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  • Mon, Mar 17 2008 5:20 PM

    • DC66STEPS
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    Importing MXF Files (From P2 Devices) Into Avid

    Importing MXF Files (From P2 Devices) Into Avid

    First, determine the following about the footage you're going to ingest and edit:  Which format was it shot it in? Was it shot Progressive or Interlaced, 720 or 1080? Which frame rate (23.97, 24, 25, 50, 59.94)?

    For Avid Media Composer v2.7 and later
    For Avid Xpress Pro v5.7 and later

    Importing P2 files is mainly a 2-step process . . . with some rules. The Avid documentation is a bit vague and incomplete regarding this process. You will need to do this if you want your clips to stay online.

    Step 1:
    Clips to Bin
    (This is from the Avid Documentation and it is the correct first main step)

    To import P2 clips directly from a P2 card or a copy of a P2 card on any accessible

    Open the bin into which you want to import the Master Clips. Make sure it is the active window.

    Go to: File > Import P2 > Clips to Bin
    Then Browse for Folder. The dialog box will open.

    [c] Navigate to the P2 volume:
    Navigate to the actual P2 card. If you copied the card to another drive, navigate to that drive and then to the folder that contains the Contents folder. Do not navigate into the Contents folder or into other folders in the volume. The Import P2 option imports all the clips on the card.

    [d] Click OK

    Now, if you stop here, you can edit with your clips. However, if you close out the program and try to come back, your clips will appear "OFFLINE." This is a common "problem" that many seem to encounter.

    This next main step is crucial for keeping your P2 clips "ONLINE."

    Step 2: Import Media

    [a] Select all the clips in that same bin from Step 1.

    Go to: File > Import P2 > Media
    Avid will now copy all the files (video & audio) from your P2 directories and put them into the video drive(s) that is designated for your Avid. Now your clips will stay online all the time!


    (Even though you may have followed the steps listed above, failure to follow these rules below could result in media that is offline.)

    RULE 1
    You can only do "Step 2: Import Media" to a single bin once. If you want to import more cards but already did the second step, simply create a new bin to import to.

    RULE 2

    You must have all other bins (besides the one that you're importing to) closed. It should have that little blue icon next to it in the project window. This also includes sequences. If you do not do this, any other bins that you have open during this second step will result in the clips in those other bins going "OFFLINE."

    RULE 3 (this is actually more of a tip)
    You can import multiple cards into a single bin. Just repeat Step 1 until you have all the clips you want in that bin, then do Step 2. This is the correct method if you have spanned clips over multiple P2 cards and you want Avid to see them properly.

    Your media will now stay online even if you quit, restart or whatever. Just remember to follow these steps and rules every time that you want to import P2 media.



    For Avid Media Composer v2.6.6 and earlier (that supports P2/MXF) For Avid Xpress Pro v5.6.7 and earlier (that supports P2/MXF)

    The method described in this section also works for later versions of Avid but is generally not the preferred method.

    [1] Copy the MXF files into the Avid MediaFiles/MXF/1 folder on your designated video hard drive's root level. Pay close attention to the folder name in red (if it reads anything other than this, you will not see any files appear in your Media Tool - an incorrect folder name is a common mistake). The MXF files to copy are only the ones located in the VIDEO and AUDIO folders (under CONTENTS) that were created in the original P2 directory structure. Always do this while Avid is not running.

    [2] Start Avid then create your project (likely a 720p/23.976 project).

    [3] Go to Media Tool and then search only for Master Clips on the video drive that you transferred the MXF files to. Once found, simply drag them into your bin. The Master Clips in your bins can be renamed however you wish and the name change will be reflected in the Media Tool window.

    [4] Edit.



    As you read these notes, keep in mind which version of Avid you are using (Section 1 versus Section 2 of this tutorial) . . .

    With the inclusion of the MXF format in Avid HD products, a new folder called Avid MediaFiles was created. This is separate from the original and still present OMFI MediaFiles folder. HD footage can only be captured in the MXF file format. You can select this format for capture in the Media Creation Tool from the Tools Menu. On the Media Type tab, select MXF for the video format. For MXF audio, select the PCM (MXF) file format from the Audio Project Settings.

    In the Avid MediaFiles folder, there is a separate MXF folder. Avid Technologies structured it this way to reserve the option to support other media formats in the future. Inside the MXF folder are folder(s) that/will contain the actual MXF media. If you’re a Unity client, you will see multiple MXF folders – one for each system. If you’re only using local storage, then you’ll see a folder simply labeled 1.

