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Bulk Extraction of XML (non real-time metadata) file from Sony XDCAM HD422 MXFs

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Jeremy Nottle
Bulk Extraction of XML (non real-time metadata) file from Sony XDCAM HD422 MXFs
on Nov 30, 2018 at 6:14:28 am

I am yet to succeed in finding a way to bulk extract the non real time metadata that is embedded into Sony XDCAM HD422 MXFs , so I'm hoping "the Cow" may have a solution I have overlooked.

Specifically, I have a few thousand XDCAM HD422 MXFs from last decade. These had been recorded onto ProDisc, logged to some degree (using the PDZ-1 Proxy Browse software which is what was available in 2008), and then had this information written back to to ProDisc (using the PDW-U1 drive).

It could be seen that this resulted in an update to the \PROAV\CLPR\Cnnnn\CnnnnM01.XML file on the ProDisc - and the "magic" of the U1 driver also provided the updated CnnnnM01.XML in the \Clip\ directory - along with the single Cnnnn.MXF file that contained all the raw elements wrapped together.
This single file is what is archived.

Using Catalyst Browser, I can readily access the metadata that is wrapped inside these MXFs on a clip-by-clip basis, but I feel like I must be missing something as I cannot find a way of exporting it.

If I write the MXF back to ProDisc (into the \Clip\ folder), the CnnnnM01.XML file with the info I am after gets generated as part of the process, which I can then copy off, however this is not a workable solution given the quantity of files.

I have tried unwrapping the MXFs using the open source MXFLib mxfsplit - and this successfully unwraps the the raw audio (8 tracks) and video (1 track) essence - along with a single other small (~50KB) raw file. I am guessing this small raw file contains the XML I am after - along with some other information - but I have been unable to decode it. The size of this file roughly matches to what I would get if I took the remaining non Audio or Video essence files from the \PROAV\CLPR\Cnnnn\ folder and "zipped" them). ie - it seems like this file is a combination of CnnnnM01.XML, CnnnnI01.PPN, CnnnnC01.SMI, CnnnnR01.BIM - compressing these four files has always resulted in a file smaller than what MXFLib extracts.

So - ultimately, I would really like to be able to just take a folder of MXF files and extract the non real time metadata contained within.....without having to use workarounds like writing them back to ProDisc - or copying the metadata field by field, clip by clip, from Catalayst Browser.
If I can get the XML files generated somehow that would be ideal; even better would be the ability to modify them externally and write them back into the MXF.
Effectively just emulating the ProDisc driver and how it present/manipulates the \PROAV\CLIPR\ contents.

But even just a bulk .CSV export of clip name/UMID/Title/Description etc would be a good start.....but from the software I've looked at so far (FFMPEG/Sony Vegas/AVID/MediaInfo/Amberfin MXF Desktop/Resolve) it seems only the Sony XDCAM utilities (proxy browser/xdcam viewer/content browser/catalyst) are able to decode this information.

Any pointers? Any software/utilities/commands I should try in order to streamline this metadata extraction?

Thank you kindly in advance,


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  • Bulk Extraction of XML (non real-time metadata) file from Sony XDCAM HD422 MXFs by Jeremy Nottle on Nov 30, 2018 at 6:14:28 am

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