Asset Management | So Many Files

Oct 1, 2011 10:00 AM, By Mel Lambert

ASSET MANAGEMENT FOR STREAMLINED POST-PRODUCTION

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Robert Smith, systems and media engineer at Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Digital Studios division

Robert Smith, systems and media engineer at Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Digital Studios division

THE AVID SOLUTION
If you work in sound or picture, you will eventually encounter Avid. Avid offers a pair of integrated media-asset solutions that accommodate both Media Composer and Pro Tools session files, plus component audio and video digital media. Interplay Production Asset Management (PAM), as the name suggests, is designed for in-house workflows, while Interplay Media Asset Management (MAM) handles cross-platform and delivery mechanisms to enable completed material to be reused, repurposed and monetized by content providers. Optimized for all steps in a real-time media-production workflow, PAM allows users to track production file formats at every instance of a project’s history, with versioning, non-destructive rollback, collaborative access and role-based front ends.

“Interplay Production was initially developed for broadcast and video customers,” says Jim Frantzreb, senior market segment manager at Avid. “We will continue to add new functionality, with audio workflows being one of the next logical steps in the product’s continued development. The audio-production aspect of the current Interplay Production workflow focuses on Interplay-connected Media Composer—or Symphony or NewsCutter—editors delivering projects to Interplay-connected Pro Tools systems, and then Pro Tools editors delivering mixes to the Media Composer or Symphony for finishing.”

While the current Interplay Production release does not have specific functionality for Pro Tools-to-Pro Tools workflow or the ability to automatically populate audio-specific metadata, “It can help streamline the workflow of audio professionals who work on extreme time-sensitive projects,” Frantzreb explains, “such as promos, daytime dramas, cable programming, et cetera. By optimizing these ingest and delivery operations, Interplay Production can sometimes double the audio creative time available per assignment. [We] will continue to work closely with our customers on how best to address Pro Tools/audio-specific metadata.”

Interplay Production allows users to find and browse content, and then perform frame-accurate annotation or shot-listing, either locally or across a WAN. Ingest scheduling through a dedicated or Web-based user interface lets a facility use a conventional workstation’s OS to access and monitor asset databases across a wide range of third-party media servers.

The post community puts unusual demands on file access and media-asset management, Warner Bros’ Collier concludes. “We need the flexibility of working with serial and parallel workflows. In reality, we deal with working asset management and not curated asset management, where the materials are fixed and unchanging. It is a major challenge for Warner Bros. and other post facilities.”

[A Thank You footnote: In addition to the people mentioned in this article, the author would like to thank the following individuals for their invaluable assistance while researching the subject:
David Hansen, VP of sales at SanSolutions, which offers a number of integrated storage systems for post facilities.
David Evans, VP of technology solution sand services from P1 Technology, and formerly with NBC-Universal; P1 offers a number of storage and disaster-recovery solutions for post facilities.
John Mallory, product manager at NetApp Media Solutions, which offers a range of SAN/NAS storage media options from high-capacity SATA disk drives to contiguous server farms.]


Mel Lambert has been intimately involved with production and broadcast industries on both sides of the Atlantic for more years than he cares to remember. He is now principal of Media&Marketing, a Los Angeles–based consulting service for the professional audio industry.






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