I work for a small graduate school producing 6-10 short documentaries each year. Most of these projects highlight some aspect of the student experience: classroom, office hours, socializing, internship, family life on our residential campus... So that I'm always ready, I have built up a large inventory of B-roll covering these various aspects of the stuent experience. Most of this content remains current from year to year.

Until recently, I organized all these B-roll clips into one library on a local HDD. This was excellent, because I could search one library for "Dr. Jill Smith" and find all clips titled or tagged "Dr. Jill Smith".

But recently, I have found that Final Cut Pro X 10.0 Events and 10.1 Libraries alike struggle with handling a large number of clips. They are sluggish to load (into RAM?) and frequently give me the "spinning beach ball". In response to this performance issue, I started a new B-roll library for 2014 (also on a local HDD). Its performance is better than my 2011-2013 B-roll library, which I attribute to its having fewer clips (does that sound right?). The result is that now my B-roll is split across multiple libraries. Furthermore, my keyword hierarchy isn't duplicated to my new 2014 B-roll library.

This is a problem for me because I need to be able to search all of my B-roll quickly. I'm considering moving my B-roll content to Lightroom, but evaluating that option, I want to give Final Cut Pro X a chance to be the only media management software I need. (Besides, I love being able to select a clip in one library, press "Q" to add it to my project, and have it consolidated into my project library automatically.)

Is there a way to increase performance of a library with a lot of clips in it? Is there another solution I should consider that would increase my speed of finding the clips I need? Is there a better overall media management strategy I should consider?

1 Answer 1


Ideally having all your content and project files on a separate harddisk would give you some performance back, this could be a internal drive if your on a Apple Mac Pro or a external drive, USB3, Fire-wire, Thunderbolt etc.

If you dont need to have the libraries open I would close them as they load up the files when you open FCPX.

Other options are to increase your RAM in the Mac, FCPX likes a min of 4gb, I had 6gb in mine and it was running slow, I upped it to 16gb and now it runs so much better, I also made sure I was running the latest FCPX version and I closed some of my libraries down which I didnt need to have open all the time as you can just re-open them when you need to.

I mainly do weddings where I shoot a lot of clips throughout the day 200+ sometimes so it shouldn't have an issue really. I do keep my projects in a very strict order and filing system Library Name --Event Name (normally one for RAW files, Audio, Titles etc etc) --Project Names (normally one for each timeline)

I can have 3/4 edits going at any one time, once I finish one I close it down and archive the whole library removing any render files, optimized media etc to keep the archive size down.

I hope something in this will help

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