Avid Media Management Tip

Suppose you have multiple AVid projects on the go.  By default, all of the media from those projects will be stored in one file path: [Avid MediaFiles].  If you have more than one volume connected having this folder, then it gets more complicated – e.g. if Avid can’t find sufficient room on one such volume then it will try the next one (etc.).  Avid provides tools for media management but it can get messy when you need to keep connecting different drives to see if they contain your required media.  Instead, it is helpful to be able to store media for different projects in different “lumps”, be they volumes or folders.  From web research (below), it seems there are a number of possible, though kludg-ey, workarounds, mainly based on temporarily renaming AVid media folders/subfolders…  Nice to know, until such time as Avid provides a tidier solution to this requirement.


  • http://lfhd.net/2011/07/29/avid-mc-tip-separating-media-by-project (Article and Comments from July 2011)
    • I referenced this in passing in my earlier post of http://blog.davidesp.com/archives/341, with a slightly disparaging tone, not in regard to the workaround but in regard to the need for it in the first place (seems that Avid, like FCP7, hasn’t really responded to this requirement – unless I’m missing something).  However, given that workarounds are necessary if you want to ensure separate projects are on separate volumes, the ones explained here are worthy of fuller treatment.  Hence this post.
    • Article by Shane Ross:
      • Avid MC will make one folder on your media drives and call it Avid MediaFiles. And inside that will be MXF, then numbered folders.  Inside those numbered folders are your media.
      • When a project gets really big, there will be more than the “1″ folder. There will be a “2″ and “3″, because there is a file limit of 5000 media files.
      • But the main point is that no matter what project you have going on, ALL of the media from multiple projects will be stored in that one file path.  All of the organization is done internally in the Avid MC app.  If you need to delete media, you do it in Media Composer.  Move media from one drive to another, you use CONSOLIDATE…inside Media Composer. (Avid’s “Media Manager” for all you FCP people)
      • But what if you want to copy all of the media used in a project…including render files and precomputes (titles)…to another drive to give to another editor?
        • (Suppose) you want to start another project up, and you want to keep all of the media separate.  So, all you need to do is change the name of the Avid MediaFiles folder to something else.  Because if the folder is named anything other than “Avid MediaFiles,” Media Composer will not see the media inside.
        •  What I do is just add the name of the project to the end of the current name.  So “Avid Media Files X Games,” for example.
        • Now when I make a new project and start importing media, Avid MC will make a new Avid MediaFiles folder and put the new media in there.  And when I want to switch back to the other project, I just add the project name to the current Avid MediaFiles folder, and take off the added name from the first one, and then launch Avid MC.  Then if I want to copy all of the media and renders associated with the project, I simply drag and drop the entire folder onto another drive.
        • See http://lfhd.net/2011/07/29/avid-mc-tip-separating-media-by-project/ for further details – this post is just to highlight its relevance (and URL).
    • Comment by Ian Johnson:
      • That can get a little cumbersome if you have to switch back and forth between projects a lot, or want to separate media within a project. For instance, I have one project for cutting all the promos for a series, but want to keep the dailies media for each episode separate.
      • What I do is rename the “1″ folder (or my Avid bay’s folder if it’s a unity drive). Composer will create a new “1″ if there isn’t one already there, and when I am done capturing, or consolidating, or transcoding, I’ll rename it to whatever I want. This will keep all of the media on line, though separate.
      • You can also pass these folders around and drop them straight into the MXF folder of the system you moved the media to. Sometimes the media won’t show up, because at times MC only seems to see media in folders that it created. In that case you force the creation of a new “1″ folder, then move the media from your incoming folder to that one. Click on Composer so it rescans the new “1″ folder, and then rename it however you want.
    • {In the comments, it is explained that one post-house, for its 5-year TV series, has folder naming convention as follows.  Really helpful to see actual examples like this.}
      • 80104 for season 8, show 1, segment 4.
        • Not expecting more than 9 seasons then?  Otherwise would expect a leading zero (my project and file names always have those, and sometimes increment by 10)
      • Assets (that might be re-used in future shows) are under other MXF numbers:
        • Sound effects in folder 8
        • Music in 9
        • Graphic elements in 7
    • Zak Ray
      • I sort of force MC into the FCP way of doing things, assigning a different Media Creation drive for each project. In the past, I’ve repartitioned drives to make one partition per project, but I’m considering using sparse disk images for this in the future.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.