It isn't necessary to copy files which you already have on your hard drive. However, compressed audio formats like AAC and mp3 are not ideal and some people say they should be converted to .aif, but if they are not causing you any problems you can forget about it.
Optimize Media may help FCP X run smoother and is said to retain better colour during complex colour-correction, but there are no hard and fast rules, so you should use whichever method works best for you after you have tested them.
Remember that video, like most other things, is very subjective and colours that I (and most normal mortals) consider perfect would probably have a colourist reeling with disgust.
You only need Proxy Media as a last resort if your computer cannot cope with your projects. Most people with a modern Mac will never require it unless they are doing very complex projects.
So just to be clear, you are saying that with a good Mac (mine is an i7 Imac with 16gb RAM) I could leave all four boxes unticked, but it sounds like creating optimized media helps. I found this aritcle which actually explains the specific differences. http://www.larryjordan.biz/media-in-fcp-x/
Seems to confirm what you are saying generally, so thanks, but I like the way the article clarifies the difference between proxy and optomized.
Yes, theoretically optimizing (Converting to ProRes 422) can give better results but in practice many people will not notice any difference.
Optimized converts your files to huge ones (50GB per hour) but they play smoothly on the computer as they are less processor intensive. Once edited they have to be converted back to H.264 or whatever codec your output demands.
Proxy media produces much smaller files as it degrades the image by making the dimensions much smaller . . . . something akin to converting your hi-def to standard def. This makes it easier for your computer to handle if it is low powered and/or your projects have multiple tracks and other complexities.
Once again, this has to be converted back to a normal codec after editing.
Ian R. Brown wrote:
… Proxy media… has to be converted back to a normal codec after editing.
hmmm, not exactly
Proxies are 'references' only - on export, you switch back FCPX to 'high quality', and it render from the original files straight to exported format. The Proxies just tell 'use this, do that', but the video of it is not used, nor converted.
<wise guy mode OFF >
That makes sense because the word, "proxy" means just that, a referenced thing instead of the real thing, but it's not what that article I found seems to say:
"If proxy is checked. Final Cut converts the camera native format into ProRes 422 Proxy. This provides much better performance than editing camera native with reasonable image quality, while requiring less storage space than ProRes 422 (roughly 18 GB per hour of material)."
The quality of the proxy media should be irrelevent if it's not actually used for the final output. It sounds to me that using Proxy makes the most sense if the outputted material is still created from the original source. That would be the best combo of system efficiency whilst maintaining the best quality, right?
I just wonder why anyone would do it another way if this is the case.