So how difficult is it to try and get full collaborative workflow in FCPX? A bit of experimentation later, and we are a lot closer, we have updating Events & Projects.

The normal way to share Events and Projects between Final Cut Pro X edit stations has been by a building a transfer Library, or by exporting/dragging XML.

That's all very well, but it is dependent on the 'owner' of the Library having to trigger the transfer off by doing one of the above procedures .

Mike Matzdorff had a brilliant idea duplicating the FCPX Library in the background onto shared storage. That way a 'snapshot' of a Library could be opened and the relevant information transferred to a working Library via copy & paste.

Avid liked the idea so much, they even made a tutorial video using this method to promote their new Nexis storage. They even borrowed Mike's tool of choice, Sync Folders Pro. 


Reports on this method have been mixed, with errors being thrown up when using analysis files and similar. It also seemed to be slightly clumsy having to pick your way through another Library to extract the information.

Then I remembered that ChronoSync has the ability to 'look inside' packages in OSX. Could this $49 app look inside an FCPX Library bundle? Could this application copy an Event from one FCPX Library on one machine 'into' another FCPX Library bundle on another machine in a different location?

There was only one way to find out:

Before we go any further, what I'm about to describe is not recommended on a critical working project. It might break your Libraries and you might lose data. 

The first step was to create a test Library and import clips from a shared storage server. Both machines were connected via GigE to a QNAP server.

(Right click for larger images)

fcpx sync 04

I populated it with two Events with externally stored footage in each and then put the Library on to the second machine by sending over a zipped up copy.

The copied Library opened showing the media already linked which was a good start. I kept both Libraries on their respective desktops to help with permissions.

Now to start digging into the original Library with ChronoSync. To do this you have to have the 'Allow package selection' box ticked, you then have access to the the contents which include folders for the Events. I chose Event 2 to copy.

fcpx sync 01

Then set the destination. Do the same but find the FCPX Library bundle on the other machine. By using Bonjour in the sidebar it is easy to navigate to the remote machine's desktop.

fcpx sync 02

Then hit the synchronise button!

Failure. It didn't like it.

fcpx sync 03

After a few minutes of checking and checking again, I stumbled on the fact that you could copy an Event over if FCPX wasn't running on the remote machine. Although this might seem a bit clumsy, it did prove you could directly copy Events between Libraries.

Better still, everything was intact and up to date, including added footage, marked ranges, favourites and of course the amended Project timeline. 

Was the failed copy an FCPX issue or a permissions problem?

An easy test was to try the copying the other way. Instead of using the Event from my machine, I used ChronoSync to copy the Event from the remote machine.

fcpx sync 05

This time the big sync arrow was pointing the other way. Click on synchronise and a couple of seconds later I heard the ping saying the copy was a success!

However, looking at my local copy of FCPX, nothing had changed. 

Keeping FCPX open and closing and then reopening the Library forced an update, I could now see the added media and changed edit timeline from the other machine.


It is possible to automatically copy Events & Projects between FCPX users without having to manually merge Events, drag XML or load files into a third party tool.

Better still, ChronoSync has a scheduler, I set the operation to happen every minute and it has been running for three hours without a problem.

Every change I make on the remote machine gets updated on the main machine by closing and reopening the 'receiving' Library. 

fcpx sync 06Events copied between remote machine (smaller screen share) and main edit (background) Note ranges on clips are the same.

This was an experiment, but it highlights that Apple are very close to enabling a collaborative workflow between Final Cut Pro X users. I'm no programmer, but having proved the concept can work with the existing version of FCPX, surely an 'Event publish and subscribe' feature wouldn't be too hard to engineer for an update.

Avid has true collaborative workflow with bin locking, as we all know that's expensive and the company has rocky financials. Premeire's Media Browser browsing of projects is clumsy and won't update once imported. Their Team Projects is in beta and (no surprise) requires more monthly fees. DaVinci Resolve's project sharing requires a server to move databases, but it does look promising.

Apple have a huge opportunity here to jump ahead of the competition. With no configuration and no remote databases to set up and maintain, this could become the killer feature for Final Cut Pro X. 

Imagine an assistant editor loading up an event with new logged footage. Or maybe (in my case) watching a growing file having marked ranges added by a logger. Or, as ChronoSync supports remote copying over the internet, waking up to find your FCPX Library populated with all the clips now sorted, rejected and favourited.

Very interesting times, over to you Apple.


peter wigginsPeter Wiggins is a broadcast freelance editor based in the UK although his work takes him around the world. An early adopter of FCP setting up pioneering broadcasts workflows, his weapon of choice is now Final Cut Pro X.

You can follow him on Twitter as @peterwiggins or as he runs the majority of this site, you can contact him here.


Written by
Top BloggerThought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. The shows have also been nominated for a 2021 BAFTA.

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.


BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

amazon kindle BF

Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.


Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!


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