sharing libraries in FCPx
I am working with another editor on a project and we are trying to figure out how to share libraries. We both have hard drives with identical media files on them. However, when I go to open up the library on mine, since the library is pointed to the other hard drive, I am not sure how to open it on mine? Do I have to have them plugged in at the same time and then point it to the other hard drive?
Or, is there another way?
You are evidently using external media, which is common for larger projects. If all the media was internal to the library (IOW a "managed library") it would never be lost, no matter what drive volume or computer it was placed on. However managed libraries can be unwieldy to handle due to the large monolithic size.
For libraries using external media, if the files are placed on a different volume name or folder path than the original, they must be relinked. This normally isn't difficult, since FCPX can search the entire volume and relink all media files in a single step.
If your collaborator sends you an updated library you will need to repeat the relink process. If the media folder paths are the same and only the volume name differs between the machines, it's sometimes easier to just rename the drive volume to the same name on the destination machine.
This is covered in MacBreak Studio #273, starting at about 04:10:
Thank you so much for this. I have been trying to follow your advice, but it just won't relink!
To be clear - we live in different cities, so I don't have her external drive with me to easily relink. I have all of the same media files on my drive, so I am not sure why it won't relink. I have tried to modify the library settings (directing all of the media, cache, library) to be stored on my drive, but I think that that is just going forward? It will not relink without her drive being plugged in as well.
I am just now trying to copy all of the events to my drive to see if that works.
If it doesn't, I was thinking of just doing a full copy of everything of her entire folder, copying it on to my drive (deleting the other one) and then re-directing everything to my drive. Would that work for re-linking?
If I may, I have noticed as well that her drive has an extra file with 'final cut optimized media'. It is GIGANTIC and seems redundant as all of the original files are there as well and they are 1/4 of the size. Can we deleted the optimized media, and how to we avoid this in the future if we don't need it?
Is there an incredible online course out there that covers all of this stuff in great detail? I feel like we are missing some very key things in this area!
Thank you again :)
[Gillian Marsollier] "I have all of the same media files on my drive, so I am not sure why it won't relink...I have noticed as well that her drive has an extra file with 'final cut optimized media'. It is GIGANTIC and seems redundant as all of the original files are there as well and they are 1/4 of the size. Can we deleted the optimized media, and how to we avoid this in the future if we don't need it?...Is there an incredible online course out there that covers all of this stuff in great detail? I feel like we are missing some very key things in this area!"
If you have the same media files, it normally will relink. During the relink dialog, if you point it to the root of the volume it will if necessary search every file on the disk to find them.
However the files must be exactly the same to relink. If she generated optimized media, by default that is inside the library. But whether the optimized media was inside the library, outside the library, or deleted from the library after the original files were moved somewhere else -- the library should relink to the original files if pointed to that disk volume.
Re whether you need the optimized media - depending on the machine, original media resolution and codec, this may not be needed. The main reason for optimized media is editing performance but it is roughly 6x the size of H264 files. In those cases proxy media can be better since they give similar or better performance but are a small fraction of the size. However you must remember to switch the viewer in FCPX to proxy, then switch back to original media before exporting.
If your original media is 1080p, most computers running FCPX do not need original or proxy media to edit this. If the original media is 4k H264, then optimized or proxy media might be needed to obtain good editing performance.
You can usually safely delete proxy or optimized media since they can be regenerated from the original files. It can take a while if the files are large.
Ripple Training has an excellent class on media management: