My project keeps stalling, with the spinning wheel appearing very often, when I'm working in the timeline, so I end up having to force-quit a lot.
What I've tried: I tidied up my project a while back, taking everything off the external hard drive except for the fcpx project. That seemed to prevent the stalling for a while, but now I'm back to the same issue.
I'm working on a MacBook Pro 14" 2022. My project is saved on a 2TB Passport Drive. My project is 1 TB in size. It only contains my FCPX project. All my footage is on another drive. I'm editing in proxy only. I just updated my Mac software.
Q: What could be causing the spinning wheel to happen soooo often? I do have lots of Events created to organise my footage. I have created a lot of snapshots of my project.I also have several events of earlier stages of the edit, with project versions in there too. Could these be causing the issue?
I have never used First Aid in Disk Utility, but I'm also thinking of running this on the external drive, though I'm a bit nervous to to anything to the drive. Would it impact my FCPX project or am I safe to run it?
If I need to, I guess I could buy a new drive.. but don't want to unless its actually the solution.
My project keeps stalling, with the spinning wheel appearing very often, when I'm working in the timeline, so I end up having to force-quit a lot.... MacBook Pro 14" 2022. My project is saved on a 2TB Passport Drive. My project is 1 TB in size. It only contains my FCPX project. All my footage is on another drive. I'm editing in proxy only. I just updated my Mac software....have lots of Events created to organise my footage. I have created a lot of snapshots of my project.I also have several events of earlier stages of the edit, with project versions in there too. Could these be causing the issue?...
FCP should not repeatedly hang on a beach ball. Using proxies mostly eliminates concerns over source codecs. Third-party plugins are a common source of problems. Make sure all your plugins are up to date and de-install any you don't regularly use. Here are some other suggestions:
- For troubleshooting purposes, do not use any external USB hubs or external monitors.
- Make sure all external drives are formatted with MacOS Extended Journaled or APFS. Do not use ExFAT, NTFS or any other disk format.
- Each project, snapshot and duplicate and each event requires another SQLite database within the library. Each one consumes additional resources if open. FCP tries to maintain a certain number in an open state. E.g, anytime you do a library-wide search it must have all the event databases open. Anytime you go forward and backward in the timeline history all recent projects must be open or it will cause a delay. FCP therefore tries to balance resources needed to maintain all the databases open vs delays to open a closed database. For this reason if you have over (say) 30 or 40 projects in an event it can slow down.
- To examine if 3rd-party plugins or effects are causing the problem, you can create a test library and copy your main project timeline to that library. Close the 1st library. Then in the test library duplicate the project, open the duplicate, select all clips in the timeline with CMD+A then remove all effects with Edit>Remove Effects. Do normal editing operations and see if that hangs.
- Thank-you I tested I/O performance using that link and the drive I'm working from - a WD Passport 2TB is:
Write 80 mb/s and Read 88 mb/s. I think the drive is the real problem, its been very slow at various times.
My laptop is Write 4,400mb/s Read 5,200
* I would just copy and past my 1TB Library to another drive. But every time I do, I get an error 36 code. If I could just copy the Library off the drive, I think that would solve my problems.
I tried to resolve this error code before, but failed - so I continued to work off the drive. I was told it could just be one corrupted file, but anyway it was beyond my ability to figure out. Any thoughts on how to resolve this?
- Unplugged external monitor. Have to use an adapter for my WD Passport drive, as it's old USB and my laptop is newer.
- The WD Passport drive I'm working off is MacOS Extended Journaled
But I checked the drive I would copy to if I could, a La Cie 5TB USB-C drive and the format is FAT. (This is where I've backed up my original footage)So it looks like that would need to be reformatted to the MacOs Extended Journaled.
But I'm just wondering if it's even worth copying there, if I did somehow get the error code sorted as it is:
Write 130mb/s and Read 132.5mb/s.. is that a normal speed? Maybe I need to buy a solid state drive from sandisk or the like.
- I have a Simon Says plugin that I can not figure out how to uninstall.
Thanks in advance for any advice.
I've tried so hard to set myself up with a new laptop and a few external drives and I'm quite frustrated to find myself having stalling problems, after all that investment and trying to get it right. Well at least I'm learning!
