ASCII by Jason Scott

Jason Scott's Weblog

Sony Vegas Media Bins: Not Ready for Prime Time —

Let me explain what’s going on with this entry. Summary: Most of you can ignore it.

Perhaps it’s a reflection of how things have gone with online discourse, but I’m mostly posting this as a way of gaining search engine attention to the fact that Sony Vegas, the video editing software, has something called “Media Bins”, and those media bins kind of suck. In this way, maybe Sony will make one of their guys at Madison Software (now called Sony Madison) fix this part of the software.

I’m doing what is perhaps a bit of an edge case with Media Bins, but one would hope in a world where Sony Vegas brags about being worthwhile of professional projects, something like Media Bins would be basically usable.

Media Bins are ways to declare clips or parts of clips in Sony Vegas to be entities. For the DEFCON Documentary, I decided to do this because with 1.4 terabytes of film footage, and thousands and thousands of potential shots, my old trick of rendering out clips seemed quaint and unwise.

So here I am with a big ol’ mess of folders:

…which should be fine and good. When I do the final edit (I think, I hope), I’ll be able to traverse the folders and see the inside clips, which I’ve worked hard to describe, like this:

(There’s two clips because one is the video track and the other is the separately-recorded audio track. It’s weird but it would take forever to bind them up, and sometimes I want to choose which one I use.)

And this all should be great except:

  • No export function. Once you make a bin of clips, you are owned. You can’t produce a .cbin file and put it into another Vegas project. You can’t even really cut and paste.
  • At 5,000 clips, it’s already slow to do any work in the main Media bin. Terrifyingly slow, really, considering how many cores and how much memory is available. This smacks of no optimization whatsoever.
  • Random scrambling of subfolders. I’ve had cases where I find the subfolders have MOVED TO OTHER FOLDERS. That is CRAZY. That’s grade-school.
  • No export function. Saying it again, I am now trapped in this specific .veg.
  • Can’t re-adjust the order of the folders. Why? When you create them, that’s the order they stay in, forever. WHY? Some people have come up with a hack of moving ALL of the folders to a sub folder and then, by hand, putting them back up one level in the order you need. Seriously? Seriously.
  • Drag-and-drop…. well, it sometimes works.

All of this points to a rather immature feature set, which is odd considering it’s been in there for years.

Fix it.


Categorised as: documentary | jason his own self

Comments are disabled on this post


  1. Val says:

    well, it’s good to know that using free tools on Linux is getting me the same level or argh.

    [yeah, I need to breakdown and go buy hard drives to render too. That kinda sucks. The camera we used was a free loaner, and so it goes with file formats]

    I hope someone at Sony sees your post and does something.

  2. Chris says:

    I was never a fan of Vegas. For some reason that audio editor hacked into a NLE video editor became popular. Adobe had similar teething problems 10+ years ago with Premiere, but those problems have been long resolved. Final Cut Pro pre-X was very good too.

    Pros generally want stuff that works right with minimal fuss. Its one reason why pros dumped Premiere 10 years ago for Final Cut Pro, and why some of them are going back to Premiere after the FCPX fiasco.

    Important features that are completely broken in a mature product is unacceptable. Maybe we are being more tolerant of them after dealing with Google’s products (yes, even the paid ones!).

  3. Asterisk says:

    Try using AVISynth – it’s an open-source framserver project that allows you to write text-based scripts that can apply a very large number of functions to a video file – including trimming a specific time segment – and the scripts can then be opened as though they were normal video files in any application that supports DirectShow.

    For example, you could write a script with the sole entry:


    If you save that as foo.avs, then you can open foo.avs as though it were a standalone video file in many applications, and it would be the same as opening a video file than just contained frames 1000 through 5000 of foo.mpg. So you could save specific subsegments of your raw source video as .avs scripts, and use them just like you previously used exported renderings of subsets of the video, except the scripts will only take up a few hundred bytes and can be easily modified.

    There’s a Linux version available too.

  4. Brad Carter says:

    Jason, did you just start using Vegas for this latest project? What did you use before? I’ve been using Pinnacle Studio for years now, but I switched to Vegas for my latest video and I really like it. The media bins don’t make much sense to me, so I just used its file explorer to add stuff.

  5. Rikki says:

    Well, I got Vegas at version 8 after reading your blog about using it for BBS Doco.

    For me, touch wood, its been pretty good. Ive read ALL the horror stories on CreativeCow forums and elsewhere but I just threw a fairly big project at version 11 Pro 64bit last week with a ton of color grading and stuff, and it worked fine.

    However I have seen it do the weirdest, whackiest shit ever for no real reason, its a very bi-polar piece of software and the yearly upgrades offering not a lot more for your hundreds of bucks is starting to annoy.

    Good luck getting them to fix things, they do appear hell bent on ignoring that kinda thing while instead advertising the latest new shiny shiny instead.