Solution to FCP XML Export Problem.

Posted on by Larry

UPDATE – Sept. 16, 2010

Yesterday, Apple updated Final Cut Pro to 7.0.3 which, among other things, fixes this problem. You can get the latest version via Software Update. If you are running an earlier version of Final Cut Pro, please read on.

– – –

Andreas Kiel, of Spherico, brought this to my attention yesterday.

There’s a problem with the XML Export function in Final Cut Pro 7.0.2. As Andreas writes:

Over the last few weeks I got more and more mails from people who complained about missing line breaks in XML metadata text entries — and they asked for a workaround.

The issue is very simple and probably won’t affect too many of your readers, but I got more than hundred mails about that issue.

So it’s simple. Enter a text with line breaks into any metadata field which allows that — like with text generators, markers or comments.
They could look like this in FCP:
line 1
line 2
line 3

The XML exported will give you a value:

line 1 line 2 line 3

with any app which tries to interpret the XML — this includes FCP itself.

This is a real disaster, if you working with subtitles which are are sent forth and back between systems using XML. I got a customer who had a documentation with 7 languages each about more than 2000 subtitles which were fine tuned within FCP — all in all there were around 15,000 subtitles screwed up for release on DVD, film, YouTube etc.

It was solved by the workaround described below – the customer was more than happy. Imagine, if you need about 1 minute to control each title, it would take about 250 hours to fix this one movie.

Andreas went on to detail the solution:

This is a known bug of FCP 7.0.2 and will affect all XML exports and there is no workaround within FCP. This is more than annoying if you work with subtitles, but it can/will be the same little disaster if you want to ‘downgrade’ to a lower version of FCP or collaborate using XML as interchange format.

So if you already updated to 7.0.2 here a tip how you can create ‘clean’ XMLs.

1. Move your ‘Final Cut’ from the Applications folder to the Desktop
2. Insert your FCP installation DVD and install FCP 7.0 only
3. After installation is done, rename the freshly installed ‘Final Cut’ to ‘Final Cut Pro’ – this way it won’t be touched by any automatic updates
4. Ctrl-click the ‘Final Cut Pro’ and select “Show Package Contents”
5. Navigate to Contents/MacOS/Final Cut Pro
6. Create an Alias of the ‘Final Cut Pro’ either on the Desktop or in the Dock.
7. Close the Folder
8. Move your current ‘Final Cut’ back to the Applications folder

If you want to export an XML from your current FCP 7.0.2 then
1. Save your project
2. Double-Click your Alias ‘Final Cut’ executable which you have created earlier. ‘’ will start and maybe give some error messages which might be interesting, but can be ignored.
3. An instance of FCP 7 will launch beside your FCP 7.0.2
4. Open your current project with FCP 7
5. Export XML without saving the project
6. Close the project or keep it open when you know you have to export more changed XMLs from that project — use the “Revert” menu to update from your 7.0.2 project
7. Never save the second instance of your project

1. If you know that you have to do a lot of XML exports, keep the FCP 7 instance open – it will share all the settings with the FCP 7.0.2
2. To quit the FCP 7 instance, close the ‘’ window related to your FCP 7 instance – this is cleaner than quitting the FCP 7 instance
3. Once you have created the FCP 7 version on one machine, you can copy it to other machines where you need it without using the Installer, you only have to create or fix the Alias

Larry adds: As you can probably tell, this workaround is not for the new user. But for those people that have experienced the problem, now you have a solution.



One Response to Solution to FCP XML Export Problem.

  1. Neil Sadwelkar says:

    There’s another XML export bug in FCP 7.0.2. if you export a sequence as XML4, to enable you to open it in FCP 6, some clips in the sequence (after import into FCP 6) show up as one frame events. I haven’t had the time to ascertain what kind of clips get truncated this. Or to check if this affects one type of sequence setting.

    I’ve seen it in film edits where sequences are mostly DV-PAL 24@25, so maybe this might not manifest itself in other frame rates or frame sizes.
    But because of these two issues, it’s become near impossible to transport sequences from FCP 7.0.2 to open them in older FCP versions.

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