Working with ALEs on Flow Capture

Flow Capture has a host of powerful searching, sorting and filtering options based on metadata that can either come burned into the assets or be applied from a sidecar file. You can create custom groupings of clips by utilizing different combinations of info; whether it's everything that's been photographed with a specific lens organized by scene or a more standard print takes by shoot day.  

The most common way to get this information added to clips is by uploading ALE metadata sidecar files. This can be done concurrently with the upload of a batch of clips, or after the fact if you've got information you need to change or update en masse. You can find more information on how to upload clips, ALEs, or any other files here.  

Before You Upload 

You'll want to make sure you've got a couple things correct in order for Flow Capture to be able to successfully apply the information in your ALE to the relevant clips. 

  • The information in the "Name" column of the ALE needs to match the name of the clips that they're supposed to sync with.  

If the file name is, then the name column in the ALE will need to be 301-26AE-4y. This isn't case-sensitive, so you could also use 301-26ae-4y. That said, the name column is sensitive to other types of punctuation, so using a name like 301_26AE_4y won't apply the information successfully.  

  • The sidecar file needs to have a .ale file extension.  

Other file formats that would allow you to view the information from an ALE in other programs (.csv, .tsv, etc.) aren't compatible with the process of applying metadata to clips  from a sidecar file. If you'd like to check the ALE before uploading, you can import it into Excel or a similar program as one of those file types. This can be helpful if you want to check or correct file names. Just make sure that it's the ALE you're uploading to Flow Capture! 

  • Circle/Print takes should be noted in a separate Print column in the ALE. 

A clip's name needs to match the file name in the ALE, so using an asterisk in either the file or clip name to denote select takes would keep them from applying correctly. 

The ALE will use this new Print Take column to present information about circle takes after the metadata injection has been activated by the ALE Name column sync. If you apply print takes via ALE uploads, then you'll be able to filter everything using an existing preset on Flow Capture:  

When you choose that, we'll sort all the print takes by upload batch. Anything that isn't a print take will also be put into its own batch. 

  • ALE column names should match up with Flow Capture metadata field names. 

To populate clip metadata in the corresponding fields, the columns in the ALE need to be mapped to the field names as outlined below. 


Once an ALE is up and its information has been applied to the relevant clips, you no longer need to keep it around. If you're the type who likes to keep things clean, you can delete it entirely. There's also the option to move your ALEs into a hidden batch if you'd like to have them around in a way that's  not visible for most folks. 

Updating Metadata 

It's also worth noting that once metadata fields have been created on Flow Capture, they can't be removed. The option to Overwrite Existing Metadata in the Metadata Options of the upload panel will only result in changes if there's a new value in a given field, meaning that leaving a field blank to try and remove it won't have any effect.