Pack and Go

Anybody try to grab a scene from your desktop Avid, put it on a laptop, and cut it somewhere else? It ain’t all that easy.

Consolidate helps — you find the source bin, select your master clips and consolidate them without relinking. But even though you are moving media to an external drive, consolidate insists on creating new clips that will link to the new media, clips which are placed into your source bin, and which you’re going to immediately delete. What you want is a copy of the media that will link to the original clips. There’s no way to do that except via the Finder. (And despite 20 years of confusion, media filenames still don’t contain clipnames, so that’s going to take some hunting, as well.)

Even if consolidate didn’t create those extra master clips, the task would still be too complicated because there are many non-master clips in a typical scene bin, namely groups and resynched subclips. For these, you have to find the relevant master clips and consolidate them individually.

Then you copy the relevant bins and put them into the project on the laptop. And finally, because the old clips aren’t linked to the new media, you’ve got to relink — which means setting options and often relinking more than once. (Why does every relink produce error messages even when the relink works?)

In general, this is not a task for the faint of heart. Too many steps, too many gotchas. All I want is to select a bunch of clips and sequences, and copy all the source media involved to a drive, along with the bin involved. It would be even easier to select a bin from the project window and have all relevant sources for everything in it copied.

Simplifying the process would make it a lot easier to take work on the road — and it’d also help sell Media Composer software. If this were easy enough and MC-software was reasonably priced, every editor and assistant would have a copy.

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5 Comments on “Pack and Go”

  1. Oren Says:

    There’s a neat little tool called MDV ( It scans thru your media folders and gives you a very easy way to manage and copy (move) media files from one place to the other. It’s sad that Avid doesn’t provide these tools but then again, when was the last time Avid tried to make an editors life more simple… It’s a free tool so it’s totally worth checking.

  2. cogito Says:

    There is another workaround…

    you select the sequences/clips that you want to copy the media for, then export an AAF. In the AAF options select the Export Method ‘Copy All Media’ rather than ‘Consolidate’ or ‘Link to’ etc. You then choose a folder and all the media needed is copied into it, along with the AAF files, which you delete. This generally works as a media copy method… it can run into problems when one AAF file tries to have the same name as a previous one, but generally it works.

    MDV is great too, but yes I agree, that Avid should add a media copy function directly.

  3. Ralph Foster Says:

    I too have been using the “Copy all media” option to “Same folder as OMF” as Cogito uses but doing OMFS rather than AAF (Same function I through away the OMF afterwards).

    Before this was available I would use a utitility which came free with Automatic Duck AVID2AE called “Automatic Media Copy”. It worked but has been superceded by the copy media option.

    If you keep using the copy all media to the same drive you gradually build up a backup of original media and for sound deliveries this means you can give the sound department empty OMF files that will link to the entire original audio media.

  4. Norman Says:

    A much much stupider way is what I did on my feature last year. I simply copied my project files onto a Firewire drive with the media already on it and moved THAT drive from site to site. Of course, I needed to copy the project files over to whatever drive I was going to start working on, but I moved back and forth with complete abandon, even though one machine was an Xpress and the other MCSoft.

  5. Norman Says:

    On the other hand, I’m now working on a project with media and project files that have been copied over by someone else. And I want to kill myself right now. Relink is its usual funky self. Clips that have all of the same attributes (that is, time code and tape number) will not link properly. But some do.

    It’s enough to make a grown editor cry.

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