Welcome, Guest
Username: Password: Remember me

TOPIC: Copy MarkerS - any workarounds yet ?

Copy MarkerS - any workarounds yet ? 16 Apr 2019 16:33 #99663

  • esp
  • esp's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 12
  • Karma: 0
Is there yet a way to copy markers from (clips in) one timeline to (clips in) another ? Some tip, kludge, workaround (possibly involving third party apps, commercial or free, mature or experimental e.g. on github) ? Some kind of XML-processing script or app?

It appears no longer possible (in 10.4.6 and some earlier versions) to simply replace one clip with another, retaining markers from the first.

I appreciate the need to plan properly beforehand (!) and that some people work-around by putting markers on pseudo clips (e.g. empty titles) stretched over the timeline like effect layers. But is there some other way?
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Copy MarkerS - any workarounds yet ? 17 Apr 2019 07:19 #99674

  • Axel
  • Axel's Avatar
  • NOW ONLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 447
  • Thank you received: 56
  • Karma: 9
esp wrote:
I appreciate the need to plan properly beforehand (!) and that some people work-around by putting markers on pseudo clips (e.g. empty titles) stretched over the timeline like effect layers. But is there some other way?

I don't think there's another way, and there is a fundamental reason: the FCP X's timeline paradigm. The main difference between a traditional, track-based NLE and the magnetic timeline is that the first has an SMPTE ruler where clips stay fixed to their position in time (unless you move them intentionally), one could say that the time coordinates are the priority. Whereas in FCP the clip/frame position is fluid and solely determined by content. Some call it timecode-based vs. content-based.

So if you want to cut relative to time (i.e. music video with audio cues), you have to create some kind of "reference clip", a slug/gap/pause clip, a music "track" or an adjustment layer, and apply the markers there.

Makes sense?
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Copy MarkerS - any workarounds yet ? 17 Apr 2019 11:01 #99680

  • esp
  • esp's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 12
  • Karma: 0
Hi Axel, and thanks,

I am very familiar with the "relativistic" nature of the FCPX magnetic timeline (I do not assume "track based" model).

What I would ideally like to achieve - in your terms - is to copy all markers placed on an original timeline-clip (relative to that clip's own internal timecodes) to be correspondingly located on (associated to) a target timeline-clip, relative to that timeline-clip's own internal timecodes, but with suitable offsets such that the first (earliest in the original clip) marker lands where the playhead is over the target clip, and successive ones land at the same (temporal) distances from that as before (as in the original clip).

I know it is possible in principle to obtain markers from one clip on another since this end-result has been demonstrated in practice - there used to be a work-around to achieve it, working in 10.1 I think but not working in 10.4 (and possibly 10.2, 10.3). I have used that workaround successfully in the past. I discovered that workaround from a (2015/10.1 era) video by T Payton at

I wish of course that Apple could improve their marker-management features, and I know I am far from alone in this. I (and others) have submitted some ideas in the past. But the years have passed...

In the meantime I continue to seek an alternative work-around - by asking and experimenting.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Copy MarkerS - any workarounds yet ? 17 Apr 2019 11:15 #99684

  • FCPX.guru
  • FCPX.guru's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • bbalser.com
  • Posts: 2538
  • Thank you received: 330
  • Karma: 32
I have this issue on a regular basis, need to Replace edit, but retain Markers I spent time surgically placing. PITA we can't retain effects, markers, etc during a Replace edit. I simply Connect the new clip above the original. Copy the original, Paste Attributes to the new Connected clip, to keep my effects, etc).. Then do an Overwrite To Primary Storyline operation. But the Markers can be copied, right-click it and select Copy. Markers are not included in Paste Attributes. And a clip retimed, you can't replace that and copy the same retiming attributes, either. Something I very much could use on a daily basis.
Last Edit: 17 Apr 2019 11:18 by FCPX.guru.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Copy MarkerS - any workarounds yet ? 17 Apr 2019 13:00 #99688

  • esp
  • esp's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 12
  • Karma: 0
Thank you FCPX.guru - your "Primary Clip as Connected Clip" workaround had not occurred to me! One could then disable the original clip. Afterwards, could make that "layered" pair of clips into a Compound Clip, so it "automatically" appears in timeline as a Primary clip. So I've just done exactly that. Ugly but effective...

Marker-copying (individually) would take some time (I have hundreds). And I prefer to spend my time finding a general solution (that can be applied to any future such situations). So the old clip will for the moment have to retained as a "marker-holder".

Meanwhile I continue hoping/looking for another workaround.
But your "Primary as Connected" solution is probably good enough for my current job, so thanks again.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Copy MarkerS - any workarounds yet ? 17 Apr 2019 13:32 #99689

  • esp
  • esp's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 12
  • Karma: 0
How about the following "ugly plumbing" work-around (proposed, only part-tested so far):
  • FCPX: duplicate (for safety) the sequenceProject
  • FCPX: Export XML for the (duplicate of the) sequenceProject
  • FCPX: Export Markers-list for that seqProj (e.g. via Producers Best Friend (app) from Intelligent Assistance, taking the XML as input. It lists the markers with their (current) timeline-timecodes
  • FCPX: replace the old clip with the new one and then export XML for that (thereby modified) seqProj
  • Convert the format of the exported markers into Cut Notes format (e.g. manually in a spreadsheet)
  • Use Cut Notes' Markers Import (free app) from Digital Rebellion. Specify the (converted) markers file and the XML for the modified seqProj (having the new clip). It adds the markers according to timeline timecode. Should work ok providing new clip is of same duration and position (in new seqProj) as old clip (in old seqProj) - as per a "replace" workflow.

