AMITIAE - Thursday 15 March 2012

Some Notes on Photo Stream in Aperture

apple and chopsticks


By Graham K. Rogers


I have rather taken to the Photo Stream feature Apple introduce a few months ago. I use it on all three of the main devices I have: the iPhone, the iPad and the Mac. The way images are handled are different on the computer. On iOS devices, photographs that are in the Camera Roll are also copied to the Photo Stream album (unless the user deletes them pretty fast) and then synchronised via the cloud to devices that have the feature turned on.

With the Mac, the images are handled a little differently with specific settings either in iPhoto or Aperture. Only one of these can be used. I favour Aperture for my work, so I turn it on in that application using the panel in the preferences section.

There are three check boxes in the panel: Enable Photo Stream; Automatic Import; and Automatic upload. As I may take a hundred or more images at one time, I keep this last item unchecked. The Automatic import is useful, especially when I am writing app reviews as the screenshots or photos created in apps can be available in Aperture within a short time and this saves me the need to synchronise using the USB cable. Folders are created automatically and are marked with the month and the year: the album for this month is Mar 2012 Photo Stream.


Last week, iPhoto was updated with the useful feature that now allows images to be deleted from the Photo Stream, perhaps allowing some to avoid those embarrassing moments shot at office parties (or worse) which perhaps seemed innocent at the time. It was possible to delete before, but the process was inconvenient and involved the entire removal of the Photo Stream. Unsurprisingly an update to Aperture followed early this week in which the same ability to delete images from the Photo Stream was added to the application.

Updates to the Photo Stream albums in Aperture occur far slower than with the iOS devices. A photograph taken on my iPhone may appear within a minute or so on my iPad, but it might be a few minutes before the same image appears in Aperture. I used the Apple feedback page this week to suggest a button to force an update to the Photo Stream album as the default time for synchronisation -- this is not a Push service -- seems to be in the region of 5 minutes. Once or twice, images have been missed and I have had to resort to using the cable.

An oddity appeared last week when I had been using apps on the iPhone, particularly the new iPhoto to edit and apply effects to photographs that were in the Photo Albums there. While an image I edited using Halftone appeared immediately, another image seemed to disappear.

Aperture A short while later, while looking around for something else, I was surprised to see a new folder: Jan 2008 Photo Stream. There were also folders for November 2010, Apr 2010 and Aug 2010. The feature only appeared in October 2011 with the release of iOS 5.0. A look inside some of the more recently created albums, also found some images that were included in absolute date order -- earlier than the edited versions.

This only seems to happen with those apps that retain the metadata for the original image. Some apps create a new image and the date is changed to reflect when the image was edited (or created in the app).

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs.



Made on Mac

For further information, e-mail to

information Tag information Tag

Back to eXtensions
Back to Home Page