About the different file types of Destinations

QuickTime and MXF destinations 

In MovieRecorder, you can create multiple types of destinations. To create a new destination, click on the + icon at the bottom of the Destinations list, and a popover will show up allowing you select 2 main types of destinations:


First we can differentiate between the 2 main types:

  • The MXF and QuickTime destinations will create files on a local or shared storage. So let's call them "File based destinations"
  • The Streaming Destination will create a RTMP stream to a server.  As it does not create a file, we won't discuss this in this article. For more information on streaming, see the following article.

In this article we'll only discuss the "File based destinations".


Which file based destination should you use?

The choice between the 2 types of destinations depend mainly on your workflow, what format you use, how you'll use the files, and what's your editing software. Below you will find a lot of detailed information. But here are some recommendations if you don't want to read.

Do you need to do edit-while-ingest (growing file, or edit chase)?

  • If you need edit-while-ingest, then the next question is what editing software we use, and for each here is what we would recommend:
    • Adobe Premiere Pro and Avid Media Composer: MXF XDCAM
    • Apple Final Cut Pro X: QuickTime > Classic using one of the ProRes codec
  • If you don't, then any destination will work but just remember that with the "QuickTime > None" destination, if your computer has an issue the file won't be readable, so you may want to choose another type unless you really need to use "None".


What codec?

See the codec compatibility below. But in general if you us a QuickTime destination, and do not use a codec that requires "Segmented" or "None", we recommend that you use a "Classic" destination. This would be our default QuickTime destination. 

We would particularly recommend the Classic destination if you use the auto-split feature on an SMB volume. See the pros and cons below for more explanations.


Codec compatibility per destination type

When you have created an MXF or QuickTime destination and selected the type 'Classic, Segmented, or None", if you click on the AVPreset, you will see that some are not available, for example with a QuickTime > Classic destination:


As you can see, the H.264, HEVC, HDV and XDCAM codecs say that they are "N/A in Classic Mode". 

See the table below of codecs compatibility per destination type. 

Codec MXF None Segmented Classic
Apple H.264 No Yes Yes No
Apple ProRes No Yes Yes Yes
AVC-Intra Yes Yes Yes Yes
DNxHD Yes Yes Yes Yes
DV/DVCPRO Yes Yes Yes Yes
DVCPRO HD Yes Yes Yes Yes
H.264 No Yes Yes No
HEVC (H.265) No Yes Yes No
HDV Yes Yes Yes No
IMX Yes Yes Yes Yes
Uncompressed No Yes Yes Yes
XDCAM Yes Yes Yes No

Legend: For each codec, we have indicated the recommended type(s) in bold


QuickTime destinations

Once you have created a QuickTime file destination, you can choose between different destination sub-types under the "Edit-while-ingest" section.



QuickTime > None

If you choose to use "None" as a file type, MovieRecorder 3 will create a standard QuickTime file that is not editable while it is recording. You will only be able to use it at the end of the recording.


  • This is the most standard file and all other software applications should be able to read it. Note that after the recording has stopped, segmented movies will also be "standard", so you may want to use segmented instead of none to protect you in case there is an issue with the computer or application. 
  • The data rate of the file will be the one specified by the codec (it can be higher when you choose the Classic file type).
  • You will have access to all the codecs supported by MovieRecorder.


  • If the computer crashes or an issue happens, the file will NOY be readable and the entire recording will be lost.
  • No edit-while-ingest.
  • No Loop recording feature.


QuickTime > Segmented (sometimes called "Fragmented movies")

The "segmented" file type is the most modern way to do edit-while-ingest, but with some disadvantages compared to the "Classic" files.


  • The data rate of the file will be the one specified by the codec (it can be higher when you choose the Classic file type).
  • You will have access to all the codecs supported by MovieRecorder.
  • The file can be edited during the ingest (only in Final Cut Pro X).
  • During the recording, most software will see only the first few seconds of the file. But after the recording, there is a conformation, and the file will be just a regular QuickTime file.
  • If the computer crashes, the file will still be readable and no data will be lost.
  • You do not need to set a duration to the file before the recording starts (there will however still be the QuickTime limitation that limits the duration of files to 12 hours)


