Reconnecting Clips to Media Files

Clips in your project don’t have to be offline for you to use the Reconnect Media command. You can reconnect media files to clips in your project at any time, since all you are doing is changing the file path stored in the clip’s Source property. Reconnecting the links between clips and media files is the most obvious reason for doing this, but there are other reasons to use the Reconnect Media command:

About the Reconnect Files Dialog

The Reconnect Files dialog has the following features:

Figure. Reconnect Files dialog.
Files To Connect List

This area displays a list of clips organized by clip status:

  • Online Files: This refers to clips that are currently referencing the appropriate media files. You may want to reconnect these clips if you want your clips to reference a different folder with the same media, or media captured with different settings.
  • Offline Files (with a specified path): This refers to clips that contain a file path in the Source property, but Final Cut Pro cannot locate the media file at the specified location.
  • Offline Files (with an unspecified path): This refers to clips that have an empty Source property. In this case, Final Cut Pro cannot locate the media file because no location is specified. You need to manually reconnect these clips to their media files, if possible, using the Locate button.
  • Render Files: This refers to sequence render files that Final Cut Pro cannot locate in the Render Files folder of your current scratch disk.
  • Offline, Online, and Render buttons: You can choose to limit which items are displayed in the Files to Connect list by clicking the offline, online, or render buttons. One or more of these buttons may be turned off if none of the selected clips or sequences has the corresponding clip status. For example, if you only selected online clips, the offline and render buttons are turned off.
Search Locations Area

This area allows you to choose which folders are searched when Final Cut Pro looks for media files.

  • Skip File: Click this button to remove the current clip highlighted in the Files to Reconnect list. When this clip is removed, the next clip in the list is highlighted for reconnection.
  • Search Single Location checkbox: When you select this option, only the directory path in the Search Single Location pop-up menu is searched, as well as any subfolders of that directory path.

    Selecting this option can greatly improve the speed of the search for media files, especially when you have a lot of media files on your scratch disks or when you are using a storage area network (SAN) such as an Xsan configuration. The fewer files and subfolders a directory contains, the faster Final Cut Pro can search for corresponding media files.

    If this checkbox is not selected, Final Cut Pro searches all folders and volumes in the Search Folders pop-up menu.

  • Search Folders pop-up menu: When the Search Single Location checkbox is deselected, Final Cut Pro searches all of the directories and volumes shown in this pop-up menu in the order they appear. The pop-up menu is divided into three sections and also includes an option to add additional search folders.
    • Directories from the Search Folders tab in System Settings: These are folders set in the Search Folders tab in the System Settings window, and they appear in the same order. For more information about setting and removing search folders, see Search Folders Tab. Additional items can be temporarily added to this list by selecting the Add Search Location option (at the bottom of this pop-up menu).
    • Current scratch disk folders: These are the disks assigned in the Scratch Disks tab in the System Settings window. For more information, see Connecting DV Video Equipment.
    • Currently mounted volumes: These are the current volumes mounted on your system.
    • Add Search Location: Select this option to add a folder to the end of the search folders list. These items are added to the list in the Search Folders tab of the System Settings window.

Search Order and Speed in the Reconnect Files Dialog

Final Cut Pro searches folders in the order they appear in the Search Folders pop-up menu. To make searching for media files efficient, Final Cut Pro searches designated folders before searching entire volumes. This way, if a media file is located in a specified search folder, Final Cut Pro never has to perform a more time-consuming search through an entire volume. This can be especially helpful when searching for media stored an a storage area network, such as an Xsan storage system.

In general, a directory that contains fewer files and subfolders is faster to search than a folder higher in the directory hierarchy. However, due to the way HFS directories are catalogued and optimized, searching an entire HFS volume may be more efficient than searching a folder near the root level of that volume. Broad, partial-volume searches are usually the most time-consuming searches. When you assign search folders, always select folders as specifically as possible.

Locate and Search Buttons

You can use the following buttons:

  • Locate: Click this button to manually navigate to a media file for the clip highlighted in the Files to Connect list. This is useful if you are reconnecting a clip to a media file whose name does not match, or when you know the location of a media file and you want to navigate to it quickly.

    In the window that opens, you can choose a media file to reconnect to, or you can choose a folder and Final Cut Pro will search that folder for any media files that match the name of the clip.

  • Search: Click this button to start searching for media files that match the highlighted clip. When you click this button, the Reconnect dialog opens with the matching media file selected (if found). Media files are searched for in folders based on the order they appear in the Search Folders pop-up menu. If the Search Single Location option is selected, only the folder shown is searched.
Files Located List

As you match clips to corresponding media files, they appear in this list.

