Preference Settings in the Administration Window

The Preferences pane of the Final Cut Server client’s Administration window contains most of the settings from the General pane of Final Cut Server System Preferences. It also contains many additional settings.

Figure. Preferences pane of the Administration window showing the preference pane buttons.

Global Preferences Settings

The Global Preferences pane contains the most common settings. Many of these are duplicates of the settings in the General pane of Final Cut Server System Preferences.

Figure. Preference pane buttons in the Preferences pane of the Administration window,

The following are the Global Preferences pane settings:

  • SMTP Server: Enter the name of the outgoing SMTP server used to send all emails. This setting is also configured during the Final Cut Server installation process. If this was left blank during installation, this setting defaults to “localhost,” which you can use if this computer has Mac OS X Server v10.5 and is configured as an SMTP email server.

    Note: Final Cut Server supports only Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) servers that do not require authentication.

    Final Cut Server can be configured to send email notifications for a variety of reasons, such as a set of assets being ready for review. See About Email Responses for more information.

  • Max Running Jobs: Enter the maximum number of jobs that can run concurrently on Final Cut Server. Most facilities will set this to no more than 20 jobs.
  • Retry Count: Enter the maximum number of times to retry a failed job.
  • Retry Timeout: Enter the period in seconds to wait before retrying a failed job.

Compressor Preference Settings

The Compressor pane contains a pop-up menu that allows you to choose the cluster to use for any transcoding operations. The choices available depend on your Compressor configuration. See the Compressor documentation, available in the Compressor Help menu, for information on configuring clusters. For information on creating a custom QuickCluster for use with Final Cut Server, see the Final Cut Server Setup Guide.

Note: The Compressor Cluster Password field only activates if you choose a password-protected cluster.

Figure. Compressor pane in the Preferences pane of the Administration window.

Important: In the Compressor Cluster Name pop-up menu, the This Computer item does not actually refer to the computer the Final Cut Server client is using—it refers to the computer Final Cut Server is installed on.

Proxies Preference Settings

The Proxies pane contains pop-up menus that allow you to choose the devices that store your normal proxies and the optional edit proxies.

Figure. Proxies pane in the Preferences pane of the Administration window.

Each of these devices is actually created during the installation process. See the Final Cut Server Setup Guide for more information.

Important: If you change either of the device settings, make sure that the original devices remain accessible or you will have to re-create the proxy files stored on them using the Analyze or Regenerate All Proxies feature. It is recommended that you do not change these devices unless you absolutely must. An alternative is to move the existing Proxies or Edit Proxies device to a new location, for example to a larger hard disk, then modify the device’s Local Directory setting in the Devices pane of the Final Cut Server client’s Administration window. See Editing a Device Using the Administration Window for more information.

The following are the Proxies pane settings:

  • Enable Edit Proxies: Select this checkbox to have Final Cut Server automatically create edit proxy files using the Apple ProRes 422 (Proxy) codec (in addition to the normal proxy files) whenever you upload a Final Cut Pro project to the Final Cut Server catalog.

    Note: This setting is initially made as part of the Final Cut Server installation process. The default transcode setting for edit proxies is Apple ProRes 422 (Proxy). You can change the transcode setting used for edit proxies in the Analyze pane of the preferences settings. For more information, see Analyze Filter Preferences Settings.

Version Control Preference Settings

The Version Control pane contains settings for configuring Final Cut Server to manage versions of assets and productions.

Figure. Version Control pane in the Preferences pane of the Administration window.

Important: Each version requires an amount of disk space similar to that of the original version. Keeping more than a few versions may require significant disk space, especially when working with large video files.

The following are the Version Control pane settings:

  • Control Limit: Enter the maximum number of versions that can be associated with an asset. When the limit is reached, the oldest versions are deleted as new versions are added.
  • Create Asset Version Default: If automatic version control was not turned on during the Final Cut Server installation process (by checking the Enable Version Control checkbox in the Customer Profile Selection pane of the installer), selecting this checkbox will turn version control on or off for Final Cut Pro project and video assets.

Analyze Preference Settings

The Analyze pane is where you configure the various proxy formats created when an asset is added to the catalog.

Figure. Analyze pane in the Preferences pane of the Administration window.

For each item in the list, you can choose a format to use for that representation of an asset. There are two media types: image and video clip.

