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TOPIC: Items copied when referencing cross-library

Items copied when referencing cross-library 09 Jan 2018 06:27 #93084

Hi everyone,

I've been using FCPX since the beginning but now with some more regular use, I've tidied up my "global assets" (aka stock music, outro and intro titles etc) into a separate Assets library while also creating new libraries to contain a few months of vlogging events/projects at a time. My folder structure is like so:

/Assets.fcpbundle (stock music refs, title clips etc)
/2018 Q1.fcpbundle (vlog projects, media refs etc)
/Stock Music/ES_Some_Track.wav
/Video Content/2018/01-08 Cool Vlog/RX100V
/Video Content/2018/01-08 Cool Vlog/TASCAM

I've found that the Compound Clips, stock music references (to manually managed WAV tracks) and other bits and pieces are always copied into my working library when I drag them into a project straight from from the "Assets" library.

For example, I have an "Outro Titles" compound clip in my Assets library that I place at the end of each video. When I drag that into another library's project, it makes a copy into that library in the background.

Is there a way to keep the reference to the original "Assets" compound clip? I would prefer not to litter my project libraries with all the generic assets.

Thanks all.
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Items copied when referencing cross-library 11 Jan 2018 16:19 #93134

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The "copies" may not be what you think. Are you copying from a Library on one drive to a Library on another drive?
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Items copied when referencing cross-library 11 Jan 2018 16:39 #93138

  • Stu Wart
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interesting video, just when the notion of "hard link" pops up: it's not very clear. it is not an alias but a copied file ?
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Items copied when referencing cross-library 12 Jan 2018 02:46 #93156

So it looks like the files themselves are not being copied, but rather the "items" that reference the WAVs, MP4s or the compound clips themselves in my Assets library are being duplicated into the library where the project lives.

In other words, a song in the timeline doesn't reference the original library but a duplicate entry in the current library.

And something like a compound clip will be duplicated into the library, not referenced "cross library" to the original.
FCPX.guru wrote:
The "copies" may not be what you think. Are you copying from a Library on one drive to a Library on another drive?
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Items copied when referencing cross-library 12 Jan 2018 09:07 #93163

nickjbedford wrote:
So it looks like the files themselves are not being copied, but rather the "items" that reference the WAVs, MP4s or the compound clips themselves in my Assets library are being duplicated into the library where the project lives.

In other words, a song in the timeline doesn't reference the original library but a duplicate entry in the current library.

And something like a compound clip will be duplicated into the library, not referenced "cross library" to the original.

all right... Library duplicates ! so here your new way of transfering a Project (Sequence) into an other Library. Always create an intermediate Event in the source Library. Place the Project, (or a copy) in it. Drag that "Transfer" Event to the other Library .

Don't drag a project from a library to an other. Always drag an event
Last Edit: 13 Jan 2018 09:40 by Xavier Novembre.
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Items copied when referencing cross-library 13 Jan 2018 15:40 #93237

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Xavier Novembre wrote:
Don't drag a project from a library to an other. Always drag an event


and no duplicates ? will try on monday first thing
Last Edit: 13 Jan 2018 15:42 by Stu Wart.
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Items copied when referencing cross-library 13 Jan 2018 16:42 #93244

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“Don't drag a project from a library to an other. Always drag an event”

Why not? I do it all the time.

A hard link is NOT a copy of the file, it is a “link” just like a soft link. They are tiny text files of only a few k in size, pointing back to an original. Soft and hard links have different options, that’s all.
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Items copied when referencing cross-library 13 Jan 2018 16:50 #93246

  • Tom Wolsky
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I think what’s referred to is not to transfer bare projects when collaborating as it produces duplicate clips. If you’re just making a project copy to a bare library and wants duplicates the event embedding isn’t necessary.
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Items copied when referencing cross-library 13 Jan 2018 17:03 #93249

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OK, I just copied a Project from an Event in Library 1 to an Event in Library 2.
Then I copied an Event with a Project in it from Library 1 to Library 2.
Both make duplicates of the physical media.
So what's the difference?
Last Edit: 13 Jan 2018 17:04 by FCPX.guru.
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Items copied when referencing cross-library 13 Jan 2018 17:07 #93251

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The difference occurs when you have a library that already has the media. Then you don’t want the project to duplicate the media or create duplicate clips. You want it to use the clips in that are already in the library.
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Items copied when referencing cross-library 13 Jan 2018 17:11 #93253

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Again, copying an Event between Libraries copies the physical media with it.. So what is the advantage to copying an Event?

Why not just use XML to share edits?
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Items copied when referencing cross-library 14 Jan 2018 15:55 #93285

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FCPX.guru wrote:
Again, copying an Event between Libraries copies the physical media with it.. So what is the advantage to copying an Event?...Why not just use XML to share edits?

The behavior varies whether it's a managed library or external media and (from a physical level) whether source and destination are on the same volume. When copying projects or events this is the behavior I see (all one same volume) :

Copy project from managed library to empty library: media and project copied, but FCPX apparently uses hard links so there is ultimately only a single physical copy of media files on disk, even though Finder shows separate files within the library bundle.

Copy project from managed library to managed library already containing the media: only project is copied, no dupes created.

