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Library size management

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Williams Cole
Library size management
on Nov 22, 2015 at 1:03:28 am

Hi - I have a question about library size. Am working on two feature documentaries and am relatively new to X. I like the idea that all the footage can be imported and "live" in the library as a single file for a project. But now the libraries are becoming pretty large (i.e. 5TB and over). My question is this: should I split the libraries? If so, what is the ideal size? And is there any way in X to "share" media between libraries without a clip being copied into the library (i.e. if I'm editing something and need some clips from the other library). Or should I start over in a way and use external media only. Thanks, any suggestions would be valuable.


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John Rofrano
Re: Library size management
on Nov 22, 2015 at 3:25:59 am

[Williams Cole] "I like the idea that all the footage can be imported and "live" in the library as a single file for a project. But now the libraries are becoming pretty large (i.e. 5TB and over). My question is this: should I split the libraries? If so, what is the ideal size?"
It's important to understand that a Library is not a single file. While it presents itself as a single object in Finder, it is actually a Folder which contains sub-folders for each Event and more sub-folders under the Event that contain your original footage (in the case of a Managed Library), optimize media, renders, etc..

Knowing this, the question you are really asking is if 5TB is too much to keep in a folder on your hard drive to which the answer is, of course not as long as you have room on the drive it has to be under some folder somewhere. So there is no "ideal" size from a technical standpoint because a Library is just a special folder called a "Package" that contains your files just like any other folder.

Having said that, some people like to keep Libraries small enough to easily backup. That size would be dependent on how big your backup device is because you can't backup up half of a Library on one drive and the other half on another. So that's definitely something to consider.
[Williams Cole] "And is there any way in X to "share" media between libraries without a clip being copied into the library (i.e. if I'm editing something and need some clips from the other library)."
Yes. When you import your footage, you can select the "Leave files in place" option. This keeps each file where ever it was originally on your hard drive and just places a pointer to it in your Library. You can now copy that clip to another Library and it will create another pointer to it in the new Library that points back to the original media file on your hard drive. You will now have the clip show up in both Libraries but only be physically present in one place that is outside of both libraries on your hard drive. This also works well when the media is on a shared drive. There is also a way to later copy these files into your library by using Consolidation if you change your mind.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Bret Williams
Re: Library size management
on Nov 22, 2015 at 6:08:20 am

As well, if you were to duplicate an entire library on the same drive, from within X (not in the finder) it will appear that it has instantly duplicated all your media. However, through some sum link magic, there are duplicate files in the finder as a result, but they occupy the same data space in the space time continuum.

IOW, inside FCP X you can highlight all the files/media in your library and choose to "copy to new library" and then choose consolidate into the library when you're done and all the media will be in the new library AND the old library and won't occupy any more space.

Just for fun I copied an entire 500 gig library to a new library. Some of the files were managed (about 250 gigs) some were external (500gigs). The new library had 250 gigs. Then I consolidated the rest of the files into the new library so it was a solid 750gigs. The available space on my raid remained as 4.3TB the entire time. Although, logically you'd think it'd have gone down to 3.6 gigs. The files (not aliases) now exist in 2 places. Inside the original library (and some outside) and also completely inside the second library. The whole 750 gig library copied/consolidated in a matter of seconds instead of 20 min that 750gigs would normally take.

Soooo... long story short, to answer your question about copying files between libraries without copying the file is that it doesn't matter. The file does get copied, yes. It makes it idiot proof that you won't delete one library and knock another libraries files offline. BUT it doesn't matter because as long as the files live on the same drive, the duplicate file(s) take up zero additional space (maybe a couple K or something just for the name of the file).


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John Rofrano
Re: Library size management
on Nov 22, 2015 at 1:19:05 pm

That's a good point Bret. If you consolidate files that are on the same drive, FCP X will actually move them into the library and not copy them so that they take up the same amount of space. If, however, the external files were on another drive, FCP X would physically copy them into the library leaving the originals in place. This allows you to consolidate a library spread across multiple drives into one that you can easily take with you to another computer.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Bret Williams
Re: Library size management
on Nov 22, 2015 at 4:52:42 pm

Well true but that's not what I'm saying. If you have a library that all the files are internally managed and you duplicate all those files into another library on the same drive, it takes absolutely no more space. Anything copies between libraries on the same drive don't take up any more space. It creates hard links, not symlinks. Multiple files using the same data. The data is not released(deleted) until all instances of the hard links are trashed.


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John Rofrano
Re: Library size management
on Nov 23, 2015 at 6:00:45 pm
Last Edited By John Rofrano on Nov 23, 2015 at 6:01:10 pm

Yup, I guess I complicated the issue by talking about consolidation. I agree that being able to copy media between Libraries and only having one copy on your hard drive is one of the cool features of FCP X.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Michael Angelo
Re: Library size management
on Jul 6, 2016 at 6:22:24 am

It makes so much sense that sym links do not create redundant data but what about proxies? Is there a way to edit between different libraries on the same drive WITHOUT copying the proxies?

Thanks in advance

MA

Harvest the compromises...


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