Intelligent Assistance just released a new product – FindrCat – that allows us to tag media files with keywords applied in Final Cut Pro X.
Here’s the benefit: After adding keywords to our clips in Final Cut Pro X, we can now save those keywords as Finder tags back into the media files stored in the Finder. These tags then travel wherever the clips go so that the next time they are imported into Final Cut Pro X – on any system – the Finder tags immediately convert back into keywords, allowing all our logging information to be restored into a new or existing FCP X project. Metadata is no longer locked inside Final Cut.
NOTE: Plus, it has a very cool icon.
Developer: Intelligent Assistance
Price: $19.99 (Available in the Mac App Store)
When we import clips using the Media Import window, we have the ability to automatically create keywords using either folder names or Finder Tags.
For instance, here is a collection of clips. They are stored in a Pond5 folder, then inside an Animals folder, then the clips.
When I import just the Animals folder into Final Cut Pro X, with Keywords: From Folder checked, the folder names are automatically added as keywords to the clip.
NOTE: When you import media with Finder Tags into FCP X – with the option to create keywords from Finder tags – the new keywords will apply to the entire clip.
However, if you create keywords inside Final Cut, there’s no way to go back and apply those keywords to the source media clips stored in the Finder. Until now.
HOW IT WORKS
I’ve added a bunch more keywords to my clips using FCP X.
NOTE: This example uses only one Event and seven clips. However, this same process works across multiple events containing hundreds of clips.
To insert your FCP X keywords back into the source media, launch FindrCat so that its icon appears in the Dock; or drag the application icon to load it into the Dock.
Then, drag the Event, Events or Library that you want to apply from within the Final Cut Library List and drop it on top of the FindrCat icon in the Dock.
NOTE: New with the FCP X 10.3 update is what Intelligent Assistance calls the “no-XML workflow.” When you drag something from within Final Cut onto the icon of another software in the Dock, FCP X will, in the background, export an XML file and transfer that file to the selected Dock application. This is very cool – and brand-new.
Also, given that FCP X takes the full screen, dragging something to a dock icon is much easier than starting a second app and resizing windows so you can drag something into it.
NOTE: Unlike other Intelligent Assistance programs, you can’t drag-and-drop an Event, or exported XML file, into the FindrCat window itself. However, the team at Intelligent Assistance tells me that this will be added in a future update.
Almost instantly, the list of keywords appears in the FindrCat window, along with the total duration associated with each keyword. Notice the check boxes? This allows you to select which keywords will be applied to the source media clips.
NOTE: And the durations are not needed or necessary, but still cool to look at.
Click Add Keyword Tags and FindrCat goes to work. The process of creating Finder tags takes only a few seconds, indicated by the spinning gear.
When it is done, a notification will appear briefly at the top right corner of your screen. It would be more helpful to have a Done alert when the task is complete.
A NOTE ON KEYWORD RANGES
In this article, I’ve applied keywords to entire clips. But I was curious to see how FindrCat handled keyword ranges, so I contacted the folks at Intelligent Assistance to ask. They told me: “Finder Tags are only applied to entire clips, whatever range you have will be applied to the whole clip. Overlapping ranges will simply have two keywords applied. This is a limitation of Finder tags that can’t be worked around.”
CHECKING YOUR WORK
Select any clip, choose File > Get Info (shortcut: Cmd + I) and see the tags at the top of the clip. These tags now travel wherever that clip goes, ready to be imported into Final Cut Pro X.
Or, go to List view in the Finder to see the tags applied to the clips.
NOTE: If you don’t see tags in the Finder, right-click on the Name column header and check the Tags option.
If this is the first time you’ve displayed tags in the Finder, you’ll find the Tags column all the way to the right in the Finder window. You can drag the column header wherever you want.
This utility performs a very useful function: preserving FCP X keywords directly into media files so that they move with the media file and can be reused at any time.
My biggest concerns with this first release are that the language is unclear on how to import files into FindrCat and confusion on when a job is complete. The team at Intelligent Assistance is looking at ways to address these in future updates.
However, both these concerns are minor compared to the ability to preserve all our logging information. This is a very, very helpful utility to anyone logging clips using Final Cut Pro X.
Here’s an Apple KnowledgeBase article that explains Finder tags in more detail.
Final Cut Pro X 10.4
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