CatDV supports the following media file formats:
QuickTime file formats
Natively, CatDV uses QuickTime for its media playback support. It will therefore play back and export files in any format supported by QuickTime 7, including:
- QuickTime .MOV files, with various codecs (Animation, Cinepak, Sorenson Video 3, M-JPEG, OfflineRT, DV/DVCPro, H.263, amongst others).
- Raw DV streams
- AVI files, with certain codecs only (primarily Cinepak, JPEG, and DV)
- MPEG-4 files, with various codecs (MPEG-4 Video, H.264, 3GP, etc)
- MPEG-1 files (import only)
- Still image formats (including JPEG, GIF, TIFF, BMP, PNG, JPEG2000 and PSD)
- Audio formats (including MP3, WAV, AU, AIFF)
- Other files such as Flash SWF, or PDF documents (Mac only)
Additional QuickTime codecs
The above formats are available as standard with QuickTime. It is possible to extend the formats available to QuickTime by installing additional codecs, for example:
- Installing Apple Final Cut Pro adds the Apple ProRes, Apple Intermediate, and HDV codecs (Mac)
- Purchasing the Apple MPEG-2 component adds support for importing MPEG-2 program streams, including region free DVDs (Mac & PC)
- See the CatDV FAQs for details of other 3rd party codecs, such as Calibrated’s MXF codecs for playing back P2 and XDCAM files.
JMF and Xuggle codecs
As well as QuickTime codecs it is also possible to install Java Media Framework (JMF) codecs to import and play media or to install the Xuggle media library. Various third party and open source codecs are available, including for AVCHD, MPEG, and WMV files. While there are some stability and performance issues with these JMF codecs at present, and functions such as sequence editing and exporting movies are not currently supported, this situation is expected to improve over the coming year. For further details please see the CatDV release notes.
With the Professional Edition you can use “Import As OMFI File” to import metadata from OMF media files. These files include both media and program information and may result in one or more clips and sequences being created. (In addition to the Name, Tape, Notes and Bin fields, several of the user fields are used when importing an OMF file: User 1 is set to the Project name, User 2 to the File name, User 3 to the Tracks, and User 4 to the UID identifier for the media object.)
There are two advanced Preferences options that affect how OMF files (and other files that contain sequence information) are imported: whether any sequence information is imported at all, and whether additional sequences are created for audio tracks, rather than just the main video track.
If the OMF file contains DV media (DV25) or Motion JPEG then a thumbnail image is extracted for the clip and the video can be played and exported from within CatDV.
WMV/ASF Windows Media files
CatDV will import WMV, ASF and WMA files if you use the “Import As Windows Media File” command. CatDV analyses these files and extracts metadata such as audio and video codec, author and copyright notices from the file. Under Windows, if a Thumbs.db file is present in the directory then CatDV will load a thumbnail for the clip.
Under Windows, playback of these files via DirectShow is supported. You can also double click a WMV file to launch an external application (such as Windows Media Player, VLC or MPlayer) to play the file.
If you install the Flip4Mac component then you can play back WMV files within CatDV on Mac OS X, and treat them like any other QuickTime-supported file, for example use the Export As Movie to convert them to another format.
The advanced preference option “Play WMV/ASF files” controls whether CatDV attempts to open such files in QuickTime or an external application.
Camera RAW images
CatDV has built-in support for reading many common camera RAW still image formats, including 3FR, ARW, CR2, DCR, DNG, ERF, FFF, K25, KDC, MOS, NEF, ORF, PEF, RAW, RW2, RWL, SR2, SRF, MPO and RAF. In most cases the files contains a preview thumbnail that can be displayed and CatDV will extract camera metadata such as exposure and white balance information and other Exif data (including camera maker notes). Some formats can be viewed in CatDV but in most cases to view the full resolution version of the image or to make adjustments you will need to open the image in an external application such as Photoshop.
CatDV includes its own importers to process MPEG, WMV, OMF, MXF and PDF files. These importers are designed to allow you to catalog the catalogs and extract metadata from the files (including movie duration, audio and video format, timecode, title or copyright information, depending on what the file format supports). In most cases it is still necessary to have a QuickTime or JMF codec installed in order to play the media however.
Other file formats
CatDV understands several file formats that can contain clip information, such as batch logs, Final Cut Pro XML files and EDLs. When you import one of these recognised formats a clip is created for each entry in the file.
With the Professional Edition you have some additional formats, as well as the option to import arbitrary non-media files, such as text files, Word documents, spreadsheets, project files, and so on.