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Premiere Pro Clip Markers – Solved!

I’ve written a lot about Premiere Pro and metadata. Surprisingly, almost as an after thought, the solution was shipped in the October 2014 release of Creative Cloud applications. It is hiding in the preference panel under the “Media” tab, and is called “Write clip markers to XMP”. I believe this is one of the most important features that was added to Premiere, because it addresses the issue of backup, archive and project sharing and also helps with on-line/off-line workflows.

Here is a brief video explaining how the preference works, and when you should turn it on, and when you should turn it off.

By the way, the clip shown in this tutorial comes from the amazing EditStock, where you can get the footage from the real world projects to edit on your own, and then submit for feedback from professional editors. I highly recommend it.

If you have any questions, post them in the comments below.

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31 Responses to Premiere Pro Clip Markers – Solved!

  1. ougie says:

    Hi Bart-
    Thanks so much for your helpful info. I just tried this and it doesn’t seem to solve another clip marker issue that Premiere has suffered from for too long though: whenever I enter clip marker notes, all of the metadata disappears when I open another clip. Although the marker positions remain, this is a serious flaw that’s killing my productivity. Even FC7 had markers that could be probably named…

    I also tried your “read only” solution but for some reason, that didn’t work for me either… Any other advice?


    • BartW says:

      Very interesting, it’s the first time I’m seeing something like this. What kind of media are you using? Are they per chance mts streams that you copied outside of the camera folder structure? In such a case it might indeed work like this, but this can only be remedied by transcoding the footage or keeping the mts files within the directory structure it comes with.

  2. angryscrub says:

    Ugh, I’m having the exact same problem as ougie. Working with raw red files, and my marker descriptions and lengths keep disappearing when I add them to clips, though the correct positions are kept. Highly annoying.

    • BartW says:

      In case of Ougie the problem seemed to be the merged clips (though it looks like a bug). Are you using them as well?

  3. Gerrit Schulze says:

    Hi Bart,

    very helpful video and information!

    Thank you,

  4. cchan says:

    This is very helpful, thanks! Is there any way to revert back and save a project with “Write clip markers to XMP” later? An assistant editor was working on a remote drive and logged and markered a lot of footage, then deleted the associated source files thinking the project could be reconnected to the other set of media. Any way to get those markers back?

    • BartW says:

      Yes, although it’s pretty tedious at the moment. First, you must uncheck the “Write clip markers to XMP” in the preferences. Then open the project and relink to the new media without markers. Then turn on the “Write markers to XMP” option and for each clip you must add, remove or edit a marker (it doesn’t matter which, it’s important that you change the current markers). Then the marker info will be saved from the project file to the media file. Unfortunately, you do have to do it for each clip.

      Hope this helps.

  5. cchan says:

    Thanks so much for your suggestion. i tried that but it does not seem to restore the old markers that were added before the linked clips were deleted. Any new markers I add as tests are saved, but the old ones are not. After following your steps I saved the project with a new name and re-opened. Could I be missing something? I feel like it’s a long shot but I hoping there’s a solution because he spent a few days adding hundreds of markers to interviews…

    • BartW says:

      Ah, I misunderstood you. No, in the case where the markers were logged into files, and the files were deleted, there is no way to recover them. They are gone with the files. Sorry.

  6. Pingback: Tutorials for Better Editing in Premiere Pro | Jonny Elwyn - Film Editor

  7. eileeneditor says:

    Thanks so much for this video! I have two questions: I have a premiere project that has some markers already written to XMP, but I would like to switch over to writing them in the project file for the rest of our workflow. If I uncheck the box in my existing project, will it save the previously created XMP markers in the project? Or only new ones I add?

    Also, is it possible to continue logging in Prelude with this option unchecked?


    • BartW says:

      It will, and it won’t. I’ve noticed a little bit of erratic behaviour when you uncheck the box and the markers are present.

      It is possible to continue logging in Prelude, but any modification to the markers will eventually destroy ALL markers that you added to this clip in Premiere and which have not been written to file’s XMP – most of the time. There are some exceptions to it, but it seems to me more of a bug, than a feature.

      If you click the option off, the present markers are saved in Premiere project and if you relink to another file, they will be retained or even merged with existing markers. However, if you touch this file in Prelude and modify any of the markers, Premiere markers will be obiliterated. So tread with caution.

  8. Kyle Koch says:

    We have duplicate sets of RED footage. One copy is on our Lacie TB drive. The other copy is on our network storage. I used the footage on the Lacie to create comment markers on footage (not sequences, on the clips).

    When I relinked the project to the media on the network storage, the markers disappeared. Using the Lacie, they are will appear.

    Write XMP ID to Files on Import OFF
    Write clip markers to XMP ON
    Enable Clip and XMP Metadata Linking ON
    Save Media Cache Files next to originals when possible ON

    I’m hoping to not spend hours moving RED files from the Lacie to the Network storage.

