How to Use Libraries in Final Cut Pro X version 10.1 – Izzy Video 254

Izzy Video 254

Final Cut Pro X libraries are new in version 10.1, and they are super-useful.

Yes, they’re different from what we’ve had before, but they make thing so much better, it’s worth spending some time getting to know how they work and how they can benefit you.

A Final Cut Pro X library packages all your events, projects, and media into one simple (and very portable) container.

I’m a big fan of this change, and I hope this video helps you understand libraries a little more:

27 thoughts on “How to Use Libraries in Final Cut Pro X version 10.1 – Izzy Video 254

  1. I am deep in the chasm between tape-based production and file-based. I began my part-time endevers with two Canon GL2’s, an iMac (lamp shade) and Final Cut Express. As I started to make a few dollars here and there, my equipment started to fail and I really couldn’t make enough to replace anything. I kinda concentrated on my church tv work and let my dreams, goals and aspirations gather cobwebs. Fast-forward to today. As I come from under my rock I find myself in a world where everything (except my skill-set and creativity) has changed, like Final Cut. I want to know what could I expect to spend to build a better than basic production facility. That is pre-production, production and post production gear. $25k, $50k, more?

  2. Thanks Izzy for the well-needed info. I initially updated with out checking the content and have had to sort out all these new libraries on my drive (with the help of all the tutorials on YouTube of version 10.1). I’ve now learnt a lot more from your method, cheers!

  3. Izzy,

    Libraries solve that cumbersome problem of moving projects and events around. Once again Apple has done a major change in it’s wildly understated fashion. Excellent job showing off this great improvement. Can’t wait for your updates on other features.


  4. Thanks Izzy that was very helpful and not just with FCPX but also the new iMovie uses the same system and I was confused as to why things were where they are. There have been a lot of issues with Mavericks not being able to quick look many different codecs and not displaying pro res files as a thumbnail. I have hundreds of hours of .dv files and now I can’t view them as thumbnails and have to open them with QT7 or they automatically convert to QT videos. I have been checking the forums but just in case you know of any plugins or work arounds to get quick look working again please let me know. One more thing, if you wanted to convert your .dv files to a format that would be viewable in iPhoto and not lose quality what options do you have? Also if you just wanted to convert .dv files to another format that Apple is likely to support into the future and one that would not cause lose of data through compression, which format would you choose. Thanks again.

  5. Great video Izzy, very helpful for a basic user like me!
    I also find your training video’s easy to understand (even though i have to revisit a number of times)
    My problem, however, is with the continual Final Cut Pro upgrades the training video’s are a little out of date.
    I am sure you will deal with this and i look forward as a member to be helped by your updates.
    Many thanks Izzy . Good to be part of your club

  6. Hi Izzy,

    Gosh, Thank you ever so much for the most valuable and informative new video on Libraries on FCP X 10:1. I find this new feature on FCP X a real time-saver and a huge asset for my projects.
    keep-up the great work Izzy and once more, thank you as usual for coming to ALL our assistance with this new feature on FCP X.

    Wishing you and your family a super New year.

  7. Great video, but I think there is one nuance that you missed.

    When you use a clip from another library in a project, then as long as that other library is on the same drive, it does not double up the disk space when it copies it into the new library. It uses hard links.

    However, if you are using clips from a library that is on another drive, it will make a new physical copy as you say.

  8. Several of these 10.1. library explanations out there; but yours is the clearest. I did my update from X before following the recommended “procedures”. Lost most old projects and 10 2 hr VHS Captures which I have re-captured and will build the projects from scratch. 10.1. somehow created mov files without video – all I had was a clip with audio. Some of the smaller clips would automatically convert by QuickTime Player; but gave up on those 10 large captures. Also interesting that when I was moving Libraries around in the Program, one of them lost the Library icon and became empty. I could not delete it in FCP. Checked in the bundle and it was there intact. I copied it to the desk top and after testing with a few Sample Events, I deleted the bad event in the bundled Library. Then imported the DeskTop copy (just the clips) into Final Cut – worked great, It’s been quite and adventure; but had I done a proper set-up first with the old FCP Projects, etc., I could have avoided a lot of work!

