Apple Final Cut Pro X

SpeedScriber 2.0 now has export to iTunes Timed Text (.itt) for use with the new closed captioning features in Final Cut Pro X. See this excellent tutorial from Ripple Training on how to work with SpeedScriber.

For transcribing source clips, SpeedScriber has tight integration with Final Cut Pro X (requires version 10.3 and later).


The transcript is converted into segments according to the setting in Preferences. A keyword range is created for each segment with the speaker name as the keyword and the transcript in the Notes column.

By default, the Notes column is the 7th column in List mode so depending on the size of your display it may not be visible. If necessary, you can click and drag the Notes column header to reorder columns as shown below.

SpeedScriber also has the ability to select words and mark them as a Favorite, shown with a yellow highlight. These favorite ranges are directly translated into Final Cut Pro X Favorite Ranges, so you can mark transcripts up in SpeedScriber and easily find those ranges in Final Cut Pro X.

Having transcripts directly accessible in Final Cut Pro X, provides some interesting benefits with the ability to filter clips by words in the transcript and ability to see an approximate transcript of your edited timeline in the Timeline Index panel (by viewing Tags).


One-way Workflow

This is the simpler option but will only work for simple self-contained audio or video files in a strict linear workflow where files are transcribed before editing begins:

  1. Import files directly into SpeedScriber, transcribe and make corrections as necessary.
  2. Choose File > Send to Final Cut Pro X which will send the file with transcript broken down into keyword ranges.
It is also possible to export an XML file containing the current clip, transcript and favorite data by choosing File > Export > Final Cut Pro X XML. This XML file is only compatible with version 10.3 and later.


Roundtrip Workflow

This is more complex (taking full advantage of keyword metadata in Final Cut Pro X) but also more flexible as SpeedScriber can add transcripts to files which have already been imported into Final Cut Pro X.

SpeedScriber supports roundtripping for regular audio or video clips, compound clips, synchronized clips and multicam clips (including multiple clips within an angle). Audio channel status will be translated to SpeedScriber automatically.

The roundtrip workflow always uses a single action – dragging a Library from the Final Cut Pro X Browser Sidebar (not from the Finder!) to the pending files list or SpeedScriber icon. When SpeedScriber receives a dropped Library it scans the data for two possible operations:

  • Import of clips for transcribing: Any clips that contain the SS Pending keyword.
  • Export of transcribed clips: Any clips that contain the SS Processing keyword and have a status of Verified in SpeedScriber.

The relevant clips are processed and then sent back to Final Cut Pro X.

A step-by-step workflow looks like this:

  1. In Final Cut Pro X, add the SS Pending keyword to all audio, video, multicam or synchronized clips that you want to transcribe. This must be added exactly as stated for SpeedScriber to identify the correct clips. ss pendingSS pending or any other combinations will not work.
  2. Drag the parent Library from the Browser Sidebar to the SpeedScriber app icon in the Dock. It is crucial that the Library is dragged so that SpeedScriber gets the necessary data. Dragging any other item from the Browser Sidebar will be rejected in SpeedScriber with an error message. Also make sure that the SpeedScriber icon goes dark when you release the mouse button to drop the Library. If you accidentally move the Library over the icon of another app which accepts XML files then you will need to wait for Final Cut Pro to export the XML before you can drop on the SpeedScriber icon. This doesn't happen if you drag directly to the SpeedScriber icon.
  3. SpeedScriber identifies any clips tagged with SS Pending and adds them to the pending files list. Set the desired language and submit the file(s).
  4. It is important to wait until all the files have been uploaded and start processing. When the last file starts processing, SpeedScriber automatically sends a XML which has any clips with SS Pending keyword replaced with SS Processing keyword. Be sure to click the Replace button in the import XML window, so the original clip gets updated. You can also choose to not be shown this alert window again.
  5. When transcription has completed, make any corrections as necessary and change the file status from Transcribed to Verified in the Files list.
  6. Again drag the Library to the SpeedScriber app icon in the Dock.
  7. This time, SpeedScriber identifies any clips that have the keyword SS Processing and have a status of Verified, then adds the keywords/favorites, removes the SS Processing keyword and sends the modified clip(s) back to Final Cut Pro X (again you should choose Replace in the import window). Note that if any clips in the dragged library have the SS Pending keyword then as in step 3, they will be added to the pending files list and the updated XML will be sent back when they’ve been submitted. This happens seamlessly and automatically in one operation.
SpeedScriber imports any clips that contain the SS Pending keyword somewhere within the time range of the clip. The entire file will always be transcribed.
After importing clips to SpeedScriber you must not rename those clips (either in FCP or SpeedScriber) or move those clips to another library. The SpeedScriber roundtripping process relies on the clip name being the same when clips are exported back to FCP.  If clips are renamed then you will end up with duplicate clips in FCP.
Unfortunately Final Cut Pro X XML does not carry any information about optimized or proxy files. The full resolution original media must be available for import to SpeedScriber.
When importing multicam clips, you must set the active video angle to the desired angle before dragging the Library to SpeedScriber. The active audio angle will be enabled by default but audio channels can be changed at any time within SpeedScriber whereas the viewable video angle cannot.
When importing synchronized clips that contain multiple video layers, only clips on the primary storyline will be viewable in SpeedScriber.
You must not consolidate the media in the library when a clip has been imported to SpeedScriber but the transcript hasn't not yet been exported. Consolidating media can cause the ID of the clip to change in the XML and SpeedScriber will not be able to match up the imported clip with the original clip in FCP for exporting the transcript data.
QuickTime reference movies cannot be used for the roundtrip workflow as SpeedScriber is not given permission by macOS to access the external media files.