Advice please - how does everyone manage home video?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Randomizer, Jun 1, 2016.

  1. Randomizer macrumors member


    Feb 1, 2012
    I converted my household from PC to Mac a couple of years ago and I am just getting around to to home video I have collected in various places and on SD cards, old video cameras etc. I am looking for advice on managing the video collection such that I have easy access to view if from various places around the home (and maybe even outside the home on occasion) and the occasional editing. I know I can load it to iTunes and would then be able to watch it via AppleTV. Is that the most common way of managing? I don't really think of home video when thinking of Itunes.
    I have 2 iMacs, 2 AppleTVs and various other Apple devices around the home. I also have a Synology Home Server where I plan on storing the video as well as iTunes library.
    Thank you.
  2. ColdCase, Jun 1, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2016

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    There is a home theater forum here that may provide ideas for you:

    This is my story, developed over a few years but specific to my work flow. I occasionally deal with corrupted video so I use tools that deal with it better than others. If you have pristine video, most of the tool extras are not really needed. But, since I don't know a particular video has issues until way into the workflow (like FCP export), I just apply the same tools to all video. It may take longer in the short run, but more than makes up for it in the long run. For files not directly imported from a camera or camera SD card, I first use Bigasoft Prores converter to convert the video to Prores.

    I use FCPX to import all my videos onto hard drive libraries and then tagged them for content. FCP has powerful indexing and media management capabilities. So if I want to put a special project together, I can easily find the clips I want. I assemble the clips into viewable video and export them to my media library.

    I export clips as master files and use handbrake to make applTV optimized video (does a very nice job). I use Subler to add description, titles, other meta data libraries like to have and drag the file to the automatically add to iTunes folder on my mini hosted iTines library. The library is shared and any apple TV, iPad, Mac, etc on the local network can watch the clips. Many others use Plex instead of iTunes. To me iTunes is simpler.

    I tried using synology's product but quickly out grew it. It is pretty amateurish and constraining in comparison to iTunes.

    I also run a web service on my Mini where anyone with the right credentials can view the videos I chose to store there. This is independent to the iTunes library and has more limited content, but anyone with a web browser can view those videos anywhere in the world there is internet service.

    Thats my story, but there are hundreds of others out there, hundreds of variations, and the best approach for you depends. The easiest thing probably is to load the video clips into a machine running iTunes and share its library.
  3. dorsal macrumors regular

    Aug 20, 2002
    Everything goes into iPhoto and then rated. The good stuff is sent to FCP X for editing and a final Apple TV friendly version is output via Compressor then copied to two separate drives.
  4. charlyee macrumors 6502


    Mar 9, 2011
    I import thee events from the SD card to iMovie and then evaluate. Then I take select events, make a project then save as a movie in two separate hard drives.
  5. Randomizer thread starter macrumors member


    Feb 1, 2012
    I thought I read awhile back that FCP was on the way out. Maybe I misunderstood.
    Thanks for the run through ColdCase.
    dorsal - do you mean Photos rather than iPhoto? iPhoto was replaced.
    charlyee - do you put into iTunes for viewing?

    My question really breaks out into two parts. Part 1 is around the process used. ColdCase did a nice job of running through their process. Part 2 is the viewing. Sounds like its most often iTunes or Plex. So I store the raw video on server and put the final video into iTunes or Plex for viewing around the home?
  6. charlyee macrumors 6502


    Mar 9, 2011
    Randomizer, I typical keep the finished video on the hard drive and use the hdmi output from my MBP to show it on the tv.

    If I am showing to people outside then I sync them to my ipad and show it to them from there. So yes it is in iTunes then.

    The real short snippets of 1-2 minutes I share on Facebook with a select group.

    Does this make sense?
  7. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    Store copies of all masters on multiple hard drives (at least one of which is kept off site in case of fire/flood/theft).

    Organize them if you can. I use a simple folder naming convention by naming each folder with a year: 2012, 2013, 2014 etc. All masters go in their appropriate year. If I know more specific parts, subfolders might be split into specific months, seasons, holidays or events, so that I can easily find Christmas 2012 or similar.

    Edit them in FCPX or iMovie or similar. I go to the trouble of even inserting chapter markers to be able to easily jump to key "scenes" within such movies.

    Render out your masters at the highest resolution quality, even if that might exceed what :apple:TV can play and store these polished, perfected (edited) masters with the full (unedited) masters.

    Render out a version for :apple:TV too and use that one for viewing.

    In the future, when :apple:TV specs step on up, you can easily then go back to your fullest resolution masters and re-render them through a tool like Handbrake. Or if the next :apple:TV becomes capable of playing your masters, they become your day-to-day playback videos.

    Most important bit in the above: organize, store at least one set of masters off site, keep copies of your fullest resolution (edited) masters for the future.
  8. Randomizer thread starter macrumors member


    Feb 1, 2012
  9. dorsal macrumors regular

    Aug 20, 2002
    I still use iPhoto and Yosemite.
    The new Photos app's organizing and rating abilities have been neutered compared to iPhoto. It's a sad app.
    FCP was replaced by FCP X. Lots of opinions on that switch, but I have learned to love it, given the large number of plugins available to fill the gaps.
  10. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

    Nov 5, 2015
    Photos and video get run through Lightroom separately to cull and organize by day, month, and year. Video is then deleted from my Lightroom catalog, leaving only the organized folders on the hard drive. The best footage gets edited in Premiere soon after and hosted online for sharing. Everything else that is not initially great sits on a hard drive until I get around to backing it up to Blu-Ray. Archiving consists of one active hard drive, one back up drive, burned DVDs and Blu-Ray discs.
  11. ignatius345 macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2015
    This may sound pretty basic, but I find that Photos works very well for home movies that just "are what they are" and aren't looking to be edited a bunch further. Once they're in a format it understands (most work, and Handbrake can encode any that don't), it's pretty trivial to tag them with the right date and even location.