  • At the end of the recording, the file must be "consolidated". This uses some resources, mainly on the storage side. And thus there can be some edge cases, specially on shared network device which may "block" for a little at the end of the recording. We have seen some issues happening when using the auto-split feature with segmented destinations on SMB volumes, specially when doing longer split durations. Indeed, the longer the recording, the more resources will be needed at the end of the recording to consolidate the file. If you are doing long recordings with auto-split, we advise to use another type of destination.
  • This file type is supported only by a limited number of applications (neither Adobe Premiere Pro nor FCP 7 support it). With Adobe Premiere, during the ingest, you will only see the first 10 seconds. It is only when the file is finished recording that you will be able to see the whole file. 
  • In Final Cut Pro X, the file "grows" only in the Browser. Once used in a Timeline (or in a multicam clip), the file will not grow anymore.
  • No Loop recording feature


QuickTime > Classic

The "classic" file type is the way we achieved edit-while-ingest already in MovieRecorder 2.


  • This file type is supported by more applications than the segmented (Adobe Premiere Pro  supports it).
  • It's the only "edit-while-ingest" format that our playout applications (OnTheAir Video Express, OnTheAir Video, OnTheAir Node) will support. We can support all other destinations, but not as edit-while-ingest.
  • The file can be edited during the ingest.
  • If the computer crashes, the file will still be readable, no data will be lost. We even have a way to recover corrupted files if they were created with a classic destination. Contact us if this happens to you.
  • Since you must set a duration to the file, the file will grow in the timeline (only in Final Cut Pro, not in Premiere, indeed in Premiere all files only show their "real" duration).  This is why it is the file type recommended if you want to create a multicam clip.
  • Loop Recording feature available.


  • With macOS 10.15 or later, the creation of the header of the file can take a few seconds. During that time, the file will not be readable. A one hour header can take up to 30 seconds to be created. The longer the duration of the file, the longer it will take to create this. It will also uses some resources during that time, so you may be able to encode less channels when using Classic mode than with the other models. It all depends how close you are to the limits.
  • Some of the codecs supported by MovieRecorder will NOT be available in this mode (for example H.264 is not supported in Classic mode). The AV Presets that use the unsupported codecs will be greyed out in the popup menu.
  • The data rate can be a bit higher than with the other types because of the way this type of file is built.
  • If you uncheck the option to update the Movie Duration at the end of the recording, and if you have set a file duration of 1 hour but recorded only 10 minutes, you will have 50 minutes of Black (without using the disk space however, it is just blank)


About the "Create New File when Reaching Duration"

When the recording reaches the duration of the recording set above,

  • if this option is enabled, a new file will be created (so it will be like the auto-switch option below).
  • If it is disabled, we will continue recording in the same file. Then at the end, the duration of the file will be updated or not depending on the option below.


About the "Update Movie duration when Stopping" feature

As explained above, in the Classic file type, you have to set a duration to your file. As soon as the ingest start, the file will be created with the duration specified. Then when you stop the recording:

  • if the option is enabled, MovieRecorder will change the file duration to the real duration of the recording.
  • if the option is disabled, MovieRecorder will leave the file unchanged, leaving the file with some "blank" space at the end.

When should you enable/disable it?

When the option is enabled, it means that at the end of the recording, we will modify the file duration. This can have some impacts as other software using the file will see that the file has been modified, will then update the file and this can have some unwanted behaviours. For example in Final Cut Pro X, if you used one of these files in a multicam clip, as the new file duration is inferior to the ones that was used in the multicam clip, all of the files will be shown as offline. This is why we recommend to disable that option in a multicam clip.


About the "Loop" feature

This feature is only available in the Classic mode. It is a feature that is used by for example for time-shifting. What does it do? At the end of the file duration specified, instead of doing an "auto-switch" as described above, we will start writing again at the beginning of the file, and will continue writing like that in the same file for ever, until you stop the record. If you then read this file in OnTheAir Video for example, it allows you to replay an incoming video signal with a delay.


MXF destinations

An MXF destination can use a different muxing mode that you can select here:


The type of muxing mode available will depend on the codec you use:

  • XDCAM: is only available for XDCAM flavors
  • Generic OP1a: Is available for AVC-Intra, DNxHD, DVCPRO, DVCPRO HD, HDV, IMX, XDCAM.


Differences between XDCAM and Generic OP1a

The difference between XDCAM and Generic Op1a is the way we respect the standard. With "pure" XDCAM, we can only accept audio tracks with maximum one channel per track and no CC track. With the "Generic Op1a", we are more flexible but therefore do not strictly adhere to the XDCAM standard.



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