An EDL (Edit Decision List) file is a digital list of commands used to describe a series of film or video edits. It consists of an ordered list of reel, keycode, and timecode data, which represents the original location (usually video tapes or sequences of images stored on disk) of each media clip used in the edit. These media clips can later be easily obtained in order to conform the final cut. EDLs are the primary method of transferring information about an edit project between offline and online editing systems.
The most primitive EDL formats are telecine log files. Telecine log files typically describe the most basic edit decisions, which contain only tape name, clip name, source timecode, keycode, and whether 2:3 pulldown was used.
Standard EDL formats, such as CMX3600, support basic functions, such as cuts, dissolves, SMPTE wipes, speed variations (including freeze frames), and direction changes (Forward/Reverse). EDL comments, clip names, and audio patching comments are also supported.
OMF®, AAF, and FCP XML file formats are more modern, enhanced formats of EDLs, supporting multiple layers of video and audio, as well as an expanded set of transitions and effects. Some may include embedded audio.