Share Your Process. How Do You Log Video?

Posted on by Larry

Björn asked an interesting question:

“How do you off-load and log media clips? I am trying to help my friend Goran who uses a Canon XA-70 with UHD-files. Currently, using FCP, he creates a Camera Archive, imports the clips, then opens the Archive, views the clips, modifies the file name to reflect the content, then copies and pastes all the file names into a Numbers spreadsheet.”

“The benefit of the Numbers spreadsheet is that he now has a searchable database of all his clip file names. But, is there a better way?”

NOTE: Björn’s question was also the impetus to write this tutorial on camera archives in Final Cut Pro.

I told Björn that this system wasn’t bad, but it was really awkward. Then, I stopped to think. What system allows us to log clips, change file names and metadata, then search for them across multiple projects? Hmm… that list is pretty short.


Hmm… You can’t use what you can’t find.  Logging and tracking clips in a single project is supported by all NLEs.

My question is what do you use to track media across multiple projects?

Share your thoughts in the comments. I’m stumped.

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29 Responses to Share Your Process. How Do You Log Video?

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  1. Richard Wright says:

    Thanks for this Larry. Very useful as my clips have now reached 32T, and as I am now following your advise and keeping a initial download file, outside FCP, my storage is becoming an issue. Basically I download by date and then a tag. As I too am a single user I can usually find what I need by date, However, in FCP I file my subject or project. For instance: Wildlife library and then Events for species, or species and behavior. BUT, it is getting cumbersome, so I thank you and your contributors for the ideas. I am checking out cdfinder soon as I close off here. You da man!!! Cheers, Richard

    • Larry says:


      Yes, I’m impressed with CDFinder – which is now called “NeoFinder” – myself. Media never goes away and clips seem to multiply all on their own. We need to keep looking for ways to wrestle them back into shape.


      • Richard Wright says:

        Larry – not to confuse or poach your thread but Bjorn says he “then copies and pastes all the file names into a Numbers spreadsheet.” This might work for me with Excel, but when I try a cut and paste from a file folder the action loads the complete files into excel – not just the file names. The clips actually opens. I believe the save as XML does the same.
        Do you or Bjorn know how to avoid this- ie how to just past the file name?. Likely my brain is just not functioning. This could work well for me.

        • Larry says:


          Yup. I see what you mean. So, here’s the workaround:

          1. Select all the files in the Finder whose names you want to add to Excel or Numbers
          2. Choose Edit > Copy (Cmd + C)
          3. Open Text Edit and paste into a new, empty document.
          4. Select all the text in the Text Edit document (Cmd + A) and copy it (Cmd + c)
          5. Open you tracking document in Excel / Numbers and select the single cell where you want the new entries to begin
          7. Choose Edit > Paste


          Transferring into Text Edit “breaks” the link with the file and retains just the selected file names. Works perfectly.


  2. Steve Bergson says:

    This a constant issue. I’ve experimented with lots of solutions, many of which have got to be quite expensive, entering the realms of DAM territory. One answer is to go for software primarily designed for stills photographers because if they can accommodate video, the search functionality is broadly the same. I’m currently trying out ACDSee which looks very accessible and useful and works well with Quicktime but software like Photo Mechanic can be configured to work for footage. These progs are not expensive or attached to bigger asset management set-ups but have elements like colour coding and keywording that you need for a large collection of content. Kyno looked great but seems dormant pending an update from its new owners but also had lots of issues that needed sorting to work really well in this kind of context. The ongoing issue is getting a large database for a small to medium sized setup to serve the content needed for individual projects. It’s a bit of a neglected corner of the market that I suspect the stills domain will supply the answer on.

    • Larry says:


      I agree, this corner of media is neglected. Yes, there are solutions costing thousands of dollars, but most of us don’t have that kind of budget, yet still need to track terabytes of media. It is a conundrum.


  3. Peter Flood says:

    The solution I offer is ideal for the situation. The AIDACM AI/ML Digital Asset Management solution allows for the upload of digital assets (video, image and documents) from an any location through computer or device including with API’s.
    your assets are automatically tagged on a project basis with a menu of AI/ML functions. The assets are easily viewable with the metadata created editable either still in the field or back at office. This all at a very low economic price point. All assets hosted securely and exportable with metadata to up stream workflows. Would welcome demoing simply sign up through website or email.

    • Larry says:


      I’m interested in learning more about your product. However, I am generally negative on the Cloud for media assets due to bandwidth limitations, security risks, and the fact that we are continually renting access to our media in perpetuity. I’m interested in learning how you solve these problems.


  4. I’m coming back to this post after using Kyno and enjoying it for a brief period. It seems that updating to macOS Sonoma means that keyboard shortcuts are no longer functioning. There are workarounds suggested in the user forums but it seems that development on Kyno has truly stalled (it had even when I made my purchase). I’ve started looking for something that can do a similar job, at the very least for easily reviewing footage before importing to Premiere. Has anyone had experience with VideoLoupe and FileLoupe for this ( ? Seems relatively inexpensive, but I’d love to hear other’s experience before I pull the trigger.

    • Larry says:


      I have no experience with either application. However, neither VideoLoupe nor FileLoupe seem to be logging and annotation programs. VideoLoupe seems to be a high-power video player, editor and export software, while FileLoupe seems to be an extended media browser. I’m curious what you learn from your research.


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