Files, Formats, and Derivatives – A Basic Guide

What are all the derived file formats for?

We have three categories for our derive formats:   Data files – for use by various devices for experiencing the media whether it is a book, audio file, movie, etc.    Metadata files – such as XML allow the item page to function on the site.   Research files – such as spectrogram, fingerprint or checksum files.

(Note: The system will not derive a file format that is a duplicate of the source file uploaded. So if an mp3 is uploaded the system will not derive an mp3 from it.)

Tips for formatting files for upload. 

Uploading texts, such as a flip book.

The are two main ways to create a flip book, upload a pdf or using loose images.

1. Uploading a pdf

The easiest way to create a flip book is to upload a well-formatted pdf of hi-res images. 300-600ppi is recommended. Most home printer/scanners do an adequate job. Be sure the dimensions, resolution and compression settings in the pdf are all correct.

2. Making a flip book from images

To make a flip book you need to upload a zip or tar that contains the files. Here’s how:
1. Use only jpg, jpeg, jp2, tif, tiff, png, gif or bmp files. Any combination of them is acceptable.

2. Name your files sequentially. It is best to use the identifier in the name. For example:
and so on

3. Create a zip or tar of the files and name that zip file using the page identifier e.g. or yourfilename_images.tar. If possible use a compression tool that does not add extra extraneous files. Sometimes the compression tool that comes with your computer does this (as with the Mac tool for example.) Terminal or Cygwin work well.

4. Upload the zip or tar file. Be sure to specify a language to help OCR. The system should do the rest.

For more detailed information visit uploading-images-for-text-items/


It is best to upload the highest resolution file you have. The system can handle most common file formats. We will derive other file formats that are web-friendly such as h.264 mp4 and ogv. When uploading an mp4 it is recommended to use .mpeg4 as the file name extension. That way the system will create a more web-friendly h.264 mp4 file. Do not upload compressed formats such a .rar as they will not be derived into formats that can be used by the movie player.


It is best to upload the highest resolution files you have. The system can handle most common file formats. We will derive other file formats such as VBR and MP3.

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