We hate losing stuff as having to do anything twice is a waste of time and money. Matt O'Shea gives us some tips about sorting media, saving Libraries and has a free set of folder icons to download that will help get your media organised.


Ever since starting out with Final Cut Pro X I enjoyed the all-in-one library file structure for media organization. In fact I’ve been using it up until the last two years. As time went on and my business grew I began to find backing the library files for each project to be time consuming. That in addition to replacing .png files and having to reimport them was a pain in my rear side.

On average I was spending about one night a week backing up my library’s so they included the current version I was working on.

Maybe that’s okay for some people but less time managing the media is more time creating. I was saying to myself there has to be a better way. I wanted a technique that would involve minimal time out of my day or my editors.

After researching this for about two weeks and testing different methods I settled on having a folder structure that I could categorize each type of media. I even went further to separate the role for each media i.e. music, sound fx, voice over and so on. But the key to this folder structure wasn’t just separating media, it was to keep the library file small by storing the optimized media and the cache render files in a different location than the library file. You can do this by modifying the library media preferences.

Now that my library files were small I was enjoying the flexibility of just copying the library file on my backup drive but I started to question “What if there was a fire and my laptop and backup drives (as well my dreams) burnt to the ground”. So one would naturally think well Matt move your backup drives offsite silly but this doesn’t solve the problem of having the most up-to-date library. If there were a fire I could still lose my laptop and the most recent version of the library. So how do we solve this.

And the answer is Google Drive or iCloud... really take your pick. By storing your library files in a google drive folder you’re able to seamlessly open, edit, and backup your library file in one go. The way this works is that when you close FCPX the current library file overwrites the existing. Fcpx does not write over as you edit and this is where you don’t have to worry about a corrupted library file because the changes are saved after you close fcpx or the library. Google drive then automatically backs up the library file which can now be accessed any time from any computer.

Picture this Your source media is backed up offsite... check.

Your library file is saved and uploaded on a cloud service immediately after making changes... check.

This to me is complete redundancy. I’ve used this technique while working with two large online educational company and never had any problems.

Since implementing this into my workflow I’m able to access my most up to date projects anywhere and pass edits off to an editor given everyone has the source media. I will say that when using a different drive to than your regular drive you will need to reconnect your media. So give yourself a few minutes to reconnect the media over the hours to copy the library file connected with media.

I’m also giving away my folder structure with pristine folder icons ;)

Hope this stuff helps you guys. There’s obviously many way people manage their media workflow but this is just the way that I find works well for myself and my editor.


Matt O’Shea is a filmmaker based out of Vancouver Canada. You can view his work at:
To get in touch you can email Matt at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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