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Copy all media from a project to an external drive

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Ryan Dundas
Copy all media from a project to an external drive
on Sep 7, 2017 at 8:42:07 pm

I am an AE and my company recently switched from Final Cut to Avid. So far there have been many things that have frustrated me about how Avid works. It is really blowing me away that Avid is considered the industry standard when everything I do involves a ton more time and steps then with Final Cut or Premiere. Maybe I just don't know what I am doing?

For example, I am working on a multi camera reality show. I create 720p proxies at DNxHD 50 of all my media to ensure smooth playback with my multigroups. But it is a nightmare trying to relink back to my online media after edit. The only solution I have found for a reliable relink is to add a unique Tape Name to every clip in my project before transcoding the proxies. I have hundreds of files in my project so this takes hours. I am blown away that I can't manually choose the files to relink to, and Avid is not smart enough to remember what linked source file was used to transcode the proxies to make it easy to relink back to them. And that is not even the problem I am posting this about!

Just when I thought I couldn't hate Avid any more, I come across this issue. All I want to do is copy all of the media from a project to an external drive to give to an editor so they can work from home. Not the linked media, just my proxy media which is all on my raid in the Avid Media Files folder.

I can use the Media Tool to locate all of the files I need on my raid, but when I select them all it won't let me consolidate them from the media tool window. I can only do that from the bin that the master clips are in. And since I have my footage organized into a ton of different bins, I have to go bin by bin to consolidate all the media to my external drive. In other words I can't just copy everything at once and leave the transfer going overnight. I have to wait for each bin to finish consolidating before I start the next, and I have well over 20 bins of footage so I will have to sit here all day and watch it so I can start another bin when one finishes.

I read that the old way people did this was click reveal file on each master clip and move those .MXF files to the Avid Media Files folder on the external drive. I have so much footage in my project that this would take me days!

I know there has to be an easier way to do this but I am not finding much when I search. There is the automatic duck media copy application for $99 but I refuse to believe I need to spend more money just to be able to move my media to another drive. With Premiere or Final Cut I would do the media management myself so making a drive for an editor was as simple as copying one folder from my raid and leaving it transferring overnight.

Somebody please make my day and tell me there is an easy way to do this that I have yet to discover!


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Shane Ross
Re: Copy all media from a project to an external drive
on Sep 7, 2017 at 10:19:23 pm

[Ryan Dundas] "For example, I am working on a multi camera reality show. I create 720p proxies at DNxHD 50 of all my media to ensure smooth playback with my multigroups."

That's a fairly high data rate format...why that over DV or 14:1? Guess you don't have that much footage yet, or that much storage issue? Just curious.

[Ryan Dundas] "But it is a nightmare trying to relink back to my online media after edit. The only solution I have found for a reliable relink is to add a unique Tape Name to every clip in my project before transcoding the proxies. I have hundreds of files in my project so this takes hours."

Well, it shouldn't. Because you AMA link to the footage, highlight all the clips, add a TAPE ID, then transcode. Then repeat for the next import. This doesn't take that much time at all. Adding maybe 15-20 seconds to the process for each AMA group. FCP Legacy was slick because it added this right away when you Log and Transferred the footage. I do really wish Avid would do that too. But it, nor PPro, nor Resolve nor FCX nor ANY OTHER NLE does this. You need to manually add a source after you link.

There is no easy way to do this if you didn't set this up from the start. If you didn't plan for this. Because all of the media is in one folder...full res, proxies...footage across projects. So either you get into the habit of changing the numbered folders name every time you transcode to offline, so that they all go into one folder, and then change it again...there's no way to track it. I say get the Media Copy app. $99 is less than the time it'll take you to do this once. VERY helpful app

Shane
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Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Tom Witt
Re: Copy all media from a project to an external drive
on Sep 7, 2017 at 11:39:33 pm

If I can give a word of advise..., I came from Decreet Logic Edit* background in the late 90's. We hired a new lead faculty in the early 2000's and she was trained in Avid. Needless to say you can guess where the college program went.

I found Avid utterly confounding. Worst yet, I was teaching this program (thankfully an Intro class) and the college offered absolutely no training. I was on my own to figure it out. And back then there wasn't much if anything on the internet. So, a couple of things you are going to have to accept:

1. Avid came from the 1980's. A lot of the processes, terminology etc. remain the same so as to not annoy the user base.

2. It's Avid's way or the highway. You have to (often begrudgingly accept) that you have to do steps Avid's way. When you input a footage it is assigned a number that resembles a licence plate number regardless of what file name you use. It uses a reference pointer to find that "number." Thus it can be nearly impossible to find that footage if you are looking on the hard drive itself.

This can be confounding to a user from other programs but in a large facility that may have multiple editors using the same footage off the server..., at the same time, it allows them to name the footage as they chose and it will still point back to the same captured clip.

If you don't accept these you will always fight Avid. When most people left FCPX they seemed to migrate to Premiere. Was the move by your company to Avid a well thought out plan? A lot of people hear, "It's the industry standard" and assume it is the best. Unfortunately making the the" best" for you (and the company) requires a lot of experience that isn't gained over night nor transferred from a previous edit program.

My apology for not having a direct answer. I never used Avid in the manner you do. We had a Unity server and that was challenging enough even using DV in/out. My best advise is to study up when you can and learn on the fly. In a away file management is a whole subset of working with programs like Avid.


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Ryan Dundas
Re: Copy all media from a project to an external drive
on Sep 8, 2017 at 2:24:54 pm

Hey Shane, we went with that format for the proxies because that is what the post sup asked me to try and it seems to be working alright with our system. No storage issues yet, they are shooting much less footage than we expected.

I looked more into automatic duck media copy. With that I have to export an XML of a sequence, then it is able to find all of the media from that sequence and move it to a target drive. Still more steps than I want to do because I don't have all of my footage in one sequence.

But I was thinking if I do layout all of my footage into sequences and have those all in one bin, can't I just select all of those sequences and Consolidate them to my external drive? That will copy over all of the media used in those sequences correct?

I am just nervous because I am going to have to reconnect the editors sequences on our raid after they are done working. I fear that if I consolidate, the new media files it creates on the external drive will have different names or some other crap that makes them difficult to reconnect to the original media on my raid. I am testing this with some sequences now


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