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Decoding the Importance of Metadata in Digitization and Preservation of Content

Decoding the Importance of Metadata in Digitization and Preservation of Content

Introduction

Digital media has come a long way over the past decade. The shift from single-screen to multiple-screen and multi-device, from the subscription-based model to OTT service providers is apparent over the years. Keeping in line with the demand, broadcasters are also broadening their distribution channel.

With the audience having a wide variety of choice to consume video across platforms at their preferred time – broadcasters are leaving no stones unturned to digitize video content, even those dating back to decades.

Broadcasters are now focused on aggregation and distribution of highly-targeted content that reaches narrow-interest audiences. As broadcasters develop and store digital content to use and reuse across devices and platforms, the value of good shareable content is increasing.

However, the problem lies elsewhere. An estimated 98% of archived media is not available for digital distribution.[1]

Why?

Migrating hours of media content from tape to digital storage is time-consuming. Though automated migration systems convert tapes to multiple digital formats simultaneously, tagging these files to make them searchable is a challenge.

Have you ever wondered how – when you Google – some videos top the search results? With an average of 300 hours[2] of video content being uploaded to YouTube alone every minute, content producers and owners sweat over making their content optimized for search results.

The solution

The key to ensuring that your content doesn’t get lost in the crowd is tagging it with relevant keywords. While search engines have evolved over the years, they are still not human – hence can’t read/watch your content. They need a hint (or metadata) to understand the content and apply analytics to list them. While filtering, the search engine follows the following order – title, description, and tags. If you optimize these three, half of the battle is won.

In this paper, we will explore:

  • What is metadata?
  • Types of metadata
  • Metadata Schema Models
  • The importance of metadata in content digitization
  • Optimizing metadata for content digitization

What is metadata?

Metadata refers to “data about data.”[3] It represents a detailed description of the underlying data within an object concerning its title, date & time of creation, format, length, language, year of reference, narration describing the object’s identity & purpose, etc.

For long-term digital archiving, metadata refers to the preservation techniques that are applied to the digital objects in the archives. Metadata does the following:

  • Helps in easy identification, location, and retrieval of information by the end-users
  • Provides information about quality aspects or issues of the created object along with its access privileges/rights
  • Ensures smooth data management

Types of metadata

Depending on the nature of data and usability in a real-world scenario, metadata can be categorized as:

  • Descriptive: Helps to identify, locate, and retrieve information related to an object through indexing and navigation to related links. It includes elements such as title, creator, identity, and description
  • Structural: Defines the complexity of an object along with the role of individual data files, ordering of pages to form a chapter, file names, and their organization, etc.
  • Administrative: Helps to manage the resources in terms of its creation, methods, access rights, associated copyright, and the techniques required for preserving it
  • Rights: Defines access permissions and constraint over the stored objects and information contained in them at different levels
  • Preservation: Records activities or methodology opted in the archive for preserving digital data.
  • Technical: Provides technical information embedded with the digital object (content files). It describes attributes of the digital image (not the analog source of the picture) and helps to ensure that the image will be rendered with accuracy, capture process of the data, and their transformation.
  • Provenance: Records object’s origin/nativity and the changes that were performed to these objects for its resolution, format, perspectives, etc.
  • Tracking: Keeps track of the data at different stages of the workflow (data automation processes, digital capturing, transformation, processing filters and toolsets, enhancement, quality control and management, and data archival and deliverables)

For long-term digital preservation, two types of metadata play a crucial role:

  1. Packaging Metadata

Defines three kinds of information packages, which are as follows:

  1. Submission Information Package (SIP) – Contains information delivered to the archive from the content provider
  2. Archival Information Package (AIP) – Related content information stored in the archive
  3. Dissemination Information Package (DIP) – On request delivery of information to the user
  1. Preservation Metadata

Records the process that supports the preservation of digital data

Metadata Schema Models

According to ISO 23081[4], a schema is “a logical plan showing the relationships between metadata elements, normally through establishing rules for the use and management of metadata specifically as regards the semantics, the syntax and the optionality (obligation level) of values.”

The amount of metadata that needs to be stored for an object depends on its functional usage & significance. With a large amount of metadata already there, and more being published regularly for a different purpose by different communities, metadata schema designers need unique experience of using the Semantic Web to consider a metadata schema.

