Archiving in a Multiplatform Environment


There was a time when broadcasters and media companies worried only about one version of content, destined for one distribution platform. Now, however, the increasing volume, number of versions, and growing complexity of digital media assets has made the management and storage of content a much more challenging undertaking.
Media companies today must be equipped to manage images, audio, video, and text – often in packages interconnected by metadata – in an ever-expanding array of formats. In dealing with these elements, the content owner or provider requires a robust platform that not only manages media files and metadata effectively, but also facilitates the preparation of that media for multiplatform distribution. Ideally, this platform allows the operator to specify a target platform and then uses preconfigured rules for transcoding and quality control to output the right content in the appropriate format.
In building the archive system that supports a multiplatform environment, the content owner must consider a few key requirements. The storage system must be able to accommodate a high volume of file-based assets of all variety, and it must be able to scale up in capacity without sacrificing performance. Effective management of archives is best achieved when, across the entire system, each type of content is stored in one industry-standard format. All images, for example, could be stored as JPEG files. By standardizing this element of archiving, the content owner makes it easier for other systems – such as quality control, checking, packaging, and encryption – to operate smoothly under the umbrella of a single media asset management (MAM) system. Common definitions can be created to determine how content is treated and processed throughout the workflow, and this relative simplicity makes it easier to automate key tasks, supports more predictable processing timetables, saves time and work, and improves overall operational efficiency.
Management and maintenance of archives in the multiplatform environment also should include the description and association of content in the way that best serves the business and its media workflow. Through the MAM system, a user should be able to enter a precise search query to find and retrieve a particular piece of content. If longer pieces of video are segmented and described using keywords and other metadata, such as the who, what, when and where of the segment, then operators can more quickly identify the specific content they need.
A very dynamic metadata model allows each customer to define how to archive media and the type of information that can or should be linked to the content. With consistent metadata about media, organized in categories tailored to the user’s needs, and a powerful search engine, content owners can make the most of all of the assets within their archives. An intuitive interface ensures that the process is simple and efficient.
Media companies today deal with thousands and thousands of archived files, and without a user-friendly interface, the sheer size of the archive can be daunting for the non-technical user, such as a journalist or editor. The people who will use the archive on a daily basis are the same people to whom the interface must be targeted. The interface thus must be as familiar and easy to use as Google’s search engine. Simple click, mark in/mark out, and drag-and-drop functions should be sufficient to enable the user, whether full-time or a new freelancer, to use the system right away to produce a piece of content. Few media companies have the time to train each new user on working with the archive system, so the MAM interface must offer tools and techniques that most operators will understand immediately.
In addition to providing a straightforward user interface for accessing archived media, the MAM supports multiplatform delivery by connecting a variety of systems from different vendors. By helping these systems to work together in processing content, the MAM enables greater automation of the workflow from end to end. NETIA provided Orange, the key brand of leading telecommunications operator France Telecom, with just such a content management system (CMS), designed to support the company’s end-to-end media management and distribution needs. Built on NETIA’s existing MAM system, the CMS enables Orange to store, manage, and distribute content to any service provider or multimedia platform.
Complementing the significant and rapidly growing media archive at Orange, the NETIA CMS ingests content from sources such as post houses, production facilities, and traditional TV and radio broadcasters. Central to the system, it interfaces with ingest, production, automation, and storage applications to streamline automatic take-on of high-resolution media and associated metadata. The software enriches media with supplemental metadata, in turn enabling faster searches and better access to stored content. The CMS also supports preparation of content for delivery, performing metadata extraction, transcoding, quality checking, image processing, and subtitle management.
In the fast-paced multiplatform environment, a sophisticated, flexible, and intuitive CMS solution gives Orange and other content providers the comprehensive tools and functionality they need to monetize their archives to their full potential.

Tags: Archiving | netia | iss045 | digital media assets | storage | content | mam | media asset management | N/A
Contributing Author N/A

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