Digital Asset Management

Video files referenced by Aperture do not appear in iMovie Event Browser

The problem occurs if these video files were imported to Aperture as “referenced” file.  Those imported as “managed” files have no such problem.  In fact, iMovie does find the video files in Aperture as they are listed in its plist file but the referenced files appear under a wrong path. The actual path is appended to the path to the internal folder of the Aperture Library bundle.

My Aperture library is “Aperture Library JR.aplibrary” and the folder holding my video files is “Home Video”.

Both are stored in a second internal hard drive mounted as “Data”.

The wrong path appears as

Volumns/Data/Aperture Library JR.aplibrary/Masters/Volumns/Data/Home Video/2013/07/

The wrong path can be fixed by creating a symbolic link “Volumns” in /Volumns/Data/Aperture\ Library\ JR.aplibrary/Masters pointing back to /Volumes.

cd /Volumns/Data/Aperture\ Library\ JR.aplibrary/Masters

ln –s /Volumns Volumes

After doing it, iMovie can detect the video files and generate the thumbnails next to the video files under “Home Video”.  After then, on clicking the “Aperture Video” event in iMovie Event Library, the video files are displayed as extended time frames in iMovie Event Browser which can be dragged to iMovie Project.

Now, video files from Aperture can be seen in iMovie but it is hardly helpful if there are large number of video files in Aperture for following reasons:

1) ALL video files are displayed as extended time lines in iMovie Event Browser when the “Aperture Video” event is clicked and hence the loading keeps rather long time.

2) Those useful Aperture container structure e.g. Album or Project are NOT visible in iMovie, making selecting the required video files among the large number of them a real pain.

Another example of partly finished feature from Apple that sounds a cool friendly but in fact hardly usable.

Solution?  Just fall back to the stupid way: In iMovie, import the video files into iMovie Event.  This creates another copy of same video file, one in iMovie event folder and one in the Aperture “Home Video” folder.  The nice Aperture container structure “Project” “Album” cannot be used to group the video files for iMovie usage.

Digital Asset Management

Manage AVCHD MTS files on Apple OSX platform

Aperture, iPhoto or iMovie mandate the AVCHD folder structure for import and transcode the MTS stream to MOV stream.  Aperture, iPhoto or iMovie can browse, play and edit MOV and not MTS.  The only way to keep the original MTS stream is to archive the whole AVCHD folder structure card image using iMovie.  My workaround is to import the individual MTS files (not the AVCHD folder structure) into OSX platform using Adobe Lightroom.  These individual MTS file can be browse, play and edit by Adobe Bridge, Adobe Premiere or VLC player.  With the free HD Quick Look from SHEDWORX, the MTS thumbnail can be displayed in OSX Finder also (and hence in XnView and other applications replying on Finder).  When it is time I want to process the MTS file in Aperture, iPhoto or iMovie, I transcode it to MOV using ClipWrap.  This approach is added benefit of keeping my preferred file naming convention as yymmdd_NEX7_06878.MTS.

Digital Asset Management

Keep master image files in HDD when deleting its reference in Apple Aperture

Project in Aperture is the only container which can hold reference to master image files.  Other containers e.g. Album, Smart Album or Slideshow can only hold a version of the master file.  When a project or the master file reference within it is deleted, it will go to Aperture Trash.  When the Aperture Trash is empty, there is a checkbox to indicate whether to go to System Trash or not.  To keep the master image file in HDD, I need to uncheck the checkbox to avoid putting it to System Trash.  Otherwise, the master image will go to System Trash and cannot be put back to HDD which is a surprise to me !!!

Digital Asset Management

Renaming master image files in Apple Aperture

Apple Aperture provides a way to automatically rename the master image files during import.  For example, DSC06878.JPG can be renamed to yyyymmdd_NEX7_DSC06878.JPG.  I prefer to the shorter format yymmdd_NEX7_06878.JPG which is not possible to do automatically using Aperture or iPhoto.  My solution is to add a temporary step in my workflow to import and rename them using Adobe Lightroom before importing them to Apple Aperture.  I also put in some IPTC meta data and keywords into the image files using Lightroom before importing to Aperture because Lightroom provides a more convenient way to do so.

Digital Asset Management

Apple Mac platform Evaluation

iMovie, iPhoto and Aperture only do not recognize orphan MTS or M2TS files during import process Full AVCHD folder structure is needed for import to recognize and the input stream is always transcoded into MOV format which is 5 times bigger size.  There is a “Archive All” feature in iMovie to keep the whole AVCHD folder structure image so that it can be “import from archive” in future.  iMovie does not support native MTS, M2TS editing.

Raw and JPG must be in same folder for Aperture to recognize and link Raw+JPG as single master during import process.  If not done during import, there is no way to link Raw with JPG to create the Raw+JPG master afterwards.

iMovie cannot see video files in Aperture if those video files are reference files.  iMovie can see only Aperture managed video files.  iMovie can still import Aperture referenced video files but it ends up with duplicated files.  In all cases, it is difficult to identify specific Aperture video files in iMovie import.   iMovie cannot see Video files in Aperture if the files are referenced and not managed by Aperture.  See

To fulfill the non destructive editing, Aperture does not automatically write back meta change to photo file.  However, there is no way to find out which photo among many of them are having meta data out of sync with Aperture database.  Hence, I lose track which photo file needs to “Write IPTC data to master”.

Aperture has no feature to list me all date with photo taken and the count of photo on that date.

Digital Asset Management

How to bring AVCHD into Mac OSX

Both my Sony NEX7 or Panasonic GF1 or GH1 captures video into SD card in AVCHD file format.  The whole folder structure in the SD card needs to be provided for Apple iMovie to “import” the video clips.  If only the individual MTS files are provided, iMovie does not recognize them.  During import, the MTS file is transcoded into MOV file format. I don’t like the transcoding because it slows down the import process and I want to keep the original file in MTS format and original quality. The MOV file produced during iMovie import seems different from other MOV file because it cannot be played by VLC player with error of missing ICOD codec.  One way to keep the original MTS files is to use the “Archive All” which save the whole SD card folder structure in Mac OSX under a new folder named by the archive date.  However, there is no way to display the MTS files within the archive unless I import the archive to iMovie, hence transcoding MTS to MOV.  Same restriction applies to iPhoto for importing AVCHD file format.  In iPhoto, there is no “Archive All” feature.

Software: iMovie 11, iPhoto 11, Mountain Lion 10.8.3


GA-H77N-WIFI 10.8.3

No boot with OS X 10.8.2 and VT-x/VT-d enabled



Set SATA mode to AHCI for SSD

I replaced the HDD in my desktop with SSD for low heat dissipation and higher speed.  To make full use of the SATA II 6Gb/s bandwidth, the SATA mode in BIOS should be set to AHCI (SATA mode was IDE by default) before installing Windows 7 to the SSD.  If do it vice versa, Windows 7 will fail to start and result in blue screen.  I made the same mistake.  Too lazy to re-install Windows 7 again, I applied a register tweak to enable the AHCI driver in Windows 7 before switching SATA mode to AHCI.


Shopping for rice and cooking oil

That reminds me where my parents shopping for rice and cooking oil in old days.


Pull Pull