Anyone able to comment or improve on this? Or script (or whatever) something (e.g. to do the format conversion) ?
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Copy MarkerS - any workarounds yet ? 18 Apr 2019 07:38 #99701

  • Axel
  • Axel's Avatar
  • NOW ONLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 447
  • Thank you received: 56
  • Karma: 9
Now I'm curious. What do you use the markers for? I don't understand. Yes, it's true that a clip replacement deletes the timeline-clip markers. But if that's a problem, it seems clear to me that the markers had nothing to do with the specific content of the clip/frame they were assigned to in the first place. Or what do I miss?

But if the markers are there to help indentify a timeline timecode, what is all this hassle with XMLs asf. worth? What's easier than drawing a big fat adjustment layer over everything and rename it "Markers"?
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Copy MarkerS - any workarounds yet ? 18 Apr 2019 10:01 #99702

  • FCPX.guru
  • FCPX.guru's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • bbalser.com
  • Posts: 2538
  • Thank you received: 330
  • Karma: 32
The problem is FCPX never got Timeline markers, which many of us need, like all other NLEs have. Why do we not have Timeline markers?
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Copy MarkerS - any workarounds yet ? 18 Apr 2019 10:58 #99706

  • Axel
  • Axel's Avatar
  • NOW ONLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 447
  • Thank you received: 56
  • Karma: 9
I see. Shouldn’t be hard to implement. Write feedback!
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Copy MarkerS - any workarounds yet ? 18 Apr 2019 12:03 #99708

  • esp
  • esp's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 12
  • Karma: 0
It is not myself that wants timeline markers - I am very happy to stay trackless. I just want greater flexibility in marker management ("magnetic markers" ?) between different clips (and, ideally, clip-types).

My own markers relate only to the informational content of the original clip. The new clip presents the same informational content but enhanced or in a different format.

For example, in a live event, I add a marker where some real-world thing happens (e.g. someone starts singing) or where something needs fixing/patching (such as camera being knocked). In some cases of the former, I would make them Chapter Markers, some others would be To-Do markers and others would be simple informational markers.

The clip I want to replace it with (in the sequence-Project) is an altered copy of that one, typically having enhanced audio (via external best-in-class audio app e.g. iZotope RX) and/or video (e.g. denoised or deflickered, both of which are possible - as plugin effects - within FCPX but are too resource-intensive for comfortable use - not only playback rate but causing huge waveform-redraw delays and other "hiccups").

Such enhancements are not always planned at the beginning and/or much (naive) effort may already have been spent on marking-up the from-camera footage that (for various reasons) must now be placed within a container format (typically multicam). I have come across several other posts (in various placed) where other people have the same pragmatic issue.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Copy MarkerS - any workarounds yet ? 18 Apr 2019 18:09 #99715

  • esp
  • esp's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 12
  • Karma: 0
Yes! :cheer:
My "Ugly Plumbing" method works !
(at least when I don't make mistakes during the currently-manual aspects of this fiddly process...)

In the "Convert Format" part of the process, just had to shuffle columns, rename some headers, add and delete some of the columns. Adding columns was trivial - always the same "dummy" value.
Marker-types: Using text "values" of "Red,", "Orange" and "Blue" for the marker-types led to them being imported correctly to my FCPX seqProject (as To-do / Chapter / Standard markers).

...And I learnt to both love and hate the Apple:Numbers spreadsheet app.
(I only hate that Numbers was not able to export in Tab-Delimited data format (as required by Marker Import app).
So yet another "ugly" workaround was required - at this level - namely copy/paste the data to Textedit (app) and save as plain-text (to a .txt file) from there). Workaround found by web-search.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Copy MarkerS - any workarounds yet ? 18 Apr 2019 18:23 #99716

  • esp
  • esp's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 12
  • Karma: 0
SO now I have all markers on the multicam clip containing my original plain clip (where those markers were originally). 200 markers, all three types, semi-automatically. Concept has been proven.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Copy MarkerS - any workarounds yet ? 19 Apr 2019 09:44 #99730

  • esp
  • esp's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 12
  • Karma: 0
Format for the tab-step file:

Name Type Marker Name Comment Start Duration Color
Sequence 1 Sequence Mark 01:00:03:09 00:00:00:00 Red
Sequence 1 Sequence Mark 01:00:09:03 00:00:00:00 Red

The 1st 2 columns are always the same value.
Name is same as marker name in FCPX
Duration is always zero (FCPX markers don’t have ranges) - as far as I know

Color determines marker type:
  • Red = To-Do
  • Orange = Chapter
  • Blue = Standard
I only learnt about this format yesterday, by experimenting.
The administrator has disabled public write access.