Reconnecting recovered files
I'm still running FCP7 on OS 10.11.6. I recently lost a few thousand media files on my external hard drive (and on the back up drive). Long story. I used Disk Drill to recover the lost files. They seem to preview well. All good.
But many are reconstructed with generic names (like file 12345.aif). Moreover, some files (like six different wind SFX) will be almost impossible to identify via sound. Is there a way to identify the files another way, say by size. If so, how would I export a list of the missing files from FCP with their sizes? Is there another practical solution?
FCP looks at four bits of metadata to link to the files. Clip name, timecode, duration, reel number. If your files lack any of those, relinking won't be able to happen. You'll have to re-import and then manually cut into the sequence. I hope you have a recent output in which to see what is what.
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FCP primarily looks to file names to reconnect
after that if tc, reel, duration, or number of tracks don't match you get a warning , but have the option of trying to reconnect.
if all your file names have changed thats a bit of a problem!
if you've managed to retain tc and reel# you could things semi-manualy, but it would take some time & effort.
there is however an app from Video Toolshed called FCP Reconnect that will look beyond the file name and reconnect based on reel# and tc.
there's a god chance your audio files will have not very useful tc & reel#
they probably have no reel# and al have tc starting at zero,
so you my have to approach those manually
and number of tracks and duration are your only bet
there IS a file-size column in FCP,
once a file is offline, I'm pretty sure the file-size reads as zero, or rather has no value,
so duration is the go.
here's what i would do (be aware I'm very patient and persistent and ok spending a lot of time fixing problems !)
first locate all your audio only clips in your project / projects
use the browser search for this
oops- are al your clips i note browser? if some are in the timeline only, that could be a problem,
you might have to "create Master clip" to find them.
search - all projects if more than one project is involved
type contains clip
omit tracks contains V
this should bring up all your audio only clips.
copy them all into a new project
maybe get rid of any clips that DO have reel# & TC, as FCP reconnect can solve those.
so you're just left w your SXF & music
maybe separate the files with ONE track only from the stereo files into separate bins
bring in the audio only files from the finder
get rid of any with Reel#s and tc, and similarly separate into one-track ad stereo
so you should have 4 bins:
do your offline and online bins contain the same number of clips?
maybe you have duplicates in your offline clips
they'd still have their names so that'd be easy enough to spot
now you'd sort your clips by duration (maybe longest to shortest)
i'd do the mono files first as there's probably less of them
sorted by duration bring all the on-line mono clips into new timeline
do the same for the off-line clips, layering them on top of the on-line ones
theres probably be a bit of shuffling to get them sorted
there will be many that have the same duration, but you'll have offline ones with descriptive names,
and online ons that you can hear, so after some time you should be able to line them all up.
once you're confidant you've got good matches, you'd go thru and copy the names of the offline clips to the on-line clips
i'd use a macro for this (i use QuickKeys for this sort of this al the time os it;s not big deal t me) Keyboard Maestro is a more modern one that may have less issues than hate rather old QuickKeys.
once you've done that, go to the bin that contains the newly re-names mono clips,
and choose Modify Menu > Rename > File to match Clip.
next do the same for the stereo clips - there's probably more s it will take longer
once you're done you will have sorted all the clips and renamed those uselessly named files of yours,
and in your original projects you should be able to reconnect.
it could be that you can't reliably tel with some of the clips/ files which ones are which,
in those instance i guess i would leave them out of the first round of renaming and deal with them on a more individual basis.
this will all take some time, and you might need to master some new skills ( the macro app)
but hopefully I've given you some ideas.
(Like you can see how it would be pretty easy to deal with the files that DO have reel# and TC)
all the best,
Thanks for your thoughtful, detailed answer. I may ...have the files on another old 4 TB G-raid drive, with mainly a hardware vs. software problem.
I've been told that my chances of recovering files with names, in their directories, are better on that drive. As you may know, data recovery (from the platters) is really pricey. About $900 in my case. They don't charge if the results aren't what I need. So I'm going to bite the bullet, pay the cash and see what happens. If this doesn't work, I'll go back to the original problem drive and have a good look at what you suggest.
And, of course, I'll be more careful with back ups in future (external drives, the cloud). I thought I was being careful. My main media drive seemed to be working fine. But I rarely checked my FCP projects, as I'm not actively editing. So I was backing up the empty folder / missing files problem. Live and learn.
ok good luck Michael.
if it comes to it,
I've got macros for the renaming step i talked about, and QuicKeys has a 30 day free trial,
so i can help you out, if needed.