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???


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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