Copy event from managed library to empty library: media and project copied, FCPX apparently uses hard links for media files.

Copy project from non-managed library to empty non-managed library: project and media references copied but these are just symbolic links.

Copy project from non-managed library to non-managed library already referencing the media: only project copied, no dupes created.

Copy event from non-managed library to non-managed library: project and media references copied but these are just symbolic links.
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Items copied when referencing cross-library 14 Jan 2018 18:14 #93289

Tom Wolsky wrote:
I think what’s referred to is not to transfer bare projects when collaborating as it produces duplicate clips. If you’re just making a project copy to a bare library and wants duplicates the event embedding isn’t necessary.

yest that's I exactly what I mean, thank you

having some free time I came back to elaborate but joema preceded me.
Last Edit: 14 Jan 2018 18:20 by Xavier Novembre.
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Items copied when referencing cross-library 14 Jan 2018 18:39 #93290

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"Copy project from managed library to empty library: media and project copied, but FCPX apparently uses hard links so there is ultimately only a single physical copy of media files on disk, even though Finder shows separate files within the library bundle."

Not any longer. I've been testing this (as previously posted) and yes, a physical copy is made in the new Library. Apple seems to be abandoning the links between Libraries. Last night I did this 4 times, and each time, I got a new physical copy of the media, no links.
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Items copied when referencing cross-library 14 Jan 2018 19:02 #93293

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Same drive. Didn’t use hard links? Drive consumption increased in the Finder display?
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Items copied when referencing cross-library 14 Jan 2018 21:21 #93295

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Before/after the copy I did ls -l on the media files inside the library and the link count increased by 1, which seemed to indicate it used a hard link. That was 10.3.4 on Sierra and HFS. If Ben used 10.4 on APFS, maybe the behavior has changed. I will re-test it, inc’l the space check.
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Items copied when referencing cross-library 15 Jan 2018 12:28 #93303

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Tom Wolsky wrote:
Same drive. Didn’t use hard links? Drive consumption increased in the Finder display?

I re-tested this and at least on 10.3.4, Sierra 10.12.6 and HFS+, it appears to use hard links when copying an event or project and associated media to a new managed library on the same volume.

This can be confirmed by (a) Examining the link count before/after on the original media files inside the library with ls -h, or (b) Examining the before/after space consumption on that volume with CMD+I.

The link count increases by one per file after copying the event within FCPX to the new library, yet space consumption hardly increases any (as indicated by either Finder or terminal). In Finder the destination *library* shows the additional space, but this is invisibly linked back to a single set of media files, so the volume space consumption does not increase.

If doing the same test across volumes, the link count does not increase and actual space is consumed on the destination volume. This is apparently because hard links cannot link across volumes. Ben covered this in his above-mentioned tutorial.

On High Sierra and APFS (which I'm not running) there is some confusion. Apple's documentation says APFS does not support *directory* hard links -- they are converted to symlinks during migration. However it says nothing about *file* hard links. APFS currently only supports SSD drives but I think can be coerced into supporting spinning drives: developer.apple.com/library/content/docu...S_Guide/FAQ/FAQ.html

So in characterizing FCPX hard link behavior there are several possible complications based on whether the files are on HFS+ or APFS, and maybe whether the APFS volume was converted from HFS+ or created from scratch.

It appears the APFS "copy on write" feature provides similar functionality to hard links. If so then FCPX could theoretically interrogate volume type and not use hard links but rely on the APFS feature. So what Ben said could be correct -- maybe FCPX doesn't use hard links on APFS.

There are yet other complications for anyone who converts spinning disk to APFS. While macOS will not auto convert those, users can convert them manually. However the developer of SoftRAID investigated this and recommends not using APFS on spinning disks: blog.macsales.com/43043-using-apfs-on-hd...ou-might-not-want-to

Re the OP question, if within FCPX he's copying events, projects or media between libraries on the same HFS+ volume, it should not use additional space. However this is not obvious since Finder shows the destination library bundle taking additional space. The only easy way to deduce the space is not consumed is measuring volume capacity before/after the copy.

If copying files, events or projects between two managed libraries on *different* HFS+ volumes it will physically copy the data. If copying between non-managed libraries, it just copies the symlinks.

I still don't understand the thing about duplicate clips when copying a project to a library with the same media. I don't see that happening. However if loading a library or event XML where metadata changes vs when the XML was created, it will create duplicate clips unless you answer "replace" to the dialog box about "XML document is about to replace existing items with matching names", replace or keep both?
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Items copied when referencing cross-library 15 Jan 2018 14:50 #93304

joema wrote:
I still don't understand the thing about duplicate clips when copying a project to a library with the same media. I don't see that happening.

duh - it seems that the behaviour changed along versions. Absolutely positive it was the case with 10.2 . Being working accordantely since without asking... Those things ain't documented in version notes.
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Items copied when referencing cross-library 15 Jan 2018 15:41 #93310

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Tom Wolsky wrote:
Same drive. Didn’t use hard links? Drive consumption increased in the Finder display?

I looked inside the Libraries, and found full copies of the video files, not links of any sort.
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Items copied when referencing cross-library 15 Jan 2018 16:14 #93315

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You don’t see symlinks in the library if the system is using directory hard links.
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