EDL trouble – hidden characters


A few days ago I saw a tweet from someone who needed help with a corrupted EDL. Since I like challenges and to help out I contacted him and he sent me the EDL.

The original EDL was 70 events long and he wanted to add another 50 events to it which where in another EDL file. So he copied the 50 events from file 2 and pasted them at the end of the file 1.

In the text editor it looked fine, but when he imported the file into the Pyramix audio workstation he only got the first 70 events into the timeline, but wasn’t able to get the rest of the events in. He even tried other EDL software, but nothing helped.


When he sent me the file I first took a look at it in a normal TEXT editor. As you can see everything looks normal. But when I used my cursor to step through the lines I found some characters that weren’t visible on the line before event 71.


I then changed the Editor to HEX mode, this is a mode that let’s you see the raw content of the file both in Hexadecimal numbers as well as ASCII characters (the right column). Now I saw that the hidden characters on the line before event 71 had a value of 00, which is interpreted as “End-of-file” by some programs. This i why the Pyramix couldn’t read past event 70.

The problem was easy to solve, I went back to TEXT edit mode and removed the line with hidden characters before event 71 and now the EDL worked just fine.

I have seen many EDLs which have this problem, both AVID and FCP throw some extra crap characters after the actual EDL, I don’t know why though. So remember to remove these before you start adding new lines to the EDL.

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