Edl Format Overview

An edit decision list (Edl) is a special kind of database for video editing. It is a list of events that includes the source to be recorded and where to record it. It also includes information about transitions (cuts, dissolves, wipes), transition durations, and so on. An Edl is saved on diskette with a file name that must include the .edl extension (MYEDL.EDL). The target editing system identifies a file as an Edl when it has the .edl extension.

Most Edls are simple ASCII files. They contain only alphanumeric characters, or text. This is true of the Edl formats of most manufacturers (CMX, GVG, for example), regardless of the diskette type they are saved on (CMX, GVG, DOS). ASCII Edls can be viewed and edited with a word processor if the diskette type can be accessed (most word processors can't read a CMX or GVG diskette).

The Edl formats (CMX, GVG, Sony, and so on) vary slightly in the exact location of the fields of information and in the exact encoding of these fields. These variations make each format incompatible; you can't load a Grass Valley Group format list into a CMX editor. They are similar enough, however, so the basic edit information can be converted from one format to another.

Sony saves the Edl as a JIS (Japanese Industrial Standards) file, which is a modified ASCII file. You can't see these lists with a word processor. However, the data in Sony format Edls can usually be converted to a format similar to those of other manufacturers.


EdlMax supports the following Edl formats:

For more detailed information, see Guide to Edl Management.