XML2Text

XML2Text is a simple but serious playground for FCP sequence XMLs. It will extract some useful information and allows to save this information in different formats.
Additionally you can exchange some project specific information even with people whose XML2Text demo period is
expired.

XML2Text can extract either Marker or Clip information from the sequence XML.

The Marker information can be used to feed encoders other than Apple's Compressor with precise chapter information or get chapter information into DVD Studio Pro.
Another use could be, to 'lift' markers from a clip level to the sequence level, so special notes are more obvious when editing. Also a print out of the saved marker text list is often helpful when it comes together with the video of the sequence.
If you use Adobe's PhotoShop or a similar application to create graphics for your DVD project XML2Text can be helpful too. If you change the selection in the marker or clip table the clipboard will contain the name of the marker or clip. So it's fast and easy to paste the text into your favorite application to create your menus.

The Clip information can be used in various ways.
Most simple usage is to have just a list of all clips, which are used in the sequence along with all relevant information like scene, shot, log note and comments. This could helpful to communicate with people who have to review or work with the video of the sequence, but don't have access to the original FCP project.
Also text string information of standard FCP text generators is extracted into an extra text data source, which can used to create an STL for DVD SP.

Another usage is the creation of a merged batch list from a merged tape of selects or used clips. Traditionally that would have lost original Timecode but XML2Text converts the clip data so that they do match the sequence timecode data and creates a batch list which can be used later to batch the complete tape or just some single clips from the merged tape. Even with a crash record to tape it will work, if you set the sequence TC start value to the value of the recording's start of the tape before exporting to XML.

XML2Text also allows to review STL (Sub Title Lists) files quickly. You can do this in context with the XML (using the audio clips as reference) or as "standalone" with a movie only.
Currently XML2Text only works as a simple review app and not as an full subtitler or interpreter for STLs: so comment lines will be ignored or added to the text as they are; also individual text settings for a title except 'FadeIn', 'FadeOut' and 'ForceDisplay' will be ignored

The XML2Text Usage:

Before importing an XML you must decide which information should be extracted.


You can drop an XML onto the table or onto the applications icon, or press "Command-I" to open an XML. The file must have a "xml" extension.


All relevant markers from the XML are now listed. You can delete selected tracks by pressing 'Command-Delete'. To edit markers just double click the name or comment and edit. To use a marker as chapter click the "Chapter" button, or click the "Chapter" button to remove the marker from the chapter list
To save a chapter list as a text file, select "Chapter Markers only" from the "Text Export" popup and press "Control-S".

If you have decided to import clips, the listing will show all relevant clip data from the XML.

The clip data can be saved to tab separated text file which can be imported into Filemaker Pro, Excel or any other spreadsheet or data base application. They also can be exported as chapters or as STL.


You can also open the movie which the XML refers to. By default the movie will be scaled to 50 % of size, the size can be changed with the upper left popup in the 'Movie Panel'. The timecode in the upper right displays the movies 'zero based' timecode.
A click to a row in the list (or changing the row), will move the playhead of the movie to the time of the clip or the marker (and in case clips had been extracted). So markers can be verified easily or additional markers can be created by pressing "M". Also the clip information can be reviewed and completed before exporting to a text file.

To review a STL file in XML2Text you can import an STL file after a reference movie with timecode has been imported.


There are two options for importing STL files. You can use the standard import, which will interpret the timecode in relation to the current movie as is, or you can use the 'Zero based' option; this means that if the STL for example has a timecode starting with '00' and the movie has a timecode starting with '09', the timecodes of the STL will be shifted 9 hours to match the movies timecodes.

