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Managing Media in Final Cut Pro X

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Update July 20 2012

Since it’s initial release, FCPX has had some welcomed improvements in performance and usability including the ability to reconnect footage. Why Apple did not include this in the first release I do not know, but it’s now there, so if you have any unconnected media it’s fairly straightforward to reconnect using the ‘Relink Event Files’ command.

While there are some new built-in tools to manage your media, FCPX still uses a frustrating file structure which forces you to locate event and project files on a drive connected directly to your machine. Only SAN networking is supported.

Sparse disk images

So what if you want to work off a networked drive? One work-around is to use a sparse disk image. Once created using Disk Utility, a sparse disk image living on your networked drive will mount locally and therefore be recognised by FCPX.

I usually prefer to create a new sparse disk image for each event and related projects. You can then move your FCPX Events and Projects to that mounted drive. It’s kind of like having a virtual drive for each project you work on, with project and event files all bundled up in one package. I recommend moving your events/projects using the FCPX interface instead of through the Finder as this could result in possible problems.

Hopefully this will be a temporary solution until Apple come up with a more streamline way of storing and archiving projects and media.

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Final Cut Pro X brings a totally new way of thinking and media management is one of things that you will have to relearn. FCPX projects are by default stored on your system disk under movies/Final Cut Projects. This location can be easily changed by selecting a mounted disk in the project library and creating a new project in the desired location.

That’s all good, but what if you want to move a project to a different location? The only option is to move it to the Final Cut Project folder located on the root of another drive.

You can either do this by selecting ‘Move Project’ under the file menu, or moving the complete named project folder in the Finder to the Final Cut Project folder on another drive. If you do this FCPX will be smart enough to be able to find the media you’ve used as long as the drive is mounted.

This method for moving projects also works for moving events. If you wish to move an event to another drive simply move the selected events folder in the Finder from one drive to the ‘Final Cut Events’ folder in the root level of another drive. If you delete the event from the original location in the Finder, FCPX should be able to reconnect it automatically on the other drive.  Of course you can still use the Move Project command mentioned above to move events.

I have not messed around with moving files within project or event folders yet but I would not recommend it.

You can also choose to store your media using your own structure by de-checking the ‘Copy files to Final Cut Events’ folder before importing. Final Cut will still create a new event folder within the ‘Final Cut Events’ folder but the media will only be referenced and remain in it’s original location. If you ever want to collect all that media to your events folder, select the event in the event library and choose File/Orgainze Event Files.

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