FORUMS: list search recent posts

Questions about the Avid MediaFiles folder and organization

COW Forums : Avid Media Composer

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Sean McNally
Questions about the Avid MediaFiles folder and organization
on Jan 12, 2017 at 6:28:43 am

Beginner here. I came from years of using Sony Vegas, and am trying my best to teach myself MediaComposer, so you'll have to be patient with me.

I understand that when you import a video file into Avid, say MVI_0001.mp4, it creates a file called MVI_0001.mxf in a directory called "Avid MediaFiles" on the root of the drive. However, apparently, you can't change anything about that directory, or organize the files within it. So, if I've made a few different Avid projects all on the same drive, all those .mxf files from all the different projects reside as a big jumbled mess altogether, which makes it nearly impossible to find which files are from which project. This could create some problems if I wanted to, for instance, just move one project over to a different external drive.

Another thing, it seems that the "Avid MediaFiles" folder has to be on the root of the drive? Try to move it, and all your files are suddenly offline. Couldn't find any way of relinking them to a new location. So, there's no way for me to package all of my Avid projects from last year into a folder called 2016, or whatever I'd like. Seems very frustrating, but plenty of people rave about how great a tool MediaComposer is for organization, so I figured I'd ask the pros. Any help greatly appreciated!

Thanks.


Return to posts index

Shane Ross
Re: Questions about the Avid MediaFiles folder and organization
on Jan 12, 2017 at 7:14:22 am

It is true, you can't touch the Avid media directory structure. You need to leave it alone...leave it right where it is. Don't rename anything, don't move anything. Do that, and Avid is happy.

Avid's philosophy is that all of the media organization is done INTERNALLY, inside Avid. Want to move files, CONSOLIDATE within Avid. Avid touts strong media management, not file organization. You can't organize the media like you do with other NLEs.

NOW, if you are a power user, you can rename the numbered folders INSIDE Avid. When importing and rendering, it'll default to the "1" folder. if you import all of your media and are done, rename it "2"...or "20"....or "100"...any other number. Then all the footage for that one project is in there. Import new media, a NEW "1" folder is made, so you can now put all of the media for the OTHER project in that one. BUT, mind you, and rendering you do in ANY project will go to that "1" folder.

What I tend to do is import all the media for one project, when done, make a folder on the drive called "PROJECT X MEDIA" and then put the Avid MediaFiles folder in that. Then if I start another project, I just open Avid, that folder is made again, and I work on that project with that folder. When done, I make PROJECT Y folder and drop that folder into that...and then take out the other folder from PROJECT X if I'm going back to that. Sure, when I open that project, I won't see the media...not until I take that folder out. BUT THIS IS DANGEROUS!!! If you take the folder out, and FORGET TO PUT THE OTHER AWAY, and the OS goes "Do you want to replace the existing folder with this one?" and you click YES...BAM...all the media for the other project is wiped out. SO DO THIS CAREFULLY if you do it.

Best to go with the NUMBERED folder way, hard to delete folders. You'll just have to manage the media in the "1' folder when you render.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


Return to posts index

Eric Santiago
Re: Questions about the Avid MediaFiles folder and organization
on Jan 12, 2017 at 1:58:02 pm

Curious if the 5000 file limit is still intact?

Or was it more?

I remember having to clean up a ton of folders due to that issue back in the day.

Of late the other two NLEs have been doing as much work so not a lot of Avid MediaFiles have been created.


Return to posts index


Sean McNally
Re: Questions about the Avid MediaFiles folder and organization
on Jan 12, 2017 at 5:22:28 pm

[Shane Ross] "Want to move files, CONSOLIDATE within Avid."

What's the process like for doing that? Does that actually move files from one place to another, or is it more of a copy/paste sort of thing?

[Shane Ross] "Avid touts strong media management, not file organization."

Gee, didn't know there was a difference. What, then, is "media management", if not organization?


Return to posts index

Shane Ross
Re: Questions about the Avid MediaFiles folder and organization
on Jan 12, 2017 at 9:09:46 pm

[Sean McNally] "What's the process like for doing that? Does that actually move files from one place to another, or is it more of a copy/paste sort of thing?"

Open the bin with media, highlight it, go to the CLIP menu and choose CONSOLIDATE. You can either COPY it to another location, or MOVE it, meaning copy it over to the new location, and then remove it from the present one. I tend to COPY first...make sure it's all there, and then delete it from the source drive.

[Sean McNally] "What, then, is "media management", if not organization?"

