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Digital Heaven, a third party developer for Apple pro apps, has released Loader 2.0 (http://www.digital-heaven.co.uk/loader), an update of the US$79.99 application that streamlines the process of importing media into Final Cut Pro. The Final Cut Pro destination for imported items can now be set.
Options are "Timestamped bin" (as in Loader 1.x), "Top level of project" or "Named bin" (Final Cut Pro 7 only). Loader 2 also adds: the ability to convert all audio files, regardless of original file type; audio conversion settings for sample rate, bit depth and mono/stereo configuration; and the ability to move original file(s) to trash by holding the Command key when dropping items on the Loader window.
Importing music, sound effects, graphics or movies into Final Cut Pro is a task that most editors do many times a day. In order to keep media files in one place for a particular project, it has traditionally been necessary to first copy the files to a media folder and then import the copied files into Final Cut Pro. Loader handles both of these processes automatically -- and adds some extra benefits.
Loader works alongside Final Cut Pro (launching and quitting automatically) and appears as a small tab on the left side of the screen. When tracks from iTunes or files/folders from the Finder are dragged onto the tab, it slides out to reveal a list of projects currently open in Final Cut Pro. After dropping the items onto the desired project, Loader copies them in the background to the assigned media folder linked to that project.
In addition, those audio file formats that don't play nicely in Final Cut Pro (.caf, .m4a and mp3) are automatically converted to a 16-bit 48kHz AIF file before import. When the copy is complete then the copied files are sent to a new bin in Final Cut Pro.
Loader also offers the ability to sort copied media into subfolders according to the file extension. By default, subfolders are automatically created for audio, graphics and movie file types and settings can be changed at any time to suit specific requirements. It requires Final Cut Pro 6.0.2 (or later). A fully working 14-day trial version can be downloaded from the Digital Heaven web site.