Managing Media

Complex projects can have hundreds or thousands of media assets: video and audio clips, still images, and titles. Final Cut Pro 2's superb media-management features can help you get a handle on your projects' assets -- and even reclaim hard drive space in the process.

Purging Unused Media As you wrap up a large project, you'll want to get rid of the media you ended up not using.

In the Browser window, select the sequences from which you want to remove unused media. From the Edit menu choose Find; in that dialog box, select Unused Media from the For pop-up menu, and check the In Selected Sequences box. Click on the Find All button.

When the Find Results dialog box appears, select the titles of the media you want to remove -- or press ~~-A to select everything. Control-click within the Find Results window to bring up the shortcut menu, and choose Make Offline.

In the Make Offline dialog box, select the Move Them To The Trash option and click on OK. (This leaves you a safety net that the Delete option doesn't: you can yank files out of the trash if you decide you need them.)

Unused Portions of Clips Chances are, you didn't use every frame of every clip that you captured -- and perhaps only a small fraction of each clip was used. With Final Cut Pro 2's Media Manager feature, you can sweep the cutting-room floor and reclaim precious disk space.

Select a sequence whose clips you want to consolidate. Choose Media Manager from the Sequence menu. In the resulting dialogue box, uncheck the Duplicate Selected Items box, select the Delete Unused Media box, and choose Use Existing from the Media pop-up menu. (Optional: To have Final Cut Pro retain some footage beyond the in- and out-points of each clip, select the Use Handles box and type in a timecode value.) Click on OK, and Final Cut Pro will rewrite each file to include only the footage between each clip's in- and out-points (plus handles, if you specified them).

Searching Tip Like Mac OS's Sherlock utility, Final Cut Pro's Find command lets you search by multiple criteria. To take advantage of this power, get in the habit of using Final Cut Pro's Comment fields and labels to describe and categorize your media assets. You can assign comments to clips as you log them, or use the Edit menu's Item Properties command to create comments for existing clips. Then you can use the Find command to locate clips based on these descriptive notes.

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