Knowing what is where, and having a solid link to it. Because the path is always the same, and because Avid constantly scans the folders and updates the media database file, it always knows what is where. And you almost never need to relink.

FOR EXAMPLE...I have a client on the east coast (I'm west) who captures and organizes a show for me to cut. They clone the media onto another drive and send it to me. I work on it, and when I finish a section, I send them a bin of my cut. They can then open the cut and everything instantly relinks, no need to manually do it. If they then move the media to another drive, with another name and open the bin there, Avid will automatically relink. It doesn't care about the drive name. Adobe, FCP Legacy....not sure about Sony... keep track of things via a file path. if you move something out of that path, or change the name of the drive, or a folder, it needs you to manually relink the footage....which isn't always 100% reliable. Because Avid has a set file path, it does it 98% of the time (few exceptions...but trashing the media database and having avid rebuild it automatically often fixes that).

Another example...

If you have a project with all the media...the full length clips, and you have a sequence that accesses those. But then you Consolidate only what is used in the sequence, with handles for some reason (archive, edit on the road...whathaveyou). And then you lose that media...the shortened media, gone. You can load that sequence in the main project, hit RELINK and it'll relink to the master clips...find the small sections it needs in that footage. FCP didn't do this, not without a third party app. FCX doesn't do this...Premiere doesn't do this...they need full clips.

And then all sorts of FILM workflows with edge code and importing ALE's and dealing with change lists. It needs to track a lot, and be rock solid in that tracking. And it is.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


Return to posts index

Sean McNally
Re: Questions about the Avid MediaFiles folder and organization
on Jan 12, 2017 at 9:46:59 pm

Thanks for taking the time to give a thorough explanation! I'm starting to understand it now, just a few questions:

[Shane Ross] "I send them a bin of my cut."

What exactly do you send over to New York? A drive, with the big "Avid MediaFiles" folder on it? Or do they already have their own drive with that folder on there? By "send them a bin", do you mean it's not necessary for you to send them all the source media files, because they already have them? Finally, when they sent you over the media, did they process it through Avid, or are you just getting raw files dropped onto a drive? If it's the latter, I don't understand how they can simply open the cut without Avid having to go and find the files.


Return to posts index


Shane Ross
Re: Questions about the Avid MediaFiles folder and organization
on Jan 12, 2017 at 11:35:40 pm

[Sean McNally] "What exactly do you send over to New York? "

Virginia...but it is a big coast, I see the confusion. ☺

[Sean McNally] "A drive, with the big "Avid MediaFiles" folder on it? Or do they already have their own drive with that folder on there?"

They ingest all the footage, and organize the project on their end. Then they copy all the footage, and the project onto ANOTHER drive that they UPS to me. So now we have duplicate drives.

[Sean McNally] " By "send them a bin", do you mean it's not necessary for you to send them all the source media files, because they already have them?"

Yes. I just send them a bin with the cut. They already have the media...and the cut will relink automatically to the media they have. The only thing they don't have are my render files, so they just need to re-render. Although I still also export QT files for the executive producer.

[Sean McNally] "Finally, when they sent you over the media, did they process it through Avid, or are you just getting raw files dropped onto a drive?"

They have an assistant editor fully process the media. AMA access, consolidate/transcode it. Organize it, then send me the drive. The only way to relink is if they and I have the same media...if I get the camera masters and do all the importing on my end, and then they import on their end....even though it's from the same master files, the sequence won't relink...it's different media. It has different identifiers on it. That's why they ingest, organize and send.

[Sean McNally] "I don't understand how they can simply open the cut without Avid having to go and find the files."

Because it's fully databased by Avid. It's in it's file structure, and there are files in the numbered bins (.mdb) that are basically excel sheets of what is on the drive. if ANYTHING changes...new media added, or removed, that file instantly updates. Open a sequence, Avid goes, "OK, this uses this media, looking...Ah, I see on this sheet that there's a lot in the "1" folder....and a smattering in the "2" folder. But it's all here...good. LINK!"

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


Return to posts index

Glenn Sakatch
Re: Questions about the Avid MediaFiles folder and organization
on Jan 14, 2017 at 4:51:26 pm

"you can't change anything about that directory, or organize the files within it"

Not true, you can organize your media, many of us do it, but you have to be diligent and organized to keep it working.

As Shane pointed out, all new media goes into the "1" folder. Any number folder can be written to by Avid...which basically means any other numbered folder can be scanned and have the database updated.

