Final Cut Pro X does not restrict you to saving your clips and projects to just the user’s Movies folder or an external Mac-formatted hard drive. Thus, it may be more difficult to make sure you gather all your files such that you can move your projects and clips amongst computers (or just have a good backup). In Final Cut Pro X (version 10.1 and later), your projects and events are gathered together in a Library. If you plan well, you can ensure that all the clips needed for a project are available in a single library, which you can then copy from your computer to an external drive and vice versa. If your planning was not that great, Final Cut Pro X still allows you to consolidate the files for a project in a new library after the fact.
The help files provided with Final Cut Pro X (available online or from the Help menu in the app) provide instructions on how to do all of this. Here are key help pages to consider regarding Library management in Final Cut Pro X:
- What are libraries?
- Copy or move items between libraries and storage devices
- Copy a library to another Mac or storage device
- Manage storage locations
Formatting External Drives
If you are only using your external drive on a Mac or if you are using a USB flash drive (“stick”, “jumpdrive”), we suggest you follow Apple’s recommendations and reformat your drive as a Mac OS Extended volume. It will only be viewable on a Mac (unless you buy extra software for your PC), but it will provide the best performance. If you need to use your hard drive on both a Mac (for Final Cut Pro) and a Windows PC (or a Linux box, for that matter), you will want to both repartition and reformat your drive. Luckily, you can do both of these at the same time with Disk Utility on the Mac.
Important: If you have any files you want to save, be sure to back them up to another drive before you erase the drive they are on. Reformatting a drive will permanently erase all of the data on it.
Note that you should not expect to be able to use a USB Flash Drive/stick for both FCPX and general Windows tasks, as Windows gets confused with the way the Mac formats USB sticks (even in Windows-friendly formats), hiding all of your data. Conversely, FCPX can’t use a flash drive formatted in the default way that Windows uses. This problem does not occur with hard drives (and SSD drives) we have tested.