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Re: Corporate vids: Should I use one library and one event for all footage/projects?

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Joe Marler
Re: Corporate vids: Should I use one library and one event for all footage/projects?
on Oct 19, 2018 at 12:32:25 pm

[Dave Smith] "What I have seen is the inability to use a clip from a project in one event... in another project in another event (in the same library) without 'copying' the clip to the new event."

I don't see that behavior. If clip1 is used in project1 in event1, then you create event2 and inside that project2, you can open project2 and from the Event Browser go back to event1 and drag/drop or use the E key to add clip1 from event1 to project2 in event2. You need not copy the media to event2. This is within the same library. Obviously clips must be duplicated if dragged/dropped between libraries, however even then no more space is consumed if on the same disk volume.

If you previously duplicated clips between events, it's still not taking up more space. FCPX doesn't physically duplicate the media at a file level. Even though within FCPX two duplicate clips appear, one in each event, if you look inside the library package there is only one clip in one event. This isn't an alias or even a hard link, but the behavior is similar to an alias. FCPX gives the illusion of that clip being in two different events and you can use it as if it were there. But it's not really duplicated at the file level. This illustrates why thinking of events strictly as file-level folders is misleading. For all we know a future version of FCPX could totally eliminate the folder aspect of events (at the file level) and handle it all via a database, yet the appearance and behavior within FCPX would be unchanged.

Even if you drag/drop clips between libraries on the same disk volume, the media files, proxy files or optimized media files are not truly duplicated, courtesy of hard links. They will show as duplicated both in FCPX and at the file level. However each one is actually hard linked to a single copy of the file, so won't take up any more space. This can be confirmed by going inside the library and using the terminal command ls -i which shows both copies of the files have the same inode -- they are actually the same file. Also the reference count of the file (shown by ls -l) increments each time files are copied across libraries within FCPX but no more disk space is consumed, if on the same disk volume.

It is conceivable if you are using an older version of FCPX or your media files are not on HFS+ or APFS, this behavior might be different. In general all FCPX media should be on HFS+ or APFS, not on exFAT or NTFS. I don't know the behavior if on a NAS.


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