CatDV has a number of features that help to migrate from existing systems, whether on spreadsheets, other commercial systems, legacy database formats or bespoke implementations.

  • For help migrating from Final Cut Server (FCS) please see this page.
  • If metadata comes from one of the common NLE packages such as Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer, or Media Composer, please see this page and this page

Otherwise this document describes some common mechanisms to import existing data into CatDV. The general approach is to :

  1. extract data from the legacy system
  2. translate it into a format CatDV can understand
  3. Set up the field definitions for the import
  4. import the data
  5. if necessary relink the media files, however this step can usually be automated too.
The right format for the data migration will often depend on what the legacy system is capable of producing. Typical interim format are tab separated text, office XML and CatDV XML formats:

Migrating Data using tab separated text

If legacy data can be read into a spreadsheet then tab separated text is arguably the most straightforward way of migrating to CatDV. It of course only works if the legacy data doesn’t have any tab characters in it (or these can be stripped out as part of the import process).
The mechanism here is to:
  1. create a spreadsheet with the legacy metadata in rows
  2. update the column headings in the spreadsheet to match the required field names in CatDV
  3. save as tab separated text (or tab delimited) text, usually in the Save As… menu
  4. set up the field definitions in CatDV to match the spreadsheet column headings (see here)
  5. use the CatDV, File – Import As – Tab Separated Text command to view the data
  6. consider setting up some  custom Views or custom panels to see and manipulate the data in CatDV

The spreadsheet must contain the fields IN and NAME for the import to work. If the full path to the clip is the same as the file named ‘Media File’ then the clip will automatically be linked and analysed as part of the import process.

As an example the following text file can be used to demonstrate the concepts above: CatDVMigrationExample

Otherwise linking data records to the media can be done manually in a few ways:

  • using the ‘Media – Attach Media’ menu for individual files,
  • by opening the media in one window and the imported metadata in another window and using the ‘Edit – Copy’ and ‘Edit – Paste Metadata’ functions between the clips.

Migrating data using CatDV XML batch files

If you are a software developer and are looking to integrate with an external system then creating a CatDV XML batch file is a good approach. For an example of the CatDV XML file format you can use the File > Export As CatDV XML command. You should create an XML file that contains the media path and log notes you wish to import, then use the File > Import CatDV XML Batch File command.

If the file is online you do not need to specify technical metadata such as video or audio format as they will be determined by CatDV analysing the media files on import.