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Final Cut Pro X missing media problem

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I used Final Cut Pro X, Apple’s controversial new “professional” video editing program to cut the trip video during my latest Wetpixel expedition to Indonesia. These slideshows have become a tradition for guests and combine video, stills, and music into something people can take home to show their friends and family.

Using Final Cut Pro X was, for the most part, fantastic. It is really more like an “iMovie Pro” and includes one-click video stabilization, color balancing, and look filters, which were all features I used extensively. Aside from dealing with small bugs, I was able to produce a 30-minute video fairly easily, without being impeded by any critical issues. However, I am back home, and am now in the process of trying to migrate my slideshow project and event files to my main Mac Pro from my MacBook Pro. This is proving to be impossible. Two excellent threads provide work-arounds for reconnecting missing media, but upon following the instructions outlined within those threads, this is what happened:

  1. After copying events and projects to the Mac Pro, they showed up and opened in FCPx, but all of the media showed up as missing (red thumbnails).
  2. Per suggestions, I re-imported all of the media (annoying, since the files are spread out over many folders). The red missing media icons for videos and audio were all restored to color (no longer missing). This seemed like a good sign.
  3. Many JPGs in the media list were not successfully re-connected; instead, they were duplicated. I have hundreds of JPGs in the slideshow, which are now all “missing” and therefore, would need to be re-cut into the timeline.
  4. Soon after re-import, I noticed an import background task running. Upon closer inspection, I realized that FCPx was in the process of copying over all the newly imported media instead of honoring my request to leave the files in their original location (by leaving “Copy files to Final Cut Events folder” unchecked). The source media is hundreds of gigabytes. Duplicating them is not an option.
  5. Closing FCPx and re-opening it immediately causes the import process to re-spawn. If I cancel the process, the media simply does not show up in my events.

Put quite simply, there is no way to move a complicated project and its associated event media from one machine to another. The fragility of the media storage system in FCPx is shameful—it’s like the product was never tested in the real world.

I will, in this case, essentially lose this project and never be able to edit it again. I suppose I’ll archive the events and projects in case FCPx improves its media handling capabilities. One significant side effect: if I upgrade my machine or need to reinstall, I’ll effectively lose all of my FCPx projects. Until there is serious improvement in media management, I can’t see myself using Final Cut Pro X again.

San Francisco | link | trackb | 9 comments » | Nov 23, 2011 01:43:41
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