From Capture to Archive

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Welcome back to the ProMAX blog

We are re-booting our blog to spotlight topics of conversation in digital media production to stimulate some conversation, inspiration, and provide useful information along the way.

"From Capture to Archive”
by Mary Yurkovic

This week we’ve invited Digital Asset Management Maven, Mary Yurkovic, to share some of her perspectives on the initial challenges of tackling and managing digital assets.  Her piece clarifies the complexities of DAM by identifying key considerations and pointing us in the right direction for long-term success.

Designated as one of the “Top DAM Influencers of 2013”, for the last 10 years Mary’s focus has been on implementation strategy for Digital Asset Management (DAM) encompassing system solutions, digital workflow automation, workflow mapping, change assurance, and system integration.  She’s made an impact by building an interactive community for DAM professionals by keeping them informed and engaged through outlets of social media, live events and blogs.  Most recently she has aligned with the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance – develop a Content Strategy Community in this sector.  

 We look forward to hearing about your “Adventures in DAM”!

From Capture to Archive
By Mary Yurkovic

Throughout its lifecycle, content can be handled by many people, processes and technology, thus it will be altered in many ways. The end-to-end management of an asset as it flows a lifecycle is a critical process and can be overwhelming. Global organizations and small organizations alike face the complex and daunting challenges in managing content they create and receive, edit, deliver and archive. But these challenges are also an opportunity to increase productivity and compliance while reducing costs.

Secrets to Reducing Costs
Today's production force is creating and editing ever-increasing volumes of content – documents, still images, audio files, digital video and even physical media. When doing so they are often collaborating with internal peers and external stakeholders. Deadlines are always tight, email  inboxes are clogged, servers are at capacity. Understanding whether the right person has the right version at the right time is often needlessly confusing and time consuming, reducing productivity and costing thousands if not millions of dollars.

Additionally, compliance officers and General Counsels are worried that by not identifying and managing content appropriately users are increasing the organization’s exposure to risk. Technology departments are watching storage costs swell as they have no effective way to identify duplications, what is important to keep, for how long, and what can safely be pushed to lower-cost storage media. Managing, controlling, and securing content is mission critical to an organization’s overall brand and information governance strategy.

As complex as it may seem when thinking of the overall content lifecycle, management of this task does not have to be so overwhelming. A solid strategy or big picture road map can help break-up the overall process into manageable parts. By breaking up the process in a few areas, putting the pieces together will make the overall puzzle complete.

One can start from the beginning process where content is actually created, and perhaps even before the content is created. There is usually some information about WHAT is being created, perhaps WHO is in the photo shoot or video, WHO is capturing the content, WHERE it is being produced and of course WHEN it is being created. This critical information is important and should be part of an organization's basic required metadata. Metadata is the personal diary of what the asset is about. Even basic metadata can be critical to the next link in the supply chain.

In production and while editing, many versions and variations will be created of this infant asset. Leaving the question of what is the latest and greatest? Is the file called “12345finalfinal” really the final file? Or is there a “12345finalfinalireallymeanit” file that is the final-final which was approved by legal? There can be processes in place and there certainly is technology available to help with review & approval and versioning control. When it comes to delivery, metadata continues to become even more critical. And this should not be placed in the file name. There are standards in which metadata can be attached or embedded in the digital file.
Typical Media Workflow
Pushing the content to its delivery points and tracking the content is often thought of as the last part of its lifecycle, but it surely is not. Legal departments want to know what is being used where and by whom at all times.  Properly archiving and preservation will help ensure that you can find this content in the future and repurpose it and continue to monetize it.

Various technologies can streamline workflow, replace spreadsheets and reduce the time it takes to even find a file.  Whether it is a DAM, MAM or BAM, letting smart systems be a part of the overall road map strategy is the only way to work efficiently. Getting everyone on board to care for this content and realize its value is also an essential key, which contributes to the foundation of the entire content lifecycle. With organizational rules or processes in place, not only will you be saving time, hence saving money, you are also making everyone’s jobs easier and hopefully happier. Just by breaking up the components and knowing there are solutions available in each step of the process, management of assets CAN be manageable. With technology solutions working with the people-process-change management solutions, creatives can be creative, production people don’t have to watch progress bars, the legal team has some control and the archivists know what is in their gold mine.




Offload Transcode to Increase Productivity

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Transcoding and Encoding are the most processor intensive tasks in any production or post production workflow. Simply put, it will take up as much of your processing power as the application allows it to, often leaving an edit bay or on set workstation with no power left for other tasks.

This can cause issues as small as losing 10 minutes here and there or as big as not being able to complete a project on time.

The answer to this problem is offloading these transcoding & encoding requests to a server. Let’s take a look at the difference.

There are two major benefits for any facility looking at offloading transcodes & encodes:

  1. Increased Productivity
  2. Increased Turn Around Time

These benefits are a direct result of the following:

-  Full use of your creative workstations while encoding & transcoding.
-    Reduced server traffic by eliminating the read of a file and the write of a new file over your
   network, keeping this process completely centralized on your Platform server.

Simplify iMac & MacBook Pro Workflows

Many professional facilities rely on all-in-one workstations and laptops to get their creative work done. These workstations provide sufficient power thanks to codecs like Apple ProRes and Avid DNxHD. Unfortunately, shooting on any professional camera and transcoding locally to these formats is disruptive and time intensive.

ProMAX Platform enables gigabit and 10 gigabit connectivity to the SHARE Module (for centralized shared storage) and the TRANSCODE Module (for offloading transcodes). This allows any facility working on all-in-one workstations and laptops to increase how quickly they can get to files and maximize the power of each individual workstation.


The Platform TRANSCODE Module enables up to 16 simultaneous transcodes and encodes on to be offloaded to your Platform server. With support for every major file format including encoding to and from Apple ProRes as well as all major NLE systems including FCP7, ProMAX Platform is the Modular Advantage.

Learn more about the Platform: