Reviews, Video

Automatic Duck Media Copy 4.0 & Ximport AE work great with Final Cut Pro X

Automatic Duck Media Copy report

Copying the clips you have used in a Final Cut Pro X movie project, or archiving them isn’t simple. You can use the Finder, but then you need to memorise which clips exactly you’ll need to move. Doing it with an XML based copying app is a lot more efficient. Automatic Duck Media Copy 4.0 has been upgraded to work with Final Cut Pro X and it works great.

Automatic Duck Media Copy 4 is a simple app. Little can go wrong. I tried it out with my copy of Final Cut Pro X but it also works with Avid Media Composer — sort of. If you’re an Avid user, be warned that Automatic Duck Media Copy 4 supports OMF 2.0, AAF, .avp and .avb files, as well as Avid Project Folders. However, there are some restrictions with Avid files.

Automatic Duck Media Copy 4 only window

My encounter with the app was straightforward as I was using Final Cut Pro X. Automatic Duck Media Copy starts with one small window, offering you a section to list your XML files, a few option boxes to tick and a location where you want the files to be copied to. Options include the ability to copy not just the original clips but also the XML file, the option to preserve the source media paths and a last option to include Avid render media files.

I think Automatic Duck Media Copy 4 will be used mostly for archival purposes and/or to move sequence or timeline clips to another location for screening. Still, it’s always a good idea to include the XML file, so I left that option checked.

Automatic Duck Media Copy report

The benefit of saving the media file path preservation option checked is less obvious as the path can’t be copied one-on-one. Nevertheless, if your goal is archiving, it’s best to keep that one checked as well. By preserving the path, all files are copied to their respective subfolders starting with the disk’s root folder. Unchecking makes the Duck just dump the files in the root or explicitly selected folder.

However, preserving the path comes with a caveat: if you keep your clips inside Final Cut Pro X’s Libraries, the path would normally contain the .fcpbundle extension — the virtual folder the Finder shows on the Desktop as one container file. As the Automatic Duck copy isn’t a complete Library, the extension dot is replaced with an underscore.

A very nice extra that Automatic Duck Media Copy 4 always delivers, is a HTML report. This is a log containing a table with the copied media, path, success, etc. If you want to view the log before actually copying the files, that’s possible too.

Automatic Duck Ximport AE

While Automatic Duck Media Copy 4 is a stand-alone app, Automatic Duck Ximport AE is a plug-in for Adobe After Effects CS6 or later. My latest copy of Adobe software is CS6, so I was in luck and had the pleasure to briefly go through this plug-in as well.

Automatic Duck Ximport AE preferences

Automatic Duck Ximport AE adds an option to the After Effects File menu that lets you import a Final Cut Pro X XML file. The import options are more elaborate here. For example, there’s an option to set the layers step up in the composition and one to keep vertically adjacent clips together.

As I have little expertise with regards to After Effects, I can only tell you the import process is smooth and clearly gives you a lot of control over how your clips come together in the composition panel. Other than this, I can’t comment on Automatic Duck Ximport AE.


Do you need Automatic Duck Media Copy 4? You don’t if you only occasionally work with Final Cut Pro X on very simple projects. However, if you regularly use Final Cut Pro X on projects that are worth sharing, screening and/or archiving, Automatic Duck Media Copy is a must-have. Actually, it always has been. It costs approx. €88.00.

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J.D. – Copywriter – Tech. Writer – Editor at Visuals Producer – Contributor at Photoshop User, Studio Daily – Sub-editor at RedShark News