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Consolidating Media in Final Cut Pro X

In  Final Cut Pro X,  (version 10.1.2) you can now consolidate media to a folder that lives outside of the standard library package.
external_media_folder.pngThis is very useful if you need to send your media somewhere else.  A good use of this function would be if you needed to send your media to be color graded, or if you needed to send your content to After Effects.

*For archival purposes,  make sure you keep both the library and the media folder it's referencing. Remember, the library will have the project information, but it will  be referencing an external media folder.


In Final Cut Pro X, there are many different ways to manage your media.  

The way Final Cut Pro X manages media has changed from previous versions of the software. I'm going to jump ahead a bit to explain the new media management features in Final Cut Pro 10.1.2.

You can see that I have two libraries here.  

final cut pro x libraries.pngIf you click on this library at the top, you can see all the associated content off to the right inside the Browser window.  In this case you can see that I've got one project along with all my organized content inside this single library package. You'll notice that I have the media organized into a series of folders.  These folders are called Events.

Final Cut Pro Events.pngIt's important to note that a library can live anywhere on a hard drive.  To find where a library lives, right click on it, and choose reveal in finder.

reveal file in FCP X.pngSo, in this example, you can see that this particular library lives on the desktop. It's important to note, this library file is a package that contains project information along with managed media.

Final Cut Pro Library.pngIf you are finished working with a particular library, I recommend that you close it. To do this, right click on a library and choose close library from the contextual menu. Closing libraries that you are not using will provide additional system resources for Final Cut Pro X.

close FCP X library.pngNow, if you are launching Final Cut Pro X for the first time, you will have one library with an event inside it. It's a good idea to immediately rename your library to something that makes sense to you.

Now, when you start out your library will have a single event.  Go ahead and rename the event to match the content that you plan on importing.

It is also be a good idea to create a series of additional events ahead of time so you can organize your content before you begin editing. To do this, right click on a library and choose new event. Then give each new event a unique name.

creating events.pngNow remember, a library can be stored anywhere you like, and it's important to note, that if you are launching Final Cut Pro X for the first time, the initial library will be located within your user's movie folder on the internal system drive.

Again, to demonstrate, you can find the location of a library by right clicking on it and choosing reveal in finder. You can see that the default location of the library is located in the user's movie folder on the internal hard drive.

location of default library.pngIf you have additional hard drive storage, I do not recommend that you store your media on your internal system drive.  This is because your internal drive will eventually fill up with media, and you will still need a place to store or archive your content.

Now, remember the library contains your project information along you're your managed media.  This functionality has led to some confusion, because in order to view the raw media from the OS, you need to right click on the library package contents to view the files.

package_contents.pngThere is a new feature in Final Cut Pro 10.1.2 now gives you the ability to ingest or consolidate media to a folder outside of the library package.

To demonstrate, I'm going to re-open the library that I closed earlier by navigating to the file menu and choosing open library. If you click on an existing library, the library properties window will appear.  From here, you can choose a folder outside of the library as a storage location for your media. To do this, click on the modify settings button.

library property window.pngThe default location for ingesting or copying media is set to location of the library package.  However, you can change that from this dialogue box.

choose library location.pngIn this example, I'll set the storage location for my library to a folder on an external drive. So now, from this point forward, any media ingested into this particular library will go to a folder on the external drive instead of the library package itself.

Within the library properties window, you can also choose to consolidate your media from an entire library into an external folder.  To do this, press the consolidate button. Then press okay.

consolidate.pngSo now, all the media from the library package has been copied into a folder based on the storage location that you set within the library properties window.

I can demonstrate this by right clicking on a clip within the browser window, and choosing reveal file from the contextual menu. You can see that Final Cut Pro X is now referencing the media on the external drive instead of the library package.

Library referencing folder.pngAnd also, notice how Final Cut Pro organizes your media into folders based on date stamps within the media.

Consolidating media to an external drive is useful if you need share media with someone else.  As long as you receive the content back inside the same folder with the same file names, Final Cut Pro X will link back to the new files.

As a final note, if you choose this method of managing your media, just make sure you keep your library package along with the specified folder that contains the media when archiving an entire project.

package_and_media.pngFor other great tips like this or to enroll in a Final Cut Pro X training class, visit GeniusDV.com

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Scratch Removal Avid Media Composer is the next entry in this blog.

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