- Thank-you I tested I/O performance using that link and the drive I'm working from - a WD Passport 2TB is: Write 80 mb/s and Read 88 mb/s. I think the drive is the real problem, its been very slow at various times. My laptop is Write 4,400mb/s Read 5,200
80 Megabytes/sec is very slow by current standards. FCP operations (esp. library and cache) will also be slow.
... The WD Passport drive I'm working off is MacOS Extended Journaled But I checked the drive I would copy to if I could, a La Cie 5TB USB-C drive and the format is FAT. (This is where I've backed up my original footage)So it looks like that would need to be reformatted to the MacOs Extended Journaled.
It would be a mistake to copy FCP data or libraries from a MacOS Extended Journaled drive to a FAT drive. You will need to back that drive up so it can be reformatted as Mac OS Extended Journaled -- assuming you want to use that drive.
...But I'm just wondering if it's even worth copying there, if I did somehow get the error code sorted as it is: Write 130mb/s and Read 132.5mb/s.. is that a normal speed? Maybe I need to buy a solid state drive from sandisk or the like.
That also is not very fast by current standards. Those were OK 10 years ago when we used only 720p or 1080 H264 material, but not today.
... tried so hard to set myself up with a new laptop and a few external drives and I'm quite frustrated to find myself having stalling problems, after all that investment and trying to get it right. Well at least I'm learning!
There is a saying "a chain is only as strong as the weakest link". No matter how fast the laptop or internal SSD, if your media and libraries are on an external mechanical drive that is 50 times slower, the results will not be good. You could consider the Sandisk Extreme Portable SSD: www.amazon.com/dp/B08HN37XC1/
It seems like the sensible first step in the process of elimination as to why I'm getting error code 36 when I try to copy my library - is to try copy to an SSD drive in the correct format instead of my LaCie drive. Perhaps the FAT format of the LaCie drive has something to do with the problem.
It seems SSD is the way to go in general.
But due to a shortage of funds I can't extend to the 2TB right now, but I do have access to a 1TB. So my plan is to try reduce the size of my library to enable me to try copy to it.
So far I've done the following:
- I deleted Generated Files in all the Events except the one of my main project timeline. I haven't generated optimised media, but I wonder should I go back and do the same process with proxy media files. Maybe include my main timeline as well. But so far I've see no reduction in the Library size.
(also turned off Background Render in Preferences)
- then I went in and deleted a fair few projects. But I see no reduction in the 1TB size
- I know when I started the project I copied files to library. Is there a way to change that to 'leave files in place' at this late stage? Or could I just delete some original footage and re-import? Would my timeline be able to find it again?
Any suggestions to reduce the size of my project would be most appreciated.
(Also I do plan to reformat my LaCie drives, but I don't really have anywhere to put all my footage in the meantime. I read it's possible to partition the drive, format one partition and move the files there, then delete the old format. Do you recommend that approach, would my footage be safe?)
... I deleted Generated Files in all the Events except the one of my main project timeline. I haven't generated optimised media, but I wonder should I go back and do the same process with proxy media files. Maybe include my main timeline as well. But so far I've see no reduction in the Library size.
The easiest way to safely delete unneeded data is the 3rd-party utility Final Cut Library Manager. Without that utility you cannot easily delete optical flow or analysis files, which sometimes can be large: www.arcticwhiteneass.com/finalcutlibrarymanager/
...then I went in and deleted a fair few projects. But I see no reduction in the 1TB size...
Although projects can have computational overhead they do not take up much space. They are only SQLite databases which only include the edits and related metadata. However it's good to delete non-needed projects because it can slow down performance in some cases.
...I know when I started the project I copied files to library. Is there a way to change that to 'leave files in place' at this late stage? Or could I just delete some original footage and re-import? Would my timeline be able to find it again?
To my knowledge there is no easy, safe way to relink to external media files which were copied within the library during import. This is especially so if the files are not globally unique, IOW if there are multiple files named C0001.mp4 in separate folders. It is theoretically possible using an unsupported method sometimes called "proxy cheat", but for regular (non-proxy) media files. I have tested that in small cases which (along with everything else mentioned in this article) also required exporting the project XML then re-importing it to another library. It seemed to work but I'd be afraid to try it on a large production library without extensive testing: www.fcp.co/final-cut-pro/tutorials/1828-...ant-by-using-aliases
...Also I do plan to reformat my LaCie drives, but I don't really have anywhere to put all my footage in the meantime. I read it's possible to partition the drive, format one partition and move the files there, then delete the old format. Do you recommend that approach, would my footage be safe?)...
