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Video Editing in Dropbox

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Kayvon Afshari
Video Editing in Dropbox
on Feb 2, 2015 at 6:54:51 pm

Hi Premiere forum,

I am starting to do much more editing, and am trying to figure out what the best workflow is for my media management when working with Adobe Premiere. I have three options, and am looking for advice on which to go with. I work on two machines: a late 2012 iMac 2.7 GHz Intel Core i5 with 8GB RAM; AND a late 2011 MacBook Pro 2.4 GHZ with 8GB RAM. Both run OS X Yosemite. I would like to be able to switch between machines mid-project.

1. Dropbox
I purchased 1TB of Dropbox space. Is it a good or bad idea to edit off of Dropbox, meaning keeping the project file and all assets in DB? The upside is that it will (eventually) sync everything, making it easy to switch between machines mid-project. However, it seems to make the computer run slower. Can anyone advise me on this?

2. Internal Hard Drive
I have 750GB on both machines. Obviously, the con here is that it makes it harder to switch between machines. What I am not sure about is whether editing off of assets saved on an internal drive is faster than off assets saved externally. Any advice?

3. External Hard Drive
I have a 3TB Thunderbolt LaCie drive.
The pro is that I can switch between machines, but not as easily as using Dropbox-- I still need to be near a power source and keep my computer plugged in to the hard drive. What I am not sure about is whether editing off of assets saved on an external drive is faster than off assets saved internally. What do you think?

Any advice is greatly appreciated.


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Daniel Waldron
Re: Video Editing in Dropbox
on Feb 4, 2015 at 2:35:17 am

There are others who are far more knowledgeable on the technological side of things than I am and I'm sure they'll provide you with good advice, but here are my $0.02.

1. Unless you have really fast, expensive internet (or Google Fiber!), editing off of Dropbox sounds like a pain. You're basically limiting your system to your internet speed, and having to read and write constantly to the cloud will slow things way down.

2-3. I would recommend editing off of the Solid State thunderbolt drive. Your internal drives speed are likely either 5400 or 7200rpm, and a solid state drive can more than double the speed the internal ones can achieve. If you're switching back and forth, this makes it easier if you keep your projects consolidated on one drive as well (with a backup of course. Maybe use Dropbox for that).

I would also add more RAM to your iMac. I also have a MBP with 8GB of RAM that does the job for now when I need to be portable, but switching between that and a 32GB machine is like night and day.

Good luck!

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Mike Sinder
Re: Video Editing in Dropbox
on Feb 16, 2015 at 12:32:15 am

I use dropbox as a dummy backup for my project files sometimes but not for my raw footage.
I've used this method to work at two different locations when I'm freelancing. I either
1) have duplicates of all my raw footage on both machines or
2) a fast external drive to go back and forth if files are going to be changing or lots of files added as I go.

Hope that helps!

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Joe Evaristo
Re: Video Editing in Dropbox
on Mar 12, 2015 at 3:54:29 pm

If you really want to use Dropbox, it'll work if you use proxy files. You export low-res versions of your source footage for use via Dropbox, then you simply "replace" with the originals at time of export.

Though honestly, I think it would be infinitely easier to just setup file sharing between your computers. You can then just drag and drop over your home network--I personally setup a similar system for a PC office I work for (the Mac office I work for was already doing that), and it's very convenient.

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