I'm new to Apple Aperture. I have noticed that when you right click and image and say EXPORT VERSION, sometimes it's nearly instant, other times it takes "minutes" to render.

Am I using this feature wrong? Is there a better way to export web ready images for uploading to flickr etc? (I stopped using Aperture to upload directly as deleting the preview in aperture removes the image from flickr - grr)

I use the versions export because it lets you customise the color profile (set it to sRGB for most accurate representation on flickr/facebook in all browsers)

But it just seems so sporadic if it will export FAST or SLOW - and when it's slow, it pretty much makes the entire computer unusable

FYI: am on an iMac with 2.66 GHz Coure 2 Duo, 2GB RAM

  • \$\begingroup\$ Are the ones exporting slowly the ones you tweaked the more or is it completely random? \$\endgroup\$
    – LudoMC
    Mar 13, 2011 at 9:58
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Have you checked the "activity" window? What is Aperture doing when it is slow? Perhaps it is trying to complete some background tasks first? (That said, 2GB of RAM is very little for Aperture 3, and you will encounter all kinds of performance problems.) \$\endgroup\$ Mar 13, 2011 at 11:22

2 Answers 2


No, you are not using it wrong. I have seen wildly variable performance in Aperture, and I don’t have a solid understanding of why. I agree with Maynard that you should check the Activity window. I have noticed that Aperture will get stuck processing something, and canceling it can bring it back to normalcy.

The #1 performance issue I have noticed with Aperture and every other OS X app has to do with the Mac OS X IO scheduler being absolute crap. Anything that has to hit disk will quickly grind your Mac down into a gelatinous beachballing mess. I strongly advise turning off Time Machine or quitting similar disk-intensive applications while using Aperture.

Maybe Apple will fix their IO scheduler, or SSDs will become ubiquitous enough that it’s no longer an issue, but until then, the situation is miserable.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Even w/an SSD I still get pw0ned by disk intensive tasks :p \$\endgroup\$
    – Shizam
    Mar 16, 2011 at 1:34

Generally the time that "export version" takes to render a final version of the image depends on the editing changes that have been made. However, a single image taking "minutes" seems wrong - the usual range would be between one and ten seconds.

As Jukka has mentioned, your available RAM is rather small. If upgrading isn't possible, try to ensure that no other programs are running at the same time as Aperture - you can see a small "light" under any running programs in the Dock.

The Aperture activity window will give you details of what is being done. Click on Window -> Show Activity to bring it up.

Also, you can try looking at Mac OS's activity monitor to see whether your CPU or your memory is being heavily used. You can find this in Applications/Utilities folder.

Fundamentally, to give you a better answer we still need to know if this problem occurs randomly on the same image, or if it's always images that have more editing that take longer.


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