Prepare Content

Review asset quality

Quality is important at Apple. To ensure we receive the highest-quality assets, your content must meet our technical specifications

Before you deliver your assets, perform a quality control review of your video, audio, metadata, subtitles, and .itmsp package using the below checklists. To provide clarification regarding content that may be subject to quality control (QC) rejection, deliver QC notes using a <comments> tag in the metadata file or deliver as a PDF file in the .itmps package. When providing QC notes, specify the timecode, description of the issue, and reason.


To find asset issues early, we recommend that you review all content before you deliver it to Apple. This applies particularly to tape or file-based sources. 

Item How to verify
Source quality Assets must be the highest quality that exist in the marketplace.
Audio Check audio levels. Ensure the language is tagged correctly and is in linear pulse-code modulation (LPCM) format.
Video file Check the video file for defects at the beginning, middle, and end.
Video frame rate The video's native frame rate must be the same as the source frame rate (HD, PAL, NTSC) and match our specifications.
Taglines, logos, legalese No logos, ratings, advisories, or FBI warnings are allowed.
Native field dominance Determine if the video source is progressive or interlaced, and make sure the tag is accurate in the header information.

Quality control checklists

Before you deliver your video asset package, perform a full linear quality control check and review the following areas. Keep in mind that movie, episode, and preview assets should have separate checklists since they are separate assets.


Item How to verify
Aspect ratio Video assets must be the original aspect ratio.
Block error clear/green Video assets with errors generated by playback machines need to be fixed.
Closed captions sync/incomplete Movies and TV episodes for the United States require a closed caption (CC) file that is synchronized and complete. Movies and TV episodes for other English-speaking countries or regions should also include a CC file when available. See closed captions requirements.
Colr, Fiel, Gama atoms Atom tags within video asset headers should be set and corrected as needed.
Cropping Video assets should not be cropped. Proper crop values must be specified in the XML to allow content to be presented properly across Apple devices.
Digital hits Examples are rectangular color blocks, or splits within a frame, and are reason for quality control rejection.
Dropped/duplicate frames Videos with sequential frames that contain no distinction or movement will be rejected.
Encode/display bounds Video assets must have correct display measurements and can’t distort the aspect ratio.
Interlacing Interlacing artifacts, or “miniblinds,” must be removed.
Motion/image lag Ghosting effects, moving image doubles, or image overlaps will be rejected.
Subtitles/forced narratives Video assets with subtitles or forced narrative files should be complete, in sync, and correctly translated.
Native frame rate Current frame rates of video assets should match the original native format. If the native format isn’t available, use IVTC (Inverse Telecine) to remove pulldown patterns. See Film Content Profiles.
Video codec Video assets must be encoded in ProRes 422 HQ format.


Issue How to verify
Audio missing Include the appropriate audio files (7.1, 5.1, and/or stereo).
Crackle/hiss/pop/static/ticks Audio assets must be high quality, without any errors.
Distortion Audio assets should be clear, not distorted.
Drop outs Audio assets can’t drop out during playback.
Dubbed audio missing All dialogues should have language dubs, if available.
Labeling Audio configuration labeling needs to be correct and should include the correct channel designation for 7.1, 5.1, or stereo audio as listed in Audio Channel Assignments.
Sync Audio dialogues and sound effects need to be in sync with the video’s action.

Asset package metadata

Item How to verify
Provider The provider tags should match the Apple-defined label for partner identification. They must match the provider value used for Transporter.
Catalog, content, and variant ID The unique catalog and content identifiers for the item need to be included, as well as the variant identifier to distinguish between different versions of the content. For more information, see the Apple TV Channels Subscription Video Asset Specification.
Title The title should be accurate and match the movie or TV episode.
Textless master tag Provide localized subtitle tags for content with burned‐in subtitles.
Forced narrative tag Forced narrative tags should be reviewed and included, if they are part of the .itmsp package.
Chapters metadata Chapter-related metadata should be reviewed thoroughly. For example, review detailed information like tag formatting, locale, order of chapters, and correct time codes.
Tag/info missing Metadata XML files need to be properly formatted and checked programmatically with the right external tools. You can use Transporter in Verify mode. For more information, see the Transporter User Guide.

Subtitle metadata

Issue How to verify
File corruption Check that iTunes Timed Text (iTT) XML files open and aren’t corrupt.
Multi-language synchronization Subtitle synchronization verification is required for the entire video. To validate, use the video source file.


Issue How to verify
Cannot open/corrupt file Make sure asset files in the package can be opened, viewed, and played.
Package missing elements Assets noted in the XML should be present in the actual .itmsp package.
Incomplete file Verify that all files in the .itmsp package are complete.