Friday, December 25, 2009

FCP Versioner Updated

I don't use it but it does offer some interesting features.

The $60 (single license) FCP Versioner saves projects as XML files* (which FCP already can do, so I'm not sure of the benefits there) but it also provides a change log between saved versions of a project (which can be handy if you're not already familiar with XML, diff and the terminal) and allows for greater flexibility of number of saves per some length of time. I like autosaving every 15 mins so after an 8 hour day you have 32 saves with only 15mins of work between them. For longer projects or when they're closer to completion I usually change that to about one every hour.

There is a 15 day trial here.

*FCP Versioner's Autosave requires FCP7.

1 comment:

Jon said...

Just some clarifications -

1. It exports an XML copy of the project or sequence EVERY time you save it and then generates a changelog from it.

So you have a list of changes made for every revision of the project.

2. The diff output can be difficult to understand because oftentimes it will say something like < value >4< /value > (spaces added to prevent the blog formatting screwing it up) which is meaningless if you don't know what the parent node is. The information is minimal - all you know is that a parameter changed but you don't know which clip it changed for and on which timeline it resides - at least not without extra digging into the XML files, all of which wastes time.

You also get a lot of extraneous information in the diff output, such as the linkclipref information which is not useful in this context and just adds clutter to the results.

Also the timings in the XML file are listed as frame counts, not timecode, so it can be annoying to have to calculate what the timecode value should be in order to get an impression of where the clip resides on the timeline.

3. Autosave is a secondary feature added by popular demand (it's actually disabled by default; you have to activate it in preferences). It just autosaves your project file (as opposed to creating a separate file like FCP's autosave feature does) which then triggers the backup and changelog generation.

I personally don't use this feature and prefer to have it backup whenever I initiate a manual save in FCP. My main editing machine is still running FCP 6.0.6 and the software works just fine. So the FCP7-only feature is a minor one that that not everyone will choose to use and the software functions without it.