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Jody SappingtonJan 12, 2023 9:00:00 AM4 min read

What is a video ingest workflow?

What is an ingest workflow?


Video ingest workflows, or "ingest workflows," are processes by which video files are copied, moved, and manipulated so they can be edited and distributed. The video ingest workflow is fundamental to any modern video production process. Still, it can also get complicated in large organizations with diverse teams of people working on different parts of the pipeline. Check out our blog WHAT IS VIDEO INGEST? TOP OPTIONS FOR YOU to learn more. 

A video ingest workflow can refer to several different things. 

In some ways, ingest workflow is a misnomer. It can refer to the process of getting video into your system, but it can also refer to the process of getting video out of your system. It can additionally refer to the movement of video between systems; for example, if you were transcoding (converting) video from one format or resolution to another and wanted that newly encoded file on another drive so that it's accessible in other applications, this would constitute an ingest workflow. So if someone asks you what kind of ingest workflow they should implement, they're probably referring to one or more aspects related above—and not necessarily just ingesting new media into their system. 

A workflow is a series of steps you follow to accomplish a task. An ingest workflow is managing media as it comes into your system. The goal of an ingest workflow is to get your footage into the correct folder and storage location, with metadata attached and ready for editing. 

An efficient, repeatable, scalable ingest workflow can help save time by automating repetitive tasks such as naming files, creating folders, or adding metadata. But there are many other benefits of having a solid ingestion process in place too: 

An ingest workflow can be a series of manual tasks, such as copying files from a camera to a hard drive or a series of automated processes. For example, you should automatically transcode your footage from an edit-ready format into H.264. But if you're short on time and bigger projects keep piling up on one another, an automated ingest workflow could be just what you need to get things moving more smoothly. 

Whichever path you choose (manual or automated), it's important to maintain consistency throughout your entire project: the same tools should be used each time, and they should work together without any issues or errors getting in their way. An effective toolkit includes everything from file structure templates that are customized for each project type (e.g., commercial/corporate versus film), software applications like PluralEyes (which allows editors to sync multiple audio tracks together), and even individual hardware items like external storage devices with high transfer speeds so they don't slow down production time unnecessarily due to low bandwidth issues during transfers between systems at different locations across town or around the world! 

A simplified ingest workflow might involve copying or uploading media to a server. 

How you choose to do this depends on the specifics of your organization and its resources. For example, suppose you're running a small company with limited bandwidth. In that case, you may need to copy files over an FTP connection rather than uploading them directly from your camera or phone. 

Another option is to use cloud storage services like Amazon S3 or Dropbox; these provide the storage space necessary for long-term archival and fast access speeds so that users can access their content quickly when needed. 

Whatever method you choose, make sure it's documented in your production management system so that everyone knows how to get their photos into the system and where those photos are kept on disk! 

Larger organizations often have dedicated teams responsible for managing media coming in and going out, which might include moving media between hard drives and servers, transcoding it, logging metadata about it, adding watermarks for security purposes, etc. 

Your ingest workflow may look slightly different if you're part of a larger organization. For example, you may have more than one team responsible for managing media coming in and going out. This could mean that the video comes into your system from multiple sources (such as a broadcast camera, an iPhone, or GoPro). At some point during its journey through the organization, it's being converted to another format or edited with other videos. In this case, more than one group may be responsible for handling different aspects of the ingest process. 

The most common scenario involves moving media between hard drives and servers—and sometimes even between servers themselves—so that video can be archived on long-term storage devices like LTO tape libraries (which store up to 100TB per cartridge). 

Ingest workflows are often part of a larger production pipeline that involves editing and distribution. The ingest workflow is the first step in the pipeline, followed by editing and then distribution. 

Your ingest workflow may be part of a larger production pipeline, or you might have just one ingest step in your system. Either way, it's essential to ensure that your ingest process is as fast and efficient as possible—otherwise, you'll be spending more time waiting for files than actually working on them. 


So, to recap: An ingest workflow is the process of putting video into your system so people can edit it. It’s a term that refers to several different things, but generally, it means getting content out of its original format and into something more usable. That could mean copying files from your camera onto a hard drive or transcoding video files so they’re optimized for editing. Some organizations have dedicated teams who handle this part of the production process—and we hope you found this article helpful!