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TOPIC: Consolidating Libraries into 1

Consolidating Libraries into 1 20 Feb 2019 09:00 #98980

  • Videopixels
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Hi there.

So I have an idea but wanted to check here first. With some of my clients over the years the projects have grown and I would "borrow" footage from another library but of course it would copy into the new library like it should but they have gotten massive and a little out of hand. I should have kept it all as 1 library with many events for the different projects but din't like a dummy. Key is reduce the size of the libraries thou.

I'm wondering if and how best to consolidate all the events and media?

Appreciate your advice.
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Consolidating Libraries into 1 20 Feb 2019 11:18 #98981

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Actually, if they're on the same drive, only links are being made in the new Libraries. I have a different Library for each client, works out well. But we also have a Stock Library with reusable footage, stock stuff. It is all on one RAID so that using files in different libraries only makes links, not eating up massive amounts of space.

We also run FCP Library Manager once a month to clear out renders from everything, and clear out analysis files and such from older stuff we won't probably ever use again but need to keep around do to station policy.

Are these all on separate drives or the same drive> And i assume you have background rendering turned off permanently, right?
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Consolidating Libraries into 1 20 Feb 2019 11:32 #98984

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Hi there.

Thanks for this, I was hoping it would do that but it seems to copy them across. I have the same issue with my camera's MXF files and leave in place when importing, copies and doubles up on the media - sigh. But will give it a bash, will definitely look into FCP Library Manager.

Cheerio
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Consolidating Libraries into 1 20 Feb 2019 17:13 #98987

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Videopixels wrote:
... I would "borrow" footage from another library but of course it would copy into the new library like it should but they have gotten massive and a little out of hand. I should have kept it all as 1 library with many events for the different projects but din't like a dummy... it seems to copy them across. I have the same issue with my camera's MXF files and leave in place when importing, copies and doubles up on the media - sigh....

There are several related issues:

(1) When should you use separate libraries vs multiple events within a library.
(2) When copying media between libraries, how to do this "in place" without physically duplicating media.
(3) What is the best procedure for moving media between libraries without side effects.

On #1, it's sometimes best to use a single library if you envision commonly needing media from previous shoots. On the proper hardware, a single library can be very large and still provide good performance. I have used 7,000 clips of 4k H264 material totaling about 20 TB or 200+ hr of material in a single library spread across about eight events, and it worked mostly OK.

OTOH there's no need to cram a bunch of material in a single library if you will only need infrequent access to other shooting events. A smaller library is often easier to handle and can mitigate risk if something happens to it.

On #2, when you copy material between non-managed libraries using external media, it will create symlinks and not copy the actual material. This is regardless of whether the media is on separate volumes. If you consolidate, it will then copy the media. As FCPX.guru said, if the media is all one one drive, it will use hard links and not physically duplicate the media, even if it appears duplicated in FCPX. It can be difficult to tell whether hard links are being used. The terminal command ls -l will show a reference count increase for each hard linked reference to a given file.

There are some additional complications when copying proxies. If you have proxies always check the "copy proxies" checkbox, else it can create black clips and the create proxy option will be greyed out in the destination library.

One #3, there's a specific procedure which should be used when copying media between libraries. Unfortunately this is not documented in most tutorials or Apple's FCPX documentation. Symlinks may not work properly if dragging clips between non-managed libraries vs dragging an event. The best practice is don't drag or copy bare clips or projects across libraries but do it inside an event. Sam Mestman discusses this from 06:30 to 11:00 in the below video, but you may want to watch Sam's whole talk from 02:00 to 11:00. He demonstrates this on a Lumaforge NAS but it's not unique to a NAS.

hazu.io/pixelcorps/fcvug-7
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Consolidating Libraries into 1 22 Feb 2019 08:09 #99002

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Wow, thank you for the great reply! Will follow this process and watch the video.

Appreciate the help.
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