Working with ALE Files

The Avid Log Exchange (ALE) file format was created so that the contents of film-based databases could be transferred between systems. Cinema Tools supports importing and exporting ALE files, making it possible to share databases with other systems.

As with EDL files, ALE files are plain text files that can be opened and edited with any text editor. A difference is that they are tab-delimited, making them a bit more difficult to read. Although it is possible to edit the contents with a text editor, you must use great care to avoid corrupting the file by accidentally deleting a tab character.

Supported ALE Fields

Each line in an ALE file corresponds to one database record. Cinema Tools supports the following ALE fields.

Film-Related Fields
  • Camroll: Contains the number used for the Cam Roll field.
  • Labroll: Contains the number used for the Lab Roll field.
  • Daily roll: Contains the number used for the Daily Roll field.
  • Ink number: Contains the Ink field values.
  • KN Start: Contains the Key field values.
Video-Related Fields
  • Tape: Contains the Video Reel field value.
  • Start: Contains the Video Timecode field value.
  • End: Within Cinema Tools, this is a calculated value created by adding the Video Duration field to the Video Timecode field.
  • Duration: Contains the contents of the Video Duration field.
  • TC 24: Contains a 24 fps–based Video Timecode value that is used in place of the Start value if the database you are importing this file into is set for 24 fps timecode. Additionally, if the ALE file does not include a Sound TC column, the TC 24 column values are added to the database as the Sound Timecode values.
Audio-Related Fields
  • Tracks: Cinema Tools inserts “VA1” into this field during export.
  • Soundroll: Contains the contents of the Sound Roll field.
  • Sound TC: Contains the contents of the Sound Timecode field, representing the timecode value of the first frame.
General Fields
  • Name: When exporting, contains the filename of the connected clip (if there is one), or a Cinema Tools–created name combining the scene and take numbers (if they have been entered), or, as a last resort, the video reel and timecode values separated by a hyphen.
  • Scene: Contains the Scene field contents.
  • Take: Contains the Take field contents.
  • Notes: Contains any notes you may have included in the database record.

Importing an ALE File

You import an ALE file with the Import Telecine Log command. You can import an ALE file into an existing Cinema Tools database or into its own new database. It’s recommended that you import into a new database—you can always import that database into another one later. You can also import the ALE file using either Final Cut Pro or Cinema Tools.

See Importing Database Information from a Telecine Log or ALE File for more information about importing ALE and telecine log files using either Final Cut Pro or Cinema Tools.

Exporting an ALE File

Cinema Tools exports an ALE file based on the current found set. To avoid problems, make sure all of the records are complete and accurate prior to exporting.

To export an ALE file
  1. Create a found set that contains the records you want to export. (See Finding and Opening Database Records for details about creating a found set.)

  2. In Cinema Tools, choose File > Export > Avid Log Exchange.

  3. Enter a name and location for the new file. It’s recommended that you add an .ale extension to the filename.

    Figure. Export Avid Log Exchange dialog.
  4. Click Save to export the file.