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Old December 8th, 2010, 01:15 PM   #1
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Scratch Disk

This is one of my biggest pet peeves in FCP... scratch disk setting.

The scenario, we have several editors sharing the editing stations, working on numerous projects.

Being used to Edius, when a new project is created, the "Scratch Disk" is set, and the settings are project dependent.

But with FCP the settings have to be changed every time someone opens or resumes working on a project. It's such a huge time waster always resetting, or if someone forgets, tracking down footage, files etc.

Am I missing something? Is there a way to configure FCP to save the Scratch Disk settings per project, rather than a per-user or 'universal' setting?
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Old December 8th, 2010, 01:27 PM   #2
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No, you aren't missing anything, and it is indeed very, very annoying.

Hoping that the early 2011 release of Final Cut Studio will solve it.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 01:44 PM   #3
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That setting is stored in the program preferences file, and is probably XML. It would be relatively simple to create a script that edits the file for each user. You'd have to run the script before you run the program (or have the script run the program), which isn't ideal, but would be better than having to mess with the prefs in the program each time.

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Old December 8th, 2010, 03:19 PM   #4
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Sheesh. This is nuts.

Final Cut was introduced in 1999 as a PERSONAL video editing software program. Back then, the number of us editing on it was likely barely in the hundreds. It took years and years - in the face of overwhelming odds such as the fact that you had to buy and own NON-STANDARD hardware (Macs) to use it - for it to become popular. Over the years, it's certainly grown and prospered to the point where a couple of MILLION registered users now depend on it for their editing needs - but now you're upset because it ALSO isn't workgroup friendly in the kind of environment it was NEVER designed to operate in?

To me, this is like discovering an AMAZING sports car. Something like a 4 seat Corvette convertible that's fast and nimble and ALSO has useful trunk space, looks fabulous, AND costs under $5000 brand new - so that it rapidly becomes a HUGE HIT - but then you want to criticize it because it can't ALSO accommodate 9 passengers comfortably!

While you can certainly use FCP as "workgroup" software you've got to face the reality that it was NEVER designed to be that. So there will ALWAYS be compromises.

My attitude is to count my blessings and let it be what it is. If a significant percentage of that 2-million user base turns out to CARE about workgroup performance, it MIGHT get those functions. But don't hold your breath. Apple has been pretty closely focused on INDIVIDUAL empowerment through technology over it's history. Workgroup productivity was generally left for others. I suspect it will be ever thus - but who knows. Anything's possible.






Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Sovey View Post
This is one of my biggest pet peeves in FCP... scratch disk setting.

The scenario, we have several editors sharing the editing stations, working on numerous projects.

Being used to Edius, when a new project is created, the "Scratch Disk" is set, and the settings are project dependent.

But with FCP the settings have to be changed every time someone opens or resumes working on a project. It's such a huge time waster always resetting, or if someone forgets, tracking down footage, files etc.

Am I missing something? Is there a way to configure FCP to save the Scratch Disk settings per project, rather than a per-user or 'universal' setting?
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Old December 9th, 2010, 04:55 AM   #5
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Sorry i have to disagree there, Bill.

A project, If you are well organised, almost always has It's own discs and scratch disks.
Having your NLE remember it is by far the better option. Even having the option is better.

And yes. Final cut studio grew from a couple hundred to a million users and being An industry standard. Unreasonable to expect to have some design changes going along with that?

Color is also a (early) 25.000 dollar professional grading program.
It's also in there Now where it wasn't Before.
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Old December 9th, 2010, 05:45 AM   #6
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I also respectfully disagree with Bill.

I think it is more like expecting a sports car to have an ignition key rather than a hand crank. Project linked scratch drives is a blindingly obvious and extremely simple feature to add. Why it hasn't been done totally beats me. It should be made an option, so those who like the current system can stick with it.

I work in my own suite and a number of professional edit suites in London and this is a constant issue that could be VERY easily fixed by a few lines of code.

Apple, if you are reading this, sort it out!
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Old December 9th, 2010, 03:21 PM   #7
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It certainly isn't 'nuts' to have some expectations from one of the biggest NLE's on the market, and be critical if it has glaring ommissions.
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Old December 9th, 2010, 09:16 PM   #8
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If there isn't any sharing across projects, it might work to have a login user per project. The settings will then be saved per project. Not what you wanted and may have more negatives than the three or four clicks it takes to change it.
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Old December 9th, 2010, 11:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Marriage View Post
I also respectfully disagree with Bill.

I think it is more like expecting a sports car to have an ignition key rather than a hand crank. Project linked scratch drives is a blindingly obvious and extremely simple feature to add. Why it hasn't been done totally beats me. It should be made an option, so those who like the current system can stick with it.

I work in my own suite and a number of professional edit suites in London and this is a constant issue that could be VERY easily fixed by a few lines of code.

