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How to get properly-sorted sub-clips in Final Cut Pro Apps
If you use "DV Start/Stop Detect" on a master clip in Final Cut Pro (FCP) to detect your single takes, and then create sub-clips from those found timecode-segments, FCP uses a naming convention which is not suited for alphabetical sorting. -- FCP names the child element on the left, and the parent element on the right. For example, as of FCP 5.1.4, if you display your sub-clips from multiple master clips in a flat hierarchy, you get a mess something like this:
‘Segment 1' from Tape 1
‘Segment 1' from Tape 2
‘Segment 11' from Tape 1
‘Segment 11' from Tape 12
‘Segment 11' from Tape 2
‘Segment 1' from Tape 3
‘Segment 2' from Tape 1
‘Segment 2' from Tape 2
‘Segment 2' from Tape 3
‘Segment 3' from Tape 1
‘Segment 3' from Tape 2
But you probably prefer something like this:
Tape 1 - Segment 1
Tape 1 - Segment 2
Tape 1 - Segment 3
Tape 1 - Segment 11
Tape 2 - Segment 1
Tape 2 - Segment 2
Tape 2 - Segment 3
Tape 2 - Segment 11
Tape 3 - Segment 1
Tape 3 - Segment 2
Tape 12 - Segment 11
If you want to have somehow proper chronological sorting of your sub-clips, you can only achieve this by laboriously creating bins for every tape, placing your sub-clips in those folders, and then using the "sort by starting time on medium" option. Instead, I offer a little hack that works by manipulating some string resources withing FCP, which generates proper "Master clip - Sub-clip" names.

First I ran a string search through the whole Final Cut Pro.app directory:
grep -r "string you are looking for" /Applications/Final Cut Pro.app/Contents/
Then I found what I was looking for at certain places. If you look for a string in your language, just search in the "YourLanguage.lproj" directories. Open the files in a text editor and change the strings and the order in which they appear to how you like it. Below you can see how I changed them; choose a naming convention which is suitable for you. 2br You change the label for the segment in this file: /Applications » Final Cut Pro.app » [Show Package Contents] » Contents » MacOS » Plugins » Movie Analyzer.bundle » Contents » Resources » English.lproj » Localized.plist. I changed this:
8006
Segment %00id
To this:
8006
sub %00id
You change the naming convention and the order of Masterclip (variable %01s) and Subclip (variable %00s) in this file: /Applications » Final Cut Pro.app » [Show Package Contents] » Contents » MacOS » Plugins » Browser.bundle » Contents » Resources » English.lproj » Localized.plist. I changed this:
8045
%00s from '%01s'
To this:
8045
%01s - %00s
Save the files, and relaunch FCP -- you should now be able to have properly-sorts sub-clips.

Unfortunately, FCP does not generate leading zeros, which would be necessary for a correct alphabetical sorting. Thus you get a sorting like: 1,11,12,13,120,2,3,4 instead of 1,2,3,4,11,12,13,120 -- if FCP used 001,002,etc., then this problem could be avoided.

My hack doesn't solve the "leading zero problem." I guess this can only be solved within the programming environment, and not on a string-hack-level -- and as FCP is closed source, we won't get there. If you nonetheless have any ideas on how to hack it within the accessible realm -- maybe there is a special leading-zero magic-markup within a localisation.plist file -- you are very welcome to contribute!

[robg adds: Always make a backup before modifying files within an application bundle, just in case.]
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How to get properly-sorted sub-clips in Final Cut Pro
Authored by: sd on May 19, '08 12:44:09PM

yes!
I've always found this name-sorting issue very annoying... and I thought I was doing this wrong, since this is very basic and Apple should have made something.
Thank you for this great hint. I hope it also works with Final Cut Express!


Now Apple should really take this into account and also correct the leading zero issue (either provide the leading zero in the names, or use an alphabetical order that respects the numbers -like the Finder does).

Or make FCP scriptable, so that one can write a script to mass change names of clips...



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