my review.

However, you've apparently spent the money and I wish you good luck with the software. Go ahead and do a glowing review if you are convinced that you bought the right product at the right time. The clamor has not been unanimous for Aperture 3, however. Since I wrote my review, many similar reports of problems have surfaced, including these two articles online:

So... if you'd advise your friends to buy and install Aperture 3 before the next set of patches is released, I wish you luck and say "More power to you." Happy shooting.

Posted on Feb 19, 2010 1:19:42 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 19, 2010 1:22:54 AM PST
aitchGee says:
I haven't had a decent solution for managing my photos yet. I have been using Picasa and Gimp for a while, but with Aperture out in version 3 I thought I'd finally give it a shot. Sadly, I must say I was thoroughly disappointed when I too experienced three or four crashes within the first half hour or so. And although I may have an old machine (1.8GHz Core Duo 15.4" MacBook Pro), I think Aperture 3 is a bit on the slow side. Especially when using various retouching tools, it takes quite a lot of time between mouse clicks. Often the image is distorted in some way as well, with all kinds of colors and usually diagonal patterns. This could of course indicate some kind of memory reading problems, but I haven't looked any further into it.

I'd go with Snouter's advice and hold on until Apple fixes the show stoppers.
‹ Previous 1 2 Next ›

Review Details


3.2 out of 5 stars (68 customer reviews)
5 star:
4 star:
3 star:
2 star:
1 star:
Used & New from: $89.95
Add to wishlist

Location: Felton, California

Top Reviewer Ranking: 105,399