Apple, if you are reading this, sort it out!

Woah, woah, woah...

Ignition key? Think a bit further. Aren't you really asking for a FUNDAMENTAL alteration in where the program looks for and expects to find FUNDAMENTAL resources. NONE of this proposed linkage to "ownership-keyed project-linked Scratch disks" has existed in the 10 years of the program's history. So let's imagine that there are just a million users out there - and that each has done just 40 projects over their careers - that's 40 MILLION existing projects that after your requested change and subsequent re-opening will look for a file structure that no longer exists? And you're going to cause that hassle for ME and my MILLIONS of my bretheren, just so that an extremely small fraction of the users who work in multi-seat shops can have a new workflow?

YOU may be able to sit by and work on half your machines while the other half updates the traditional scratch disk linkage from prior year projects - but those of us who started out in 1999 and have literally hundreds of projects backed up on drives may resent your making me re-open and re-link assets on the literally HUNDREDS of my past projects just so YOU can have your work be a little more convenient.

Maybe I'm just guessing at what a hassle it would be. Perhaps it's simply Apple getting Randy U. to write a few hundred lines of new code and bingo - all the old stuff works flawlessly with all the new stuff - but I suspect that this IS NOT the case.

Perhaps whatever the team is working on to run on the post Snow Leopard machines will have what you need.

But if not, I'd greatly appreciate everyone making sure you don't break MY workflow for somebody elses much less common one.

OK?
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Old December 10th, 2010, 02:25 AM   #10
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OSX also broke with the OS Classic environment.

Sometimes you have to break compatibility to make something new and better.
I don't think it's fair to hold a program hostage forever for never breaking compatibility.

Also, it seems a project-linked Scratch disk is a common wish.
Are you saying that other people can't have a possible better workflow because it wouldn't suit YOUR workflow?

And even then, the location of your media files is baked in your fcp-file, so I don't know if it would immediately make everything off-line.
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Old December 10th, 2010, 04:00 AM   #11
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Bill,

As I said in my previous post, I'm talking about them adding an OPTION that would link scratch drives to the project. You wouldn't need to use that option.

The project file would contain data that established the scratch drives. If you had selected the current system option, your scratch drives would simply be set the same for every project.

Simple and backwards compatible. I assure you, this is a very common request, not some crazy personal whim.
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Old December 10th, 2010, 02:13 PM   #12
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A project linked scratch disk is a good idea, especially with the number of external drive isolated projects that come across my desk these days. The render files go flying everywhere except to the client's drive. It seems to be a directory based change to the Final Cut program as opposed to a system wide alteration.

A workgroup situation might just consider a dedicated capture station (with the best capture hardware) and transfer the captured files to the respective user based on the capture scratch folder. That would be very easy.

I've been waiting ten years for a better titler that's not Boris.
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Old December 10th, 2010, 05:24 PM   #13
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Okay, the landscape is clearing up.

It sounds as if what you guys really want is a new VERSION of FCP that's more attuned to work group workflow. Nothing wrong with that. And if Apple wants that market - they might produce something along the lines of Final Cut SERVER EDITION.

Which would make everyone happy. The sole practitioners don't have to deal with the bloatware of features for every niche in the core product - while there's an edition that satisifes those who've been a long time at the dance. Then everyone's happy.

I do think there's a powerful force pushing for the maintenance of high-end FCP solutions as a part of the APPLE brand and that's the server farm/datacenter/cloud they've just completed in NC. They're smart enough to know that if they want to dominate the eventual storage and distribution of digital content on-line the BEST scenario is that if the content creators are using Apple compatible tools to finish their work. Then they can make sure that the output is AppleCloud friendly.

That's a smart play for a LOT of future pay/view or even "corporate contract to host training and corporate video files" transactional business.

Just like the walkman - I bet they do take a general concept (cloud computing) - and make it a whole lot slicker, more functional and yeah, cooler.
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Old December 11th, 2010, 05:19 AM   #14
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Bill, there is already Final Cut server which is aimed at workgroup editing. I haven't used it yet but one of my clients is supposed to be switching to it soon.

However, I want a solution in the normal FCP where I can simply have the option to link my scratch drives to the project if and when I want to. For example I was working in a suite in London yesterday and have bought the project home on externals to work on it over the weekend. I have to manually set my scratch drives each time I open that project on a new system in order to keep all of the assets contained on the external drives. I will be editing at least 3 different projects this weekend, each time I switch between them, I have to manually switch scratch drive. This takes all of 30 seconds but the real problem comes if you forget to do so and your assets end up all over the place. You then arrive in the client's suite on Monday to find some assets are on you RAID back in the office - Argh! Massive pain in the arse and there is a very simple fix that Apple can implement. It doesn't need complex server workflows, just scratch drive info being contained in the project file rather than the FCP settings file. Every other freelance editor I know has at least some clients who work like this.
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