    Any suggestions on how to have the comment markers appear when loading the network storage files?

    • BartW says:

      Yes. While having linked to footage with markers, turn the “Write clip markers to XMP” OFF, and relink to the set of files without markers.

      If this does not help, try turning the option off, adding a clip marker to each of the clips (I know, it might take a moment, sorry) and then relink.

  9. Kyle Koch says:

    Helps to watch the video first. sorry.
    I’m going to try Write clip markers to XMP to OFF as the video suggests.
    Will report back.

  10. Kyle Koch says:

    In an attempt to automate the process, (We have hundreds of files), I did this workflow:
    1. Open ProjectName-LacieFiles.prpoj
    2. Confirmed Comment markers are displaying.
    3. Turned Write Clip markers to XMP to OFF
    4. Save As ProjectName-NetworkFiles.prpoj
    5. Closed Premiere
    6. Turn off Lacie drive
    7. Open ProjectName-NetworkFiles.prpoj
    8. Watch as all files automatically link to network drive (oddly no prompt to relink media appeared).
    9. No markers appear on clips.

    Hopefully, it isn’t a manual clip by clip relink.




    • BartW says:

      Things to test:
      1. Add a marker to a clip between points 3 and 4. See if it persists following your procedure. If yes, then repeat it for every clip.
      2. Use “Relink media” option (manual clip by clip relink)
      3. Make media offline, don’t close Premiere, link to new files.

  11. Kyle Koch says:

    Clip by clip is not really a workflow we would like to spend time doing. We have hundreds of clips and it would take a long time.

    I did try your options though and no dice.

    I even tried opening up the project on a different computer. The files (targeted for the Lacie Drive) automatically linked to the network drive. Then I watched as all the markers began disappearing one by one from the clip as the job loaded.

    It appears that the job wants to have the markers appear, but once the media connects, it just gets rid of them.

    Fortunately, all the markers return when I restart using the lacie drive.

    Probably have to use the lacie to finish the job.

    Thank you so much for trying. I don’t know how it could not work.

    • BartW says:

      Yeah… I hope they will improve the rudimentary scripting, so that we can do this automatically.

  12. Tw says:

    Thanks for explaining this, Bart.
    We have a similar problem – Started logging with markers writing to XMP before we realized the markers wouldn’t be in the Project file. Best workaround we have so far is this:
    1.) Uncheck Write clip markers to XMP in Preferences >> Media
    2.) open markers panel with the clip
    3.) double click on each marker and then simply make an edit to marker, e.g., change color of marker

    This has the effect of moving marker data from XMP to the project file.

    Yes it’s very tedious, but at least it doesn’t require a lot of brain work.

  13. hey bart, i had a question about prelude, i had started putting markers over my files and i saved the file on the cloud , i reopened it somewhere since i had the footage but no of my markers were there, what would you if you were in my place

    • BartW says:

      What files were they? Some files can’t have the metadata information written into them, and need a sidecar XMP file – perhaps this is what is missing?

  14. Rob says:

    Hi Bart, I’m having the experience of global clip marker search no longer working when I uncheck “Write clip markers to XMP”. It’s almost like when the clip markers are saved in the project file they behave like the sequence markers which also don’t show up in the global search in the project window. Has anyone else had this experience? Any work arounds?

  15. Roberto says:

    Hi Bart, is it possible to export the markers into a final master movie, so that the viewer can navigate through the chapters, which I set through the markers?

    • BartW says:

      Yes, if they are markers in the final sequence (not the clip markers), Premiere will export them by default, unless you choose a format that disallows it or in the Metadata options in the export window you choose to Exclude All source metadata.

  16. julie says:

    Hi Bart, thank you for this video, it’s very helpful! Wondering if you know a solution or workaround how to search markers globally in a project. With “write clip markers to XMP” turned on, Premiere will create a search bin. With “write clip markers to XMP” turned off, Premiere can only search clip by clip. Thank you!

  17. handjamie says:

    So helpful, this solved my problem! I was trying to use two clip markers with the same name in two separate subclips of the same master clip, and Premiere Pro wasn’t recognizing the clip markers. So I tried duplicating the master clip and removing duplicate clip markers, but I was getting the problem you speak of above — when I deleted a marker from one master clip, it deleted it from the other. Unchecking the XMP box solved my problem! Thank you so much!!

  18. Lloydvo says:

    Hi Bart,
    Had a question about markers. Do you know of an easy way to transfer markers from a clip and to be placed in a sequence instead? or to copy them? would a custom made plugin be plausible to make from this? Been thinking of making a plugin for this, but wanted your opinion on it if its feasible.


  19. robbin Rae says:

    OOOOOOH My GOD! Thank you SO much. I was stressing out about why I could not see the markers for a project I am working on. It is not an option for CS6, so I still do not have my markers, but at least I know why and how to avoid this hiccup in the future. Thanks!

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