Update to Final Cut Pro X 10.1 – 10.2.3 libraries

Learn about updating your Final Cut Pro X 10.0 – 10.0.9 projects and events to Final Cut Pro X 10.1 – 10.2.3 libraries

This article only covers Final Cut Pro X 10.2.3 and earlier, and will not be maintained.

Before you update

When you update to Final Cut Pro X 10.1 – 10.2.3, your projects and events are updated. This article explains how your updated libraries and other files work in these newer versions of Final Cut Pro X.

Updated Final Cut Pro X files can't be used with Final Cut Pro X app versions earlier than 10.1. Before you update, create backups of the app and your files in case you need them later. You should also complete any active projects before you update.

If you're using Final Cut Pro X 10.0.9 or earlier and you want to update to Final Cut Pro X 10.3, you must first update your application to any version between 10.1 and 10.2.3. You can download and use the 30 day Final Cut Pro X 10.2.3 trial to update your Final Cut Pro X 10.0.9 or earlier projects and events to libraries and then update to Final Cut Pro X 10.3.

About libraries

Libraries in Final Cut Pro X 10.1 – 10.2.3 contain both projects and events in one place. Think of libraries as a way to collect and organize related projects and events at a higher level. For example, you could use a separate library for each of your professional clients. Or you could use libraries to separate different video productions, each of which contains its own projects and events.

Library advantages

Because a library contains both projects and events, it provides a single consolidated location for all your source media and edits. You can store libraries on local volumes and XSAN volumes. It’s easy to open and close libraries to access the media you need, and it’s simple to move media and projects between libraries.

How to update your projects and events

When you first open Final Cut Pro X 10.1 – 10.2.3, you'll see a window with these choices:

  • Update All automatically updates all accessible projects and events and puts them in a separate library for each hard disk. Projects and events are accessible if they are in the Movies folder on your startup volume or at the root level of any mounted volumes. To be updated, projects and events must also be in the Final Cut Projects and Final Cut Events folders, respectively.
  • Update Later postpones updating. All of your existing content is unchanged and Final Cut Pro opens with a new empty library that contains no media. You can update your projects and events later by choosing File > Update Projects and Events.
  • Locate lets you manually navigate to a connected hard disk, folder, or SAN location where projects and events are located for Final Cut Pro X to update them.

Where to find your projects after updating

The update process creates a new library for each connected volume that contains Final Cut Pro X projects and events, then creates an Updated Projects event in each of those new libraries. All of the projects from your Project Library are collected in these Updated Projects events, which appear at the top of the list of events for each new library in the Libraries list.

If you kept your projects and events on separate volumes, they will appear in separate libraries – but you can copy or move clips, projects, or entire events between libraries and hard disks. If you have projects and events that are either hidden or not at the top level of your connected volumes, you can update them manually.

In previous versions of Final Cut Pro X, projects appeared in the Project Library in the lower-left corner of the Final Cut Pro X window. In Final Cut Pro X 10.1 and later, projects are contained in events within Final Cut Pro X libraries. There is no Project Library in Final Cut Pro X 10.1 and later.

Where to find your media after updating

Media that you stored inside your original event is stored inside your new library. Media that was linked to an external folder and was not copied inside your original event stays in that external folder and is linked to your new library.

Changes to Compound Clips and Multicam Clips

Compound Clips and Multicam Clips are reference clips. When you modify a reference clip, the change is reflected in every instance of that clip.

When you update an event that contains instances of reference clips on other volumes, the reference clips are copied into the new library. The copies are independent of the original reference clips. This means that changes to the new reference clips don’t affect instances of the original clips.

Updating an individual project or event is not necessary

You don't need to update all the projects and events within any Final Cut Projects or Final Cut Events folder at the same time. References to assets, Compound Clips, and Multicam Clips are automatically resolved. You can also navigate to a SAN location on shared storage using the Locate command and update everything in that folder at once.

Update projects and events in a SAN location or folder

To update projects and events in a SAN, click the Locate button when you first open Final Cut Pro X 10.1 – 10.2.3, or choose File > Update Projects and Events.

Media isn't duplicated as part of the update process

During the update process, Final Cut Pro creates links between the Final Cut Pro 10.1 – 10.2.3 library and the media files in your old projects and events. If you delete your old project and event files, the media files remain in the new Final Cut Pro library. If you delete the new Final Cut Pro library, the media files remain in your old projects and events. By using these links, Final Cut Pro does not have to copy media files or use additional disk space.

Deleting old project and event files after updating

When you successfully update your projects and events, the old projects and events are placed in a folder named “[Library Name] Old Final Cut Projects and Events,” next to the library file on the hard disk. You can choose to delete or archive these original files. Deleting these older project and event files after a successful update does not delete original media.

Library names

The new libraries created during the update process are labeled with the name of the volume or folder that contains the projects and events.

Additional files created when you update to Final Cut Pro X 10.1 – 10.2.3

If your projects or events used Compound Clips or Multicam Clips from events on other volumes, the clips are created again in your new library. These files don't contain media, so they take up very little space on your drives.

Reorganize material after you update

Libraries provide great flexibility for media management. You can create separate libraries for different productions or clients, or you can create a separate library for each of your events. To create a new library, choose File > New Library. Copy an event to the new library by dragging it to the new library. You can also move an event to a library by choosing File > Copy to Library or File > Move to Library.

To find out more about updating projects and events, see updating your projects and events in Final Cut Pro X Help.

Move libraries between drives

You can copy libraries between hard disks using the Finder. Be sure to quit Final Cut Pro X before moving a library. You can store libraries on local volumes and Xsan volumes.

Use multiple libraries with the same name

You can use multiple libraries that have the same name, but it’s a good idea to use different names so you can easily distinguish between libraries. If you use the same name for two libraries within the Final Cut Pro X app, the second library name is incremented (Library 1, Library 2, and so on) in the Libraries list. If you use the same name for two libraries in the Finder, both libraries appear with the same name in the Libraries list.

Choose your locations for media, cache, and backups

As of Final Cut Pro X 10.1.2, you can use the Library Properties Inspector to specify media storage locations for each individual library.

In the Media Import window, you can choose to copy imported media to the library or leave it in its current place. You can also specify a custom storage location for imported media. This option is in the Library Properties Inspector, allowing you to select custom storage locations on a per-library basis.

You can view and define specific storage locations for media, cache files (render files, analysis files, thumbnail images, and audio waveforms), and library backups for each of your libraries. You can do this in the Library Properties Inspector. Store files within the library or in external folders you choose. You can also consolidate all files as managed media inside the library for easy transport or archiving.

For more information about the Library Properties Inspector see Manage storage locations in Final Cut Pro X Help.


Organizing generated media

When you create optimized, proxy, or rendered media, you could store all of those files outside of the library. Using the Library Properties Inspector, you could pick a location for saving media on a drive that is fast enough to play back the files (like an Xsan volume). You can also easily delete this media as needed which makes it faster and simpler to copy, move, or archive your libraries.