  9. Izzy;
    Do you respond to questions here?

    In case you do here’s two…

    Any danger to updating to the library system in the middle of a project?


    I will be doing the installation one event at a time instead of all the events. So let’s say I had a baseball event and a hat event. If i only update for now the hat event and leave the baseball event alone… when i open up FCPX what will i see? will i see half “new” library update version and half “old” event/project version?
    or will i not be able to work the old event/project until it too is updated.

    Thanks for the help.

    1. Hoss, don’t upgrade in the middle of an important project. It might not do any harm, but it’s not worth the risk — just in case.

      Also, you can’t see events and projects in 10.1 that haven’t been updated. You’ll need to update projects if you want to use them in the new version.

      Based on your questions, it sounds like you should wait to upgrade until you finish your pending projects.

  10. Great tutorial, 1 question
    Since the introduction of Libraries, why should you still use the Keyword editor? Or is that for much more detailing?
    Thx Pim

  11. Thanks Izzy – very succinct and down-to-business video.
    May I ask what app you use to screen capture the action for your video?

  12. Can someone tell me why having projects located inside events is supposed to be a better way. I have a Library with 27 days worth of footage located in 27 events. 2 terabytes of files. I will be editing dozens of videos from these clips. Why would I want to search in in all these different events when the actual footage used will be in all those different events. hmm. As I am typing it occurs to me I could create an event just for projects.

  13. That video was so helpful, was doing a video tutorial and it had the old way of Projects & Events which was way confusing me. VERY Helpful. Thanks,

  14. Very quick and informative. I think I will be able to find lost work now. I updated before the “big” change in file management was known to me. Thanks.

  15. Someone mentioned this above but I thought I might put this in the form of a question… or rather, a request for a recommendation. I am working on one large project, a film in basically seven chapters, each chapter using multiple clips and photos. I want to create a different project for each chapter, as they’ll run several minutes and include numerous clips. How would you organize something like this? I originally created a library for each chapter, but now I’m torn between creating a single library for the film and then events for each chapter, but then I wouldn’t be able to organize clips into separate events within a chapter (for example, each event would have thematically organized clips based on scenes within a chapter of the film). I hope this isn’t too confusing. I want to start from the beginning using a decent strategy for work flow. This seems to be the central question for me (one library for each ‘film’ v. a library for every chapter of a film… with each chapter essentially a mini-film in and of itself). Thank you for your time and I thoroughly enjoy your videos!

    1. Hi Jim,

      You have a lot of creative control with this system, so you can do anything you want. But this is probably how I’d do it:

      1. Create one library for the entire project. That will make it easier to archive the whole thing later when it’s done.
      2. Create one event for each “chapter”.
      3. Possibly create one project in each event for each “chapter”.
      4. Possibly turn each project into a “compound” clip when it’s done. That way you can have another project that contains one compound clip for each chapter.

      Good luck!

  16. Thank you for your kind (and prompt) attention, Mr. Hyman. This was the answer I was looking for. My concern with this method, though, was the large number of clips and photos contained in a single library (the film will be composed of hundreds of clips and photos), and the problems I might have accessing any one clip from this large pool of single-library clips and photos. I assume that you’d handle this with smart collections, keywords and such, which is something I’m not terribly good at (truth be told, I’m only now re-learning FCP editing). My thought with creating separate libraries was that this would make chapter-based clips easier to access, but as you mentioned, it makes storage trickier. Oh, and what you recommended was exactly my thought: create a ‘project’ for each chapter and then combine the chapters into a single ‘film.’ Thank you again for your assistance! Please keep up the good work!

  17. Excellent video!

    You simplified the whole libraries, events and media hierarchy clearly and succinctly.

    Well done!


  18. The best, clearest explanation of the Libraries/Events/Projects/Clips system I’ve come across. Really helped me a lot in organizing my first FCP X project. Outstanding. Thank you!

  19. This tutorial was excellent and so informative with all the right information given! Thank you so much. Keep up the good work!

  20. This was absolutely the best tutorial out on Libraries, Events, and Projects. Before I watched this one, I watched two others and left feeling more confused. But your tutorial cleared it right up. Thanks man.

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