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Aperture Mac Download


Despite long being abandoned by Apple, it's still possible to launch — and run — apps without 64-bit support like Aperture and older versions of iTunes on both macOS Big Sur and Catalina. Here's how to do it.

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First things first. If your workflow truly relies on Apple's old image organizing tool Aperture, then you should be looking to replace rather than resurrect it. But then Aperture, as much as it had its fans, was dropped five years ago so you've surely moved your work to a new system by now.

Download the latest version of Aperture for Mac. Picture manager for professional photographers. Aperture is a photo manager developed by Apple and focussed. Aperture for Mac, free and safe download. Aperture latest version: A better way to refine your images. Download Apple Aperture for Mac to post production tool for photographers. Step 1: Download the Retroactive app. The Retroactive app can modify Aperture, iPhoto, or iTunes to run on macOS Big Sur and macOS Catalina. Retroactive will automatically scan your Mac to.

In which case, don't see this as a replacement or a resurrection, but rather something to relish. Where others have found workarounds for retrieving your old Aperture data, developer and IT consultant Tyshawn Cormier has created a system to let you re-install and run the app itself.

That's iTunes version 10.7 running on macOS Big Sur

You have to have the app, but if it's not still lurking on a drive somewhere, Cormier's Retroactive app will prompt you through redownloading it from your previous purchases in the App Store.

What Retroactive does is circumvent Apple's macOS systems that first prevent installation, and then running them. Cormier has written what he calls a deep dive into how it works and, specifically, the very many steps he had to go through to get it all working for macOS Catalina.

He's now also made it work for macOS Big Sur, but the fact that he has had to rework Retroactive for the new operating system should be a warning. So is the fact that only very specific old apps can be run — and not all of them could make it to Big Sur.

You have to have Aperture or iPhoto to install them

For macOS Catalina and macOS Big Sur, the Retroactive app will let you install and run Aperture, iPhoto and several different versions of iTunes. That's it, however.

If you have access to a Mac running either macOS Mojave or macOS High Sierra, you can get more. Macs running those systems can also install Final Cut Pro 7, Logic Pro 9, and iWork '09.

Again, you have to own the original apps. This is a way of keeping your apps going a little longer — and having access to your old data if you haven't exported it yet.

How to run Aperture and others on Catalina and Big Sur

  1. Download Retroactive from GitHub
  2. Run the app and chose Aperture, iPhoto, or iTunes
  3. Follow the prompts to authenticate the app with your login password
  4. Wait several minutes
  5. Run your chosen app

When you've been through this process, you can then run your app of choice at any time by simply double-clicking it. You don't need to re-run Retroactive.

However, you can rerun it in order to work through the other apps and use them all. There are some small differences in the process when you do, though.

Aperture and iPhoto are both shown with an Unlock button, while iTunes has Install. That's because Retroactive is able to retrieve old iTunes versions and install them itself, whereas you need to get Aperture and iPhoto from the App Store.

When you choose iTunes, you get more options than you do with the other two apps. You're offered a choice of different old versions and rather than a list of specifications, Retroactive shows you a key feature from each to help you pick.

So you can opt to say that CoverFlow is what you really miss, and you'll get iTunes version 10.7. Choose just the Classic Look and you'll get iTunes 11.4, for instance.

There are many different older versions of iTunes to choose from

With all the versions of iTunes that are available, it can take much longer to install than Aperture. In our testing it was only a few extra minutes, but Cormier warns it can take up to an hour.

Retroactive is not an emulator, such as the one that lets you run the whole of classic Mac OS 8 within macOS Catalina.

Instead, what it's really doing at heart is finding all of the 32-bit frameworks that these used to rely on, and finding a way to replace them with modern 64-bit ones. So that when your app tries to utilize a particular feature of macOS, it finds an equivalent. Or it tries to.

Apple Aperture For Mac

Even though you can install and run Aperture, iPhoto, and iTunes, on both macOS Catalina and Big Sur, you can't quite get absolutely every feature you used to have. Specifically, both Aperture and iPhoto lack the ability to play videos, use Photo Stream, or connect to iCloud Photo Sharing.

There are other small glitches, but overall it is like stepping back in time to use these apps.

Retroactive is a remarkable piece of work. Maybe you'll use it because you really need these old apps, but it will definitely give you a rush of nostalgia.

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Shortcuts To Installation/Execution Instructions

Table of Contents

    System Requirements
    APT Packages
    Basic Installation and Execution Instructions
    Troubleshooting Your Installation
    Changing APT’s GUI Size

System Requirements

Aperture Photometry Tool (APT) is an all-Java software implementation. There are no software dependencies on other astronomical packages or libraries. However, you will need to have a recent version of the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) installed on your machine. This version of APT was compiled with JDK 1.6.0_65 (Java Development Kit).

APT can be installed and run on any computer with the JRE installed (or JDK, which includes the JRE). This includes, but is not limited to, machines running Mac, Windows, Linux, and Solaris operating systems. The minimum memory requirement is probably less than 500 MBytes. APT’s basic functions can be utilized on machines with relatively small memories to analyze portions of very large images, which is effected by setting the maximum image size under APT’s preferences menu to as little as 500 pixels on a side.

APT can be installed as a double-clickable application or can be executed from the command line. The former is particularly easy for Windows and Mac machines. In order to do the latter, the java command must be in the system’s path. To determine whether this is the case, type the following command in a terminal window:

You should see a response like

The 64-bit JVM (Java Virtual Machine) is preferred for APT, and the 32-bit JVM will have issues if the java command is executed with the -Xmx option that exceeds the addressable memory of the JVM.

