Aperture 3: Tips on upgrading an Aperture 2 library to Aperture 3

Before an existing Aperture 2 library can be used with Aperture 3 it must be upgraded. This process occurs when you open your library with Aperture 3 for the first time. There are several stages to the upgrade process, some of which are optional. This article outlines the various stages of the library upgrade process and offers some tips on getting up and running as quickly as possible.

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Before you upgrade

The library upgrade process is safe and reliable, but it's a good idea to have a backup of your library in case of unforeseen issues. Keep in mind that fully upgrading a very large library can take a long time: many hours or even overnight. 

There are three stages to the library upgrade process.

Upgrading the database and imaging system
The database upgrade is a necessary first step in the upgrade process. The new Aperture 3 database format offers many benefits, including better performance, the ability to split and merge libraries, and switch between libraries without relaunching Aperture. 
Note: Once a library has been upgraded to Aperture 3, it can no longer be opened in previous versions.
When you upgrade from Aperture 2 you will see this dialog the first time you open Aperture 3:
Welcome to Aperture 3.0, your library needs to be upgraded...
You have the option to update all photos to Aperture 3 imaging as part of the initial library upgrade. Depending on the type of adjustments you've made on your photos this may take a fair amount of time. If you choose not to perform the imaging update initially, you can update your images later individually or by project. The new Aperture 3 imaging update is needed to use Curves, Brushes, and other new adjustments offered by Aperture 3.
After the database and optional imaging upgrade is complete you can work with your Aperture library.
Scanning for Places
After the database upgrade and optional imaging update, Aperture 3 will scan the EXIF data in your images for embedded GPS information. This process usually only takes a few minutes even with large libraries, and you can work with your library while Aperture scans for GPS data.
Scanning for Faces
The process of scanning for Faces can take considerable time. Your library is usable while Aperture performs the scan, but your computer may be less responsive. To defer the Faces scan until later:
  1. Choose Aperture > Preferences.
  2. Click the General tab.
    General tab of Aperture preference pane
  3. Deselect the option to Enable Faces.

It may be advisable to have Aperture perform the scan for Faces overnight or sometime you won't be working with your computer. Open Aperture and re-enable the option to Enable Faces; this will start the scan, picking up where it left off when you disabled it.

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