The Agency Record Blog

Tricks of the Trade – Online Stopwatch

(NOTE: For video editors and production personnel) The process of timing script treatments and voice overs to match image sequences has been laborious and frustrating for me, mostly because keeping a stopwatch handy has proven harder than you might imagine. I’ve had at least a dozen, from the Sports Illustrated freebies, to magnetized kitchen varieties (until it corrupted a floppy back in the late 90s) and wristwatches. Dead batteries, chronic “borrowing”, stuck buttons, and tiny controls – these reasons and more have kept me hunting for better solutions.

A rock-solid clock is impossible to find in your typical NLE, which, in the typical work environment, is nothing close to real-time sync, what with all the rendering going on on the fly. Even when it looks pretty solid, it’s not. In a pinch, I have been known to throw a CD into a portable player, and use the time readout and play/pause controls to good effect. That is until I have a sequence with a total time of 00:07:53:00 and a CD with song times not exceeding 4 minutes. Stuck again. I’m a musician with decent rhythm, so I’ve even tried tapping seconds out with my hand, but try doing that while reading a script in a normal cadence, and you’ll understand why asylums were built.

Anyway, I Googled the term “online stopwatch”, and what do you know! Here’s the one that I have fallen in love with, for it’s simplicity, and the fact that it can operate both as a stopwatch and a countdown clock.

stopwatch-snapshot.gif

Accessible as an online version and as a downloadable Flash .exe, I find myself using it for a whole lot more than video work. (meeting clocks, get-up-and-stretch reminders, etc.)

It’s a freebie worth grabbing!

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