FCPX 10.3; Content vs Effects Browsers

FCPX 10.3; Content vs Effects Browsers

If you’re working in Final Cut Pro X 10.3 now, you’ve noticed a change in what was once called “Media Browsers.” You know, Effects, Photos, Transitions, etc? Well, it now makes much more sense. But because we humans are creatures of habit, let me explain the change, to help you adapt quickly. I’m using my own terminology here, based on terms I heard Apple use loosely in their 2016 FCPX Creative Summit presentation. It is my personal explanation about the concept behind this important change.


Content Browsers
These are the three buttons at the top left of the FCPX 10.3 screen. These can be worked with in their own timelines independently, and create actual clips when placed in a Timeline. In the case of Titles and Generators, they have their own timeline in Motion, AND they create actual clips (content) when placed in an FCPX timeline.
Here is how I think of them:
  • Container Browser - Content containers and the imported content they manage. These containers are the Libraries, Events, Collections, Folders and all imported media.
  • Commonly called the “Libraries Browser.”
  • Media Libraries Browser - These give access to macOS’s other media Libraries. One will be either the Photos or iPhoto or Aperture Library, which ever is set to be the System Photo Library. The other is the iTunes library. There is also the sound libraries from FCPX and iLife. Not actual libraries, but collections referred to as the sound effects library. Being placed in this area of the User Interface, we have access to larger, clearer photo previews. And we can see and work with the full audio clip.
  • Commonly called the “Photos/Audio Browser.”
  • Generated Content Browser - This gives access to title and generator templates, which when placed in a Timeline, generate physical clips, or “content”.
  • Commonly called the “Titles/Generators Browser.”

Gathering Photo & Audio Media Before Editing.
You can grab any photo or audio clip from the Media Libraries browser (photos/audio), drag left, and the Libraries Browser pops up. You can then drop that content into any Event or Keyword Collection you desire. Or drag it back to the right if you change your mind not to. Once dropped, or dragged to the right, the Photos/Audio browser pops back into view.

Editing With Audio Content
You can also drag a range in audio content, use an edit command (Q, W, E, D) and only that range of the audio clip will be applied to the timeline.


Effects Browsers
These are the two buttons at the top right of the Timeline pane. Where they’ve always been. These are the Effects Browser for visual and audio effects, or filters. The other is the Transitions Browser. These effect how Content in the Timeline appears. Or how content in the Timeline appears to change from one clip to the other. These don’t create actual content, or clips. They only effect existing content. Yes, they have their own Timeline in Motion, but do not create actual content (clips) in an FCPX Timeline. Since the only place to work with them is in the Timeline, they stay grouped with the Timeline tools there.

I hope this helps some of you understand the new Browser concept, and why they’ve been separated. Once you get this, working pre-edit and during the edit will become much more efficient and pleasant.