A gotcha with the iPod timecode slate

One little gotcha that is worth noting if you are going to use an iPod with video as a poor-man’s timecode slate on your next video shoot. Be sure that you set the Burn-in-timecode to begin at 01:00:00:00 (1 hour). Besides this being the standard for program start times and how professional audio packs are made, if you have it start at a zero hour 00:00:00:00 as was done with one of our slates:


you will have problems with grouping through auxiliary timecode…. at least when using Final Cut Pro. When your timecode begins at 00:00:00:00 and you assign that auxiliary timecode to your clips, FCP will have to adjust where the clips are synced in order to get them into proper sync. When it has to move the clip backward then it moves into 23:59:59:00 timecode range and it will screw-up the grouping.

This is how properly aux coded clips are supposed to line up:


You can see the alignment of all the clips and how they fall into the proper place within the sequence. The takes that are just the bridge (like [1]-11, [2]-09, [6]-12) fall in the 3rd quarter of the song. These would have been impossible to group with the first verse ([12]-06, [13]-08, [14]-13) using just an IN or OUT point as there is no overlap. Ahhh the joy of auxiliary timecode!

This is how FCP wants to line them up if you have 00:00:00:00 auxiliary code in the clip:


As you can see that is not a proper multiclip group. The moral of this story… don’t use 00:00:00:00 timecode!