7toX review

One of the biggest bugbears following the release of FCP X was its inability to import FCP 7 files, an essential requirement for many editors. Apple indicated that it wasn’t going to develop this feature, as it couldn’t guarantee the “perfect fidelity” of the translation, and looked to third-party developers to address the problem.

Thankfully, XML expert Intelligent Assistance has provided a highly useful solution. 7toX uses XML 1.1 in the recent 10.0.3 release of FCP X, to convert previous project files. Bins, clips and sequences in FCP 7 projects translate into a new Event in FCP X, with sequences converted into Compound Clips, Bins substituted for Keyword Collections, and Log Notes, Labels and comments transferred to each clip’s Notes field.

In addition, most Motion Tab settings, Composite Modes, Multiclips, Split Edits, Audio Levels and a large number of video and audio filters are converted to matching values and effects within FCP X. 7toX also adds to-do markers that indicate elements that have been substituted or require tweaking.

Due to the limitations of what it’s possible to transfer, a large, complex project will need an amount of extra finessing to replicate some of the fine details, and a certain amount of pre-production in FCP 7 is required: Motion projects need to be rendered and re-imported, many types of generator are substituted, freeze frames need to be converted to stills, transitions and filters are reset to their defaults, and all media must be online at the time of the transfer.

7toX does a good job of converting FCP 7 files for use in FCP X, though complex projects will need some tweaking

Considering the huge difference between the underlying format of FCP 7 and FCP X projects, the translation is extremely clever.

OUR VERDICT

7toX is an essential purchase for editors making the transition from FCP 7 to FCP X, and is made especially attractive by the extremely reasonable price. Considering the high cost of previously available XML translation utilities for FCP 7, it’s refreshing to see a price point that will ensure this will be a widely adopted tool.

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