Tip #1417: Use Multiple Drives for Libraries and Media

… for Apple Final Cut Pro X

Tip #1417: Use Multiple Drives for Libraries & Media

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Final Cut has no problems accessing files stored on multiple drives.

Topic $TipTopic

Here’s a question I get asked a lot; this example is from Berta:

“Using FCP X, can I save my library and project files to one external drive while using a second external drive to retrieve the original 4k media?”

The answer is: Yes, with a caution.

As you know, media files are large and require significant bandwidth (data transfer speed from storage to computer) to play smoothly. As long as your drives are large enough to hold your media and fast enough to play it – generally Thunderbolt speeds – using multiple drives is fine.

NOTE: If you are getting dropped frame errors, that means that your storage is too slow.

For my webinars, my media is stored on either a server or a RAID, while my libraries are stored on a separate drive. Final Cut has no problem keeping track of multiple files stored on multiple drives.

Please rate the helpfulness of this tip.

Click on a star to rate it!

2 replies
  1. G Steve Jordan
    G Steve Jordan says:

    While it’s certainly true that FCPX supports using multiple drives on a project, I’d suggest that a tip like this always come with a warning that the editor must keep a record of files and locations. If files are moved, relabeled or the drive is unavailable, the project may be inaccessible. Having enough storage to keep all assets in a single FCPX library is the safest way to ensure that a project can be accessed at a later date.

    • Larry Jordan
      Larry Jordan says:


      There are two divergent thoughts here. You are correct. Storing media in the library simplifies keeping track of it.

      However, storing media inside a library makes it virtually impossible to share media between libraries or editors. Because I reuse so much of my media, it makes more sense for me to store it outside the library.

      Neither is “best” – it all depends upon how you need to access your media.



Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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