MXF Application Specification

It looks like the Federal Digitization Guidelines Initiative is making some progress on the AV standards and guidelines. Here’s some new information:

This email is being sent to multiple lists (apology for duplication) to notify colleagues that the Federal Agencies Audio-Visual Digitization Working Group has posted an updated version of the in-progress MXF Application Specification for Archive and Preservation (AS-AP).  This specification pertains to the wrapper element for digital files produced when reformatting videotapes and other audio-visual materials.  In addition to the updated specification, we have also posted a narrative commentary on six of the issues we have encountered in our work, recapping a series of emails I sent to a some of you earlier this summer.

Draft specification (27 pages):

Issues paper (11 pages):  

 URL for the Web page with links to those two documents and four related documents, including a general background paper written in 2010:

As the issues paper indicates, some matters to be specified in AS-AP depend upon the execution of related work in standards organizations.  One key example concerns the clarification of the method(s) and tagging to be employed when mapping interlaced frame images encoded as JPEG 2000 to the MXF container.  We have been pleased to learn that there is a move within SMPTE to revise the relevant standard: SMPTE ST 422:2006, Material Exchange Format – Mapping JPEG 2000 Codestreams into the MXF Generic Container.

We seek comments and advice from our readers.  Our online response form has been intermittent in its transmission of comments.  Please feel free to send me a note directly ( or post a note to this list.

Best wishes.

Carl Fleischhauer
Project Coordinator
Office of Strategic Initiatives
Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20540-1330

I’ve been following this because the Texas Heritage Online Standards and Guidelines for Cultural Heritage Digitization Projects is being revised this summer, and we’re including a section on AV digitization. I’ll include this in the draft.


I am an independent digital collections and library technology consultant in Austin, TX.

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