Aperture Folder Checker

Ever wanted to bring your Eye-Fi card and Apple Aperture together the way it was meant to be?

Eye-Fi is a great way to bring the shots from your camera to your iPhoto library. Simply let the camera be powered on while you are in range of your home WiFi network and see the magic happen. All new photos are transferred wirelessly – no cables, no card readers! As nice this works for iPhoto as bad it works for Aperture – namely not at all. Aperture Folder Checker fills the gap!

What do it need Aperture Folder Checker for?

If you have grown accustomed to beaming your photos and videos from your cam to iPhoto you will have a hard time switching to Aperture. At the moment there is no way to get the same no-hassles iPhoto experience. You can neither setup your Eye-Fi card to push photos to Aperture nor can you setup something equivalent in Aperture itself. Presumably this is due to the fact that Aperture’s main audience, “pro photographers” generally likes more control and Eye-Fi seems to be more faced towards consumers. However, for you particularly it boils down to the need of importing your Eye-Fi shots manually to your Aperture library – what a setback!

Here is where Aperture Folder Checker comes into play: It enables you to monitor one or more folders on your hard-drive for new photos and then imports them to Aperture and it plays together with Eye-Fi nicely. This way you get back the real thing and by the way Aperture Folder Checker can even be used for more advanced scenarios, too!

In some ways the functionality of Aperture Hot Folder is resembled but Aperture Folder Checker has already at this early stage of development quite a lot of advantages. For example you do not have to do the setup all the time you launch it again. Instead Aperture Folder Checker remembers your settings. Also, Aperture Folder Checker allows the monitoring of multiple Folders.

When you launch the application for the first time you will be presented with the setup dialog where you should specify your Eye-Fi photo folder(s). If you restart the application later on, the dialog will not be shown in order to not annoy you. If you need to make adjustments you get access to the settings dialog by single clicking the application icon on the dock while the app is running.

Aperture Folder Checker is designed to work together with Eye-Fi. Instead of checking for new images in the given directory Aperture Folder Checker checks for new subfolders in the first place. If then images emerge inside these subfolders the import will take place.
Why that? Because the Eye-Fi software will inspect the images upon download from your camera and create a folder for each individual day where shots have been taken. The shots themselves will then reside inside these folders. This is not as clever as iPhoto does with its event detection (which also exists in Aperture) but a good starting point.

So your shots are separated by day. Aperture Folder Checker scans these subfolders for media. After a certain delay Aperture Folder Checker will decide to import that subfolder all at once. In order to not interfere with future transfers that may commence during import, the subfolder will be moved to a folder named “Import” and later to trash after successful import. If Aperture fails at import the subfolder will remain inside the “Import” folder. This way you get a chance to sort out problems and try again by dragging the subfolder back to the parent folder for another import.

The following screenshot shows how the Eye-Fi card should be setup (the date format may be adjusted to your personal preference). The screenshot is German as my system is. But the annotations should give you a guideline. The most important thing is to enable the subfolder-feature (default).

 

Download

Aperture Folder Checker is bleeding alpha. Dont’t expect that it will work for you in any situation. Anyway, for me it has all features I need right now. You can bet that I care for my shots so I took some precautions that make it unlikely that you will loose data but I don’t guarantee for anything.

At the moment Aperture Folder Checker has the following features (Version 0.4):

  • Monitor one ore more folders for new media in new subfolders (one-folder-per-day principle)
  • Checks for existing Folders upon startup. Don’t miss any files that are created in watched folders while Aperture Folder Checker ist not running
  • Import photos and videos to Aperture
  • Creates a new project with the given subfolder name (e.g. day), imports into existing if already there
  • Settings are saved upon exiting the program. Launch and your are ready to go, no need to do the setup again
  • Set up the file extensions to look for (e.g. trigger import on new RAW but ignore Movies or vice versa)
  • Adjust timeout to wait for new media to optimize your workflow
  • Successful imports go to trash (Aperture itslef handles this, so it seems to be safe). Avoid cluttered import folders if everything you need is already imported

You can download the software here:

Aperture Folder Checker 0.4 Zipped PKG (655KB)

Tip: Add Aperture Folder Checker to your startup Items so you have it ready for action at any time.