  • Amount located: This is the number of clips currently matched to media files.
  • Amount with conflicts: This is the number of clips that you have assigned to media files in which some aspect of each clip does not match its assigned media file. For example, if you assign a media file containing three audio tracks to a clip that expects only one audio track, this clip is considered to have a conflict.

Using the Reconnect Files Dialog

The Reconnect Files dialog has many options, depending on the types of clips you are reconnecting and the number of volumes and folders you want to search for missing media files. The task below suggests one possible workflow.

To use the Reconnect Files dialog
  1. Select the clips you want to reconnect.

    If you have a lot of offline clips and you want to make sure you reconnect them all, press Command-A to select all clips in the Browser, and make sure you select the “Offline” option in step 3.

    Figure. Browser window showing a selection of files to be reconnected.
  2. Do one of the following:

    • Choose File > Reconnect Media.

    • Control-click a clip or sequence, then choose Reconnect Media from the shortcut menu.

    The Reconnect Files dialog appears.

    The first item in the Files to Connect list is highlighted. The currently highlighted clip is the clip whose media file Final Cut Pro attempts to match.

  3. To choose which kinds of clips appear in the Reconnect Files dialog, click the Offline, Online, or Render button. For more information, see About the Reconnect Files Dialog.

  4. To remove the currently highlighted clip from the Files To Connect area, click Skip File.

    You may want to skip a clip if you cannot locate its media file, but you want to continue reconnecting other clips in the list.

  5. Do one of the following:

    • To limit where Final Cut Pro searches for clips’ media files: Choose a directory path from the Search Folders pop-up menu, then select the Search Single Location option.
    • To specify that all folders in the Search Folders pop-up menu be searched: Deselect the Search Single Location option.
  6. Do one of the following:

    • To have Final Cut Pro search for media files automatically: Click Search.
    • To manually navigate to the location of the media file: Click Locate.

      If you click Search, Final Cut Pro searches for the media file that corresponds to the clip highlighted in the Files To Connect area. When Final Cut Pro discovers a potential match, the Reconnect dialog appears. If Final Cut Pro cannot find a clip’s media file, you hear an alert sound. In this case, you may want to use the Locate button to manually search for a clip’s media file instead.

      Figure. Reconnect dialog.

    Several options can help you find your clip.

    • Show pop-up menu: If this option is set to All Files, you can select any file type in the selected folder on your hard disk, whether or not it can be connected to a clip in Final Cut Pro. To limit the kind of files you can select in this list, choose a file type from the pop-up menu.
    • Matched Name Only: Choose this option so Final Cut Pro restricts your selections to media files whose names match the filename in the clip’s Source property. If you are reconnecting to a media file whose name is different from the previous media file the clip was connected to, or if the clip name does not match the media filename, you can deselect this option.

      Note: If no media file exists that matches the filename in the clip’s Source property, Final Cut Pro searches for a media file whose name matches the clip name.

    • Search: Shows the path of the media file referenced to the current clip being reconnected. If more than one match is found, you can use this pop-up menu to choose which file you want.
    • Reconnect All Files in Relative Path: Select this checkbox if you want Final Cut Pro to automatically reconnect all remaining clips whose media files are located in this folder. When you are reconnecting a lot of clips, this can speed up the reconnection process considerably.
  7. When the correct media file is selected, click Choose to add the media file to the Files Located area in the Reconnect dialog.

    If certain attributes of the selected media file don’t match the clip you are reconnecting, the File Attribute Mismatch dialog appears.

    Figure. File Attribute Mismatch dialog.

    Final Cut Pro warns you if the following file attributes don’t match the properties of the clip you are reconnecting:

    • Media Start and Media End timecode

    • Number of video or audio tracks

    • Reel name

    • Frame rate

  8. Click Try Again to search for a different media file to connect to the clip. Otherwise, click Continue to reconnect the media file to the current clip, even though certain attributes don’t match.

    Clips connected to media files with mismatched attributes appear in the File Located area in italics, and the total number of clip-media file mismatches is displayed next to “Amount with conflicts.”

    All media files located appear in a list in the Files Located area of the Reconnect dialog.

  9. Using the Search or Locate button, continue to associate clips to media files until you are ready to reconnect them.

  10. Click Connect to connect all clips in the Files Located area to their media files.

    You can click Connect at any time, even if there are still clips listed in the Files to Connect list.