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Do Multiple Events in a Library Slow Things Down?

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Philip Davies
Do Multiple Events in a Library Slow Things Down?
on Jan 7, 2014 at 11:55:16 am

Like a lot of users I believe, we've been keeping all of our Events and Projects in separate folders, dragging only what we want to work on into the 'Final Cut Events' and 'Final Cut Projects' folders. We did this because more than a couple of Events/Projects for FCPX to preload slowed things to a crawl.

With the 10.1 release when we create a Library for a client (which might contain as many as 10 quite sizable Events and 20+ Projects), there's no way to close individual Events within that Library. So will having say, 10 Events and 20+ Projects in a Library slow FCPX down like it did before the workflow change in 10.1?

At the moment, we are literally creating a Library per Event (so a single client might have 10+ Libraries) and just giving the Library and Event the same name. This obviously makes the Library level redundant but at least we know FCPX won't slow because it's not having to preload lots of Events/Projects.

Has anyone worked with multiple large Events and Projects in a Library and found it usable? Is 10.1 handling multiple Events differently so that they don't have to be preloaded?

Thanks in advance for any advice, Phil.


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Michael Hadley
Re: Do Multiple Events in a Library Slow Things Down?
on Jan 7, 2014 at 3:12:07 pm

Great question--would love more intel on that. FWIW, been working on a project with libraries on two raid drives, and that really slows things down. Don't know if it's because of multiple drives or multiple libraries.


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Bret Williams
Re: Do Multiple Events in a Library Slow Things Down?
on Jan 7, 2014 at 6:03:51 pm

Libraries are simple yet far reaching. By putting the project and event in the library it takes the place of EMX. You can now mount groups of projects and events from within X. So generally, yes, you'd have few events in a library and treat a library as a legacy or traditional NLE project. But you could however use it for larger groupings, like a client, but since any NLE is going to slow down the more data and clips it has to manage, it seems it would always be best to keep things to a minimum overhead. No reason to have 50 events and projects loaded just because you "might" need a clip from a project 2 years ago. I'd say it's better to have a client folder on your drive with many libraries inside and do the old school method of mounting libraries til you find the clip you need, copy it over to the current library, then unmount the other library. X by default will copy that media into the new library event UNLESS it was an externally linked/managed file, in which case it will remain so.

The other nicety of libraries is they can exist anywhere AND link to external files. No more keeping stuff at the root folder on a drive in a special projects or events folder. So the library can be stored anywhere, and linked to media anywhere. A central server for example where other people are linking to the same media from their libraries. Using the consolidate command can bring copy all the media back into the library itself, or move it out to an external location. Much like a souped up 2-way "organize" command pre-10.1.

I don't see the need to call the event the same name as the library. Since the event is always within the library it's not viewable by any other means. It's even tough to see it in the finder without "showing package contents." I have 2 events in a project. One for media, one for sequences.



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Bret Williams
Re: Do Multiple Events in a Library Slow Things Down?
on Jan 7, 2014 at 6:12:01 pm

Oh that's interesting. I remember having the same thought about naming the events the same as the library so there'd be no confusion. Looks like in the screen shot I used those were some of the first projects I converted. I had named the events media and sequences, but just in case, left the name of the library at the end. I think this stemmed from the previous method of modifying event references in the past, where you definitely wouldn't have wanted 2 events to have the same name, and probably couldn't. But there's not reason not to simply call those events media and sequences now. Even if we can still modify event references, it is only within the library.


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Philip Davies
Re: Do Multiple Events in a Library Slow Things Down?
on Jan 8, 2014 at 12:17:39 am

Yep, I prefer the fact there's no longer a need to keep things stored in a root-level folder specifically called Final Cut Events / Projects, although it wasn't a great hassle to move stuff in and out. And you're right that there's no need to give an event the same name as the library - it's more an OCD thing ;)


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Fabrizio D'Agnano
Re: Do Multiple Events in a Library Slow Things Down?
on Jan 7, 2014 at 6:41:00 pm

Editing documentaries I often have to search for particular clips coming from my entire archive, so I need to keep a lot of libraries and events open at the same time. At the moment I'm editing a series and I have about ten libraries open, containing about one hundred of 2' to 4' clips each. Two of the libraries contain multiple events. I noticed that with the latest release, the typical slowing down and everything getting somehow sluggish that I was meeting in similar editing situations have gone much better, and I don't have to quit and relaunch FCPX to restore a decent speed in scrolling and skimming or continuosly wait for the spinning beach ball to get away. The footage is mostly unoptimized 1080i AVCHD or older HDV, and the machine an old 2008 MP.

Fabrizio D'Agnano
Rome, Italy
early 2008 MacPro, BM Intensity Pro, early 2008 iMac, 2011 MacBook Pro, FCP7, FCPX, OSX 10.8.3


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Philip Davies
Re: Do Multiple Events in a Library Slow Things Down?
on Jan 8, 2014 at 12:21:12 am

That's useful to know Fabrizio. We're using a similar type of footage and although we'd never have more than 1 Library open at a time, a Library for a typical client could contain over 20hours of clip footage.


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Robert Castiglione
Re: Do Multiple Events in a Library Slow Things Down?
on Jan 8, 2014 at 5:53:17 am
Last Edited By Robert Castiglione on Jan 8, 2014 at 5:58:06 am

This is precisely the question I have been pondering.

I have several large libraries with multiple events and have definitely noticed that performance is affected by having so many events in a single library. There is nothing in the Apple White Paper concerning managing media to indicate that this would be the case. Indeed, it suggests that the Library structure could be used to hold multiple events.

Creating multiple libraries for a single production because it otherwise it will affect performance seems like a step backwards to me. It is going to be a problem for people working on large documentaries or feature films. Having to open and close multiple libraries and then drag and copy events between libraries does not seem to me an optimal why to manage media that for single production. I am beginning to wonder whether we have not actually lost something in the move to the new library structure.


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