I have never tried that method of deleting a partition. Unfortunately it takes a lot of disk space to move data around. You frequently need significantly more than originally planned when contingency situations like this occur. This is one situation where even a low-performance mechanical drive might be OK. The process need not be fast, just reliable. Here a 2TB drive for $50, but I have no experience with it: www.amazon.com/dp/B07DXLSMBC/
Thanks so much.
I've read the article now, and that the two main areas he mentions that are slow with APFS are starting up FCPX and something about 'browsing through folders'. I'll be starting FCPX all the time anyway.. so that's important.
I'm not clear if APFS would slow the processing while I'm editing in FCPX timeline? I'm close to the end of the project, so mostly I'm just scanning through final bits of footage (stored in the library), and doing my fine cut. Then I'll be adding my soundtrack and doing my export.
What I'm able to glean from the article, with my somewhat tired brain and not a lot of expertise, is that it might benefit me to format in the MacOS Extended Journaled and see how that goes. And wait til I get an SSD to format to the APFS. So that's what I'm thinking of doing. Am I on the right track?
Thank you for your invalluable help. I appreciate it so much! That media manager has already removed 50% of the stress I was feeling due to never being able to get an overview of everything.
OK that didn't work. I got error code 36 again. ..I searched the forum here for error code 36, and no results.. You mentioned earlier "There might be something wrong with the source or destination drives. " so I guess we've eliminated the destination drive issue, as it's probably ok now being in the correct format.
Would a solution be to copy a backup from iMovies and relink files? And just work from that from now on?
I'm trying to do that now. However only a fraction of the files relinked, So I'll be working on trying to do that.
At the moment I keep getting this message, but as far as I know I've changed nothing. I'm trying to relink the full length files in the library, they have the same name and extension:
The original file and new file have no shared media range. Relinked files must have the same media type and similar audio channels as the original files, and must be long enough to all the clips that reference the files.
I would strongly suggest you get a new back-up drive now! 2 more if possible or use a cloud backup in addition to local storage. Internet very slow but good insurance.
Unfortunately, many of the LaCie drives have had reliability issues with the heads crashing into the disk, so I would definitely want additional drives in case of failure.
Format the new EMPTY drive to OSX Extended (HFS+) for spinning drives like your LaCie and WD passport drives. While APFS has vastly improved some issues with spinning drives, it will have poorer performance over the same drive with HFS+. APFS is a WriteOnDemand and stores files in a completely different way than older HFS+; really is optimized for SSD/flash and is less likely to lose data because it writes all changes to disk without erasing old data.
IMHO do NOT reformat drives with critical data on them. This will result in a wipe of data. Copy files to a properly formatted drive, check integrity of copy, then and only then reformat old drive. Please note that you really should have multiple copies of your data on different drives and hopefully an offsite copy as well.
I no longer recommend having multiple partitions on the same drive for user data. APFS creates many dynamic partitions and you no longer have to "size" the partition. This is especially true for SSD but with spinning drives, you have to create "fixed" size partitions that fill up faster. Always keep 25% of any drive empty for faster system performance including all partition volumes.
Moving and deleting files manually can cause problems, best to use "Consolidate" inside FCP to make sure all files are in proper place and links established.
Error Code 36 is generally a Finder issue and is somewhat generic for several possible issues. It might be that you do not have permissions set properly or they are corrupted. This is also a common error code when copying files between Mac formats and Windows formats HFS+>FAT/EXFAT. Hidden files may be missing (this can happen when moving files manually). I think this is your code issue!
I agree with Joema and the advice he has given you.
I would add doing a couple of additional things.
Run EtreCheck (App Store or online) and see if anything is flagged. This is a good free program that can provide info on your system and can catch potential conflicts. You can post the report here if something comes up.
It is possible to have a single corrupt file/clip/font/plug-in etc… that can cause issues. EtreCheck may find the issue; or not. You can isolate by creating new library with only half of the timeline, see if it improves, try other half. Keep dividing the problem to isolate the portion of the project that contains the problem Not a fun time, but faster than you might think. If there is no change, then likely not corrupt media, but system related.
The other is to open Activity Monitor from your Utility Folder and check what processes are running and how much resources are being used during the beach balling. Check the CPU/Memory tabs for excessive usage and check the SWAP amounts in the Memory tab. This is a good way to find what is using the resources and causing slowdowns.