    You cannot just take the whole CONTENTS folder that was created by the HVX200/P2 and drag it into the Avid MediaFiles/MXF/1 folder. You need to drag the video (from the VIDEO folder) and the audio (from the AUDIO folder) into the folder labeled 1.

    You’ve already "imported" MXF files after you copy them to the Avid MediaFiles/MXF/1 folder. Avid doesn't make another copy of the MXF files. Avid works with the native MXF files. So again, no copies are made or files harmed in the process of using the Media Tool which is simply for browsing the online files and associating them with your particular project.

    If the Avid MediaFiles directory structure does not already exist on your Avid video drive, you can create it manually. However, as stated in Step 1, you must create it exactly as it appears here (Avid MediaFiles/MXF/1) and it must be placed in the root directory of your designated Avid video drive.

    The Media Tool will still import the MXF files if you create and utilize folders beyond 1 (such as 2, 3, 4, etc.). Hence, you might actually want to assign a unique number to each P2 card imported. In fact, if you don't, you'll likely run into organizational issues. Again, you can minimally keep track of things by creating these other folders (2, 3, 4, etc.) for each P2 card transfer and still be able to use Media Tool to import from each folder. Do not try to eliminate the number names of these folders. Keep them labeled numerically and sequentially or else the Media Tool will not recognize them and hence will not load your MXF clips.

    However, you do have one other welcomed option [NOTE: You can do this only after Avid builds and indexes your MXF directories' database files.] If you want more conventional names for these folders, you may do so and are encouraged to do so as this will help keep you even more organized, especially for lengthy projects. You can go with a naming structure such as:

    Avid MediaFiles/MXF/1.YourProjectNameHere-Day1-Card1

    Avid MediaFiles/MXF/2.YourProjectNameHere-Day1-Card2

    Avid MediaFiles/MXF/3.YourProjectNameHere-Day1-Card3

    Avid MediaFiles/MXF/4.YourProjectNameHere-Day2-Card1

    Avid MediaFiles/MXF/5.YourProjectNameHere-Day2-Card2

    . . . etc.

    As long as the folder name contains number dot whatever, you should be fine when using more conventional names for your P2 Card folders on your video drive. That way you can see where all your clips came from. Plus, you can rename the clips to whatever you want within Avid itself.

    This process was tested with certain versions of Avid (listed above) that were available at the time of this writing (see the last edited date of this sticky post). Other versions may vary in this process or even be unable to import MXF files. For example, with the release of Avid Xpress Pro HD v5.7, there are some major improvements in the P2(MXF) workflow from versions that came before it.

    The Panasonic HVX200 is just one example of a P2 device. Other P2 devices should work roughly the same way.


    I compiled the above from various sources to make it as easy and informative as possible. Many thanks to Avid and various members of the Avid User & DVXUser community.
    In addition to this tutorial, be sure to check out Avid's official P2 tutorial here:

    And Volume II of the HVX BootCamp DVD Series:

    Avid Symphony v6.0.5 --- MacBook Pro 17-inch, 2.5Ghz Quad-core Intel Core i7 --- MacOS Mountain Lion v10.8.5 --- 8GB RAM 1333 Mhz DDR3 SDRAM (2x4GB) -... [view my complete system specs]

  • Mon, Apr 7 2008 8:55 PM In reply to

    Re: Importing MXF Files (From P2 Devices) Into Avid

    To clarify, the first procedure outlined doesn't apply to the 2.8 version of the MC app, which will not 'see' the content of the volumes while still in the camera or P2 Store.

    2 systems: Mobile: 16-inch Macbook Pro 2.4GHz 8-Core i9 w/64 gig RAM, 2TB SSD, OS 10.15.3 running MC 2020 Beta Legacy - MC v5.5.4, OS 10.5.8, QT 7.6, on... [view my complete system specs]
  • Mon, Apr 7 2008 10:00 PM In reply to

    Re: Importing MXF Files (From P2 Devices) Into Avid

    Bill, I think your comment only applies to one possible option in step 1c, importing from the P2 card directly.

    Media Composer Symphony | PT Ultimate | Win10 HPZ | OSX MBP | ISIS5000 [view my complete system specs]
  • Mon, Apr 7 2008 10:07 PM In reply to

    • jasperfdo
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    Re: Importing MXF Files (From P2 Devices) Into Avid

    Thank for this post!!!!!!!  You rock.

