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annotation transcriber fcpx

Possibly the best FCPX tip you see all week. We immediately got the credit card out and bought this very handy third party application that allows offline transcribing of interviews by creating markers & notes for Final Cut Pro X.


One thing we love about this site is the great information that fellow editors and FCPX enthusiasts send in to share with the FCPX community.

This is a great example of a third party app running with Final Cut Pro X and we have to thank Filip Vandoorne from Apple Solution Expert Double Precision for sending this one (and the notes workaround) in for publication. 

ZeitAnker Annotation Transcriber is a standalone €29 application (less if you enter a valid VAT number in) that loads a movie and then allows transcriptions to be added to automatically generated timecode stamps. Just set the clip playing, click for a timecode and start typing.

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The application has some very handy features such as a snippet repository (You might ask the same question to a lot of people,) a large separate timecode window and an FCPX clip like waveform display.

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Sadly no JKL at the moment, but jumping back to the selected points by clicking on the timecode is cool. You can also drag across freeze frames from the viewer into the list too, not that that will help the FCPX workflow.

Once you've finished transcribing the clip, an FCPXML document can be exported that when imported into FCPX, shows up as a clip in a new event with the markers labeled with the transcription.

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This is where the clever stuff from Filip comes in:

The application will export the text at the timecode into markers with a long name, this is not always easy and usefull.

So I have this handy trick...

Add a special character, for example #, after the text you want the marker to be named.

Then open the exported FCPXML in Text Edit and replace the # with " note="

This will make FCPX place the rest of the text in the notes field of the marker.

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And you should end up with this. (Cue Applause!)

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We have tried the trick and it works perfectly. Huge kudos to Filip for finding the app and figuring out the workaround. He has already sent feedback to the developer, so maybe the find & replace might be bypassed in a future version.

Just one problem we came across. Although the app worked perfectly with Canon C300 footage, it didn't like Sony MXF from SxS cards. Clips would import fine, but he audio wouldn't show up. We think the app needs a bit more work when describing more than one channel in the FCPXML.

There is a free trial, so we recommend you give it a go before parting with the Euros because of the slight audio oddity.

We bought it, we will use it and we will keep a close eye on its development. Thank you once again Filip - he's well worth a follow on Twitter @DoublePrecision.


Now who's going to be the first to try it with Softron's MovieRecorder and a growing clip???


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