    From there, iCloud syncing handles syncing everything with multiple computers and devices -- and also everything is now backed up online. I'm pretty paranoid and make sure there are physical backups of everything as well.
  12. USAntigoon macrumors regular


    Feb 13, 2008
    Rochester Hills, MI
    I had a similar dilemma with having old Super 8, VHS, mini tapes, etc.. I converted everything into a digital format first and made a very detailed inventory list. Next I decided what to use for FCPX upload. I made a list of projects and events.. Lots of work went into the editing, sound tracks, transitions etc..The final product is uploaded in 760 HD as private videos into my Vimeo account, once there I can watch via AppleTV, my kids and grandkids can do the same from their home as well..
    New footage gets processed into fitting video clips and uploaded..Always file a master copy of your end product on a separate drive (4-5T drive recommended..)
  13. Randomizer thread starter macrumors member


    Feb 1, 2012
    sounds good. I have a Synology with (4) 3TB drives. I'd like to store first copies here because the Synology mirrors. It also has its own apps for display, should I choose to use them. But I can also use it to house my iTunes library.
    I am seeing alot of people now using Google Photos because of the unlimited storage and ease of use.
  14. entropyfl macrumors regular

    Oct 12, 2009
    Sorry to be bringing up an old thread but I have a couple questions..

    1. Is Final Cut Pro X capable of being a permanent video media manager? Or will it struggle with too many events?
    2. I have the same video file in Final Cut Pro X and Photos but for some reason Photos file is always smaller. The quality appears to be the same.. Is this because of the codec that final cut uses? pro res instead of just shots .mov files?

    Over the years my home movies are split and duplicated over Final Cut, Photos and iTunes and i'm in the process of having a tidy up and getting some disk space back. I also want to keep them and be importing them in the highest possible format so not sure which is the best one to use?

  15. joema2 macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2013
    It is not really designed as a "turn key" media manager, but if you're comfortable with using it that way, it could be done. My largest FCPX library is about 7,000 clips, 160 hr of mixed 1080p and 4k H264 material, about 3.5 terabytes. It does OK but AVHCD (ie .MTS clips) cause a slowdown at very large library sizes. The solution is re-wrap them before import using ClipWrap, EditReady or the free utility RewrapAVCHD:


    FCPX can generally use the native camera format -- provided you imported with "leave files in place". They don't get any bigger -- you are just editing the original camera-native files on your hard disk. The exception to this is AVCHD files will automatically be re-wrapped and copied to within the library. IF you selected "create optimized media" the files will be transcoded to ProRes and become a lot bigger, sometimes 8x.

    FCPX can use a lot of non-obvious space for render files, temp files, etc. The easiest way to find and safely delete these is the 3rd party utility Final Cut Library Manager:

    Storage is relatively cheap so the easiest solution might be to make a "safety" copy of all the files in their current format. This 2TB USB 3.0 bus-powered drive is $58. I have several of these:

    At the 4TB size this drive is about 2x as fast:

    While exporting to ProRes is high quality, for home movie material it may not be visually different from just exporting as high bitrate H264. FCPX uses a fairly high bitrate when exporting H264 as Computer>Master File>H.264 Better Quality>Resolution: 1080p.
  16. entropyfl macrumors regular

    Oct 12, 2009

    Hi Joe,

    Thanks for taking the time to to reply.

    My Final Cut Library is no where near your size so I should be okay for quite some time.

    I think I must have selected the create the optimised media option when I first started out.. as an example my sisters old wedding tape which I digitised is 6GB in Final Cut but only 990 meg in my iTunes library and the quality looks the same.

    My video files are mainly from a Panasonic HD camera and iPhones so would I benefit from clicking the optimised media option? the video would probably only have minor edits i.e cutting out the shaky bits or boring scenic views that you think look interesting on vacation but not so much when you watch it back.

    I think what i'll do is use Final Cut as the masters library and then export clips I want for viewing into iTunes to be played on the Apple tv. I feel like I can organise them better in Final Cut as opposed to the Photos App.

    Any Final Cut Pro tutorials you recommend?

    Thanks again.
  17. joema2 macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2013
    You probably don't need to create optimized media for this. However H264 4k video (whether from an iPhone or anything else) can be sluggish to edit, depending on your Mac hardware. You will have to examine this yourself.

    Re FCPX tutorials, there are some free MacBreak Studios:

    MacBreak Studio is done by Ripple Training. They have complete on-line classes:

    A good book (available in Kindle format) is the Focal Easy Guide to Final Cut Pro X by Rick Young:
  18. Randomizer thread starter macrumors member


    Feb 1, 2012
    great info Joe. I have been trying to settle on a process myself for some time now. Thanks.
    Which of the re-wrap utilities do you use / prefer? The free one seems to have some issues at present (judging by reviews).
    FYI - it's the 1TB Seagate drive that is $58 on Amazon. The 2TB is $80.
  19. joema2 macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2013
    I used to use ClipWrap which is still available but I mostly used EditReady since it does re-wrapping and other transcoding tasks. In general camera native files don't need pre-processing before importing to FCPX. However I've seen cases in extremely large multi-terabyte libraries where re-wrapping AVCHD before importing can improve Event Browser performance in FCPX.

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