The Professional Edition (and Workgroup Edition) supports a number of additional file formats to the standard importers and exporters.

Batch lists and other formats

You can export clip lists in the following additional batch file formats. You can Export As:

  • Avid ALE Log File (to export an Avid ALE batch log)
  • dpsVelocity batch List (to export a DPS BRT file)
  • Final Cut Pro batch List
  • Final Cut Pro XML File

It supports the following additional importers, you can Import As:

  • Avid ALE Log File
  • Final Cut Pro Batch List
  • Final Cut Pro XML File
  • Generic File
  • Image Sequence
  • MXF Media File
  • OMFI Media File
  • Panasonic P2 Clip
  • PDF Document
  • SRT Subtitle File
  • XDCAM Clip

Importing MXF media files or P2 and XDCAM metaclips requires the CatDV MXF Option. You may also require a 3rd party codec to play these files.

Final Cut Pro 7

When importing and exporting Final Cut Pro 7 batch lists and XML files, CatDV uses the user-defined fields in particular ways. By default, User 1 maps to Description, User 2 to Scene, User 3 to Shot/Take, User 4/5 to Comment A/B, User 6 to Label, User 7 to Label 2, User 8 to Capture, and User 9-12 map to Master Comment 1 to 4. You can customise these mappings in the User Columns tab of Preferences. For each Final Cut column choose which column in CatDV it maps to.

If possible, you should normally use FCP XML files in preference to batch lists as they have a number of advantages. Most importantly, when you use FCP XML files the media links will be preserved, but they also support the transfer of bins, subclips and sequence information to and from your browser window, and work with localized (non-English) versions of Final Cut Pro.

The Send to Final Cut Pro command provides an easy way to send clips or sequences straight to Final Cut Pro. It is similar to exporting an XML file but saves it in a temporary directory and automatically opens the file in Final Cut Pro. You can also drag sequences and clips onto a Final Cut project node in the tree navigator to send them to Final Cut using Apple Events.

Recent versions of Adobe Premiere Pro also support FCP XML files (in additon to EDLs and Premiere batch logs), so this provides another mechanism for exchanging data with Premiere.

Final Cut Pro X

Apple’s new Final Cut Pro X application uses a completely different project format which is incompatible with FCP 6 and 7. With the FCP X 10.0.1 update it is again possible to exchange clips and sequences between CatDV and FCP X, using the new .fcpxml file format which CatDV can read and write.

This provides a way to migrate FCP 7 projects over to FCP X:

  1. Open your project in FCP 7, then export it as XML from FCP 7. (You will need to quit FCP X first. Even though it’s possible to install both versions on the same machine, you can only have one copy of Final Cut Pro running at one time.)
  2. Import the XML file into CatDV. If necessary, check the Extra tracks & sequences option in CatDV’s preferences if you want to bring over more complex sequences (but remember that CatDV only provides very rudimentary cuts-only sequence support).
  3. Select the sequence you want to send over and choose Export as FCP X XML File to save a .fcpxml file
  4. Open this file in FCP X (again, you will have to quit FCP 7 first if it is running on that machine) to create a new project with the timeline.

When exporting an FCP X XML file you can either export a list of clips (to create a new event in the FCP X Event Library) or export a single sequence (to create a new project in the FCP X Project Library, including any clips it depends on in a new event if necessary). You can’t mix events and projects in the same .fcpxml file however. You can also go the other way and export an event or a project as an .fcpxml file from FCP X and import that into CatDV. As well as clips and sequences, metadata in the form of descriptions and timecode markers can be sent across.

CatDV XML Files

As well as Final Cut Pro XML files the Professional Edition supports its own CatDV-specific XML batch file format:

The Export as CatDV XML command exports details about the selected clips as an XML document. XML is useful as an interchange format if you need to import clip data (including metadata) into an external application such as a database.

The Export CatDV XML Index(es) command saves XML file(s) containing any log notes or other information that you have entered for the selected clips. These file(s) are called index.xml and are stored in the directory with the media files. The purpose of these index files is to store any data that you enter, such as the description of a media file or orientation of a still, directly with the media files, in case the files are later moved or the catalog file is lost. When you import a media file any index.xml file in the same directory is checked and the information from it is automatically added to the clip as it is imported (for example, if you misplace the catalog file and import an archive created with the CatDV Archiving option).

The Import CatDV XML Batch File command can be used to specify a batch of media files to be imported in one go. You can specify the media path of files to import, or create offline clips without any media, and attach metadata to the resulting clips. The format of CatDV XML Batch Files the same as the XML files that CatDV exports. See the CatDV Worker Node Release Notes for more details on using these files.

XML “sidecar” files

If you import a media file and there’s an XML file with the same name alongside (eg. and MyFile.xml or, sometimes referred to as a sidecar file) then CatDV will attempt to read additional metadata from the XML file and associate it with the movie. CatDV will create media metadata columns that match the names of tags or attributes in the XML file, providing a way to load data from other applications if they can export data as an XML file.

OMF and MXF Files

The Professional Edition adds support for importing OMF media files. The CatDV MXF Option also supports the newer MXF media files used by Panasonic P2 cameras, Sony XDCAM, and Avid. If audio and video are stored in separate files an MXF metaclip is created so they are automatically played in synch. Note that it may be necessary to install a third party codec to play MXF media.

Generic files

So you can manage all the files that make up a project you can actually catalog any type of file (such as Word documents, spreadsheets, project files) in CatDV, not just media files.

  • To import non-media files you need to enable the Import all types of document option in Preferences.
  • A generic CatDV clip record is created for each such file. You can add your own comments and log notes to this record, and thus catalog all the supporting files needed for a project in the same way as your media files.
  • You can launch the file in its default application (as if you double clicked it in the Finder or Windows Explorer) with CatDV’s Open With Default App command.
  • To help you search for non-media files in your catalog you can choose whether to Try to extract text from binary files. Any characters that look like meaningful text that is found near the start of the file is automatically extracted and stored in the Notes field. (Even though the file itself will often be in an inscrutable binary format it is common for useful text such as author or title of the document to appear in a header near the top of the document.)
  • When you import a directory only recognised media file types are imported unless you check the ‘process all types of document’ option in Preferences.