CatDV can automatically ingest metadata supplied alongside media. This page explains how to use xml ‘sidecar’ files to bring this metadata into CatDV.

CatDV Worker and the CatDV desktop clients can automatically look for metadata in .XML ‘sidecar’ files.

  • CatDV desktop clients will look for .XML sidecar files whenever media is dragged into the asset list window if the “Look for metadata in XML files” option in the Import tab of Preferences is selected (it is on by default)
  • CatDV Worker will look for xml sidecar files if the “Look for metadata in XML files” option is checked on the “Pre-Processing tab” of the Watch Action. i.e.


XML sidecar files in CatDV are XML files with the same filename as the media, but with a .XML extension. For example: (source movie)
and, or swans.xml (sidecar file)

XML files are self describing and are intended to be both human and machine readable. CatDV is very permissive in terms of the format of XML that it will accept and will try to read useful information from an existing XML file that your workflow may include. If you are creating a sidecar file specifically for use with CatDV then the file should have a single root element that represents the clip, and then a set of child elements that represent the various values that are to be set.

An example of an existing sidecar file that you might already have is

<asset id="a1234"><owner id="john" name="John Smith"/></asset>

CatDV will read metadata from XML attributes or tags, and will create metadata fields as required if it encounters a field it doesn’t know. In this example you would have a metadata field called “id” and “name” but as there are two attributes called “id” you have no control over which one is used (it’s actually the first one).

If you are creating a file specifically for CatDV you have more control over which fields are used. An example of this kind of file is shown below: (click on the image to access the text)


In general, fields will be imported as metadata on the Source Media associated with the clip, however there are a set of tag names that CatDV specifically recognises and will interpret. For example, the XML above would set the clip’s name to “Green Shoot” and User Field 78 (which represents Weather) to “Rain”.

The full list of supported tag name is listed in the table below:

XML Tag Value
NAME  Clip name
NOTES  Arbitratray notes field
BIN  A bin name. Will be created if doesn’t already exist.
TAPE  Tape name
MTIME  Recorded date expressed in seconds since 1/1/1970
MODIFIED  Modified date expressed in seconds since 1/1/1970
BIGNOTES  Large notes field
STATUS  Clip status – any string value.
HISTORY  Packed newline/tab separated history entries.
ARCHIVESTATUS  String value indicating archive status.
EVENTS  Packed newline/tab separated marker events.
TIMEZONE  Timezone where media captured.
VIDEO  Override video format.
ASPECTRATIO  Aspect ration as a floating point number.
AUDIO  Overrride audio format.
QTTRACKS  Internal
METADATA  Packed newline/tab separated metadata fields.
MEDIASIZE  In bytes.
MEDIADATE  Date of import as seconds since 1/1/1970
IMPORTER  Internal
CLIPREF  Unique identifier for clip.
MEDIAPATH  Path to imported media file
ORIGPATH  Original path to imported media file
IN  Timecode of start of clip
OUT  Timecode of end of clip
INOUT  Packed in and out values separated by ‘-‘
TIMECODE  Frame rate as a floating point number
ORIENTATION  Orientation
TYPE  Clip type e.g. Movie
USERnnn  User Field where ‘nnn’ is a user field number from 1 to N.

Entries with tag names not in the list will be imported as Source Media metadata.

It is also possible to use CatDV XML files as side-car files. You can generate a sample CatDV XML file from within CatDV, by selecting a single clip and then selecting Export As -> CatDV XML.