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managing avid media files in media composer

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Joshua Williams
managing avid media files in media composer
on Dec 27, 2013 at 1:17:27 pm


I was wondering is there any proper way of managing avid media files in media composer in a similar way that FCP & Adobe does, across multiple projects?

I work on quite a lot of edits at the same time across numerous drives and like to keep all my project files and media files contained together per project, so that if I ever need to move a project onto a different drive (to free up space, allow a colleague to work on the project ect...) all the files are accessible.

I understand how avid works in creating its own .mxf files in the avid media folder at the root of each drive, but is there a decent way in separating the files by project?

At the moment my only idea would be to manually remove all of the .mxf files from the root folder once finished on that particular project and drop them into a different folder. Then to start up another project and once that project is finished do the same. Meaning that in the avid media files folder there is only one projects files there at a time and if I/ another colleague needs to go back to a project they can drop the files back into the emptied .mxf folder and avid will recognise the media?

So far that's what i'm planning on doing, but does anyone have a better method or is what i'm planing a bad idea?

Cheers, Josh

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Glenn Sakatch
Re: managing avid media files in media composer
on Dec 27, 2013 at 5:25:10 pm

As you have stated, Avid doesn't automatically separate out the project media, but that doesn't stop you from doing it. There are a few posts in the forum about the naming of the mxf/1 folder, and how it can be used to do what you are describing. Basically, if the folder is named with only a number, Avid and can read and write to it. If the folder is named with any letter, Avid can only read the contents (database) of the folder, but cannot update the database if you were to add more files to it.

Avid also only writes to a "1" folder, unless it gets too many files in it, then it would start writing to a "2" folder, and so on. You can't direct Avid to write to a particular folder.

For my workflow, i breakup the media for projects into two types. Footage and working files. Footage being clips that were captured and or imported footage, brought into the project, usually before the edit begins. Working files being renders, logos, simple things like that that can be easily recreated.

Start your project with nothing in the "1" folder. If there is a "1" folder with items in it, rename it to "2"

Once i'm done my capture/digitize sessions, i rename the "1" folder to "Project A Footage"

Edit your show.

Once the edit is done, i rename the current "1" folder "Project A working files"
These two folders would then get backed up with the project to an LTO drive for future use. Quite often i will only backup the footage folder, and not the working files. If i want to be sure i haven't missed any footage, i can move the "footage" folder completely out of my MXF structure. Any clips still online in my project have obviously fallen through the cracks, and need to be moved to my "footage" folder. If you do have to move something into the "footage" folder, you have to assign it a number for its name, to allow Avid to rebuild the database inside the folder.

If some one else wants the footage, i give them a copy of the footage folder. They probably don't have much need for all my renders and titles. If they need the logos, its not a big issue for them to reimport it from the original source file...which is also backed up with my other items.

If you work on more than 1 project at at time, then you simply have to remember to change the current "1" folder (with all your working files) to a "Project A working files" folder, before you switch to project B. When you switch back, rename your current "1" folder to "Project B working files", and rename your "Project A working files" folder back to "1".

What ever is in "1" is the projects "working files" you are currently working on, and is the location Avid will put all newly created items.

Of course the workflows and project amounts you currently work with may mean some tweaking to this
type of management, but the basic idea is there.

I've been working this way for several years. Takes some coordination, but quickly becomes second hand management, and makes backups and clean up much easier. If i have to go from Low Res to High Res, i'll name my folders accordingly as well.

If you really get lost as to what is inside a "1" folder, you can always create a new bin, and drag the database file into that bin. The bin will be populated with every clip in the "1" folder. This can be useful to separate out media from a congested "1" folder with many projects on it, but thats a different topic all together.


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Pat Horridge
Re: managing avid media files in media composer
on Dec 28, 2013 at 11:55:13 am

If your on a PC get MDV which is a 3rd party app that helps you scan media folders and list the results by project.
It's exactly the sort of media function Avid should have included.

Pat Horridge
Technical Director, Trainer, Avid Certified Instructor
Production Editing Digital Media Design DVD
T +44 (0)20 7505 4701 | F +44 (0)20 7505 4800 | E | | Lux Building 2-4 Hoxton Square London N1 6US

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