You do not state what type/format/resolution your project files are in. Some footage from certain sources/camera codecs can be taxing to the system. Given your computer, you shouldn't be having performance issues, even if using original files. Original media should play fine unless you have a very difficult codec from the camera or shooting very high, 4K or higher resolution, multi-cam, or a plug-in that consumes lots of system resources like RAM/CPU/GPU.
Some plug-ins can slow the system like Neat Videos Noise Reduction. Try to do these plug-ins last in the editing process. If you apply some plug-ins like noise reduction, color corrections, etc… first, then anytime you change the edit, FCP will have to re-apply the effects again, so this can cause beachballs.
Cache file size seems large.
I really think the external drives are the likely culprit.
Go SSD if you can with at least USB3 or better yet TB connections.
How fast your external drives need to be is determined mostly by the project formats/resolution. As Joema stated, even 80MB may be adequate if doing SD/HD 1080 projects but inadequate for 4K.
Spinning drives are great for local back-up. BACKUPNOW!
Sorry for you problems, I agree very frustrating especially with new Mac.
The problem has nothing to do with FCP, your system is encountering an error when copying the library -- which is just a folder tree. It could be hardware, the MacOS file system, almost anything.
A common issue happens when using mechanical hard drives on a USB hub. Those may not supply enough electrical current for certain drive operations, which manifests and random, intermittent failures. If possible connect all drives directly to the Mac, not via a USB hub. Make sure the original OEM cable is used since aftermarket USB cables may cause reliability problems.
You can run Disk Utility First Aid on each drive to see if there are any problems with the file system, however that does not check every data sector.
When copying large, complex folder trees (of which FCP libraries are only one example) it is often best to use a checksummed or verified copy utility. One example is Carbon Copy Cloner. It is best known as a backup utility but it can also be used to make a verified copy of a folder between two disk drives: bombich.com
Another good utility for copying or offloading data is Hedge, but it's $139: hedge.video/hedge
There is a 3rd-party Mac utility called Beyond Compare that can compare, copy and verify folders according to user-specified criteria: www.scootersoftware.com
There is a built-in Mac command line utility called rsync that can do verified copies. For example to copy a FCP library named ExportTest which is in the /Movies folder to the hard drive 16TB_SSD, and assuming you use Finder to create a destination folder named RSyncDest, the command would be:
As Greg mentioned, the "36" error you are getting is a Finder error involved with USB drives that contain hidden and special files (i.e. files that came from non-native formatted drives, media cards, etc.). Some camera cards or drives that were PC-formatted can lead to this.
To keep things simple, run First Aid (in Disk Utility) on the source and destination drives. Make sure you have permission to read and write on both drives. You can use Get Info in Finder to check each drive volume. You can set permissions for an entire volume/drive by selecting the volume and using the permissions section of Get Info (and selecting the "apply to enclosed items...").
Before you do anything further, you should make sure that you have backups of your data.
Since you're copying large amounts of data, or the entire drive volume's contents, you might want to use something a bit more robust than the Finder.
A way around that error you've been experiencing may be to use something like ChronoSync. ChronoSync is a wonderful application for backing up large amounts of data from one place to another. It has settings in its Options pane that can ignore some special files and certain types of metadata. You can do a "test synchronization" before doing the actual backup, so you can check for errors. The free trial might be worth trying.
There is a Mac UNIX-based (Terminal.app) utility for dealing with the special and hidden files. It's called dot_clean. Running it is pretty straightforward in Terminal, but it may a bit more complicated than you feel comfortable with.
I have an Automator application that simply asks for a volume then calls dot_clean on the volume. If you want to try that, I can post it as an attachment. You would double-click the application, select the source volume/drive (from which you were copying your media), and it'll do the cleanup work.
Aren’t the FCP backups meant to help in these situations?
I don’t see why I need to even fix it?
Seeing as I have all my footage safely on another drive, and I have the FCP back-up in the movies folder.
(Apart from my current relinking issue, which I presume I’ll solve)
FCP auto backups contain only the edits, no media. They do contain the *references* to media files, although those are in the SQL tables. They do not contain symlinks.
Apparently your situation is you copied some files within the library and some were imported with "leave files in place". The library is large, you get Finder error 36 trying to copy that to another drive. Your question is why not ditch the large library you cannot copy, and instead use the FCP backup and relink that to all the external media.
