Importing media files

After pre-processing, the file needs to be “imported” to extract technical metadata (including its duration, format, timecode, and the tape name, if present in a timecode track) and create a clip record before you can transcode it to another format or publish it to the server. Optionally, scene detection is performed, using either DV-based start/stop recording information or visiual scene analysis, to create separate subclips. A separate thumbnail image for each clip is created of the specified size.

The following importers are available:


This uses CatDV’s built in parser for AVI and WAV files

ASF/WMV File This uses CatDV’s built-in parser for Windows Media files
CatDV Catalog Open a .cdv catalog file, with the option to replace an existing catalog on the server in its entirety (may be used to synch catalogs from one machine to another)
CatDV XML File Import a CatDV XML file in “immediate” mode, see below
CatDV XML File (Quick) As above, but do a quick import without analysing the media files
Folder Sync

Do a quick import (no media analysis) of an entire folder and sync it with a particular catalog

Generic File

This imports a file as a non-media file with a generic icon and no analysis of the media format (such as duration)

Image Sequence If a folder contains consecutively numbered still images the worker can import these as a single image sequence clip
JQT MOV/MP4 This uses CatDV’s built in parser for MOV and MP4 files
MPEG Media

This uses CatDV’s built in MPEG parser to determine technical metadata for MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 program and transport streams

MXF File

This uses CatDV’s built in MXF parser

P2 Metaclip

This uses CatDV’s built-in MXF parser and processes all the related files for a P2 clip in one go (video, audio and clip xml details are all stored in separate files but the P2 importer creates a single ‘metaclip’ that represents the clip as a whole)

PDF Document

This uses CatDV’s built-in PDF parser

R3D File This uses CatDV’s built-in parser to read metadata from a single RED .r3d file
RED Metaclip

Import a RED clip, creating a single metaclip that includes multiple spanned .r3d files and associated files such as reference movies in the same folder

QuickTime Media

This is the default importer for media files in any format supported by QuickTime, including movies, still images, audio files and more


Import camera raw files (eg. CR2, DNG, NEF, MOS etc.) and TIFF images

XDCAM Metaclip

Import XDCAM, XDCAM EX and XDCAM HD folder structures and create a single ‘metaclip’ that wraps up all the files associated with a clip

In most cases you can use the “Automatic” setting to automatically determine the correct importer to use for common media file types.

If you choose the “Import all files” option then other types of file that the worker doesn’t know about are imported as generic files. Additional, if a known file type is corrupt and importing it normally gives an error, the worker will fall back to importing it as a generic file.

If you choose the “Interpret batch files” option then the contents of known batch and log files (with extension .cmx, .edl, .ale, .txt, .tsv, .xml, .srt, .tab, .dmp, and .fcpxml) are parsed using the corresponding CatDV importer (eg. the CatDV Pro “Import As Tab-Separated Text” command). This can result in many clips being produced (one per entry in the batch file), including offline clips.

If you choose the create MXF Metaclips “Based on folder structure” or “Based on MXF UMID” option then Avid, P2, XDCAM and similar formats where one clip can consist of separate files will result in one “metaclip” rather than separate individual clips in your catalog.

To create a clip per file you should therefore check the “Import all files” option, uncheck “Interpret batch files” and choose the “Don’t create metaclips” option.

In most cases you should choose “Based on folder structure” rather than “Based on MXF UMID” as this is more efficient, and gives more consistent results when running with multiple worker processes. You should only choose the MXF UMID option if you are working with Avid MXF files or need to merge spanned P2 clips into a single metaclip.