Metadata is fundamental for integrated workflows. As we rapidly move away from physical media, digital media has become less tangible. Quite simply if you can’t hold it in your hand, you’ll need metadata. Apart from physical media on, say, camera cards, once the content has entered the workflow, using metadata is the only way to move, manipulate and process media. With more workflows migrating to the cloud, the importance of metadata becomes fundamental and actually as important as the essence itself. The Broadcast Bridge asks key vendors about the types of metadata their product’s capture and how metadata use might evolve. Here Jeff Herzog, Product Manager, Flow asset management and video products, provides EditShare’s view.
The Broadcast Bridge: What is your perspective on the importance of metadata? How do you see its value changing?
Jeff Herzog: I think users are still hanging on to old methods of categorising, tracking, and locating material such as filename or folder hierarchy on disk, but as metadata volume and complexity proliferates and as workflows get more complex, this is getting harder and harder for customers to maintain. It is becoming all the more important for users to embrace a metadata centric workflow as the old ways of working become less and less practical.
The Broadcast Bridge: What types of metadata does your product capture?
Jeff Herzog: The two main types of metadata in our Flow production asset management system are asset-level metadata which refer to an entire media file (e.g. master clip metadata) and log level/subclip metadata, which refers to a particular section of a clip (i.e. subclip). Metadata fields can be of course normal entered text, pick lists, timecodes, dates, booleans (true/false), as well as some special purpose log list metadata fields called groups and categories, which are used in our Flow Logger application to do point-and-click logging in reality or sports productions of contestants, players, activities, etc. Extensive metadata can also originate from tapeless ingest or other 3rd party systems and is preserved throughout Flow workflows.
The Broadcast Bridge: Is there an example of how metadata is incorporated into a typical workflow using your product?
Jeff Herzog: There are many different ways of incorporating metadata creation and ingest into Editshare Flow workflows. One of the most popular methods for Flow recently is to utilize our XML sidecar metadata scanning feature, which allows users to scan any type of valid XML file for fields they wish to ingest with incoming media, and map those to specific custom or built-in Flow metadata fields. This gives users the flexibility to quickly and easily link 3rd party tools into the Flow metadata ecosystem in a universally understood communication mechanism through standard sidecar XML files.
The Broadcast Bridge: How might metadata be used in the future as a business or editorial driver?
Jeff Herzog: Increasingly, customers will see that good editorial metadata doesn’t just magically create itself— that the data you find is only as valuable as the time you put in to entering it on the front end. They will see that an investment in metadata input pays dividends in the editorial process as well as to future monetization possibilities for content.
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