After a list is imported the In/Out of the subtitle, the duration, the count of spoken characters, the characters per second, 'Force Display', 'Fade In' and 'Fade Out' are displayed.
The text display in the lower left shows the actual selected title in the 'Title Data'

The handling of changing rows in the title data differs from the clip/marker table. Changing a row won't set the movie's playhead to the time of the title. To jump to the time of a title, you have to click either the 'In Timecode' to jump to the start of the title or the 'Out Timecode' to jump to the end of the title (or press 'Shift-I' or 'Shift-O').
You can adjust in and out of a title with the 'Set In' and 'Set out' buttons (or press 'I', 'O').
The small 'FD' button allows to set the '$ForceDisplay' command for a title. The 'In' and 'Out' columns display the values for the 'Fade' of a title. 'Ch.' and 'Spd' are statistical values, they show the amount of characters in a title and how fast the viewer must read the title (characters per second).
To insert or create a new title press the 'New' button or just hit 'N' on the keyboard. This will create an empty title at the current time of the movie with a length of 1 second.
To review a title you can click the 'In' timecode; this will show the actual start of the title and select the current duration in the movie view. You can hit 'P' on the keyboard to toggle the 'Play Selection Only' of the movie; this allows to hear/play only this title. In case you have selected the 'Play Selection Only' and have activated the 'Movie Panel' the 'Right Arrow' on the keyboard allows to scrub the audio forward by single frames.
The small 'S' and 'R' buttons can be used to a create a time 'snaphot' ('S') and remember and jump to this time ('R')



In some cases it can be helpful to import a text. To get the 'Text View' displayed, hit '2' with the'Title Data' window not selected and select a text file file ('.txt'). I you highlight some portion of the text in this view, select the movie and hit 'N' the selected text will be taken as new title text.

If you imported an XML with FCP text generators, the title data will look a little different. All durations are set to 1 second. 'Lower 3rd' text is joined with a "|" as divider between text and 2. Before you proceed working with those data, make sure no overlapping times will exist. Also in case some generators had been layered XML2Text does not not know, which text belongs where - so you have to merge those titles manually.

When exporting to a STL file, there is again the option to reset the timecode hours to '00' or not.

Other Options
Using the 'All Clips to Chapter List' will insert all visible data entries into the current XML as chapter markers and allows to save this changed XML unter a different name.

The experimental 'All Clips as Chapter in Movie' allows put all clip names into the movie as chapters; an AppleScript will launch QuickTime Player and insert all visible clips or markers as chapter. This way dailes on DVD can be created easily with DVD SP or iDVD. You can also open this 'chaptered' movie in QuickTime Player and turn on the visibility of the text track to have visible clip names in the movie.
If you use DVD SP, another option is to "Export All V1 Clips to STL File". This allows to see the clip name as subtitle with your dailies.


The Menus

File

  • Open: opens a XML2Text file - file must have .x2t extension
  • Import Sequence XML: imports a sequence XML - file must have .xml extension
  • Import Movie: you can select a movie file which refers to the XML
  • Import Sub Title List: you can select a STL file which either refers to the XML or a movie
  • Import Sub Title List (TC zero based): if the STL is not based on the movies TC, you can select a STL file which either refers to the XML or a movie
  • Save: Saves the current data of all internal data bases to an XML2Text file
  • Save Selected Marker Type to Text List: will either write all markers or chapter markers to text file
    with following format: HH:MM:SS:FF tab Marker Name
  • Save All Visible Entries as Tab Text: will save all visible entries to a tab separated text file
  • Save V1 Clips to Merged Batch List: will create a batchlist, which can be used to recapture clips from a video which was created from the sequence. Before you export to "Merged Batch List" make sure your sequence has one video track only, which must be at V1 level.
  • Revert
  • Export All Visible Entries as Markers to Sequence XML: will "lift" all visble data entries as markers to the sequence level.
  • Export STL File (Sub Title List): will process and export the current title list to a STL file. Any overlapping of titles will be removed during the export without warning.
  • Export All V1 Clips to STL File: will export all visible 'V1" entries as STL

