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Using the Autosave Vault

Final Cut Express's Autosave Vault automatically saves all open projects as you work, at a time interval that you select. The vault stores multiple, dated backup copies of your project. This archive can come in handy. For example, maybe you're at the point in a project where you are trying new approaches to refine your cut, and you want to discard your last experiment. Or maybe you and your collaborator just don't agree, and she's completely recut your program while you were away for the weekend.

Each autosaved version is a backup copy that includes all changes you've made (up to the last autosave time) in the project file that you're currently working on. (That project file is modified only when you invoke the Save or Save All command.) If you haven't made any changes in an open project file since the last backup copy was autosaved, FCE won't archive another backup in the Autosave Vault until you do.

Setting Autosave Vault location and preferences

You can set Autosave preferences on the General tab of the User Preferences window. See "Specifying User Preferences and System Settings" in Chapter 3 for details on your settings options.

The backup copies of your project files are archived in a folder located inside your Final Cut Express Documents folder (Figure 4.18). If you want to store your archive of backups elsewhere, specify another location on the Scratch Disks tab of the System Settings window (Figure 4.19).

Figure 4.18

Figure 4.18 In the Autosave Vault, dated backup copies of your project files are archived in a folder.

Figure 4.19

Figure 4.19 Set the Autosave Vault location on the Scratch Disks tab of the System Settings window.

When the number of backup copies in the Autosave Vault reaches the limit you set in User Preferences, FCE deletes the oldest Autosave file (or project folder) to make room for the newest Autosave file, unless the oldest project archived in the vault is currently open. FCE overrides the maximum projects limit you set if the number of open projects exceeds your specified limit when a scheduled autosave occurs.

Using Autosave to recover from a crash

If your computer powers off or crashes while you're working, the last saved version of your project file will open when you relaunch Final Cut Express. The choice is yours—continue to work in your original file, or use the Restore Project command to open your most recent autosaved backup copy. Here's the drill.

To use Autosave to recover from a crash:

  1. After you restart, go to the folder where you archived your current original project file (that's the file you just crashed out of) and rename that file so it won't be overwritten and you can return to it, if need be.
  2. Launch FCE; then use the Restore Project command to go to the Autosave Vault and open the most recent Autosave backup version of your project file in FCE.
  3. After you've checked the integrity of the autosaved file in FCE, save the autosaved project file with your original project name.
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