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Old February 25th, 2009, 08:26 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Jason Livingston View Post
This sounds like advice that might have been a good idea 5+ years ago, but is no longer the case.

Journaling is an important feature of all modern file systems, which protects your data in case of accidental disconnection or power failure in the middle of a write operation. When journaling is disabled, a momentary interruption (such as a power failure or a cable getting slightly bumped) can instantly corrupt the entire file system. Even a RAID won't help you here, since the other drives in the RAID will happily mirror the corrupted file system, making all of the drives useless.

Back when top-of-the-line hard drives were just barely fast enough to edit video, losing 1% of your performance due to journaling was unacceptable, and so you had to live with the risk of an non-journaled file system. However, on modern systems the performance impact is minimal (large RAM buffers help a lot here too), and even inexpensive consumer drives are plenty fast enough to edit anything except uncompressed HD.

If you are getting dropped frames on a modern system, turning off journaling is unlikely to help at all. It's just not worth the risk these days.
Well we can agree to disagree. :)

It IS important for any drive that you work with EXCEPT Video. Apple and several other editors that I work with in the broadcast world, who know a heck of a lot more that I, and have produced shows for national and worldwide broadcast, all agree you NEVER Journal a drive that you cut video on.
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Old February 25th, 2009, 09:18 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Reuben Miller View Post
all agree you NEVER Journal a drive that you cut video on.
Then why? Could you explain?

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Old February 25th, 2009, 02:01 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Wacharapong Chiowanich View Post
Then why? Could you explain?

Wacharapong
Performance is the biggest issue. Journaling of course is designed to help get the drive back in order in case of a disaster. Every time you make ANY change to a file, it's recorded.

That's great for your main drive, but not necessarily so great for large video files etc.

Here are a couple of good reads:

Mac OS X: About file system journaling

File Journaling in OSX Panther Explained

You can also find discussions on the Apple website in the FCP forum about this as well.
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Old February 25th, 2009, 02:30 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Reuben Miller View Post
Well we can agree to disagree. :)

It IS important for any drive that you work with EXCEPT Video. Apple and several other editors that I work with in the broadcast world, who know a heck of a lot more that I, and have produced shows for national and worldwide broadcast, all agree you NEVER Journal a drive that you cut video on.
I think it is one of those memes or urban legends that used to have some truth to it but doesn't apply to modern systems. I've worked with many such top editors who insist on doing things "the hard way" simply because it's what they've always done and always sworn by, even when no longer technically the best option.

For the average user, even for the highest of high-end productions, the protection offered by journaling (which is the default for a very good reason) is far more important than a tiny increase in random write speeds.

If you are a very advanced level editor working with uncompressed HD and you find that your drive is dropping frames and you've exhausted all other possible remedies, then you may wish to consider disabling journaling, but it's a real "Hail Mary play" if it even helps. Make sure you have a reliable UPS (power backup) as well as nightly tape backups because you're putting your data at a much higher risk of catastrophic loss.
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Old February 25th, 2009, 04:34 PM   #20
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I had a bad experience with journaling when using an older version of OSX and FCP a few years ago. I could not print to video without dropping frames, no matter what I did. And this was on a fast, internal drive in my dual G5 tower. Reformatting the drive with journalling turned off fixed the problem. For some reason, print to video was the most finicky operation - I had no problems editing or capturing.

Fast forward to today... I have tried firewire 400 drives both with journalling on and off and don't see any problems now. So I think the new Intel machines, new operating system and new version of FCP have probably fixed any issues which used to exist with journalled drives.
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Old February 25th, 2009, 09:49 PM   #21
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The dropped frames in print to video was most likely a bug in FCP, probably because FCP was bypassing part of the drive layer of the OS (and written before journalling was implemented.) I expect that it has been fixed by now.

ALWAYS use HFS+ Journalled when you format a drive for the Mac. You are not losing performance, and you are gaining security against losing a whole drives worth of video.

It possible that in the past journalling caused a performance issue, especially in the first release of the OS with it, but I can say for sure that Leopard has improved in the way the OS tracks changes to the filesystem, and I expect there is no practical performance penalty anymore.
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