Import preferences

When you import media into Final Cut Pro using the Media Import window, you can customize your import settings each time you import files. However, if you drag media directly from the Finder into Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Pro uses the import settings you selected in the Import pane of the Final Cut Pro Preferences window.

Import pane of Preferences window


Choose a storage location for the media files:

  • Copy to library storage location: This option duplicates the media files and places the copies in the current library storage location. You can set storage locations for each of your libraries using the Library Properties inspector. For more information, see Manage storage locations.

  • Leave in place: If you import files with this option selected, Final Cut Pro creates symbolic links (also known as symlinks), which are special files that point to the media files without copying them. When you move, copy, or back up events and projects that use these files, Final Cut Pro moves or copies the symbolic links only (not the source media files). If, after you move or copy your project or event, you want to replace the symbolic links with the actual source media files, select the events and choose File > Consolidate Event Files. For more information about files and clips, see Media files and clips.


  • Create optimized media: This option transcodes video to the Apple ProRes 422 codec, which provides better performance during editing, faster render times, and better color quality for compositing. If the original camera format can be edited with good performance, this option is dimmed.

  • Create proxy media: This option transcodes video to the Apple ProRes 422 Proxy codec, which provides high-quality files useful for offline editing. Video proxy files can use considerably less disk space, often enough to allow you to work on a portable computer instead of a desktop computer that has significantly more memory and processing power. This option transcodes still images to either JPEG files (if the original file doesn’t have alpha channel information) or PNG files (if the file has alpha channel information).

For more information, see Manage optimized and proxy media files.

Note: To control whether Final Cut Pro displays optimized, proxy, or original media in the Viewer, and whether video playback is optimized for quality or performance, choose the corresponding options from the Viewer Options pop-up menu in the upper-right corner of the Viewer. For more information, see Control playback quality and performance.


  • From Finder tags: Creates a Keyword Collection for each Finder tag assigned to the files you’re importing. If the files you’re importing have tags, select this option to keep the tag organization that exists in the Finder. For more information about Finder tags, see the help for OS X (available from the Help menu when the Finder is active).

    Note: For REDCODE RAW files only, Keyword Collections are based on tags assigned to the enclosing folder.

  • From folders: Creates a Keyword Collection for each folder in the files you’re importing. Select this option to preserve the file organization that exists in the Finder. (Note that although Keyword Collections do not appear in a hierarchy in the Libraries list, every file in a folder is assigned a keyword for each folder it’s in, whether it’s one, two, or more levels deep in that folder.)

  • Find people: Analyzes clips with video for the presence of people and shot types. After analysis, any of the following keywords are added to the clip: One Person, Two Persons, Group, Close Up Shot, Medium Shot, and Wide Shot. The “Consolidate find people results” checkbox simplifies and summarizes all of the “find people” analysis keywords. For more information, see Video and still-image analysis options. If you’re analyzing to find people, it’s recommended that you also select the “Create Smart Collections after analysis” checkbox.

  • Create Smart Collections after analysis: Creates Smart Collections for each keyword applied when video clips are analyzed for image stabilization problems or the presence of people. The Smart Collections appear in a folder inside the event.


  • Analyze for balance color: Analyzes video clips and detects color cast and contrast issues. Color is automatically balanced when you drag the clip to the Timeline. You can fix color balance for a clip in an event by turning on Balance in the Color section of the Video inspector.

    You can turn off the automatic color adjustments at any time to display the colors that were originally recorded.


  • Analyze and fix audio problems: Analyzes audio and automatically corrects it for hum, noise, and loudness. You can turn off automatic audio corrections at any time; after you do so, the audio will play as originally recorded.

  • Separate mono and group stereo audio: Analyzes and groups audio channels as dual mono or stereo, depending on the results of the analysis. For more information about audio channels, see Configure audio channels.

  • Remove silent channels: Audio channels are analyzed, and silent channels are automatically removed.

    Note: You can retrieve the original audio configuration after import. See Configure audio channels.