Access iTunes From Within Avid

Access iTunes From Within Avid

At this point, my sound effects library has grown to the point where I can’t bring it with me into Avid. It’s just too unwieldy, and I’d end up bringing in a lot of sfx I’d never use. So starting with Hellboy 2, I kept my sfx in iTunes, and would use the iTunes interface to sort and preview my library. When I found an effect I liked, I’d drag it to the desktop and then import it into Avid (in OSX you can’t drag direct from iTunes to Avid, although last time I was on Windows you could).

Now, I’ve taken to using a feature of Finder (Leopard-only) that I’ve long overlooked: the ability to filter Finder by media type. In your sidebar, under “MEDIA”, you will find the Music item. Clicking on this accesses your iTunes library, including any playlists (I keep all my sfx in a smart playlist so I can quickly filter out the sfx), and even allows you to Quick Look them by hitting the spacebar. Find the track(s) you want and off you go, without ever leaving Avid.

Search iTunes from within Avid's Import dialog

Search iTunes from within Avid's Import dialog

The Caveats (as usual)

When using Quick Look you can’t change tracks as easily as in iTunes or standalone Finder, but it still works. You just have to hit spacebar twice when you want to preview a different track (once to stop, another to start a new track). Doing it this way prevents you from having to switch applications and incur the wrath of the 5-10 second catch-up process that Avid does every time you switch back to it with a large Unity project open.

Also, this method works great when you’re searching for a small number of sfx of the same type (variations of crowd, e.g.). It doesn’t work as well if you’re searching for a bunch of different types of sfx, since every time you do a new search it will forget what files you’ve already selected. You’d have to search for one type of sfx, import, rinse and repeat.

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  1. Hey Evan,
    This was a great tip. Had a question, when i try it, it creates the clip in the avid, but it uses the actual FILENAME, not the name under iTunes.
    So i have a bunch of files called PE01_01.mp3, PE01_02.mp3, etc… In iTunes, they are named Gun Shot-small burst, Gun Shot-Med Burst, etc…
    Now when i import to the avid using the above method, they come in, but as PE01_01, PE01_02.
    Is there anyway to import the tracks to the avid using the track name in iTunes, instead of the Filename?


  2. Hm, my guess is no. Even if the track name is stored as metadata in the mp3, which it probably is, I don’t think Avid uses it. I haven’t run into this I guess since my filenames are also the track names, but a little bit of googling brought me to this app which you might try: XMiL Songster

    Let me know how it goes, cause I’ll probably give that a go on my next show too. It wouldn’t help me with my metadata-less sfx, but it definitely would for temp score.