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Using the Import Function

This article details the use of the Import wizard function.


Below is the sequence steps in Importing metadata. Note that at this point, the List component should be configured to match the metadata file. See Configuring the List Component and Preparing Metadata Files to accomplish these steps:

  1. Choose Initial asset scope
  2. Begin Import
  3. Import Options Panel
    1. Configure Field Actions for Header Columns
  4. Check Import Preview
  5. Commit Metadata Import

The Upload Import File dialog will be displayed allowing the user to choose a few options:

Choose Initial Asset Scope

The metadata import function will often be in bulk actions, using metadata files that containing many records, which are used to correlate with an asset set that is often even larger.

For maximum efficiency, the best practice approach is to prefilter the scope of assets to be acted upon. This can be done by asset selection or searching and/or filtering the current view.

Ideally, this set of assets was saved previously as an asset selection. This is preferred over a saved search because metadata changes may alter the list of assets.

Begin Import

To begin an import of metadata to assets, The user will click the "Import" button in the List component. This displays the "Upload Import File" dialog.

Upload Import File Dialog

  • Current Selection and Current View: These buttons allow the user to narrow the scope of the initial metadata import file.
    • To efficiently process a metadata import that has a large number of target assets and/or records, the best approach is to narrow the number of target assets in the current view prior to opening this dialog. It is ideal to filter, as close as possible, to only those assets listed in the metadata source.
  • Upload (upper button): allows the user to choose the metadata import file. This upload is temporary for the purposes of the import, and is not retained as an asset.
    • Metadata source files will be expected to have the correct file extensions, .csv, .xml, and .txt (for Tab or Custom delimited)
  • Upload (lower button): Begins the import process. The Export Options panel will be displayed.

Import Options Panel


  • CSV, XML, Tab Delimited: The import process will preselect the expected type, based on file extension.
    • It is generally unnecessary to change this setting, unless a metadata file has an incorrect or missing file extension, or to choose between tab delimited and custom delimited metadata files (both may have .txt file extensions)
  • Encoding: This setting defaults to our expected encoding, UTF-8. As long as care had been taken to ensure the correct encoding, this should remain at this setting.
  • Generate Import Logs: This option generates logs in .csv format as assets in the system. They will be placed in the root "Index/" folder, in a time-stamped "Import_Log" folder.
    • RowMatchedSingleUpdated.csv:
      • Lists rows in the metadata file that matched single assets.
      • Each line in this file has Record ID as the first column, followed by the complete line that matched that asset from the metadata file.
    • RowMatchedMultipleUpdated.csv
      • Lists rows in the metadata file that matched multiple assets.
      • Each line in this file has Record ID as the first column, followed by the complete line that matched that asset from the metadata file.
    • RowsMatchedSingleUpdated.csv
      • Lists assets that were matched by multiple rows (lines) in the metadata file.
      • This can indicate an issue if the "overwrite" option is selected for fields.
      • Each line in this file has the same Record ID as the first column, followed by the complete line that matched that asset from the metadata file.
    • UnmatchedNotCreated.csv
      • Rows in the metadata file that were not matched to assets.
    • UnmatchedCreated.csv
      • Rows in the metadata file that were not matched to assets and were used to generate Data Only assets.
    • Error.csv
      • Lists other errors that occurred during the import.
  • Create Placeholder Files for unmatched records: Whenever a row is unmatched, enabling this option will create a new data-only asset per row. See the [Advanced Import Techniques] article for more information.
  • Buttons
    • Cancel: Cancels the Import.
    • Save Import Preset: See the [Import/Export Presets] article for more information.
    • Write Metadata: Begins the metadata import, progress is shown in the Notification Center and also in the System Status "File Action Queue" Tab.
  • Field Action section: See Configure Field Actions for Header Columns section, below.

Configure Field Actions for Header Columns


The Field Action section displays two pulldown menus per column header.

  1. Input Field Assignment Menu (upper): Assigns a specific column in the metadata file to correspond to a field defined by the column header in the List component.
    1. The entries here initially match the order of input fields present in the metadata file.
    2. Any input field may be assigned to any column by choosing it from this menu. The two input fields then swap position. This effectively rearranges the metadata file's column order.
    3. It's best practice to align the order of the List component's column headers and and the columns of the metadata file prior to this stage, if possible.
    4. If XMP Expanded names (such as " subject") are used to name columns in the metadata file, MediaBeacon will display them as their corresponding "Display Name" whenever possible.
  2. Input Field Action Menu (lower): Per column, assigns a specific action to be performed between input fields and target fields.
    1. Metadata Write Actions
      1. No Action: This column of data is ignored.
      2. Update: This is the default action for most fields. It will write only into null-value fields. An exception is the case of CSV fields, where this operation will add the metadata file values to those already present.
      3. Overwrite: This action will overwrite any value with the metadata file value, even null-values.
    2. Key Field Combinators: Any of the following selectors are used to define a field as the key field, the field used to match records to assets. The leftmost column is initially set to "Equals", as an exact match is the most common use case.

      Exact matches are performed as case insensitive, so "A" and "a" both match and are matched to "A" or "a".

      1. Equals (default): Exact match between import value and existing value.
      2. Starts With: Matches when the asset value starts with the import value.
      3. Is the Start Of: Matches when the import value is the start of the existing value.
      4. Ends With: Matches when the asset value ends with the import value.
      5. Is the End Of: Matches when the import value is the end of the existing value.
      6. Contains: Matches when the asset value contains the import value.
      7. Is Contained By: Matches when the import value is contained within the existing value.
    3. Note: multiple key fields can be designated, although the most common practice is to match on one field.
  3. Usage Notes
    1. "Soft rearranging" columns in the metadata file can be accomplished by choosing different Input Fields for different header columns.
    2. Multiple key fields may be defined beyond the leftmost column. Choose any of the key field combinators to assign a field as a key field.

Check Import Preview

Changing options in the Import Options Panel will cause the assets shown in the List component to update in various ways.

  • Non-Highlighted Asset: The asset has been matched to a row in the metadata file, but no metadata is being changed by the Import.
  • Red Highlight Flag (in upper left corner): this indicates an unmatched record. No metadata will be written unless the "Create Placeholder Files for unmatched records" option is checked.
  • Pink Background Highlight: Indicates that some field in the asset will be written to.
  • Blue Background Highlight: Indicates that field is being written to as part of the Import. The new values will be displayed.

Commit Metadata Import

Once ready, click the "Write Metadata" button. The import will begin.

Progress will be shown in the Notification center.


Logging out will not affect the progress of the metadata write, but this will hide the notification center progress. To view bulk actions of this kind, use the "File Action Queue" tab in the System Status dialog.

Import Presets

Main Article: [Import/Export Wizard Presets]

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