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of tools and robust functionality, but they have a price tag to match, and can be difficult to learn, use, and manage, creating an organizational change nightmare. The best MAM solutions offer just the right balance of power and ease of use, with the flexibility to adapt to customers’ workflows. Square Box Systems’ CatDV, for instance, offers simple, yet powerful tools to support the most sophisticated media workflows and has one of the lowest costs of ownership in its sector (across purchase, deployment and support). CatDV offers the MAM horsepower customers need, with an easily customized interface that is simple and efficient. MANAGING WHAT IS WHERE, FROM ANY LOCATION When properly implemented, a MAM solution becomes a true collaboration tool – empowering users from any location to view, share, and comment on the state of current assets such as dailies. The solution can be deployed in either a standalone or networked configuration, providing Web and mobile access for remote workers as well as powerful installed clients for Mac and Windows users. The solution brings order to the complexity of large media enterprises, with the ability to manage content across all flavors of storage devices. And it goes without saying, in this age of well-publicized content security breaches, that the ideal MAM solution offers powerful security measures even for accessing content from the Web. Also, because everyone has different search requirements, the ideal MAM system enables individual users to quickly log, tag, and categorize content. CatDV, for instance, offers easy-to- configure custom metadata and tagging, both asset-based (e.g. Director, Producer, Shot Type, Location, Weather, Athlete etc.) or time-based (e.g. marking the “goals” in footage from a football match). EMPOWERING OFF-LINE USERS Some high-end MAM systems impose their own proxy workflow and require footage ingested in a modern camera formats (XDCAM, P2, MXF, XAVC, RED etc), to be transcoded into a format that can be viewed on a desktop computer. And in a fast-paced, deadline-intensive production environment, the last thing people want is to have to take time out to transcode 50 hours of footage. Therefore, an important – in fact, critical – quality for a MAM solution is the ability to ingest and play out files in their native format, including content from professional video and even DLSR cameras. CatDV, for instance, uniquely offers native file handling for output from all major cameras – meaning the system can play the camera content out to desktop devices without requiring transcoding. Besides the content itself, the system is able to capture all important metadata including frame rates and bit rates, and it can automatically generate low-res proxy thumbnails that can be viewed when the actual media is offline or not playable by the operating system. All of these capabilities bring powerful efficiencies to remote production teams, enabling them to work from even the remotest locations without network access. Instead of having to lug around cumbersome transcoding equipment, a team can take a day’s worth of footage from the camera card and log it directly into the standalone version of CatDV installed on a laptop for playback and editing. CONCLUSION – EMPOWERING CONTENT CREATORS In the end, media asset management should be all about democratizing content creation processes; in other words, placing control of content assets and their access in the hands of the content creators themselves. It’s a fundamental shift from traditional workflows in which production engineers would have configured and managed access to content. With state-of-the-art MAM system, content creators have these same capabilities at their fingertips, in an easy-to-use package that saves time, lowers costs, and simplifies the access, re-use, and even monetization of valuable content assets. KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 114 JUNE 2016 | 49