Options

  • All Clips to Chapter: will create a changed XML from the original one with all clip names as chapter.
  • All Clips as Chapter to Movie: this will open/invoke an Applescript for QT Player which will create a chapter track with all clip names in the movie which belongs to the XML (currently only works if the movie does not have a chapter track already). The movie must be saved in QT Player.
  • Reel List to Clipboard: copies the names of all used reels to the clipboard
  • Clip List to Clipboard: copies the names and timecode data of all used master clips to the clipboard

Clip/Marker Window

  • XML Import - pretty self explaining.
  • Text Export:
    • Chapter Markers only: will cause only markers which has been marked as 'Chapter' to be included in the exported text file.
    • All Sequence Markers: will cause all markers in of the sequence to be included in the exported text file.

MoviePanel

  • Size - pretty self explaining.

The Buttons

Clip/Marker Window

  • Import XML, Import Movie: self explaining
  • Zero Based TC: will reset the hours of the timecode to '00' when exporting or saving a file

Title Window

  • Zero Based TC: will reset the hours of the timecode to '00' when importing or saving a file
  • Import: reserved for future use
  • Sort: reserved for future use
  • Save: reserved for future use
  • Set In: will set/shift the in of of the selected title to the current timecode of the movie (press 'I')
  • Set Out: will set/shift the out of the selected title to the current timecode of the movie (press 'O')
  • New: will create an empty title at the current timecode of the movie with a length of 1 second (press 'N')
  • Delete: will delete the current title ('Command-Delete')
  • 'FD':Forces the subtitle to display regardless of whether subtitles are turned on by the DVD player


The Hidden Buttons/Shortcuts

Clip/Marker Window , Movie Panel, Title Window

  • "1" activates the main window
  • "2" activates the title window
  • "3" activates the movie window - if existent

  • "L" plays forward a movie, multiple 'L" increase the playback speed (up to 5x)
  • "J" plays backwards a movie, multiple 'J" increase the inverse playback speed (up to -5x)
  • 'K' stops the movie
  • "Shift-L' plays forward the movie at 50 per cent of normal speed
  • "Shift-J' plays backwards the movie at 50 per cent of normal speed

  • "Command-Delete' removes a data row
  • 'P': toggles the state of the movie view between 'Play selection only' true or false, 'true' will either play the current clip or the current title only. It also allows to scrub the audio forward with the arrow keys if the movie panel is frontmost. This is very helpful while reviewing and adjusting sub titles

Movie Panel

  • '+' selects the next row in the titles table view
  • '-' selects the previous row in the titles table view

  • 'I' sets the 'In' time of the current title to the current time of the movie
  • 'O' sets the 'Out' time of the current title to the current time of the movie
  • 'N' will create an empty sub title at the current timecode of the movie with a length of 1 second
  • 'M' will create an empty marker at the current timecode of the movie

Some issues and limitations.
Multi-Sequence XMLs won't be processed.
No validation of XMLs.
Too many (+600) included "big" effects like Color Finesse will cause memory problems.
In some cases the QuickTime handling 'screws up' - save, quit and reopen again will fix that.
Title specific STL attributes will be ignored when importing a STL file - except '$ForceDisplay', '$FadeIn', '$FadeOut'.
Maybe there are other issues we are not aware.

Availability
The current version is available "as is" for 45 EUR per license/computer with a one year suscription for updates and free tech support. You will get the application as prepaid PayPal download version. After confirmed payment you will receive the software and serial number within 24 hours.

Click here to download the free trial version (30 days fully functional)

If you got problems with PayPal please contact me.

System Requirements:
  • Apple PowerMac G4 (the faster the better).Even an old iMac will work, but it is pretty slow.
  • 256 MB RAM (more=better)
  • MacOS X 10.3 or higher
  • QuickTime 6.4 or higher
  • FCP 4.1 -4.5
For further information contact:

Andreas Kiel
Spherico
Nelkenstr. 25, D-76135 Karlsruhe
eMail: kiel@spherico.com,