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I'm a bit late at migrating to Lightroom. I was an iPhoto user, then an Aperture user, and when Apple killed Aperture, I switched to Apple Photos. I regret my decision.

Apple Photos doesn't meet my needs, and I'd like to switch to Lightroom. Moreover, I want to preserve as much organizational information (ratings, keywords, metadata, labels, face tags) as possible. I think this possible with Adobe plug-ins for iPhoto→Lightroom and Aperture→Lightroom, but, as far as I can tell, Adobe hasn't made any import plug-in for Apple Photos. Fortunately, I still have access to my old Aperture library from before I migrated it to Apple Photos.

Can you help me cobble together an import plan that optimizes the amount of organization data that are preserved? These are the resources at my disposal:

  1. Aperture Library 1.aplibrary (7.3 MB), which I only include for completeness. It's created and last opened timestamps are within six minutes of each other two years ago. Its existence seems consistent with other users' experiences.
  2. Aperture Library 2.migratedaplibrary (118.41 GB), which was born out of my ill-conceived Aperture→Photos migration and appears to be actively modified by Photos yet still readable by Aperture. The Aperture→Lightroom plug-in does not want to import a .migratedaplibrary; it wants an .aplibrary. I tried to simply rename this to Aperture Library 2.aplibrary, and the plugin didn't like that either.
  3. iPhoto Library.photolibrary (7.4 MB), which I only include for completeness. It's created and last opened timestamps are within six minutes of each other two years ago.
  4. Photos Library.photoslibrary (73.45 GB), the main file that gets used by Photos on a day-to-day basis.
  5. A backup folder full of Aperture reference image files (195 GB)

I would usually be able to tell where all my photos reside by how big each library is, but since Apple Photos stores so much in the iCloud, I can't be completely sure. I have not downloaded all originals to my iMac, but I can.

I imagine the best outcome would be to import my old Aperture library (with metadata), import my current Photos library (photos only), and magically deduplicate between them. I imagine this is easy to screw up. The details scare me, and I'm not sure whether I can massage my migrated Aperture into being eligible for use with the Adobe Aperture→Lightroom import plug-in.

  • I'm in a similar position. I'm considering getting Lightroom and not doing any migration. If I need photos from any of my old libraries, I'll just run Aperture if I need them. That seems easier than trying to reimport everything (especially with no adjustments), or export everything from Aperture as JPEGs with adjustments. It's just not worth the time. – user1118321 Jan 23 '17 at 1:38
  • Ugh. Not what I was hoping to hear. I would be content losing all of my metadata in Photos as long as I can keep my metadata from Aperture. Reverting to a non-migrated Aperture library would be enough for me. – Merchako Jan 24 '17 at 4:37

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