xto7 update fcpx

One of the great things about the recent FCPX Creative Summit was the attendance of many of the software writers in the ecosystem. So when it was announced that Assisted Editing had renamed Xto7 to XtoCC, we caught up with Philip Hodgetts and asked him why.

We will let Philip explain all, it is an interesting story: 


We recently renamed Xto7 for Final Cut Pro to XtoCC (Creative Cloud). I’d like to explain why we did that as some people have expressed some disappointment in the change.

Naming an app (software application) is never easy. Ideally it should be easy to remember and relevant to what it does. Ideally it would be unique enough that it is easily found via search engines.

We started work on a translation tool for Final Cut Pro X XML to allow translation back to Final Cut Pro 7 XML in the late Summer of 2011. Our internal code name for the app was Project Xto7. Apps generally have code names during development because the name hasn’t been decided on yet or because development is secret and a code name reveals little about the app.

In our case we hadn’t decided on a name. Another example of this type of code name is Adobe Hue, which was previewed at NAB under its code name Project Candy. I’m sure you can think of examples of the other type of code name.

Our code name became the app name when we launched in September 2011, with some minor typographical tricks to make the “to” into a subscript 2. It was a perfectly adequate name and workable icon.

A little behind the scenes aside. In our team my husband Greg Clarke is the coder, and he had been working on translating Final Cut Pro X XML to Final Cut Pro 7 XML as a personal project, because Final Cut Pro X imported XML before it exported XML (during that development cycle). He was uncertain that anyone other than himself would have any use, while I could see that there would be a market for it. Project Xto7 has gone on to be very successful.

Late in the development of Project Xto7 we started work - in close conjunction with Apple - on the development of 7toX for Final Cut Pro, culminating with the release of 7toX for Final Cut Pro concurrent with Apple’s release of Final Cut Pro X 10.0.3 in late January 2012.

Since we were adding Mac App Store distribution of both apps with the release of 7toX for Final Cut Pro we relaunched Project Xto7 as Xto7 for Final Cut Pro in the Mac App Store, with new icons for both. The name change for the Mac App Store was primarily to bring it in line with the new 7toX for Final Cut Pro, although in our own store, the name remained Project Xto7 (and still does) because changing the name would require a replacement download for all customers as the framework we use won’t update an app with a different name.

Fast forward a couple of years, and Xto7 is a mature app. Even mature apps still get support requests, and we noticed a trend. More support requests involved Adobe Premiere Pro CC created xmeml - the technical name for Final Cut Pro 3-7 XML. Adobe uses the xmeml format for interchange, allowing them to open Final Cut Pro 6/7 XML directly.

But Adobe does things slightly differently from Apple’s Final Cut Pro 6/7 implementation of xmeml. These variations, and outlying cases needed to be dealt with, such that the majority of the updates for Xto7 in the last two years (as with 7toX) have been to better support integration with Premiere Pro CC.

Along the way Larry Jordan asked us if we could make Final Cut Pro X XML work with Adobe Audition CC. Since Audition imports xmeml, that wasn’t hard to implement.

Another customer wanted to import translated Final Cut Pro XML into Adobe After Effects CC, which again is possible thanks to the integration of Automatic Duck technology in After Effects. A few minor tweaks later and basic integration was achieved, and we currently do a pretty good translation of Final Cut Pro X Projects into After Effects, including scale, transform and blend modes, but excluding applied Effects.

Over time, with customer feedback, we have improved the integration with the Creative Cloud apps, and it became obvious to my marketing mind, that Xto7 for Final Cut Pro was not communicating the primary use for the app!

Marketers are also reluctant to let go of a lot of Search Engine history. Change the name of an app and all the reviews don’t align with the app any more. All that good “google juice” would be lost.

When we get support questions like “I don’t want to go to Final Cut Pro 7, I want to go to Premiere Pro from FCP X, do you have an app for that” it’s obvious the name is not communicating what the app does.

It was suggested we make an identical, and parallel app, just with a different name, and we gave that very serious consideration. Ultimately the burden of maintaining two (identical) code bases and keeping them updated in the Mac App Store seemed less than ideal. We also felt we would be constantly asked “What’s the difference?” when there was no difference.

Ultimately, changing the name of the app to better reflect its use seemed the right choice.

From a design perspective, I wanted a logo that was congruent with our current design aesthetic and at the same time echo’d the icon we’ve used for the last three years. I hope you’ll like it.

The app is identical. It still supports Final Cut Pro 7 and other xmeml apps. All that has changed is the name and icon in the Mac App Store




Written by
Top BloggerThought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. The shows have also been nominated for a 2021 BAFTA.

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.


BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

amazon kindle BF

Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.


Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!


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