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What is Reference Media?
Final Cut Pro 5 is one of the older versions of the software, but has the basic format and structure that is universal to the system. As part of this format, it still implements a reference based system for the media it uses in the software. This means that when media is imported, captured, or transferred into a folder, it is then referenced by Final Cut Pro. The media is then used, moved, altered, and employed in the video editing project in a way that is non-destructive to the source files, but still depends on the existence of the files.
To do this properly, Final Cut Pro creates a pathway to the shown location of the source files, which is where they were during the import or where they were placed through the Capture Scratch. If you find that the media has gone offline then you have to reassign it to your project, otherwise your media will appear offline and will essentially give you an error message. Here is a simple, step by step process on reconnecting offline footage in Final Cut Pro 5.
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The main cause for disconnected media is that the media cannot be found by Final Cut Pro. This comes when either the media has been moved from the location it was in when it was first referenced by Final Cut Pro or it was actually deleted. This essentially means that Final Cut Pro is looking for the file in the place it was told it would be, yet it is not finding it.
The process to reconnecting offline footage in Final Cut Pro 5 is to initiate a process for that file and then actually find the location. You have a couple of options for this. First, you can go ahead and right click, or Control click, the disconnected footage in either the Timeline or the Browser and select to Reconnect Media. Second, you go just go to file and choose Reconnect Media. The second option is going to be best if you have several files that are disconnected. You will then come up with a Reconnect Files menu that will list the online and offline files. You have two options within this screen: Locate or Search. If you know where the files have been moved to you can choose Locate, and then you will be able to browse through your storage areas to find and select the files. Search, on the other hand, will search for the files around the available storage spaces based on the names of the files.
The choice for what process you want to go through is depending on how many files are disconnected and where they are. If you just have a few that are in separate locations then it will be best to reconnect the files individually and then use locate. If there are multiple files that simply have been moved then a search method is going to be the more efficient process. The main importance is to make sure that files are being reconnected to the correct source, otherwise you could have a series of files that are not what were intended.
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Photos: Screenshot by Shane Burley.
Souce: Author's own experience.