Manage your Media – Where did I put that file?

You’re in the middle of a project when you realise you really need that file.  You know, the original one.  I think it was a JPEG. No, a PNG.  Maybe it was called Untitled1.  Or Untitled_1.

It happens so easily. You have thousands of photographs from various different memory cards all called something like IMG_0000098.

Maybe you have a ton of exported video clips all called something like or perhaps you forget to create a new folder as you exported a 5 minute image sequence all over your desktop.  Sound familiar?

Here at Creative Skills we see lots of students contending not only with the assignment but also with the task of finding the right files when the pressure is on.  Organising your media assets is essential to help you complete your projects without the stress of trying to find that one file you need that may or not be a jpeg or png and called untitled1

Thankfully there are various applications and tools out there to help you do this.  Here are just a few things you can do to help yourself get organised:


  • Use some of the basic organisational tools such as Finder and Windows Explorer that are part of your Mac or PC operating system. These allow you to sort your files in a number of different ways as well as use advanced features such as tagging, smart folders, and indexing.  For Macs see a range of advice here  or if you are a PC user take a look here.


  • Use a free Media Management apps such as iTunes or Adobe Bridge.  These are more tailored to the types of files you will be using for your projects such as video, images and sound files and have more advanced functions i.e. Bridge allows you to batch rename your files and see metadata recorded with your images.


  • Often the creative software you use to create your projects has built-in tools to help you manage your media.  For example, Lightroom works in the same way as iTunes to create a catalogue of your images regardless of their physical location on your drives.  You can also add keywords and geotagging and use collections to allow the same images to be accessed easily across different projects.  Working with video?  In Avid Media Composer, try using the Media Tool, Consolidate and Transcode functions as well as its vast metadata capability.  Premiere Pro has its own Metadata workspace while its accompanying program Prelude allows batch-renaming, backups and comments similar to Avid.