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by Larry Jordan
M edia management drives
editors nuts. Since the
beginning of computer-
based video editing, trying to
remember where your media is stored
is a never-ending battle between “getting it done,” and
“doing it right.”
With the release of Final Cut Pro X 10.1, Apple made
signifi cant changes to media management; then improved
it again with the 10.1.2 update. Since the number one
question in my email in-box is about media management,
let me provide some basic guidance and offer some tips to
make working with media easier.
DEFINITIONS A Library is a container that holds events,
media, and/or projects. You can have an
unlimited number of libraries open at once
and you can open and close libraries as
needed. You need a minimum of one library
open for editing. There is no limit to the
number of libraries you can create.
amount of media you can store on your hard disk, but Final
Cut has an approximate limit of around 3,000 clips per
library. Optimized media is camera native media that is
converted (“transcoded”) to Apple ProRes 422 to improve
performance, color grading and effects.
NOTE: I am a big fan of optimized media. It is a much
more effi cient video format to edit than almost all camera
native formats, renders faster, exports faster and yields
higher quality results during color grading.
MANAGED VS. EXTERNAL MEDIA
NOTE: A library can be named anything, stored
anywhere, and moved to any hard drive. In general, you
should store libraries on large, fast hard drives.
Events are folders that are contained inside libraries.
Think of an event as a folder, or bin, that stores stuff.
Events can be named anything and can easily be moved or
copied between libraries. A library must contain at least one
event. There is no limit to the number of events that can be
contained in one library.
Projects are the instructions on how to edit our clips.
Think of a project as similar to a sequence in Final Cut Pro
7 or Premiere Pro CC. Projects can easily be moved or
copied from one event to another, or one library to another.
There is no limit to the number of projects you can create
and store in a library.
Media is stored in libraries (“Managed media”) or
referenced by libraries (“External media”). Media can be
easily moved or copied between projects, events, or
libraries; all from within Final Cut. There is no limit to the
One of the big benefi ts to Final Cut Pro X is the ability to
manage media by storing it inside the Library. Managed
media, where all media is stored inside a library, puts all
your media in one place which simplifi es fi nding media,
creating backups, moving libraries and archiving.
However, managed media is not the best choice when you
want to share media between libraries or editors. For that,
you want to use external media.
External media is stored in folders located outside of a
library and the library fi le simply links to the media, rather
42 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 95 NOVEMBER 2014