Apple’s Photos App is Disappointing

I had high hopes for the new Photos app on OS X that was intended to replace both iPhoto and Aperture.  I spent quite a few weeks processing my large Aperture libraries, with the intent to convert them all to Photos.  I have about 100,000 photos split over two large libraries, plus a couple of smaller ones.

With libraries this large, I have always had speed issues.  To get around it, I have kept an ‘Active’ library that only contained my most frequently used images plus the current year.  When Photos was released just in the past week or so, I converted ‘Active’ to Photos and allowed it to migrate to the iCloud library.  It seems quick enough, with only a thousand photos.

It finally came time to see if I could process my ‘Recent’ library, which was about 40,000 pictures, spread over several years.  Starting Photos up, pointing to the Aperture library, it spend overnight converting the library, and then crashing.  I tried it again, on the converted library, and with a long, long startup, it also crashed before being usable for anything.

At least I could still use the original Aperture library, after some of the program’s automated cleanup. It seems like I’ll be keeping Aperture around for a while, if my libraries are unusable under Photos.  I may export photos and import them into Photos that way, but that will be huge, time-consuming process, but given that Aperture is not being updated and will die before too long, I’ll need to do some kind of migration.

But if the problem is Photos’ inability to handle large libraries, I’ll have to find some other technique for handling my historical archives.  I’ll keep an eye out for other people with large libraries and see how they handle it.