Latest post Sat, Mar 23 2024 2:51 PM by Glenn Sakatch. 3 replies.
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  • Tue, Oct 4 2022 12:40 AM

    Source Browser vs. Import Media

    Can somebody tell me the difference between Source Browser and Import Media? I know that for video files, people usually go for Source Browser to AMA and transcode or consolidate them accordingly. With Import Media, I’ve seen people go for Import Media to get audio and graphic files in or in some case just simply drag the audio files onto the bin. And the rule of thumb is before getting any material in Avid, you need to double check with Link Settings and Media Creation first.

     Is this the typical way to do it?.

    I wanna get the good understanding of this. Thanks in advance.

  • Tue, Oct 4 2022 5:56 AM In reply to

    Re: Source Browser vs. Import Media


    The import (Import Media) workflow is the old way of getting files into Media Composer that people used before it was possible to link to them. The advantage of importing is during the import Media Composer creates new media files that are linked to the new master clip, so you can move the original imported file without causing any media to go offline. The disadvantage is importing takes longer.

    Using the source browser to link to files gives you instant access to the media. The advantage is speed, but the disadvantage is you cannot move the original files you linked to, or your master clips will go offline. If after linking you then perform a transcode or consolidation, Media Composer will create new media files linked to the master clips, and then you can move the original linked files. Transcoding/consolidating a linked file does not take as long as importing the same file because the transcode/consolidate function takes advantage of capabilities of newer processors and importing doesn't.

    There is no difference between Avid media created by importing and Avid media created by linking and transcoding/consolidating. There are a few reasons why someone might choose one workflow over the other; maybe the file requires a plugin to be linked so they import instead, maybe someone wants immediate access to the media so they link it and then start editing, maybe they don't feel like doing the multiple steps of linking & transcoding an audio file because the speed advantage over importing isn't that great so they just drag it and drop it instead.

    And the rule of thumb is before getting any material in Avid, you need to double check with Link Settings and Media Creation first.

     Is this the typical way to do it?.

    I usually check my media creation/link settings once at the beginning of a project to make sure my imports/transcodes will be the resolution I want and will go to the drive I want them to go to, and then I don't look at them again.

    I hope this helped. Feel free to ask any questions or for clarification of anything that didn't make sense.

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    Carl Amoscato | Freelance Film & Video Editor | London, UK

  • Tue, Mar 12 2024 5:37 PM In reply to

    • Krumm
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    Re: Source Browser vs. Import Media


    I have a audio file that needs to be transcoded upon linking/importing. However, despite having my import setting set to "Convert souce bit depth to project bit depth" my file is still coming in at 16 bit as opposed to 24 bit. I've looked in the link settings to see if there is an option I'm missing, but there doesn't appear to be a bit depth option there.

    How can I ensure the forced transode option brings my files in at the proper bit depth?


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    Let it roll,


  • Sat, Mar 23 2024 2:51 PM In reply to

    Re: Source Browser vs. Import Media

    That is a great write up by Carl.

    I would add a couple of things that might come into play.

    I typically create dailies in Resolve, for use in Avid.  As much as link/transcode in Avid is faster than importing, you could also say the resolve creation is much faster than (in most cases) than Avids transcode.  Plus, sending the project back to Resolve for final colour means the original clips are already in that project, waiting for the resolve relink.

    There are some file types that will do a "fast import" based on codec and project settings.  this is essentially copying the clip into your Avid Mediafiles/mxf folder, and wrapping it as a .mxf file.  The speed of this process will certainly be the fasted method of getting media into the box, as Avid managed media.


    I do also simply use linked media in Avid.  Graphic elements **,  audio files** and stock footage clips are typically linked in Avid during the edit, with no transdcode being done. You need fast enough drives to not worry about playback issues, which i have, so if it works, i run with it.

    I put the ** next to graphics and audio for a couple of reasons.

    Graphics is one instance where you may want to check your link settings more often, depending on whether or not you need an alpha channel to come in with the clip, and whether or not your settings are currently set to allow alpha or not.

    Graphics is also an area where I may import them into a "common" project for a series, where each individual episode is in its own project.  I do this simply to avoid having to chase down any media that got changed or moved between me working on episode 1 vs episode 13.  It works either way, but i have found for things like lower thirds or even show opens that get used all the time, sometimes it is easier to just have the media imported.  Plus, if there is a change to the clip, i can reimport the media and it will swap out the clips instances across all other pojects that are using it.   This is a great use case for your favourites bin folders. 

    Avids new re-link command works quite well at this as well, but there are instances where i've gotten a new graphic element to replace a previous one, and it has not automattically relinked. (many times it will)


    I put an asterisk next to audio simply because there are some audio clips I get into the box...(maybe BWF files? ) that do not have the same timecode associated with them if I link, vs importing. These are usually mixes from a sound house, and the clip should be starting at 1 hour timecode.  I do know we had 1 series where the field recorder audio came in with the wrong timecode, so we couldn't do an auto sync.  Importing fixed the problem.

    I've never figured out what is going on with these.  They are all at the proper frame rate, but it has simply become second nature upon linking to an audio clip, to double check that the timecode that has come into the box is correct.  If not, i import that audio file, and suddently i get the correct timecode.

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