A bit of a shock, but this information from Apple cleared up the question from NAB about why some media can't be optimised within FCPX.

Apple have published a Knowledge Base article indicating that that some formats cannot be optimised in Final Cut Pro X. If you cast your mind back to NAB this year, we were puzzled why the Sony PDZK-LT2 ingest plugin for FCPX wasn't allowing the XDCAM files to be optimised right after import. Now we know it will never happen. Good timing from Apple as yesterday we had the pleasure of a Sony member of staff here on the campus at FCP.co and yes you've guessed, we were talking formats, codecs and why XDCAM wasn't getting optimised.

We're a bit puzzled about this statement as having suffered the crashfest nightmare of using ProRes & XDCAM in the same FCP7 timeline, avoiding mixing I-frame and Long-GOP seemed a good idea. Maybe it is the power of FCPX under the hood or something technical with AV Foundation in the future that means optimising the files isn't a good idea. If we carry the argument one stage further, it means a large project made up of XDCAM and exported to ProRes will likely take a lot longer due to the conversion on export.

Very curious indeed. We have put an email into Apple to see if they can explain why (because we like to know these things) formats such as XDCAM don't need the conversion. In the meantime, here's the whole data from the article:

"Final Cut Pro X includes an option to "Create optimized media" which transcodes video to Apple ProRes 422. This can provide better performance during editing, faster render times with better image quality, and faster export. If the original camera format can be edited with good performance, this option is dimmed.

Native camera media formats that can be edited with good performance include:

  • HDV
  • DV

For these formats, the "Create optimized media" option is dimmed. The preferred workflow is to use the native camera media format for editing."

Additional Information

Written by
Top BloggerThought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. The shows have also been nominated for a 2021 BAFTA.

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.


BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

amazon kindle BF

Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.


Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!


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