I just discovered the Project Archive feature and want to start using it but figured the better part of valor would be to come here and see if any of the resident experts can offer advice or point to a good article about "best practices" for using the archive function.
I'm currently running version 8.0
Thanks in advance,
It's pretty intuitive. You just select the option and tell it where to save your files.
The Project Archiver will make a copy of your project file and all of the media files in the project, maintaining the project file's links to them.
The Archiver offers you two options: Saving the project file along with every media file imported into it and saving the project file along with only the media files actually used on the project timeline.
Once you've archived your project, you can delete the originals (unless, of course, you're using the same media files in another project.)
If you are archiving to an external HDD, and are on a PC, I recommend setting the drive letter for that external HDD in the OS of the computer (and also any other computers) where it will likely be plugged in. Do this before you use the Project Archiver function. The reason for this is that all media links are absolute Paths, so any change in those Paths, say folder name/location, or drive letter, will break those links. So long as that drive is always seen by the same drive letter, in the OS, and you do not change the folder structure, the links should be good, so no "Where is file ____ ?" messages, and no re-linking.
I also like to test any archived Project, before I Delete anything.
Also, there have been some issues with Project Archiver (and Project Manager in PrPro) not copying Assets, that are on other drives in a system. I encountered this behavior with my SmartSound files, which were usually stored to and Imported from a separate HDD, than my Projects and other Assets. I corrected that workflow, and now ALL Assets (or the copies of those used in each Project) are in folders within the Project's folder structure and on the same HDD, as the Project. Testing pointed out this little anomaly. Now, in my case, I could have just re-linked to those SmartSound files, but like everything compartmentalized.
The Project file, itself, WILL be a PREL. That PREL file will contain links to the Media, and instructions on how to handle it, when Exporting/Sharing.
For a bit more background on that end of things, see this ARTICLE.
Good luck, and DO test any archived file, prior to ANY deletions.