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I understand that the iOS 5 Photo Stream is a collection of all of the recent photos taken on all iOS 5 devices in a given account, synced with those devices through the cloud. It is not clear to me, however, what the Photo Stream settings in Aperture do.

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It appears that "Enable Photo Stream" simply connects Aperture to the Photo Stream and makes it available as a source for viewing and importing into Aperture; but it is not clear to me what "Automatic Import" and "Automatic Upload" do.

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  • Automatic Import: Imports any pictures received via Photo Stream into the main Aperture library. A copy will be created for this which remains even after the 1000th picture has been added to the stream and which can be edited

    For this to work Aperture has to be open/running. If the 1000 picture threshold is reached while Aperture is not running, pictures will get lost irregardless of the setting of this option.

  • Automatic Upload: Push any picture created in Aperture into the Photo Stream and on to all other connected devices

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Wow, so Automatic Upload has some interesting consequences and should be used with care! –  raxacoricofallapatorius Oct 18 '11 at 16:14
    
Automatic Import looks like a simple way to backup the Photo Stream. Where are the imported files placed; how are they organized? I see some projects with names like "Oct 2011 Photo Stream". Can these be renamed or grouped, or does Aperture find them "by name"? –  raxacoricofallapatorius Oct 18 '11 at 16:15
    
When does automatic import happen? On Aperture launch? Are images cached somewhere in the cloud if they cycle out of the Photo Stream, or is it necessary to periodically run Aperture to ensure that no Photo Stream images are "missed"? –  raxacoricofallapatorius Oct 18 '11 at 18:40
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If they cycle out of Photo Stream, they are gone (unless they are still available on the originating device). If Aperture works the same way as iPhoto regarding Photo Streams, pictures are duplicated the moment they appear in the app (which of course means the app must be running). –  patrix Oct 18 '11 at 19:43

Automatic Upload:
Sends any photo added into your Aperture catalog into your overall Photo Stream.

Automatic Import:
When new photos are added into your overall Photo Stream Aperture will import them into your catalog and if there's facial recognition or geolocation information use that to filter and organize.

I will admit I've not tried it, but everything I've read about it says that's what it does.

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