FCP X: View Source Timecode During Import

Your producer just handed you six camera cards and a 17 pages of handwriting, listing the portions of each clip she wants you to import for their project.

“Just to save space,” she said, “only import the clips on this list. We won’t need anything else.”

Let’s just step gingerly over the massive land-mines in the phrase “We won’t need anything else;” and concentrate on the hand-written edit list.

The problem is that when you import clips in Final Cut, you can’t see the source timecode as part of the Media Import window.

Here’s a very cool tip that solves this problem.


Be sure the Skimmer is turned on; while this also works using the playhead, the Skimmer makes this easier.

Then type Control+Y. This turns on Skimmer Info, so that when you drag the Skimmer inside the thumbnail of a clip, you see the clip title and timecode displayed immediately above the Skimmer.

NOTE: Control+Y is a toggle that turns this display on or off. This techniques works in both the Media Import window and the Browser.

Now you can easily view the Source timecode and set your edit points to match.


Final Cut only allows importing sections of a clip when the camera native media needs to be transcoded.

If the entire clip is already readable by FCP X, then you can only import the entire clip. This is because, to retain image quality, FCP does not copy or transcode the clip, it only imports a link to the clip.

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One Response to FCP X: View Source Timecode During Import

  1. Schpo says:

    Thank you for this, extremely helpful.

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