 

If you feel, Aperture Folder Checker is your thing, please consider making a donation. This way I will be able to invest more time into the project. Any amount will be appreciated.

 

System requirements
Aperture Folder Checker has been designed for Mac OS X 10.6 originally. As the result of user’s feedback it is known to work from 10.5 to 10.8, thus all recent Versions of Mac OS. Thorough tests have been conducted on 10.6 only, anyhow. Windows and Linux are not supported obviously due to the lack of Aperture on these platforms.

Aperture Folder Checker is written in Java 5. It is known to work on PPC and Intel Macs. However there may be certain hardware configuration that may prevent Aperture Folder Checker from working but none is known to date.

You need administrative privileges for the installation.

Known issues

Version 0.4

  1. Folders with whitespaces in their names will cause an error on import. Please ensure that watched folders have no spaces (e.g. change “Projekt 4711” to “Projekt-4711”).
  2. The “watched extensions” just control when an import is triggered, not what files get imported. Generally Aperture Folder Checker imports all files of the subfolder independently from their actual extension.

Roadmap

Next versions may bring up the following features:

  1. Check for transfer completion on large files so that long transfer times suspend the import process. This may lead to errors with the current version (not verified).
  2. Rewrite in Cocoa to get AppStore compliant.
  3. Rewrite in Cocoa so that Aperture Folder Checker may run in the Menu bar rather than in the Dock.

Changelog

Version 0.4 – Apr 17th 2011

  1. Fixed an error where an Automator Error was displayed after import. Note: This does not solve an issue with whitespaces in watched folder names.

Version 0.3 – Mar 24th 2011

  1. Added a warning message if you try to add a non-empty folder. As since Version 0.2 already existing folders will be evaluated, too, Aperture may mess up folders during import that have been selected accidentially.

Version 0.2 – Mar 22nd 2011

  1. More reliable folder monitoring. 0.1 missed some folders under high load, although this situation will never happen with a simple Eye-Fi card, but maybe with more professional equipment or workflows. 0.2 has been tested against a sophisticated load test and passed without a glitch even in high volume and highly fluctuating transfer delay situations.
  2. Replaced java folder selection dialog with nice and beautiful Mac OS native selection dialog.
  3. Fixed issue where special folders could not be monitored on non-english systems.
  4. Will now check for existing folders also. This way, Aperture Folder Checker can be launched on demand to import files or be run in the background to monitor folders. This may be useful if you plan to import large files whose transfer time may exceed the default timeout period.

Version 0.1 – Mar 21st 2011

  1. First release to the public

License

At the moment the software is free of charge. However it is not free in terms of free software/open source. All rights remain reserved to the author. Please read the license during the installation progress. If you do not agree then you shall abort the installation and not use the software.

22 thoughts on “Aperture Folder Checker

  1. Twan Schoenmakers

    Hi, Just download and installed your software and even under 10.10.1 it is still working great.

    The only wish I have is an option to manage the project where the Photo’s will be imported to. For example a pre pointed standard project.

    Cheers,

    Twan

    Reply
  2. Kelly

    Thanks for making this. I’ve been looking for an alternative to hot folder forever.

    Is there any way to configure your app so that it simply leaves the images in the folder where they are?

    I am running a photo setup where I shoot using an eye-fi card to my laptop. The laptop uses a program called SYNK to mirror other folders on two iMacs. I would like AFC to import the photos to Aperture on each iMac, but it doesn’t work if the image gets deleted right away.

    Thanks for your help.

    Kelly

    Reply
  3. Egon Kuster

    Great little piece of software please keep working on it as it saves lots of problems with other options.

    Reply
  4. Bubba

    Thank you for this! Is there a way to tell Aperture Folder Checker to import items into my Referenced Library rather than the Aperture Library? I’m new to Aperture so this may be some setting I’m missing in Aperture. Thanks!

    Reply
  5. deanna

    I’ve been looking for this solution for a year! This is definitely better than the hot folder option. I’m running Lion without any problems. Thanks!

    Reply
  6. Rango98

    I am getting an automator error.

    Automator could not convert the input data to the desired type.

