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Guidelines: MXF Application Specification
Audio-Visual Working Group

Draft under development.
The Working Group began drafting an MXF Application Specification for archiving and preservation in 2009.  In 2012-15, the effort continued under the auspices of the Advanced Media Workflow Association (AMWA), where the specification has been assigned the identifier AS-07.  AMWA has approved the June 2016 version as an official Proposed Specification.

AS-07 offers a detailed specification for a file "wrapper," one key part of a digital file format for audio-visual preservation. The specification includes a list of permitted encoded essences (the underlying content bitstreams), defines a means for the carriage of multiple timecodes; the handling of captions, subtitles, and Timed Text; a minimal core metadata set; program segmentation metadata; and embedded content integrity data.

The overall application specification has been written broadly, to cover a wide range of audio-visual content.  AMWA specifications, however, allow for the creation of what are called shims, special profiles with added constraints to fit a narrower application.  The AS-07 development team has prepared one shim for release at the time of initial publication: the AS-07 Baseband Shim: Single Items from Baseband Video. This shim is intended to serve the most critical current needs of many archives: the reformatting of older analog and digital videotapes and, for some organizations, the encoding and packaging of "live" video streams sent to an archive via a serial interface.  The details for AS-07 Baseband Shim are presented in appendix J of the most recent drafts of the specification.

We are eager to receive comments on the specification.


Current draft posted at the AMWA Web site:

A set of graded sample files based on the June 2016 AS-07 Application Specification is available.

Earlier draft posted at the AMWA Web site:

Earlier drafts (at the FADGI site):


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Working Groups

Still Image Working Group
This group is involved in a cooperative effort to develop common digitization guidelines for still image materials.

Audio-Visual Working Group
The goal for this working group is to identify, establish, and disseminate information about standards and practices for the digital reformatting of audio-visual materials by federal agencies.

Last Updated: 5/24/2016