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For many years, the native media file type for Media Composer was either MXF or OMF and that's it. Any non-MXF or OMF files had to be imported or captured and converted. In recent versions however, Media Composer has been able to work natively with other types of files, including QuickTimes. This is a very powerful addition, and allows for instant access to a wide variety of files. In this movie, we'll take a look at how Media Composer uses Avid Media Access or AMA to instantly access and edit with a wide variety of file-based formats.
To access a file via AMA, I just have to have a bin open and go to File and either Link to AMA Volume or Link to AMA File. Now Link to AMA Volume is if you want to import a series of files contained within a parent folder that is usually part of a folder hierarchy set via camera. Link to AMA File is for accessing individual files. So I'm going to Link to AMA File, which I can also pull up via the bin by right-clicking and Link to AMA File.
I have a QuickTime movie here. All I have to do is click on it and press Open. It immediately comes into my Bin. No media creation necessary. All AMA master clips are highlighted in yellow and this simply means that they are looking at or accessing these files in a different location, not in my Avid Media Files folder. I can load it and play through it. (Music Playing.) I can edit it just like any other master clip.
The one thing you have to know about working with AMA is that because the media doesn't exist in your Avid Media Files folder, media management does get a little bit more tricky. If you move from one system to another, you just need to make sure that your AMA files stay in the same location. If you should ever lose connection between your master clip and your AMA file, you can relink right here. AMA workflow gives editors a great deal of speed and flexibility when accessing and editing directly with video files.
Especially now that more-and-more cameras are tapeless and shoot a wide variety of files to hard drive, SD card, or another type of storage device, it's great to be able to immediately see and use these files, rather than waiting for them to be captured or imported.
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