A method and implementing apparatus is provided for transferring data from memory to a file decoder which is effective to decode the file for further processing. In an illustrated example, a video file is decoded for presentation on a display device. The methodology includes enabling a plurality of control functions for access by a user or a user system in controlling the identity, sequence and flow of file transfers in order to optimize transfer efficiency in a data transfer transaction. Application programming interface (API) calls are provided by which playlists are constructed for transfer to the decoder. Further API calls are provided to enable pause and seek functions to be activated during a file transfer. A registration methodology is also provided by which predetermined processing events may be selected and recorded as they occur. The process further includes a methodology for modifying the file transfer protocol between multiple copy transfer and minimal copy transfer depending upon the type of data transfer channel being implemented.