Organizing Video Clips

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by whynot83706, May 2, 2015.

  1. whynot83706 macrumors 6502


    Jun 26, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    What do you guys use for organizing video clips? I have over 3000 family short video clips and since i just got GoPro it is going to grow significantly. Before I have used Apperture for my photos and having video files was not that bad, but ever since i moved to Lightroom having video clips in LR is not as good as Apperture....any suggestions?
  2. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    I bough FCPX just because of its video clip organization features. I too have decades of video clips. Doesn't substitute for good tagging, but very nice for just browsing through numerous clips to find those gems. I think its much better than Aperture, which I use for photos. Video seem to slow aperture to a crawl.

    Years ago there were a couple alternatives, like iDive, but they seem to have dried up.
  3. joema2 macrumors 68000


    Sep 3, 2013
    FCP X has every kind of tagging you could possibly imagine. You can not only tag clips but ranges within clips. You can define smart keyword collections and tag groups of clips. Besides this you can edit your clips and collect the best parts into a summary, then tag ranges within that.

    Warp Speed Keywording in FCP X:

    Smarter Smart Collections:

    Organizing footage with keywords:

    Keywords and Smart Collections:

    Narrated walk through of entire production edit on FCP X, with emphasis on keyword tagging and organization:
  4. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    Sorry, I didn't mean that FCP couldn't do tagging or was not good at it. Just that browsing video clips is good as far as it goes, but taking the time to tag is better.
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    What do you do with all this footage? If you are editing it get FCPX and then you can tap all the clips.

    Unlike still photos, video can have overlapping tags. This means that within the SAME FILE "clip 1" might be from 0:03 - 0:45 and then clip 2 might be 0:20 - 1:22 So you can't simply take files you need to specify an IN and OUT point for each clip. FCP allows this. It also allow you to take the lips with names and keywords and even does face recognition. It is really worth taking the time to set up a system and enter all the data.
  6. richwoodrocket macrumors 68020


    Apr 7, 2014
    Hamburg, NY
    I just have a folder for my go pro videos, and inside the folder i have all my videos organized in folders with the name as the date and a brief description of what the video is. I only have around 70GB of video, so its not too bad. I plan to continue to organize all my videos this way.
  7. catonfire macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2013
    Organizing Video

    I use the same system as richwoodrocket.

    1. Organize by date:

    On your hard drive, use a name convention such as:

    2014 01 12 Michigan Vacation
    2015 03 14 John's Birthday

    If you had footage from multiple cameras per event you could have subfolders such as

    A CAM R1 Michigan Vacation 5D2
    B CAM R1 Michigan Vacation GoPro
    B CAM R2 Michigan Vacation GoPro

    A virtue of a simple organized structure on your hard drive is you can find clips in perpetuity regardless of any future editing software.

    If all your organizing is stuck inside a program which doesn't have XML export compatibility, all your organizing could be lost when you convert from one app to another down the road. Hopefully the metadata tags we use now will be exportable.

    Another advantage is other people can easily locate something in your hard drive if they need it without having to open your editing software.

    2. Organize by Project Type

    You can also have top level folders to divide your video if you have broad categories:

    01 Work Videos
    02 Family Videos
    03 Bob's Dance Parties

    3. Then as ChrisA points out, you can use tagging within your NLE program for more detailed clip by clip searches. How thorough you want to be with tagging probably depends on how often you need to call up old clips. If you do it a lot it might be worth it to invest the time into tagging everything. But it can be time-consuming.

    I have virtually ignored using Lightroom to organize video since it is not geared towards it. But it would be interesting to test whether video clip metadata tags in Lightroom are exportable to Premiere. Might depend on how you save your metadata tags. Somehow I doubt it though.
  8. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    Thats a good approach regardless.

    One can name FPX clip files the same way so you and someone else can find them them without opening the editing software.... if you know what you are looking for. But if I want to put together a clip from video of a certain person or event or place that may be scattered over several files and you don't know which one, the file naming thing breaks down in a hurry. If you just want to browse through your content, individual files just won't hack it as you have to open each one and scrub through, gets tiring in a hurry. But if you never want to do that, then a simple approach works better

    I have tons of clips from over decades mostly organized by year, many short snippets in a longer tape. It is nice to see them in one preview screen, browse through them, and look for untagged but interesting subjects, those that have been missed in tagging perhaps. So if I want to put together a clip from numerous sources of a certain person or event or place or subject. Everything is shown in one preview screen and, with good enough processing power, its easy to browse through and see what I got.

    Just saying that having more than simple file naming convention for a family video type archive is one heck of a tool. One you can't envision living without once you've used it. Aperture like, except tailored to videos.
  9. joema2 macrumors 68000


    Sep 3, 2013
    Correct, organizing by file names and folder is extremely limiting. You can only give a file one name and it can only be in one folder without duplicating.

    That's why serious photographers often use some type of tagging & annotating system. With video it's even more important since each camera file may contain many different items which each need tagging.

    One external method that doesn't require any other software is using Finder tags. While much more limited than organizational tools FCP X, at least it's simple and better than renaming files and folders:

    For comparison here's a dedicated video cataloging program (for Windows). It costs about $200, FastVideoCataloger:

    Mac video organizers: Cinematica 2:



    That illustrates what a great deal FCP X is. It has better cataloging and tagging than a dedicated app, yet it's a full featured editor (in case you need that). The above are little utilities by (in some cases) one-person companies. You don't want to spend lots of time entering data in a proprietary format and have the company disappear. My experience testing a similar app (CatDV) a few years ago showed it was not stable under high load or with large data sets. With FCP X you know it will work and lots of people are using it.

    While FCP X has more built-in metadata features than any other editor, it is not designed solely as an organizing tool. iMovie was originally envisioned as an organizing front-end for FCP 7, so it's possible iMovie might be sufficient for some organizing applications.
  10. Zeiss macrumors member

    Dec 18, 2006
    I have issues with this and it can be one really complex problem... My issue with FCP X is Apple's commitment to it in the long term (Aperture anyone...?). Really, the only bullet proof option is to use a system that meets the needs of what everyone is suggesting, but also offers some level of redundancy security, so my vote goes to good old folders as the main organisation system, then metadata (tags etc) that can be exported and imported into various software over the years ahead. I'm currently embarking on such a system (which I have for my photographs (and why I moved to Lr a few years ago)), but it will no doubt take a few weeks.... Any suggestions on the metadata aspect will be welcome... and I'm using Avid MC (HD folder structure access by default).

    I was really attracted to the FCP X Library / Project concept, and while I know the folders are still there inside the 'package' it just seemed problematic as system / theory for me.
  11. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    I think you are overly cynical, but that just may be me. Aperture is replaced by the new iPhoto. How are you going to make the meta data universally compatible and understandable by mere mortals? How will you browse you video collection (live) at the same time? Seems like a lot of manual labor to me and you end up with a compromised, perhaps hack job..... not that all hack jobs are bad.

    Let us know how it turns out.

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11 May 2, 2015