APT Packages

The appropriate APT package must be for the target machine. The *.tar.gz package can be installed on all machines (but the *.zip package is more convenient for Windows machines), and is suitable for users running APT from a command window, but a slightly more complicated installation procedure must be followed in this case. Most users will want to install APT as a double-clickable application, however. In this case, the *.zip package for Windows machines or the appropriate *.dmg package for Macs should be downloaded.

Basic Installation and Execution Instructions

APT packages can be downloaded from here.

Windows Machines

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The easiest way to install and execute APT on a Windows machine is as follows:

  1. Download the *.zip file.
  2. Unzip the file to a sensible location of your choice, perhaps the Desktop.
  3. Bring up a Windows Explorer window, navigate to the installed
    location, and double-click on the APT.exe Application file (which has the red and green APT logo as its icon).

A shortcut to APT.exe can be created and placed on the Windows Desktop for convenient access. Simply mouse-click on APT.exe with the right mouse button and choose “Create Shortcut”, and then drag the resulting “Shortcut to APT.exe” file to the Windows Desktop.

Please be careful to not double-click on either APT.jar or APT.bat. The former will launch APT, but insufficient memory will be allocated for large images. The latter will launch APT properly, but only if the Java bin directory is in the path of the operating system.


Apple Legacy Java 6 is required if you wish to run APT as a double-click application. Higher versions of Java are allowed, but in this case you must run APT from the command line via APT.csh in a terminal window (follow Linux instructions below).

Assuming you have Apple Legacy Java 6 installed, the easiest way to install and execute APT on a Mac is as follows:

  1. Download the appropriate *.dmg file.
  2. Double-click on the *.dmg if the Mac does not automatically open it.
  3. Drag the “Aperture Photometry Tool.app” application to the /Applications folder.
  4. In the Mac’s Finder tool, navigate to the /Applications folder, and double-click on the “Aperture Photometry Tool.app” application.

APT can be placed on the Mac’s dock for convenient access. Simply drag the APT folder from the /Applications directory over to the dock and hover to allow time for the existing dock icons to “make room” for APT.

Linux, Solaris, and Other Machines

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This section illustrates a general procedure for installing APT on computers with UNIX-like operating systems, including Macs, that meet the above system requirements (and even Windows machines, although advanced knowledge of Windows is required, including using batch files, setting environment variables, executing DOS commands from a Command-Prompt window, possibly using the DOS edit command to edit the APT.bat file). The following basic steps are involved (and more details are given afterwards):

  1. Download and uncompress the *.tar.gz file.
  2. Copy the file to an installation directory, like ~/Applications in the example below (the ~ symbol means the user’s home directory).
  3. Extract the contents of the *.tar file after uncompression.
  4. Set environment variables according to the details of the installation.
  5. Execute the appropriate script to launch APT (APT.csh for UNIX-like operating systems or APT.bat for Windows machines).

Note: it has been reported that Chrome gunzips the *.tar.gz file, but does not remove the “.gz” suffix from the filename, so you may have to manually rename the *.tar.gz file to *.tar. Alternatively, use Firefox instead to download the *.tar.gz file.

Installation instructions (and uninstalling previous version of APT):


Now, you need to set up your environment. If your default shell is bash, add these lines to your ~/.bash_profile file (or change from 2.8.3 to 2.8.4 if you installed the previous version of APT):

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Special note: If your machine is running Ubuntu Linux, then consider adding the above lines to ~/.profile instead of ~/bash_profile.

If your default shell is csh or tcsh, add the following lines to your ~/.cshrc file (or change from 2.8.3 to 2.8.4 if you installed the previous version of APT):

Execution instructions:

  1. Bring up a new terminal window.
  2. Change to a working directory.
  3. Execute the following command in the new terminal window:

Troubleshooting Your Installation

If APT does not work as a double-click application on your Mac or Windows machine, you can try launching APT from a terminal window. To do this, open a terminal window, change to the directory where the APT.jar is located, and execute the following command:

The language and region requirements should be set as above (“en” and “US”, respectively), regardless of the global location of the user, in order to ensure correct handling of floating-point numbers with decimal points as opposed to commas. The -Xmx1024M option allocates memory for large images, and can be set to larger values, such as 2048 or 4096, provided that the java command is running a 64-bit Java Virtual Machine. Error messages, if any, will be printed in the terminal window.

This java command can be incorporated into a custom shell script for the routine launching of APT where precise control of the java-command options used to invoke APT is needed. For example, the use may want to create a custom bash script to launch APT. The java command can be further customized by the user to include the pathname to APT.jar, either explicitly or as an environment-variable setting.

Changing APT’s GUI Size

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APT has the option of displaying a slightly smaller-sized GUI. This option may be suitable for laptops with smaller screens. While the default GUI size is 1390 x 835 pixels, the compact-GUI size is 1220 x 800 pixels. The setting of environment variable APT_COMPACT=1 before executing APT will give the smaller GUI, and APT_COMPACT=0 or no setting will give the larger GUI. If you are happy with the larger-sized GUI, then you need not bother to set APT_COMPACT at all. For Macs, a different *.dmg file that is set up for the compact GUI can be downloaded.

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Webpage last updated: September 24, 2020 at 10:36 a.m. Pacific Time.