    MacBook Pro Retina / El Capitan / 16GB RAM / G-Studio Drive System / Media Composer 8.6.x [view my complete system specs]

    kyler boudreau |



  • Tue, Jun 1 2010 1:28 AM In reply to

    • spoof720
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    Re: Importing MXF Files (From P2 Devices) Into Avid

    Ok, I am a bit new to Avid. I am having some serious trouble importing my mxf files saved on a external harddrive. The media is saved from the Panasonic Hd camera it was shot in and they are not set as read only files. I keep reading about selecting the contents folder. I have no problem getting to this step, but, I cant select the entire folder. Windows, or avid, is prompting me to select a single file. I know that doesn't work. Also something to note, I am using the trial version of avid to see which program my production company is going to purchase.  I would really like to get this media into Avid so I can see what it can do. Any adivce?


    If I try and do the import route, it simply takes me to this step and I cant select the contents folder. It keeps prompting me to open it. If i go the media tools route it doesn't find any of the media on my drive. Please Please Please help!

  • Tue, Jun 1 2010 7:53 AM In reply to

    Re: Importing MXF Files (From P2 Devices) Into Avid

    First, what version of MC are you running?

    Media Composer Symphony | PT Ultimate | Win10 HPZ | OSX MBP | ISIS5000 [view my complete system specs]
  • Thu, Jul 1 2010 1:51 AM In reply to

    Re: Importing MXF Files (From P2 Devices) Into Avid

    Avid Supported File Import Formats:

    Stills: All common graphic file formats including .TGA, .TIF, .PSD, .G, .DKO, .VPB

    Clips (optional): QuickTime movie files, .DV, .TNF, .AVI, .MP2 + .WAV, and sequential .TGA or .TIF file

    What you need to do is using a MXF Converter, with which you could easily convert MXF files to Avid.

    Searched via Google, I got Aunsoft Video Converter for Mac which works well in converting MXF to various formats or devices for playback. Hope it works for you!

  • Thu, Oct 14 2010 8:53 PM In reply to

    • twoshooter
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    Re: Importing MXF Files (From P2 Devices) Into Avid

    Hello, I saw that you were helping another fellow out with P2 cards and i'm having a bit of trouble myself. I figured i'd ask you because you seem to be very knowledgeable.

    I'm working with a Panasonic HVX-200p and a 4g p2 card. I shot test footage in 1080i/24p. Also i'm working with Media Composer 5. I'm having trouble getting the audio with the video footage onto mc5. While messing around i somehow i got  the video footage on there but as soon as i disconnect the camera from my mac pro the audio disappears. I'm confused and not sure how to remedy the problem. Any suggestions? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,


  • Thu, Oct 14 2010 8:55 PM In reply to

    • twoshooter
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    Re: Importing MXF Files (From P2 Devices) Into Avid

    I also have the contents folder on my desktop but MC5 won't allow me to import my MXF audio or video files into a bin. I'm confused and not sure what i'm doing wrong.


  • Tue, Nov 30 2010 9:42 PM In reply to

    • Ameliaroxs
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    Re: Importing MXF Files (From P2 Devices) Into Avid

    I was having this same problem and was looking for the solution. 

    I recorded from HVX 200 onto P2 card, and saved onto a 500GB / 7200 RPM GDrive Mini. 

    So, I've downloaded the converter you recommended, however I'm wondering what is the best format to convert to?

    There isn't an option in the converter that says "Avid" so right now, I'm doing DivX HD.avi - before I spend 100 hours converting all the footage, i'm wondering is this the highest quality / best thing to convert to?


    Probably will have more questions to come. 



  • Wed, Dec 1 2010 2:13 AM In reply to

    • Ameliaroxs
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    Re: Importing MXF Files (From P2 Devices) Into Avid

    To add, it's still not working with .avi files, they're completely black. 

    Did .mov file and it worked, however isn't a .mov file seriously compressed?

  • Thu, Nov 17 2011 12:41 PM In reply to

    • DNStuff
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    Re: Importing MXF Files (From P2 Devices) Into Avid

    So I've imported my P2 footage into a bin (Step 1 - clips to bin).

    I am just not able to perform Step 2- importing the footage so it will be online when I close avid and come back later.

    Maybe I did something wrong but
    1. I've selected every clip in my bin so the clips are all marked blue
    2. I've closed every other bin but the one containing my clips
    3. I've clicked on Import P2 - > Media

    I get this error:

    Any idea?


    I am using Media Composer 5.5.2

  • Thu, Dec 19 2013 8:57 AM In reply to

    Re: Importing MXF Files (From P2 Devices) Into Avid

    Those last two postings are very wrong. MC handles MXF perfectly. Going to mov's first is pretty much insane, and is likely to strip off metadata.

    Media Composer Symphony | PT Ultimate | Win10 HPZ | OSX MBP | ISIS5000 [view my complete system specs]
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