I just bought Aperture, as a last ditch attempt to try and get a good export of all of my "projects" (photos and videos in many of the projects) into folders named by event/project. I tried first using the Unified library (my source is originally iPhoto), and then brought them in via a complete library import.

What happens is this, when I select:

  1. All of the projects in the Projects view, I can only Export Library.
  2. If I go to Photos view, and select all, I can do the Export Versions and get all of the photos cleanly exported. BUT no videos are exported. All videos are MP4 and completely fine in iPhoto/Quicktime.
  3. I can set a filter in Photos to show only Video, and the files show up fine, but I seemingly have to export them separately which is not ideal. They should export embedded in the Project.

I've also tried iPhoto To Disk, but it has its own bugs and they have been unable to resolve them. (Double folders, some files don't export, etc.)

I've spent about $150 now trying to do the simplest thing, export about 5,000 photos and videos to:
2008-8-Baby photos
2009-9-Dog photos
(All events are named as above, so it's using project names vs EXIF dates)

Can anyone help? I can use iPhoto OR Aperture, but since I paid for Aperture and it's more flexible, I feel like I should get some use out of it :)

(At this point I just can't justify $140 for Lightroom, or commit to their CC to get it...)

  • Ok, I let it sit overnight and I swear at some point it exported videos, even though the export task had already finished hours before. The only thing running was Generating Previews. Did that need to finish before it exported videos? And if so why did the export task complete? ;)
    – goodytx
    Commented May 13, 2014 at 14:56
  • @ goodytx : try giving darktable and gimp or gimpshop a look to see if they meet your needs... all free. If interested, see the Alternatives section of my answer below, and say I'm not gonna pay a lot for this professional RAW photo management system! Cheers!
    – chillin
    Commented May 13, 2014 at 17:12
  • @chillin I'll give darktable a look also. Not sure why I'm so dedicated to the Apple apps; I rarely even use the media sharing/picking features. I miss the old days when you had folders-on-a-frickin-disk and could arrange them however you wanted!
    – goodytx
    Commented May 15, 2014 at 16:54

2 Answers 2


While this doesn't answer your question precisely, this may help prevent frustration attempting to export all photos and all videos simultaneously.

Create a smart album in Aperture or in iPhoto setting conditions to find all the video like in the image below:

smart album all the video

Its just not clear what video formats are compatible with Aperture or iPhoto, so adding every format you can think of to these conditions won't hurt anything.

Once the smart album is created, you can select all the videos in the album and export them in one step.


(At this point I just can't justify $140 for Lightroom, or commit to their CC to get it...)


Alternatively, for an application more powerful than iPhoto, and holds its own against Lightroom or Aperture, I've discovered darktable, which

"is an open source photography workflow application and RAW developer. A virtual lighttable and darkroom for photographers. It manages your digital negatives in a database, lets you view them through a zoomable lighttable and enables you to develop raw images and enhance them."

darktable can be installed manually, but is also maintained as a port using MacPorts, if you prefer to use package management. I've included step by step instructions for installing MacPorts and darktable below.


An extremely powerful alternative to editing photos is using the GIMP. The GIMP can be installed manually, or built from source using MacPorts. I've included instructions below on how to install the GIMP using MacPorts. If you know Adobe Photoshop well, you may want to demo using GIMPshop, which very cleverly and conveniently reconstructs the look and feel of the GIMP to appear and behave nearly just like Photoshop... and its all for free.


MacPorts is a robust, stable, mature and easy to use package management solution, for OS X. It is modeled after FreeBSD's ports system, which has been adopted as the basis of NetBSD's pkgsrc. I highly recommend MacPorts.

install Xcode 5.1.1

MacPorts requires an appropriate version of xcode; xcode_5.1.1.dmg is the most recent version for Mavericks (after registerring for a free developer account, and logging into developer.apple.com, that link will begin your xcode download). Once the download completes, lets just do it all in /Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app (don't be afraid of the terminal!):

 goodytx@stack:~$ hdiutil attach -quiet -noverify -nobrowse -noautoopen ~/Downloads/xcode_5.1.1.dmg
 goodytx@stack:~$ cp -npR /Volumes/Xcode/Xcode.app /Applications/
 goodytx@stack:~$ hdiutil detach -quiet /Volumes/Xcode
 goodytx@stack:~$ open -g /Applications/Xcode.app; sleep 8
 goodytx@stack:~$ killall Xcode.app

install MacPorts

Get to know MacPorts

 goodytx@stack:~$ curl -Ok https://distfiles.macports.org/MacPorts/MacPorts-2.2.1.tar.bz2
 goodytx@stack:~$ tar xf MacPorts-2.2.1.tar.bz2
 goodytx@stack:~$ cd MacPorts-2.2.1
 goodytx@stack:~$ ./configure
 goodytx@stack:~$ make
 goodytx@stack:~$ sudo make install     # *not war!*
 goodytx@stack:~$ cd ..
 goodytx@stack:~$ rm -rf Macports-*
 goodytx@stack:~$ sudo /opt/local/bin/port -v selfupdate
 goodytx@stack:~$ diskutil quiet repairPermissions /

add MacPorts to your $PATH:

 goodytx@stack:~$ export PATH=/opt/local/bin:/opt/local/sbin:$PATH
 goodytx@stack:~$ export MANPATH=/opt/local/share/ man:$MANPATH

install darktable and the gimp

 goodytx@stack:~$ port info darktable
 darktable @1.1.2_5 (graphics)
 Variants:             gcc44, gcc45, gcc46, gcc47, gnome_keyring, quartz, universal, [+]x11

