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Is "Consolidate Media ..." Broken?

3774 Views 40 Replies Latest reply: Jun 8, 2012 6:47 PM by Tom Wolsky RSS
  • Lazlo Hollyfeld PhD Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 18, 2011 3:33 PM (in response to 1 Open Loop)

    I'm afraid you're using the wrong tool for the job - Consolidate Media isn't intended to resolve aliases. That's what Organize Event Files is for, as The TonyTony has already pointed out. Here's the relevant bit from the manual (


    If you import files with this checkbox deselected, you can still copy the files at a later time to the Final Cut Events folder using the Organize Event Files command.


    Consolidate Media doesn't care about how many aliases you have or how many drives they're on - they all look like one file. In other words, Consolidate can tell the difference between you and your siblings and call a family reunion, but it can't tell the difference between you and your clone. Only the Organize Event Files command can collapse all the "clones" down to a single file.

  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (104,685 points)
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    Jul 18, 2011 3:41 PM (in response to Lazlo Hollyfeld PhD)

    I think the real problem is that once again Apple is using an industry standard term to mean something other than what it's normally understood to mean. Users are activating the consolidate function and expecting it to do what most professional editors would expect and perform something like media manager in classic FCP, which it isn't doing. The closest to the consolidate function, as the term is traditionally used, is the duplicate project function, though it is very much limited in its capabilities and as no offline or recompress functions.

  • marchyman Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 18, 2011 4:56 PM (in response to 1 Open Loop)

    I think I understand what it's supposed to do.

    (consolidate media that's located on multiple drives)


    The function should be named "Consolidate Events" as that seems to be what it does.   Consolidating media and consolidating events are only the same thing if the media lives inside of the event.  When the media is referenced as it is in your case the name of the function can only lead to confusion.

  • Lazlo Hollyfeld PhD Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
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    Jul 18, 2011 6:41 PM (in response to 1 Open Loop)

    1 Open Loop, you write:

    I think I understand what it's supposed to do.

    (consolidate media that's located on multiple drives)


    It is not doing it.

    (it thinks my media is on one drive, but it's not)


    So, I think the feature is broke.


    But you don't have two media files on two drives. You have one media file on one drive, and an alias to that media file on the other drive. Consolidate Media doesn't know what to do with an alias, that's what Organize Event Files is for. You're essentially saying that your hammer isn't doing a good job of driving screws, but I don't think it was ever intended to do that.

  • Andy Mees Level 6 Level 6 (12,595 points)
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    Jul 19, 2011 1:42 AM (in response to Lazlo Hollyfeld PhD)

    No, this is nothing to do with hammers and screwdrivers (or if it is, then the issue is maybe that Apple have relabeled the tools, so that we now need to use a knocking stick to bang in nails). NO, as is, I'd tend to agree that the feature is broken by both definition, and the obvious and intuitive sense of how it should work.


    If I have a project located on one volume which references any media at all (be it one clip or many) on any other volume (be it one volume or many), then chosing a function called "Consolidate Project Media..." should, by definition, allow me collect all the project's media into one place. Currently that does not work ... which is just dumb.


    The issue that both the project file and the Event(s) that it refers too are already in the same location is basically meaningless when the actual media may NOT be in the same location as either the project or the Events that contain it. And make no mistake, this has nothing whatsoever to do with having only one clip in one location...


    Create an event on your local drive, and add to that some media referenced on both the local drive and an external drive, then edit those clips into a project that is also created on the local drive. Now you have a project that references multiple media files that are physically located on more than one drive. Choose "Consolidate Project Media...". Same error.


    Ok, so what else have we got here ... select the project in the Project Library window and choose File menu > Organize Project Media (and  why isn't this function available in the project library's context menu alongside the existing Consolidate command?). Now we drop down sheet that says : Organize Project Files. The selected project refers to file outside the project folder. To copy all external media into the project folder, click Continue.


    Seems hopeful, indeed it sounds entirley like the missing "Consolidate" option. So why has it been mislabeled as "Organize" and split away from the regular Consolidate function? Alright, more consumer and iLife friendly, fair enough. But click continue and ... Error message: There are no external files to organize. This project already contains all needed files.


    Conflicted much?


    So after all is said and done, the "Organize Project Media" function actually DOES imply that it will perform a "Consolidate Project Media" function ... except it doesn't work, and the "Consolidate Project Media" function? As we can see, that doesn't actually work either, at least not in the most basic sense of the term.


    It seems to me that either the "Consolidate Project Media..." function should allow one to do exactly as the name suggests, which would appear to be relatively easily acheived by simply adding the existing Organize Project Media function to the Consolidate options (and making it work) ... or the function should be renamed more appropriately, perhaps "Consolidate Project Media References...".

  • Alastair Mcarthur Level 1 Level 1 (120 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 19, 2011 3:16 AM (in response to 1 Open Loop)



    Consolidate Media in FCPX is not broken. It does exactly what it says on the tin. I ran a full test this morning. Here's what happened.


