iMovie won't recognize my Aperture or iPhoto library
January 5, 2016 4:31 PM   Subscribe

When I try to browse photos or videos from iPhoto or Aperture in iMovie I'm unable to do so. The libraries are greyed out. I've Googled and tried stuff to no avail. Help!

OS X 10.10.5, Aperture 3.6, iMovie 10.1.

Trying to import media into iMovie via the iMovie media browser. Nothing in iPhoto or Aperture will show up. The libraries, when I browse to them (within iMovie) in my /pictures/ folder, are greyed out as if they are not valid. I have no issues with the libraries in their respective applications. I can browse to the libraries using Finder and explore the package contents.

Note: This is not a matter of certain photos or videos not showing up in iMovie, this is my entire Aperture library being greyed out (unable to open) when I browse to it in iMovie. It looks like this.

I have Googled and tried the following:

I tried creating a new Aperture library with only a single photo in it. The new library was also unavailable. I have switched my Aperture libraries to the one I created and back. No go.

I don't use iPhoto but there are still things in my library. I also cannot open the iPhoto library from iMovie. That library is also greyed out.

I have tried repairing my libraries. Nope.

I have repaired permissions on my home directory as explained here.

I have confirmed that my "share XML with other apps" preference in Aperture is set to "always." I have toggled it back and forth to other settings to no avail.

I can export movies from Aperture and open them in iMovie but I want to be able to browse right from iMovie.

My aperture library is managed, not referenced. Nothing in it is referenced.

I can... if this makes sense, browse to my Aperture library folder structure and open files that way. This is a pain because it's all sorted by date, not into projects and whatnot. I want to be able to browse projects and events right from the library.

I deleted "" from my ~/library/preferences folder as well as a couple for iMovie.

Again, I am not able to browse the Aperture library from iMovie, it's not just a matter of not accessing certain content within the library.

I don't wish to upgrade to El Capitan or the Photos app. I suspect that will not solve the issue anyway.

I am not an OS X expert but I can navigate my way around and I'm pretty sharp with Googling for issues.

posted by bondcliff to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Oh, and my Aperture library is 250gb with 15657 assets in it. Library version 3.6.
posted by bondcliff at 4:35 PM on January 5, 2016

(but as I said, even a new, tiny library is unable to be browsed in iMovie)
posted by bondcliff at 4:38 PM on January 5, 2016

I would add a new user account and then make a new Aperture library & new iMovie project while logged in as that user. If it still doesn't work then the problem isn't with your large existing library or your user account's permissions so at least you can eliminate time consuming troubleshooting.
posted by bcwinters at 5:02 AM on January 6, 2016

That didn't work either, but I marked it because it was useful troubleshooting.

I've also tried reinstalling iMovie but that didn't help.

This is really starting to drive me crazy.
posted by bondcliff at 4:17 PM on January 6, 2016

Ok, this seems to be a bigger issue than just iMovie. If I go to browse my media folders to post a photo to, say, Facebook, I can see the libraries on the "Media" sidebar but opening them does nothing. It just sort of hangs without refreshing the file list. This happens both in Chrome and Safari.

So it seems like those libraries, iPhoto, Aperture, and even iTunes, are not browseable from elsewhere.

This is very strange.
posted by bondcliff at 4:49 PM on January 6, 2016

Ok, once I figured out it was a bigger problem with the OS I did a few things and then just said fuck it and installed El Capitan. The issue is fixed.

I'd like to thank each and every one of you for your valuable contributions. All your well-thought-out comments helped me immensely and without you all I'd still be stuck not being able to post pictures of my kid on my MySpace page. Thanks to the mods for all the work moderating this thread, to the folks at NPR who discussed this amazing thread in not one, but TWO podcasts, and to the guys at Buzzfeed for their list "Ten Things To Help Fix Your OS X Media Browser. #7 Will Make You Crap Your Pants and Want To Punch A Guy!"

Thanks even to you fuckers who told me to switch to Windows or Linux. HAR HAR.

This is why I love this place. Peace and love to all of you. I'm just gonna go ahead and add this to the "Goddamn Amazing Ask Metafilter Posts" over at the Wiki.


Seriously, thank you bcwinters for your comment, which was a troubleshooting step I hadn't thought of but will know to do in the future.
posted by bondcliff at 5:46 PM on January 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

« Older Temporary housing in Canberra   |   Best eye-opening personal stories you've read... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.