Upload from the local file system

In this guide you'll learn how to upload a video file from the local file system to the API service. For a description of each field in the request and response, see the API Reference > Create a video indexing task page.

Note that, although the example code in this guide is written in Python and Node.js, the API is compatible with most programming languages, and you can also use Postman or other REST clients to send requests and view responses.


  • Your video must meet the following requirements:
    • Video resolution: must be greater or equal than 360p and less than 1080p (FHD)
    • Duration: must be between 10 seconds and 2 hours (7,200s)
      If you require different options, send us an email at support[at]twelvelabs.io.
  • A valid Twelve Labs account. For details about creating an account and retrieving your API key, see the Authentication page.
  • You’re familiar with the concepts that are described on the Quickstart page.
  • You’ve created an index, and the unique identifier of your index is stored in a variable named INDEX_ID. For details, see the Creating indexes page.


  • For consistent search results, Twelve Labs recommends you upload 360p videos.


  1. Declare the /tasks endpoint:

    TASKS_URL = f"{API_URL}/tasks"
    const TASKS_URL = `${API_URL}/tasks`
  2. Read your video file. Open a stream, making sure to replace the placeholders surrounded by <> with your values:

    file_name = "<YOUR_FILE_NAME>"
    file_path = "<YOUR_FILE_PATH>"
    file_stream = open(file_path,"rb")
    const file_path = '<YOUR_FILE_PATH>'
    const file_stream = fs.createReadStream(file_path)
  3. If you're using Python, store the index ID and the language of your video in a dictionary named data and the file to upload in an array named file_param. If you're using Node.js, store the index, the language of the video, and the file to upload in a variable named formData of type FormData:

    data = {
        "index_id": INDEX_ID, 
        "language": "en"
    file_param = [
        ("video_file", (file_name, file_stream, "application/octet-stream")),]
    let formData = new FormData()
    formData.append('INDEX_ID', INDEX_ID)
    formData.append('language', 'en')
    formData.append('video_file', file_stream)
  4. Upload your video. Call the /tasks endpoint and store the result in a variable named response:

    response = requests.post(TASKS_URL, headers=headers, data=data, files=file_param)
    const { data: response } = await axios.post(
        "headers": {
            "Content-Type": "multipart/form-data",
          "x-api-key": process.env.API_KEY
  5. Store the ID of your task in a variable named TASK_ID and print the status code and response:

    TASK_ID = response.json().get("_id")
    print (f"Status code: {response.status_code}")
    pprint (response.json())
    const TASK_ID = response._id
    console.log(`Status code: ${resp.status}`)

    The output should look similar to the following one:

    Status code: 200
      "_id": "6396bf71a62a34ad8ad3ed20"
  6. (Optional) You can use the /tasks/{_id} endpoint to monitor the indexing process. Wait until the status shows as ready:

    TASK_STATUS_URL = f"{API_URL}/tasks/{TASK_ID}"
    while True:
        response = requests.get(TASK_STATUS_URL, headers=headers)
        STATUS = response.json().get("status")
        if STATUS == "ready":
    const TASK_STATUS_URL = `${API_URL}/tasks/${TASK_ID}`
    const uploadResp = await new Promise((res) => {
      const interval = setInterval(async () => {
          const { data: response } = await axios.get(
                    headers: {
                        "x-api-key": API_KEY
            if (response.status == "ready") {
        }, 1000);
  7. (Optional) Store the unique identifier of your video in a variable named VIDEO_ID:

    VIDEO_ID = response.json().get('video_id')
    const VIDEO_ID = uploadResp.video_id
  8. (Optional) Print the unique identifier of your video, the status code, and the response:

    print (f"Status code: {STATUS}")
    print(f"VIDEO ID: {VIDEO_ID}")
    pprint (response.json())
    console.log(`Status code: ${uploadResp.status}`)
    console.log(`VIDEO_ID: ${VIDEO_ID}`)

    The output should look similar to the following one:

    Status code: 200
    VIDEO ID: 6391c8a669ff3402ec515aba
    {'_id': '6391c89afb14854546891276',
      'created_at': '2022-12-08T11:20:58.859Z',
      'estimated_time': '2022-12-08T11:34:54.585Z',
      'index_id': '6391c88bfb14854546891275',
      'metadata': {'duration': 810.84,
        'filename': 'best-racing-moments.mp4',
        'height': 480,
        'width': 854},
      'status': 'ready',
      'type': 'index_task_info',
      'updated_at': '2022-12-08T11:34:50.474Z',
      'video_id': '6391c8a669ff3402ec515aba'}



  • For details about the possible statuses, see the API Reference > Tasks page.
  • You can also use webhooks to monitor the status of the indexing process. For details, see the Using webhooks section.