You can import clip data into a catalog from many different types of file. The following basic importers are available:

  • Import as QuickTime Media– any QuickTime-supported media type can be imported, including still images, sound clips, and movies (including AVI and MPEG). For visual media a poster thumbnail is created, typically the first frame of the movie. If you select the Scene analysis  Preferences options the movie is scanned as it is imported and separate secondary clips are created automatically for each scene within the movie.
  • Import as JMF Media  – if you installed a Java Media Framework codec such as fobs4jmf (see the CatDV release notes) then you can use JMF to import any compatible media files
  • Import as Xuggle Media– if you install the Xuggle library this will provide support for additional media formats
  • Import as  Cinestream Project– you can import clips from the project window and from the program of an EditDV/Cinestream project into CatDV. Each program track (V1, etc.) appears as a separate clip sequence. Use the Preferences option to choose whether or not to import the Program bin (which contains rendered footage that may be necessary for a program but not otherwise be of interest).
  • Import as CMX 3600 EDL  – import both source clip definitions and a sequence of program clips from an industry standard CMX edit decision list
  • Import Tab-Separated Text – import clips defined in a tab-separated text file, one per line, eg. if you have manually logged a tape using pencil and paper or a spreadsheet.
  • Import as Windows Media File  – analyse WMV, ASF, or WMA files
  • Import as MPEG File  – analyse MPEG 1 or 2 files (including transport streams)In the case of WMV and MPEG files the duration and format are determined and any metadata is extracted from the file, but you might not be able to play the file within CatDV unless you have an appropriate codec installed
  • Various additional formats, such as Final Cut Pro XML files and MXF media files, are available in the Professional Edition.

Several options in Preferences control how movies are imported, for example which importers are used, how errors and inconsistencies are handled, and whether automatic scene detection is used to create a separate clip for each scene.

Use Import Directory to import all the recognised media files in an entire directory. If the appropriate Preferences option is set it will recursively scan the contents of any subdirectories. You can also drag and drop files or folders from the Macintosh Finder or Windows Explorer directly into a CatDV window to import them. If you use the tree navigator you can navigate to a folder in your file system then right click on the node and choose Import Into Catalog.

Use Scan For New Files to re-scan all the directories previously included in a catalog and import any new files that have been added since last time.

Using a specific importer

Sometimes several importers are able to import the same file and might give different results, for example you could use CatDV’s own built in MPEG parser or try to open the file as a QuickTime movie.

In most cases CatDV will determine the file type automatically when you import a folder of files, but you can also use the Import As submenu to use a specific importer if required. If the file is already in the catalog you can use Re-Import As to import the file again using a different importer. In theAdvanced media handling Preferences page you can enable or disable particular importers.

Live Capture

For technical reasons, the old built-in Live Capture command is no longer available (since CatDV 5). Instead, you can use the separate Live Capture Plus application, or capture a DV tape in an external application (such as your regular non-linear editing software or the free iMovie or Microsoft Movie Maker applications) then import the resulting files into CatDV to catalog them and create high-quality offline proxies.