This may not work as indicated by your previous relink error. As I previously said, if your filenames are not globally unique, then relink may not be reliable. This happens if you have (for example) multiple files named c0001.mp4, each in separate folders. Then you import those to FCP using copy to library. FCP does not internally mimic the same external folder structure but handles filename "collisions" by adding a suffix to the files. They may also be rewrapped. Then if you try to relink to external media, you can get the error "...no shared media range. Relinked files must have the same media type and similar audio channels as the original files, and must be long enough to all the clips that reference the files..."
There are several possible issues which can be difficult to figure and correct.
- "No shared media range" means the clip metadata item "time code of first frame" does not match between originally-imported clip and the one you're trying to relink. That can happen in some cases if the imported file is MP4, they are re-wrapped by FCP during copy to library and this alters the interpretation of the first frame timecode value. That is a side effect of incomplete industry standards on how timecode is handled in the MP4 container. There is no easy solution to that.
- Depending on the media type, the audio channel config may not be imported if files are copied within the library. That then produces an audio channel mismatch, so the library will not relink to the external files. E.g, if a Sony FX6 records ProRes 422 on an Atomos Ninja V, that is two-channel audio. The original MXF files are 8-channel, so they will not relink. There are various permutations of that problem.
- If there are duplicate filenames in the original data set (e.g, several files named c0001.mp4), if those are imported using copy to library, then those will not always relink to the original files. If you try to relink them one at a time, it can sometimes relink the wrong file.
The solution for that is never import files with duplicate names (even if in separate folders), but rename them to be unique before import. That means globally unique across the entire production, whether that is one day of shooting or six months of shooting.
Another step that avoids problems is always import using "leave files in place". That is related to the issue of certain tree-oriented media that FCP will only import using "copy to library". All media of that type should be externally rewrapped using EditReady before import. That allows proper import with "leave files in place", also it provides consistent clip timecode which can otherwise interfere with a relink. If those items had been done you'd have no problem right now, but these items are not well documented in any tutorial or FCP manual.
For those reasons I would pursue getting your large library off that disk. I don't think under current circumstances you can reliably relink external media to the FCP auto-backup library.
Can I first say, I never wanted to copy my files to the library, as I anticipated something like this happening with a slow drive. However FCPX wouldn't let me leave the files in place because apparently
"IF the media is in a camera folder structure then the media cannot be left in place. The application assumes that camera media, either from a camera card or from a camera archive, has to be separate from the working media for safety."
But I had been warned so much not to touch camera files or file structures, I didn't want to touch them, so copied to the library. That's how I ended up in this situation. I would have left the files in place otherwise and it would potentially have been easier to copy the Library without all the media files needing to copy as well.
Regarding the option of just using the FCPX back-up and relinking files:
I read somewhere to try just reimport the files from original media. That worked on the .mov files shot on my own camera. However fcpx is looking for .mov files for the 4K footage the cameraman shot, which is actually .mp4 format in the original folders. I'm guessing this might be because I was last working off proxies (& from what I can figure out proxies are .mov files) even though I've set my timeline now to 'optomized/original media'. If I could solve that, I could probably work from my back-up. Surely there's a way?
If I can't do that I'll have to continue to find a solution:
Yes I have read and write permissions on both source and target hard drive and they are now both MacOs Journalled format.
Next step seems to be to run First Aid in Disk Utility.. I'm nervous about running first aid on the source drive, am I safe to do that, it won't tamper with my FCPX library at all will it? If not, I'll go ahead and do that next.
But very interested to see if there's a way for me to re-import the files, as mentioned above, to my FCPX backup. That seems to be the simplest solution, and surely having the back up, is meant to release me from doing all this other work? As long as I have a fully functioning FCPX Library with my project, I don't care how I get there.
PS not using any hubs, and source hard drive is 6 months old, target hard drive is a month old, using original cables.
When purchasing a new drive, or repurposing a used one, check which partition map is in use, in addition to the volume format.
Many drives are sold with Master Boot Record as the partition map. This is a lowest-common-denominator default, and unless you're sharing files with a 20 year old PC, you should be using GUID.
I've developed the habit of erasing all new drives before use. Set partition map to GUID, and if it's a mechanical drive, HFS+ (Mac OS Extended, Journaled). If it's an SSD, APFS. If you have to share with a PC, ExFAT is your only choice without third-party software.
If you're changing the volume format anyway, double-check that partition map.