Moving Files Between Office and Home

Posted on by Larry

[ This article was first published in the November, 2008, issue of
Larry’s Final Cut Pro Newsletter. Click here to subscribe. ]


Brian Grystar writes:

I work at a TV station with a Final Cut Pro suite in it. We only have one suite and I don’t get a lot of time to do much in it, however I have my own FC Pro system at home. I have some DVCPRO archives and raw video that I’d like to transfer to my system/external hard drive at home. What is the best way to do this without bringing in a main/large external hard drive?


(I need to do this as quick as possible when the suite is available) Will a WD Passport or Iomega portable hard drive be able to transfer my video captures/files back to my home drive without messing up the reference files? I’ve done it with a Lacie 250 GB but it requires a few extra cables and is not real portable. I love the idea of a portable hard drive to keep projects and music on the go and save space on my laptop.

Larry replies: You can do this, but it will take some steps.

First, keep these three things in mind:

  1. USB drives are NOT fast enough to capture video (read here for details)
  2. Never edit video stored on your boot disk, you’ll always get dropped frames
  3. All captured media files are stored in a folder named after your project in [ Second drive ] > Final Cut Pro Documents > Capture Scratch

Second, assuming you have connected an external hard drive you want to move between work and home, on your external hard drive, create a folder called “Final Cut Pro Documents”

Open Final Cut Pro and go to Final Cut Pro > System Settings

Set the scratch disks to point to the Final Cut Pro Documents folder on your second drive that you just created.

Capture all materials to that scratch disk.

Final Cut captures all media files, and stores all render files, on whatever disk you set as the scratch disk. By setting your external hard drive as the scratch disk, all your files will go where you expect.

Remember to save your project to that external drive as well – that way, both media and project files will be on the same disk.

UPDATE – Nov. 17

Zach Mull sent the following comment:

In regards to Bryan Grystar’s desire to move projects back and forth from work with a portable drive, I suggest that he look into a bus-powered RAID like the G-Technology G-RAID Mini. These drives are compact and require only one cable, provided that your computer has a FW400 or FW800 port. They have transfer rates suitable for multiple streams of compressed HD. They also make fantastic backup devices for tapeless acquisition.


Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Larry Recommends:

FCPX Complete

NEW & Updated!

Edit smarter with Larry’s latest training, all available in our store.

Access over 1,900 on-demand video editing courses. Become a member of our Video Training Library today!


Subscribe to Larry's FREE weekly newsletter and save 10%
on your first purchase.