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Keep your database clean

By 23/06/2019March 21st, 2020Review

The project-based media files system

This tip might not apply for anyone, especially if you’re working in a network environment with shared media files across projects, or if you’re working in a big company and have no direct access to Avid’s media files. But for everyone who is able to do it, I highly recommend project-based media files. Not only does that prevent your database form growing too big, it also makes sharing projects incredibly easy.

There are many good reasons to keep your media files database as small as possible.
First of all, a huge database will slow down your system. Well, in times of multicore processors and cheap terabytes of fast storage, the performance issue might not be as big of a problem anymore, but having less files to handle is still better than too many. Plus, having project-based media files also has another great advantage.

As a freelancer, I often have to hand over a project to another editor, or deliver a finished project to the agency that hired me, including the Avid project and also the media files. As many of you know, that can be way more difficult than it sounds if you don’t have a good way of managing your media files. So, what I do is incredibly simple and effective at the same time: One media files folder per project.

You simply have to rename your media files folders when switching between projects.
By doing this, you can have instant access to all the media files of every project, but at the same time you have a very slim database to work with and all the media files for an individual project in just one folder, no more, no less. You can easily deliver the whole package to any other editor, to your client, or simply transfer the project to another workstation.

I think you already understand how that works, but here’s a little example:
When you import footage into a new project (we name it Project_1), Avid will automatically create the “Avid MediaFiles” folder (if it doesn’t exist already, but it shouldn’t, that’s the point). So everything you import or render will go into that folder.

Now let’s say you start a different project, named Project_2. So before you import anything into Project 2, rename your existing media files folder from  “Avid MediaFiles” to “Avid MediaFiles_Project_1”. By doing this, Avid will not recognize this folder and automatically create a new “Avid MediaFiles” folder, where all your footage from Project_2 will go. Now you have two separate folders, one for each project, and only one of them can be the active database for Avid to work with. Your database will be small, and you know exactly which media files belong to which project.

All it takes is a bit of discipline.
Rename your current media files folder before you start a new project, and you will never have to deal with huge databases or having trouble finding media files for a specific project to share it.

I hope you find that tip useful and it helps you to keep your database small and clear.


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Dennis Koeppl
Astallerstr. 9
80339 Munich