Back in the days of Final Cut Pro 10.0, there was a very useful app called Event Manager X, which let you choose which Projects and Events to load instead of just loading everything on every connected drive. Since FCP 10.1 introduced the ability to close and open libraries at will, the main function of the Event Manager X was no longer needed and the program was made available for free to help during the migration to Final Cut Pro X Libraries.
Isn’t it nice to know where your media really is?
Still, some of the smaller features it provided were missed, and Final Cut Library Manager provides all of them and more. Consider the torch well and truly passed on.
One of the main reasons to pick up Final Cut Library Manager is to use as an archival tool. Like Event Manager X did, it allows you to catalogue your projects and events (and of course libraries too) on both connected and disconnected drives. That means that you can keep tabs on your work, even when you’ve taken the drives away. If you’re following an archive-and-delete strategy with your finished projects, then this is a key way to keep track of just which archive drive you’ve stored your edits on.
This drive is disconnected, but I can see exactly what’s on it.
There’s also extra power to view only online libraries, only offline libraries, or even libraries that should be present, but aren’t. You can even be shown where external media is stored, and if files are missing or offline.
More than that, though, Final Cut Library Manager also allows a world of searching. You can search through not only library names, event names and project names, but media filenames, custom names, comments and notes given in FCP X, and even Finder comments on libraries and events.
I can search through almost everything, in this case for “bmcc”.
This means you can add all kinds of metadata to your clips, to your libraries, and more, even without FCP X open. It’s very flexible indeed.
Even if you don’t need the archiving features, you can take advantage of some helpful deletion features that come as part of the package. What can you delete? Plenty, especially if the edit’s complete.
Let’s get rid of some of render files too.
Optimizing media on import (or creating proxy files) can produce large numbers of huge files, and you can ditch them, recreating them if needed. Render files can similarly be recreated on demand, and FCP X’s auto-render will have made plenty of those if you haven’t disabled the feature already.
Each library shows helpful green checkboxes, for Optimized, Proxy and Render media. Check some or all of them, then press the Trash button and confirm to delete. You can even double-click on a library to open it in FCP X.
Deleted media can always be recreated if needed.
If you’re serious about editing in FCP X—and certainly we’ve reached the point where people are—then this should be an instant purchase. You can manage your archived media easier than ever before, search in ways that just aren’t possible otherwise, and painlessly remove files that you just don’t need to keep. It’s excellent, it’s improved greatly in its short existence so far, and it’s only €9. It’s a bargain, worth your time and your money.
Pro: The missing archival, deletion and utility features that FCP X editors need
Verdict: Buy it!
Iain Anderson is an editor, animator, designer, developer and Apple Certified Trainer based in Brisbane, Australia. He has taught privately and in tertiary institutions, and has freelanced for Microsoft and the Queensland Government. Comfortable with anything from Quartz Composer to Second Life and Final Cut Pro to Adobe Creative Suite, he has laid out books, booklets, brochures and business cards; retouched magazine covers and product packaging, shot and edited short films and animated for HD broadcast TV, film festivals and for the web.