Importing Media Files

You can import single files, a folder, or a group of folders. If you import a group of folders that contain folders inside one another, Final Cut Pro imports all files in each folder and subfolder that are in formats it recognizes; incompatible file types are ignored.

Folders imported into your project appear as bins in the Browser. If you import a group of folders, Final Cut Pro creates bins and organizes the files in the same hierarchy as on your hard disk. However, unlike with clips and media files, there is no further relationship between bins and folders after you import. Changing the name or location of a bin in your project has no effect on the folders in the Finder, and vice versa.

To import a file or folder
  1. In the Browser, select a project or bin where you want to store your imported clips.

    • To import files or folders into the main, or root, level of a project: Click that project’s tab.
    • To import files into a bin within a project: Double-click the bin. The bin opens in a separate window.

    For more information, see Organizing Footage in the Browser.

    Figure. Browser window showing bins that you can open by double-clicking.
  2. Do one of the following:

    • Choose File > Import, then choose File or Folder from the submenu. (To import a file, you can also press Command-I.) Select one or more files or folders in the dialog, then click Choose.

      Figure. Choose a File dialog showing a file selected for importing.
    • Control-click in the Browser or a bin’s window, then choose Import > Files or Import > Folder from the shortcut menu. Select a file or folder in the dialog, then click Choose.

      Figure. Shortcut menu showing the Import Files command.
    • Drag one or more files or folders from the Finder to a project tab or bin in the Browser. This is a fast and easy way to import many files.

      Figure. Browser window showing a file being dragged from the Finder into a project tab or bin.
    • You can also drag the files or folders from your desktop to the Timeline of a sequence.

      Figure. Timeline window showing a clip dragged directly to the Timeline.

      Important: Dragging media files directly to a sequence in the Timeline creates independent clips, which have no master clips in the Browser. This can make media management more difficult later. For more information about master-affiliate clip relationships, see Working with Master and Affiliate Clips.

  3. Save your project.

    For more information, see Creating and Saving Projects.

Tips When Importing

When you import media files, keep the following in mind:

  • If you want to import media files from removable storage media, such as a CD, do not import the files directly. Instead, copy the files to the folder on your scratch disk where your other project media is stored. Clips that refer to removable media become offline when you eject the disc.

  • When importing QuickTime reference movies, the only file that will be recognized by Final Cut Pro is the main file that contains the references (to the other associated files). You may see error messages, such as “file unknown,” if you try to import these referenced files.

  • While not necessary, it’s a good idea to keep all of the media files used for any given project together, for organizational purposes. When you back up or archive your project file, you’ll also want to back up or archive any graphics, audio, or QuickTime files that weren’t captured from tape, so they don’t get lost.

  • Final Cut Pro supports both RGB and Y′CBCR (YUV) color spaces, depending on the video codec used. When using the Y′CBCR color space, Final Cut Pro supports either 8- or 10-bit resolution.