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Duration of clips unmatched between Final Cut Pro and Quicktime.

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alex diaz
Duration of clips unmatched between Final Cut Pro and Quicktime.
on Jan 17, 2012 at 8:16:19 pm

Hello all,

Currently working on a feature, and sending out a re-edit of a movie in an h.264 to sound guys using pro tools. I used compressor to make the h.264 of the movie using current frame rate (23.98) key frames, Medium quality fast encode. The original duration of the file is 1:26:01:03, but after converting it, clicking on the info of the h.264 file or playing in quicktime, the duration reads as 1:26:06. What's strange is that if I import it into final cut pro the h.264's duration changes back to the original length.

I've tried searching all over online, with finding very little. When I get audio back from pro tools, will it be out of sync or should I just not trust what quicktime says?

Thanks for any help.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Duration of clips unmatched between Final Cut Pro and Quicktime.
on Jan 17, 2012 at 9:11:42 pm

Quick send the file to the Pro Tools guys and ask them to double-check what they see as the running against what you know it to be, 1:26:01:03.

Some software doesn't know about FCP's inaccurate description of the film frame rate. It's not 23.98 as FCP says, it's actually 23.976, and your Pro Tools guys may need to know that as well. That tiny variation could make a BIG difference to them!

If your Pro Tools guys see the same duration as you do in FCP, life should be good.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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alex diaz
Re: Duration of clips unmatched between Final Cut Pro and Quicktime.
on Jan 17, 2012 at 9:17:45 pm

Thanks Dave!

I sent them the file, and will have them check on everything. Right now as a back up I am also making a mpeg-4 version with the TC filter on. Should this be more accurate than an h.264? After some googling I saw that mp4 was a more preferred format (when one can't send dv ntsc via ftp.)

Sorry about this, but there's actually a wall of communication between me and the sound people, as the producer of the film is chinese and is working with sound people from China. Otherwise I would just ask them, haha.


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Trent Watts
Re: Duration of clips unmatched between Final Cut Pro and Quicktime.
on Jun 21, 2012 at 6:26:31 pm

I seem to be having the same issue....I'm on FCP 7, but X does it as well. And my friend says it happens on his machine? Is this just a big glitch that most people have but which has never caused major problems for people?

I'm having audio sync issues as well, but it turned out this issue of changing durations was NOT the issue, as the clips synced up again once importing in the timeline.

To test it, I took a 3 hour clip from a previous project and created a wav audio file from it. I then imported the wav file into FCP7 and it read as being about 11 seconds shorter than the video clip it was created from. But THEN in the timeline they synced back up.

Took me a long time to realize this was NOT the culprit to the syncing issues on my current project


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