MXF - Material Exchange Format File

What is a MXF file

The best description of the MXF file extension (Material Exchange Format File) is that it is similar to an actual video tape, but it is in a newer digital format. The MXF file contains both the audio data and the digital data components that combine to create the overall complete video. The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers created the MXF file format to make it easier to work on the video files on different components, including servers, editing equipment that can handle digital files, cameras, etc. MXF files can also be easily converted to the AVI or MOV file types if needed.

The MXF file is essentially a “container” file that contains multiple different streams that make up the video. These individual streams can be in several different compression formats. Before the MXF file extension was created, there was a great deal of inconsistency among file formats for digital video files. This was a significant problem, particularly for professionals in the field because they frequently had to work with sub standard video files and somehow make them appear more professional. The MXF file extension was created as a platform-agnostic solution. The MXF file is considered to be the current standard as well as the future of digital video files.

Here's a small, but not exhaustive list of programs that can open MXF documents:

  • Adobe Premiere Pro CC (Windows, Mac)
  • Avid Media Composer (Windows, Mac)
  • Sony Vegas Pro 13 (Windows)
  • Grass Valley Edius (Windows)
  • Avid Pro Tools (Windows, Mac)
  • Open Cube XFReader (Windows)
  • OpenCube XFConverter (Windows)
  • AmberFin MXF Desktop (Windows)
  • VideoLAN VLC media player (Windows, Mac, Linux)
  • Apple QuickTime Player (Mac)
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