I'm experimenting with aperture, and it seems the preview and thumbs file is 3x (Three Times!!) larger than the actual photos in the album.
Basically, I have a folder with ~ 2.61 GB (~12,000 images) images in it, predominantly jpg files. It is on a network drive. The .aplibrary file is 7.52 GB.
I am importing it in-place, so as to enable other computers on my network to access the files as well, and in an apparently misguided attempt to prevent the local library from taking up too much space.
To clarify, the .aplibrary does not even contain the original images, as the images are imported without moving.
Looking inside the .aplibrary file, ~60% of the size is coming from the AP.thumbnails (4.9 GB) file, which seems strange as there are also thumbnails stored separately (In the /Previews/ folder).
I have changed the preview quality settings to 2 (out of 10) with little effect on the size of the aplibrary file.
This seems so ludicrous that I've actually completely deleted the local library, and re-run the import process several times, with no change. I can only think I'm doing something wrong, but I don't see any settings aside from the above mentioned preview quality which would affect this.
I'm on a mac-mini with a 320 GB HD, and am eventually hoping to import my full library, which is ~280 GB, so this is a serious deal breaker.
Further Info -
I decided to see what would happen if I manually removed the AP.thumbnails file. I opened the .aplibrary package, and simply removed it.
On restarting Aperture, everything seems to still work fine, though the thumbnails do load slightly slower.
This reduces the .aplibrary to 1.49 GB, which is at least smaller then the actual library files, but is still absurdly large.
What the heck is going on?