11 Replies Latest reply: Mar 5, 2012 10:17 AM by Paul Cuciti
joerglange Level 1 (0 points)

Hi Folks,


Upon importing my media I'm able to choose between proxy and optimized media. The difference between and the sense of those is understood. But what I'm not understand - why I'm allowed to select proxy-media AND optimized media at the same time? In my opinion you need EITHER proxy (on a laptop) OR optimized media but never both of them together...

Because if you import as proxy AND optimized, FCPX will take the proxy for editing and the optimized files are useless, right?


So why is that, why can I choose both and not one of them?


Best regards


iMac 24" 3,06Ghz 8800GS, Mac OS X (10.6.1)
  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 (115,605 points)

    You use proxy files if you have an underpowered computer or need to import large amounts of video. If your computer performance needs proxies to work properly then it's a good idea to import both. You don't want to output proxy quality files, so you edit proxy, and when you're done you switch playback to optimized files for output.

  • joerglange Level 1 (0 points)

    Okay, thats understood. But I use H264, and when I done and switch back, it will take those original H264 files for output, right? So in my case I wouldn't need the optimized media.

  • hafken Level 4 (1,225 points)

    You only need optimized media if your computer has problems working with the original media. Optimized media will transcode your original media to Prores 422, which is much easier CPU-wise to edit with as compared to H264. However, it takes up LOTS of space, so if you have no problems editing with your original media, you don't need to generate optimized.


    Proxy media is a low-res version of your original media -- 1/4 resolution I believe, and it uses a reduced quality codec meant only for "offline" editing. e.g., using a laptop. However, like Tom says, if your machine is underpowered and you don't have the space for the optimized media, it's another alternative.


    I would not recommend only using proxy media for editing since the resolution is much lower and you won't really be seeing a true representation of your content. I'd say though if your computer can handle editing in H264, there would be no reason for generating optimized media.

  • orion32773 Level 1 (0 points)

    I know this is maybe outdated but I have been hearing this "switch playback back to optimized or original media" before export so I have been doing this on my laptop.  I was also getting mixed answers.  It makes no sense to switch this seeing how the verbage indicates that it only effects "playback" while editing.  So I was on the phone with the FCPX support guys...whoever their pro support apps are and I asked him this question.  He stated that export ALWAYS uses the original media so switching back is not necessary and this makes sense and would leave room for most of us to forget when we finally go to render our project......I know I would forget.  If any of you know different and disagree with Apple Support please chime in.  I always like to hear everyones opinions so please dont take this as a derogatory response.

  • Jeaux Level 2 (160 points)

    I once exported a proxy project without switching playback, and it was apparent that the proxy files were used, not the originals, as the movie was low-res and full of artifacts, even though I'd chosen ProRes 422 as the output resolution.


    What the support guy said should be the way FCPX behaves, but in my experience it wasn't.


    I'd be interested to hear the experience of others...

  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 (115,605 points)

    This is what an export file looks like and what it says in QT.



  • orion32773 Level 1 (0 points)

    Well...I guess that about says it.  Not sure why their support team would be so certain but this was what I was looking for.  Thanks Tom!

  • EddieT Level 1 (5 points)

    If I may butt in on this thread, I was wondering about the checkbox by "Create optimized media for multi-cam clips." I will be doing a 4-camera, multi-cam project soon, using tapeless cameras (AVCHD). It will be of an intensive class of about 32 hours, so with 4 cameras that's going to be a LOT of video. It seems logical to checkthis box next to "create optimized media for multi-cam clips" but won't that increase the amount of space I'll need on my scratch disk by a whole lot? If so, any disadvantage to not checking it? Thanks in advance.

  • innocentius Level 4 (1,880 points)

    Is H264 not a native media ? And one can optimize it to ProRes. I use XDCAM EX wich is native and it will not be optimized to anything else. This is not a problem because I like this native codec. Just curious.

  • Neil G Level 3 (740 points)

    Okay, I just dropped in here and I'm confused. I think the image above confirms that I _should_ "switch playback to optimized files for output" before export but where is that in the controls, menus and/or dialogs?

  • Paul Cuciti Level 2 (385 points)

    In preferences: you simply un-check the proxy selection.