What is Postlab?
Postlab is a Mac app that lets you collaborate on Final Cut Pro X libraries and Premiere Pro projects.
Postlab enables editors to share files, track and save changes, and make sure no more than one person is working on the same library or project simultaneously.
In Postlab, everything revolves around productions. Productions can contain multiple libraries, projects, and also related documents like stills, scripts, and graphics. Productions are shared with others, and they can be shared with as many people as needed.
Files in a production are always tracked. When a change is made (by saving the library or project in your NLE), Postlab detects what has changed, and saves those changes — while asking the user to describe what has been worked on. All changes are immediately available to all with whom the production is shared. When opened by any of the collaborators, others are notified and are no longer able to open the same library or project, until it is closed again. This works like bin-locking, but on a higher level. It’s always possible to open a copy alongside a locked library or project.
Productions can also contain documents. Every production always comes with its fair share of static assets that do not need version tracking but are useful to keep close during editing. Graphics, stills, notes, everything goes — everything except media.
Within a production, collaborators can set up and assign tasks, comment on changes, and set statuses like “Ready for edit.”
Productions can be grouped into folders, which allows a user not to share just multiple libraries, but multiple productions in one go. Revoking access to those productions is just as simple.
Postlab is a cloud service but also a desktop app. Here’s why: Postlab always works off of a local copy, so just like when working without Postlab, there’s a full local copy of a production. If a production is not present on a computer, it’s first downloaded. With Postlab, a user never has to work directly in the cloud. This prevents speed issues. Postlab runs on a cloud purposely built for NLEs — making sure projects and libraries do not break, something that does happen with off-the-mill cloud storage.
When a production is shared, only the most recent version is downloaded on the receiving end, ensuring there is not a lot of traffic needed to get going. All collaborators do see a complete history for each production, so a previous version is always within reach. For comparison, this is a much more lean way of working with FCPX’s snapshot feature, as it doesn’t cause libraries to bloat.
Postlab comes in three flavors: Solo, Pro, and Team. Solo allows you to work on and track up to 25 libraries in as many productions as needed, and costs $9 per month ($99/y).
Every Postlab user can share productions with as many users as needed. For many, that’s all they need. However, for those that need to organize their post-production workflow, there’s Pro.
A Pro account ($15/m — $149/y per user) supports 250 libraries and projects, and comes with 100GB of document storage. It also adds a slew of organizational tools like folder sharing, comments, tasks, and statuses. Pro is aimed at freelancers that often collaborate, and at regular teams. Multi-user and temp accounts are available.
For larger teams, or teams that require IT-focused features like extended roles or need to hook their own S3 account into Documents, there’s Team ($25/m — $249/y per seat, 2 seats min.). With 1000+ projects and libraries, 1TB of documents and more, it’s perfect to work as you would expect to work in a professionally set up IT environment.
A private Postlab server is available as an option for Team plans. It’s dedicated cloud server with room for 2500+ libraries, 1 TB of documents and granular access management. For details on pricing and setup procedures, get in touch.
Do I need to be online to use Postlab?
Yes. Only when you’re online, Postlab can track who is accessing which libraries and make sure nothing gets out of sync.
(Although not advised, it is technically possible to continue working on an already downloaded library while being offline, and adding that library to Postlab as a new library, when going back online. Once added, it’s simple to open up both libraries and simply drag and drop the changes onto the other library.)
Sometimes a production needs to go off-grid , because you’re in the middle of nowhere, or because your organization’s network is air-gapped. For those, an on-premise version of Postlab will become available.
How do you control who gets access?
In Postlab, you do not have to share each and every single file— you simply share a production. Some will find themselves mostly sharing their productions, while others tend to get invited to share. Only the owner of a production can share. This way, you can be assured that your data is never reshared by anyone else.
Pro account users can group productions in folders, and share a bunch of productions in one go. All productions within a Pro or Team account are automatically available to all other account members. It’s always possible to share with non-team members, like external freelancers.
Pro users can share with Solo and Team users, and vice versa.
You sure must be doing a lot of hacky things to make this work?
No, none of that. Hacks are not the way to treat production data. Postlab was built specifically for this purpose and works its magic in a completely unobtrusive way. Postlab observes your files but never changes them one tiny bit. This way, we can guarantee your data is never corrupted.
A positive side effect of this unobtrusiveness is that it is effortless to start (and stop) using Postlab mid-production. There is no vendor lock-in whatsoever.
Is Postlab a backup service? A file share? A cloud drive?
No, none of that. Yes, you can save all your libraries in Postlab, but it’s not a backup — it’s the central hub for your files. Sure, you can use Postlab to share files — but it’s like not Google Drive, Resilio, Dropbox, or anything like that. If you need to sync large amounts of data across computers, that’s not what Postlab is for. Yet ;)