My workflow (and i'm not alone) is to bring in day 1 footage, AMA and transcode, or how ever you get your media into the box. This puts the media into a "1" folder. Once transcode is complete i rename that folder to ProjectName_Day1, or on a smaller project, ProjectNameMedia. By using letters in the folders name, this essentially locks this folder from anything new adding to it. (Avid can't update the database).

I then do my work on the box as normal, not worrying about folders for the rest of the day.
If i'm just working on the same project tomorrow, again, i don't worry about anything. Any renders, imports, etc that i create during those sessions are put into a new "1" folder.

If a second days footage comes in, and i'm going to ama/transcode it, i rename the "1" folder to ProjectName_working
and then create my transcodes. At the end of the transcode session, i rename the newly created "1" folder ProjectName_Day2. I then rename ProjectName_working back to 1, and continue my job.

I use this process for all my projects. My Avid MediaFiles folder has folders name by Project_Camera, "working" "Project_renders from resolve" "Project_HighRes from Avid"....what ever i need to keep things organized.

If i'm on a simpler project, i leave it all in a 1 folder until i change projects. Then i rename the 1 folder to something else, and jump to a different project.

As i said, you have to be organized, and fairly diligent to maintain the structure, but if a second edit house needs day 2's footage, i can find it immediately.

If footage appears offline, because the data base has gone corrupt, i copy the folder name, rename the folder back to numbers 55555 is used a lot for this purpose...delete the database, and let avid rebuild it. Once done, i paste 55555 back to the original name and move on.

Play with the technique, you will get used to it. You will get to the point where you are about to hit the render or the import button, and you will ask yourself what project the current "1" folder is connected to, and is it ok to hit render yet or not.

If i forget to do a switcheroo at any point, i can always drag the database into an open bin, and figure out what media is from what project, and get it clean up and reorganized.

Glenn


Return to posts index

Sean McNally
Re: Questions about the Avid MediaFiles folder and organization
on Jan 15, 2017 at 5:33:46 pm

[Glenn Sakatch] "If i forget to do a switcheroo at any point, i can always drag the database into an open bin, and figure out what media is from what project, and get it clean up and reorganized."

Is there any easier way to do that? Can I go into an Avid project and tell it to suck out all the transcoded media that pertains to that project, and put it into a new folder or directory?


Return to posts index


John Pale
Re: Questions about the Avid MediaFiles folder and organization
on Jan 15, 2017 at 9:13:10 pm

Yes. Open the Media Tool and sort by project.


Return to posts index

Sean McNally
Re: Questions about the Avid MediaFiles folder and organization
on Jan 15, 2017 at 9:28:56 pm

[John Pale] "Open the Media Tool and sort by project"

Yes, I'm aware this can be done, but the media tool can't copy those files to a new directory on my hard drive. That's what I'm looking to do.


Return to posts index

John Pale
Re: Questions about the Avid MediaFiles folder and organization
on Jan 15, 2017 at 9:59:46 pm

Sure it can.

Just select those files and consolidate to the new drive.

If the drive is blank, it will set up an Avid MediaFiles folder. Your consolidated files will be in the "1" folder.

If this drive has Avid media on it already, simply rename the existing "1" folder to something else and Avid will create a new one with only your consolidated media in it.


Return to posts index


Sean McNally
Re: Questions about the Avid MediaFiles folder and organization
on Jan 15, 2017 at 11:09:41 pm

I see what you mean. Turns out, you can't Consolidate/Transcode directly from the Media Tool, but you can copy all the files into a new bin, and do it from there. Good idea on changing the name of the "1" folder. Just have to make sure you un-check "Skip native media files already on the target drive"

Basically, I just need to think of the Avid MediaFiles/MXF directory like a USB hub, and the folders within it like virtual USB drives. Remove them, the media will go offline, but put it back, Avid will find it again.

So, thanks to all of your guidance, as well as research I've conducted since starting this thread, here's my new method for organizing my media files:

1) Import Footage
2) Rename Avid MediaFiles/MXF/1 to something else, say Project_1_MXF.
3) Once I'm done with Project 1, I can move my Project_1_MXF folder somewhere else, wherever I want. Then, if I need to work on Project 1 again, I can just pop that folder back into the Avid MediaFiles/MXF directory.