    Do you know what may be causing this?

    Reply
  7. Andy

    Very good software. Would it be possible to make it so that when it imports into Aperture and you are monitoring the folder in fullscreen mode then the latest photo will be displayed? At the moment the photo is imported and can be seen in the browser, but it doesn’t automatically come up in fullscreen. When I used to use Aperture Hot Folder it used to be able to do that. Now, however it no longer works for me.

    yours
    Andy

    Reply
  8. Winston

    Great piece of software. I wasn’t able to make the Hot Folder Script work with Aperture 3 and my Eye-Fi card. Your Aperture Folder Checker solved my problem. Thank you for that!

    Oh, by the way: I am running Mac OS X Lion and the Aperture Folder Checker works just fine.

    Reply
  9. Mads

    Hi Pascal!

    Sounds good about your Aperture Folder Checker! It appears, that there has been no update since 0.4. Is that correct? What about Lion compatability?

    Best regards

    Mads

    Reply
    1. pascal Post author

      Hi, Mads,

      as far I haven’t switched to Lion. Honestly, I still don’t like the new gestures very much but I guess I have to arrange myself with them.

      Anyway there are plans atm to rewrite AFC with cocoa as Java is deprecated with Lion. You can try to run AFC on Lion if you have a JDK installed but I have no clue if it works. I even can’t guarantee that it isn’t dangerous (although chances to brake something are really really low).

      If you have any infos in terms of Lion feel free to share them. Otherwise check back later.

      Reply
    2. Trom

      Your post has saved my life. I’ve been hinavg problems transferring photos and videos from my iPhone because the phone has a bad habit of naming photos from the beginning (i.e. IMG_0001.jpg), thus risking the chance to override old photos that were transferred to the PC before or ignoring new photos because they have the same file names. This software worked out just great to avoid this problem. One minor suggestion: I’ve used the tags day modified instead of IMG day so that the software can rename the videos as well, and being sorted by the date they were taken. Thanks!

      Reply
  10. Corey

    I’m having an issue where if I do two or more sessions of Eye-fi uploads in a day there is a directory already under “Import” with the same name as the new uploads and the checker fails and doesn’t recover. I assume its something simple like you doing a folder create without checking if it already exists.

    Reply
    1. pascal Post author

      Hi, Corey,

      thanks for your feedback. I will investigate this soon. What I can tell for now, AFC has undergone tests with hundreds of sessions within tens of minutes. So this should not have been an issue but your observations sound plausible.

      Reply
  11. Thorsten

    Hallo,
    ich schreibe dann mal auf Deutsch weiter.
    Leider taucht das Problem bei mir immer noch auf.
    In dem genutzten Verzeichnis wird ein temp-Ordner angelegt und dann kommt die Meldung wieder.
    Ich werde dieses Verhalten noch an einem zweiten Mac testen und melde mich dann noch einmal.

    Grüsse aus Köln.

    Reply
  12. Rudolf Pokorny

    Hallo,
    ich bekomme bei dem Versuch, Bilder in Aperture importieren zu lassen folgende Fehlermeldung: “Automator konnte die Eingabedaten nicht in den gewünschten Typ konvertieren.” Was kann da schuld sein? Danke und gratuliere zu der Software und der Seite!
    Grüße aus Österreich

    Reply
    1. pascal Post author

      Hallo, Rudolf,

      danke für dein Feeback. Ich habe da in 0.3 tatsächlich ein Problem gefunden und es in 0.4 behoben.
      Würde mich sehr über ein Feedback freuen, ob es für dich so funktioniert.

      Grüße, Pascal

      Reply
  13. Thorsten

    Hi,
    this is a great piece of work.
    So far an error appear every time this software finds a new pic in the folder.
    The automator starts up and says “Automator konnte die Eingabedaten nicht in den gewünschten Typ konvertieren.”. This appears every 20 secs, whats you standard refresh rate is.

    Any suggestions? Thanks

    Reply
    1. pascal Post author

      Thorsten,

      thanks for you feedback. I found an error in 0.3. Has been fixed with 0.4.
      Please give feedback if it works for you.

      Regards, Pascal

      Reply

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