Sustainability of Digital Formats: Planning for Library of Congress Collections

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MXF Operational Pattern 1a (OP1a)

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Format Description Properties Explanation of format description terms

Identification and description Explanation of format description terms

Full name MXF Operational Pattern 1a (OP1a)

Operational Pattern (OP) for a file with a single playable essence comprising a single essence element or interleaved essence elements, i.e., the content may consist of multiple, interleaved tracks of picture and sound. According to an Avid promotional booklet (link available through Internet Archive), OP1a files are "nicely self-contained and can work well in applications where each file represents a complete program or take . . . [but] may be less applicable to content authoring steps such as non-linear editing, where programs are created by slicing and dicing different sections of source material." The latter application is better served by MXF_OP-Atom.

Production phase Middle state
Relationship to other formats
    Subtype of MXF, Material Exchange Format (MXF)
    Has subtype MXF_OP1a_UNC, MXF File, OP1a, Uncompressed Images in Generic Container
    Has subtype MXF_OP1a_MPEG-2, MXF File, OP1a, MPEG-2 in Generic Container
    Has subtype MXF_OP1a_SDTI-CP, MXF File, OP1a, SDTI-CP in Generic Container
    Has subtype MXF_OP1a_DV-DIF, MXF File, OP1a, DV-DIF in Generic Container
    Has subtype MXF_OP1a_JP2_LL, MXF File, OP1a, Lossless JPEG 2000 in Generic Container
    Has subtype MXF_OP1a_JP2_LSY, MXF File, OP1a, Lossy JPEG 2000 in Generic Container
    Has subtype MXF_OP1a_D-10, MXF File, OP1a, D-10 in Generic Container
    Has subtype MXF_OP1a_AES3, MXF File, OP1a, AES3 Audio in Generic Container
    Has subtype MXF File, OP1a, with other essence types in Generic Container, not described at this time.

Local use Explanation of format description terms

LC experience or existing holdings See MXF
LC preference See MXF

Sustainability factors Explanation of format description terms

Disclosure Open standard. Developed by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), a member of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
    Documentation SMPTE 378M-2004, Material Exchange Format (MXF) -- Operational pattern 1A (Single Item, Single Package)

OP1a is supported in many commercial devices and systems. It is central to various MXF Application Specifications (profiles from user communities), including the Public Broadcasting System, the initial developer of AS-03, for use in the non-real-time distribution of programs to member stations. The SAMMA device used to reformat videotapes outputs OP1a files.

    Licensing and patents See MXF
Transparency See MXF
Self-documentation See MXF
External dependencies See MXF
Technical protection considerations See MXF

Quality and functionality factors Explanation of format description terms

File type signifiers and format identifiers Explanation of format description terms

Tag Value Note
Header partition pack key (MXF) 06 0E 2B 34 04 01 01 01 0D 01 02 01 01 01 09
UL for OP1a Operational Pattern declaration in Header Partition Pack

Notes Explanation of format description terms


Format specifications Explanation of format description terms

Useful references


Last Updated: 08/04/2021