 Description:          Darktable is a virtual lighttable and darkroom for photographers: it manages your digital
                       negatives in a database and lets you view them through a zoomable lighttable. It also
                       enables you to develop raw images and enhance them.
 Homepage:             http://www.darktable.org/

 Build Dependencies:   cmake, pkgconfig
 Library Dependencies: cairo, curl, dbus-glib, exiv2, gettext, glib2, gtk2, gtk-engines2, jpeg, json-glib, lcms2,
                       lensfun, libglade2, libgphoto2, libpng, librsvg,           libxml2, openexr, sqlite3, tiff, zlib
 Platforms:            darwin
 License:              GPL-3+
 Maintainers:          [email protected]
 goodytx@stack:~$ port info gimp
 gimp @2.8.10 (graphics)
 Variants:             animation, gmic, quartz

 Description:          This is a META port for the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) which includes support
                       for icns, JP2000 and RAW formats, content-aware rescaling, Gutenprint and scanner frontends
                       and, optionally, an animation tool (the GIMP Animation Package) and an image processing and
                       scientific visualization tool (GREYC's Magic Image Converter).
 Homepage:             http://www.gimp.org/

 Library Dependencies: icns-gimp, gimp-jp2, gimp-lqr-plugin, gtk-nodoka-engine, gutenprint, ufraw, xsane, gimp-app
 Platforms:            darwin
 License:              none
 Maintainers:          [email protected]
 goodytx@stack:~$ # the port info commands above are unnecessary, you only need one command to install both ports:
 goodytx@stack:~$ sudo port -vsc install darktable gimp

migrating from Aperture to darktable

That's really all there is to it. If you can follow a recipe to bake a cake, you can do this too. And you can keep all your ports updated to quite simply with:

 goodytx@stack:~$ sudo port -vsc selfupdate
 goodytx@stack:~$ sudo port -vsc upgrade installed

MacPorts will not interfere with the use of OS X, Aperture, iPhoto, Lightroom, nor with any other software. It keeps everything it installs in its /opt directory (and any full gui applications it builds in /Applications/MacPorts/ ).

more free software available

searching macports for "photo" returns 17 more ports besides darktable, while searching for "image" returns a whopping 260 more ports of image utilities

 goodytx@stack:~$ port search photo
 goodytx@stack:~$ # too much to list here
 goodytx@stack:~$ port search image
 goodytx@stack:~$ # way too much to list here

If for whatever reason you are unsatisfied and/or need to remove MacPorts:

to completely uninstall MacPorts

 goodytx@stack:~$ sudo port -dfp uninstall --follow-dependencies installed
 goodytx@stack:~$ sudo port -dfp uninstall all
 goodytx@stack:~$ sudo rm -rf /opt/local  
 goodytx@stack:~$ sudo rm -rf /Library/Tcl/macports*
 goodytx@stack:~$ # if you also want to delete any stand-alone gui applications you've built with macports, then there is one more command:
 goodytx@stack:~$ sudo rm -rf /Applications/MacPorts
  • Thanks chillin, very comprehensive! Note, there's a way to do the filter in iPhoto where Photo is Video in a smart album. Not sure if that would catch all videos for everyone, but mine were all painstakingly and annoyingly converted to be compatible :)
    – goodytx
    Commented May 13, 2014 at 20:51
  • @goodytx Thanks... that must be a new feature, as it is not there in iPhoto 6, which I am still using because it is blazingly fast (I got sick of facial recognition slowdowns!).
    – chillin
    Commented May 13, 2014 at 21:31

this solution worked for me without any difficulty in Aperture 3.6

  1. In the Inspector, click the Library Tab and scroll down to the Projects heading (not the Projects that are situated directly under the Library title - in here you only get the export Library option that you encountered).

  2. Highlight the Projects that you want to export. You'll see all the files (images and movies) contained in the selected Projects appear in the main Browser Window.

enter image description here

  1. In the main Browser Window, Select all (Command-A) (or some) of the images. Now you can Export!

  2. I wanted to export the files as Originals (retaining the original date information of when they were created) and placed into subfolders that have the same name as my Aperture Projects. This is what I did:

File -> Export -> Originals and deselect the IPTC option (no idea what that is but it mucks up the date of the photos). Click Export Originals. Done!

enter image description here

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