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An explanation of IMF import support in Vidispine server PT1

We are continuously improving the support for codecs and formats. From Vidispine Server 4.7 we have support for IMF Import, the Interoperable Master Format from SMPTE, now used by among others Netflix. IMF is supported with a new component, the DescriptorComponent.

MF (Interoperable Master Format) is a new (relatively) format from SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers), based on the Digital Cinema standard. IMF basically is a set of assets together with metadata describing the assets, enabling you to hold a number of assets and use metadata to combine the assets. This could for example be used for localization in the way Netflix does it, see the blog post about their use of IMF.

The IMF file structure contains the ASSETMAP.xml with mapping from UUID to filenames, a PKL.xml with checksums, types of files, etc, and CPL.xml with mapping from UUIDs to tracks, and then a set of MXF with video/audio/subtitles (see image below), that could be combined into tracks.

What we have done is mapping the file structure to a new component, the DescriptorComponent, that holds all the information in the IMF format file structure. Each CPL will create a new shape.

The IMF Import is implemented with an API call

POST /API/storage/file/

that will read the asset map, packing list, composition playlist. media and create item and shape. You can also do transcoding in this import by adding a shape tag, e.g., ?tag=__mp4 .

IMF support was released in Vidispine Server 4.7. From Vidispine Server 4.12 we have extended the IMF support on both import and export side. Learn about the improvements to Vidispine IMF support in version 4.12 and later.

Check out part 2 here.

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