Following are the Analyze pane settings:

  • Thumbnails: These are the small images that appear in the Thumbnails view of the client’s main window.
  • Poster Frame: These are full-resolution images that a user can export from the main window. Poster frames are intended to be a generic file format version, such as a JPEG version, that you can use in place of the original asset. These are especially useful when the original asset is a proprietary format that you want to view on computers that don’t support that format.
  • Key-channel Poster Frame: For images and certain image sequence formats only. These are identical to normal poster frames except that they contain an image’s alpha channel.
  • Clip Proxy: For video clips only. Clip proxies are low-resolution representations of the asset that are used whenever you do not need to use the full-resolution version of the asset. These files are copied to your system when you preview an asset in the client’s main window.

    Final Cut Server automatically detects the aspect ratio of the video and adjusts the clip proxy aspect ratio to match.

    Note: The options you have for the clip proxy transcoding are determined by the settings you create in Compressor. You can create additional settings in Compressor to customize your transcoding options. See the Compressor documentation, available from the Compressor Help menu, for more information.

  • Clip Edit Proxy: For video clips that are uploaded with a Final Cut Pro project only. This setting provides a proxy format for use when exporting or checking out a Final Cut Pro project. See Proxies Preference Settings for more information.

Guidelines for Creating and Modifying Clip Edit Proxy Settings

If you modify the existing Clip Edit Proxy setting, you should test the proxy file to verify that the following items did not change during the transcode process. If any of the items listed below change during transcode, the proxy file may not connect in Final Cut Pro.

  • Frame Size and Aspect Ratio: Verify that the proxy file’s frame size and aspect ratio did not change during the transcode.
  • Timecode: Verify that the proxy file’s timecode did not change during the transcode.
  • Audio: Verify that the proxy file’s audio did not change during the transcode.
  • Proxy Playback: Verify that the proxy file plays back in real time, for real-time compatibility in Final Cut Pro.

Analyze Filter Preferences Settings

After installing Final Cut Server, the administrator can create analyze filters that find video files based on file type, bit, and frame rate, as well as other data. These video files are then transcoded to create proxy files. You create and manage analyze filters in the Analyze Filter pane.

Figure. Analyze Filter pane in the Preferences pane of the Administration window.

The Analyze Filter pane contains the following elements:

  • Add (+) Button: Click the Add button to create a new analyze filter, and then enter the analyze filter’s parameters in the Proxy Transcode Filter Settings window that appears.
  • Edit Button: Select an existing analyze filter and click the Edit button to edit it.
  • Delete (-) Button: Select an existing analyze filter and click the Delete button to delete it.
  • Up: Use this button to move an existing analyze filter up the list.
  • Down: Use this button to move a selected analyze filter down the list.
  • List of existing analyze filters: As you create new analyze filters, each filter appears in this list.

    Important: When you create several proxy transcode settings for the same filtering criteria, Final Cut Server will apply the filters from the top down in their listed order. It is suggested that you order multiple proxy transcode settings for the same filtering criteria by complexity, listing the most specific one first, and the more general ones second and third, to optimize the proxy transcode process.

Creating Proxy Transcode Settings

When you create a proxy transcode setting, you describe the files you want to be transcoded using video codec, image size, bit rate, frame count, and device location filters. Then you select a transcode setting for the defined filter. Using one or more filtering criteria, you can create very broad or very specific analyze filters to meet your organization’s specific needs.

To create a proxy transcode setting
  1. In the Analyze Filter pane, click the Add button.

    The Proxy Transcode Filter Settings window appears.

    Figure. Proxy Transcode Filter Settings window.
  2. Enter one or more types of filtering information.

  3. Enter a transcode setting for the filtering information.

  4. Click the Apply Changes button.

The new analyze filter appears in the Analyze Filter list.

About Editing Existing Proxy Transcode Settings

When you edit an existing proxy transcode setting, Final Cut Server does not automatically re-create the asset’s proxy files. The administrator needs to manually regenerate all of the proxies. For more information, see Manually Analyzing Assets and Regenerate All Proxies.

To regenerate an asset’s proxy files
  1. In the Final Cut Server main window, select the asset or assets that you want to regenerate proxy files for.

  2. Control-click the asset, then choose Regenerate All Proxies from the shortcut menu.

The proxy files will be re-created for the assets you selected.