    FCPX is on my MacBook Pro. It has one HD with one partition. I have therefore a Final Cut Project folder and a Final Cut Events folder in my Movies folder. This is as expected. I also have an attached LaCie USB2 HD, again with one partition and on this I have created a Final Cut Events folder.


    In FCP I created an Event on my local drive and imported a media file into it. I copied the file. I also created 2 new Events on my external HD and in this case copied one media file into one Event and referenced the another file in the other Event. This media file is located elsewhere on the drive.


    I then created a project in my internal projects folder and put all media from all the Events into the timeline.


    I then invoked Consolidate Media and in the resulting dialogue selected the move option. FCPX then moved the two Events folders with the media on the attached drive into the Final Cut Events folder on my internal drive. It resolved the reference and relocated the actual media file. So I now have all my media in their respective Events folders in the Final Cut Event folder on the one drive. Just as I would expect.


    I then used Merge Events to put all media into a new Event. This deleted the original folders and I ended up with all my media nice and neatly organised in one Event folder on my local drive.


    This is exactly the behaviour I would expect from Consolidate Media from reading the User Guide. I agree that what is needed perhaps is to bring Consolidate Media, Organise Events and Merge Events into one dialogue for convenience but at the moment for me they seem to do the job I expect them to do.



  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (104,685 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 19, 2011 5:32 AM (in response to Alastair Mcarthur)

    So basically this doesn't consolidate media at all, it only consolidates events. If you have a single event with media on multiple drives it won't consolidate the media into one location. It will only move events. Again, not what we think of when we say consolidate media.

  • Andy Mees Level 6 Level 6 (12,595 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 19, 2011 5:41 AM (in response to 1 Open Loop)

    And theres the rub Alistair, you ran your test very carefully doing exactly what FCP X wants you to do in order for the "Consolidate" option to have any valid function, most folks are also likely well aware of how to arrange things in just the right way so that the function will work like it says on the tin ... the problem is that it is very simple and straightforward, and in some workflows its actually optimal, to arrange projects, events and media in a different fashion. Under some of those conditions, all of which are perfectly valid FCP X workflows, the Consolidate Project Media function (and Organize Project Files) fails to work acceptably, reporting unclear and sometimes conflicting error messages/feedback to the user. This is FCP X, designed from the ground up with no sharp edges so that "anyone" can be a pro video editor ... thats cool, but this is a sharp edge, and its good that 1 Open Loop has discovered and reported it.


    What's more, as an application that is to all intents and puposes aimed at a prosumer/professional market, FCPX should probably try to adhere to some conformity of terminology. If it wants to create and use new terms for old features thats fine I guess, but if it uses existing terms for features which then don't conform to the prescribed function then thats less than desirable. Consolidate Project Media as a function name clearly advertises a pretty much industry standard process, but one which, under easily reproduced circumstances in FCPX, fails to perform ... and, as I reported, Organize Project Files under the same circumstances also seems to fail similarly.


    I genuinely appreciate your literal interpretation of the manual on this function, you're not wrong, but if FCPX is to be as robust and portable an application as it can be then it's functions need to be able to operate regardless of the users workflow (as long as its one that FCPX physically allows) and it needs to fail more gracefully if and when it can't. As noted before, by this measure it the "Consolidate Project" function (and Organize Project Files function) is indeed broken.


    I've reported it to Apple Feedback too.


    Just my opinion of course


  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (104,685 points)
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    Jul 19, 2011 5:54 AM (in response to Andy Mees)

    I think only the duplicate project function will actually do what you want it to do.

  • Andy Mees Level 6 Level 6 (12,595 points)
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    Jul 19, 2011 6:53 AM (in response to Tom Wolsky)

    That's a good call Tom, and it readily illustrates the wackiness of some of these things at the moment ... if X is capable of handling the operation through the "Duplicate Project" function, regardless of a users source media and event origanization practices, then why fail to handle it when calling "Consolidate Project"?

  • The TonyTony Level 4 Level 4 (1,300 points)
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    Jul 19, 2011 6:59 AM (in response to Tom Wolsky)

    I think is safe to say we all have a lot of learning to do as to what the nomenclature really means to each of us and just how we can use this brand new program to do the work we are so use to doing without having to decipher the Apple's workflow ideas.


    It sound like, Consolidate Media, Organize Event Files and Merge Events will get all the media files in one location if you work them all as Alastair has describe.



  • Andy Mees Level 6 Level 6 (12,595 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 19, 2011 7:54 AM (in response to The TonyTony)

    Well when the nomenclature used is an industry standard term then it should and generally does mean the same to all users, brand new program or not ... its only Apple that *may* be using it inappropriately (or with limitations), and thats frankly why I believe that the anomalous behaviour in the Consolidate functionality is more likely currently a bug/oversight (and should be reported) not blindly accepted as a "works as intended" feature.


    Regarding the "Organize Project Files" function ... that one may also be a bug, or is similarly (unecessarily?) limited.


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