If I somehow screw up and get the mxf files from two projects jumbled together in the same folder, I can:

1) Open Media Tool
2) Select my drive and the project whose files I want to extract
3) Select Master clips and both Precompute clips options
4) Copy everything that turns up in the Media Tool window to a new bin
5) Select everything in the new bin
6) Right click, consolidate/transcode
7) Make sure there isn't a folder called "1", so Avid will create a new one
8) Use the consolidate option (whose name is a bit confusing. Nothing is really "consolidated" or lost, it just moves things from one drive to another, or in my case, a new "1" folder.)
9) Make sure "Skip native media files already on the target drive" is un-checked.
10) Press consolidate, and you'll have a brand new "1" folder with all your project's media in it, which you can re-name and move somewhere else.

I've also found that 10-step process can be automated, that is, if I'm willing to shell out $100 for Automatic Duck's MediaCopy. But, as long as I keep on top of it, I shouldn't need to re-generate those folders at all. Even if, for example, I import more media for Project 1 after renaming the folder, and a new "1" folder is created, I can just move the new files into the Project_1_MXF folder.

Thanks so much!

- Sean


Return to posts index

Shane Ross
Re: Questions about the Avid MediaFiles folder and organization
on Jan 16, 2017 at 4:59:51 am

Sorry, the media has to be in the structure Avid wants. You can't do it any other way.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


Return to posts index

Sean McNally
Re: Questions about the Avid MediaFiles folder and organization
on Jan 16, 2017 at 5:10:46 am

Well sure. But as long as the MXF files are stored in Avid MediaFiles/MXF/[FolderName], I should be good, right? Doesn't matter what the name of that folder is. What's the problem with my solution?


Return to posts index

Shane Ross
Re: Questions about the Avid MediaFiles folder and organization
on Jan 16, 2017 at 5:13:04 am

The folders in the MXF folder need to be named with numbers. Sure, you can do "1 Magic Mike", "2 Unforgettable" and so on. But then the media databases don't update if you add media. They only work if the folder is a number only. And if you are working on a project and add new media and renders, it automatically goes to "1". So if you have a named folder, and move that new media from "1" to "2 Magic Mike," Avid won't update the databases, and it won't be seen. Unless that folder is just a number.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


Return to posts index

Sean McNally
Re: Questions about the Avid MediaFiles folder and organization
on Jan 16, 2017 at 5:18:59 am

Reminds me of the old Get Smart series...missed it by that much!

Alright, so it seems to me like the only issue is if I want to go back to a project and add more media. So, I guess I'll just have to re-name whatever folder I'm working with to "1" while I'm using it in Avid, and then back to "Project_A" before I put it into storage somewhere else on the drive. Any issues there?


Return to posts index

Shane Ross
Re: Questions about the Avid MediaFiles folder and organization
on Jan 16, 2017 at 5:26:02 am

[Sean McNally] "and then back to "Project_A" before I put it into storage somewhere else on the drive. Any issues there?"

Yes...that doesn't start with a number. It'll have to be "2 Project_A" or any number. But the first thing in the name must be a number in order for it to be seen by Avid.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


Return to posts index

Sean McNally
Re: Questions about the Avid MediaFiles folder and organization
on Jan 16, 2017 at 5:29:55 am

[Shane Ross] "Yes...that doesn't start with a number."

But why would it matter what I name it before it goes into storage? Next time I use the folder in Avid, just before taking it out of storage and moving it to the AvidMedia Files/MXF folder, I'll just rename it to "1" again, so Avid will see it as a working folder.


Return to posts index

Shane Ross
Re: Questions about the Avid MediaFiles folder and organization
on Jan 16, 2017 at 5:49:50 am

Ah...If you intend on doing that, this is what I do. I make a folder called PROJECT_A_MEDIA...and put the WHOLE Avid MediaFiles folder in there. So that I then keep everything separate. So I can have PROJECT_A, PROJECT_B, PROJECT_C and so on...and just put away and pull out the media folder when needed

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


Return to posts index

Sean McNally
Re: Questions about the Avid MediaFiles folder and organization
on Jan 16, 2017 at 6:05:21 am

[Shane Ross] "I make a folder called PROJECT_A_MEDIA...and put the WHOLE Avid MediaFiles folder in there"

Not a bad idea. Might go with the idea of renaming the individual folder though, that way I get in the habit of always keeping a close eye on the folder structure and contents. Looks like I've finally got a solution!

1) Import Footage
2) Edit
3) When done, rename Avid MediaFiles/MXF/1 to something else, say Project_A_MXF and move elsewhere
4) Next time I want to work, rename "Project_A_MXF" to "1" and move it back to Avid MediaFiles/MXF/.

Thanks, guys!


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]