advice - moving project media to ext drive

Posted by Irene 
hi all -

i just got a new 250 GB promax ext. drive. i have a big project that i've been working on for a long time on my desktop g4 (with all the media stored on internal drives), and now that i have this big ext. drive, i'd love the flexibility of sometimes taking my project home and working on my laptop. so i need advice about the most efficient way to move a copy of everything onto the promax. obviously i can just use media manager in fcp to make a new version of the project, but that means first that it will only include footage from the current version (and it is still being changed around a lot, so i need to have access also to footage that is not presently in my timeline) and seond that new project and clips will be created that have new names - so if i make new edits from home with the laptop and promax, it will confuse things when i go back to work in my office / desktop, right? it will just see it as a totally different project with different media rather than an update of the same thing. i suppose i could also just copy all the media from capture scratch folders on the g4, but then won't that unlink all my media when i try to open the project from my laptop (i assume it searches for clips based on what drive it thinks the media is on).

so... anyone have a relatively simple system for doing this so i can easily update back and forth from one computer to another without losing reference to media clips? there must be some obvious way that i am just not thinking of.

thanks in advance for any suggestions!
Drag to new disk from Finder level.

Load FCP, relink.

Should work fine, with the additional benefit of being de-dragmented on the new drive.

- Loren
Today's FCP 4.5 keytip:
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Option>Windows>Arrange>Set Custom Layout.
Access your custom layouts 1 & 2 with Shift & Option-U!

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Remember that when you drag from the internal drive to the external, it defaults to a copy process, not a move. So when you open your project, the media will still be linked to the files on your internal drive.

So in addition to Loren's suggestion, I'd also ensure the following:

1. Backup up your project file first to an external medium, in case the relink goes haywire. Wrong relinks are very hard to correct, so saving a copy of your project file (which remembers the old file locations) will be useful;

2. Move all your media to one folder on the external drive, if possible. Your relink process will be much, much faster. However, do NOT mix non-recapturable media (eg. graphics, PSDs, second-generation clips, manually captured clips) with recapturable media (ie. batchlisted clips);

3. Since you're consolidating your footage, make sure you have no repeat file names -- each and every media file must have a unique name. If you have duplicates, you must correct them first by hand, slowly, all the while comparing duplicate file names with their references in FCP to make sure they aren't different files with the same name;

4. When you're ready to dump the media on your internal drive, put it into the Trash, but don't empty yet. Launch the project file and complete the relinking process to the media on the external drive. Check the "manual" button -- if you have a lot of media and have moved most of it to one folder on the external drive, manual relinking will be much faster. Complete the relinking. If nothing's missing or gone bad, then empty the Trash. This is an insurance policy to make sure you didn't get rid of any files by mistake.
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