For long term preservation of data, a varying Metadata Schema Models has been developed, which includes the following:

  • MARC: Machine Readable Cataloguing
  • MARCXML: XML version of MARC 21
  • METS: Metadata Encoding & Transmission Standard
  • MODS: Metadata Object Description Schema
  • DCMI: Dublin Core Metadata Initiative
  • CDWA: Categories for the Description of Works of Art
  • CRM: CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model
  • MPEG-7: Moving Picture Coding Experts Group
  • EAD: Encoded Archival Description
  • RDF: Resource Description Framework
  • VRA CORE: Visual Resources Association
  • DDI: Data Documentation Initiative
  • MIX: Metadata for Images in XML Standard
  • IEEE LOM: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Standards Association for the description of “learning objects”

The importance of metadata in content digitization

Metadata plays a key role in processing, managing, accessing, and preserving digital content –be it audio, video, or image collections. Metadata has the following key functionalities:

  • Search: To search for data associated with a file like Author, Date Published, Key Words, etc.
  • Distribute: To determine when and where the content will be distributed
  • Access: To determine delivery of targeted content based upon preset rules matching metadata values
  • Retain: To determine which records to archive

Optimizing metadata for content digitization

The importance of metadata lies in the fact that it makes the content searchable – both online and offline. While filtering, the search engine follows the following order – title, description, and tags. Some key points to remember while using metadata for content digitization are:

Optimize the title

Grab the attention with a catchy and compelling title. To make a title search engine (and mobile) friendly, limit it to 120 characters and include your top keywords. Think what the audience would relate to, and make the title informative and relevant.

Optimize the description

Follow and include the keywords, and detail what the content is all about. Limit the most critical information within the first 22 words of your description – as search engine displays it on the list before you click ‘see more’ button.

Optimize the tags

A couple of things to keep in mind while tagging a digital asset are:

  1. Assign keywords that cover the 5 W’s – what, when, who, why, and where – to make it a well-captured asset
  2. Avoid grammatical errors while assigning keywords
  3. Avoid ambiguous words or words with multiple meanings
  4. Be consistent with abbreviations and acronyms
  5. Use a minimum of 8 – 12 tags per asset

Conclusion

Metadata plays a crucial role in keeping track of content right from its inception to its processing and accessibility. It provides a complete description of the purpose and functionality of the data, making it easier for end-users to locate and retrieve the data. Therefore, it is crucial that all contents should have embedded metadata in them.

[1] https://www.recode.net/2014/4/8/11625358/modernizing-the-entertainment-industry-supply-chain-in-the-age-of

[2] https://merchdope.com/youtube-stats/

[3] https://www.techopedia.com/definition/1938/metadata

[4] https://committee.iso.org/sites/tc46sc11/home/projects/published/iso-23081-metadata-for-records.html

7 Document Management Trends to Watch Out For

7 Document Management Trends to Watch Out For

Businesses world over are undergoing a digital transformation and organizations are investing in tools, technology and processes to go paperless by converting their documents to digital formats. These documents may be forms, invoices, letters books, journals, photos, maps, manuscripts, office records or other printed materials.

Apart from being eco-friendly, the benefits of going digital are many, ranging from instant access, distribution and longevity to reduced cost of storage and more. As the world goes digital, let us look at some of the key document management trends that are shaping in the future:

Cloud-Based Document Management

With cloud storage being around for quite some years now, the initial hesitation has given way to adoption. The ease of accessibility and scalability has fueled the adoption of cloud storage for document management. Cloud storage ensures availability of documents on the go – without the need of being within a closed network.

Social Integration

Digital record managers are integrating social media technology into document management, making collaboration, storage, organization, and revision of the files a seamless task. Integration with social media also has the advantage of sharing documents in varied formats across various platforms for a wide range of audience.

Artificial Intelligence

With artificial intelligence gaining popularity, document management will witness new search capabilities in the coming year. AI will make search simpler with the right keywords and voice search, allowing professionals to focus on their work rather than spending time searching for the documents that they need.

Robotic Process Automation

Robotic process automation is gradually gaining popularity to avoid mundane tasks and focus on tasks that create value. In the coming years, software “robots” will automate labor-intensive repetitive activities that are prone to errors. RPA will see more adoption for document sorting, classification, automating routine operations, and integrating unstructured data like emails, forms, photos, and files.

Mobile Access

With the changing structure of the workplace environment, as more employees are working remotely, accessibility of documents from a wide variety of devices has become a necessity. As the world becomes a global village, workers need to be able to access the documents from devices including smartphones and tablets and work on them efficiently.

As mobile usage continues to grow, document accessibility is not the only requirement for the professionals who are always on-the-go, document management software also needs to be user-friendly to provide a seamless experience.

Collaboration

As geographical boundaries deem to exist, professionals are no longer dependent on face-to-face interaction. While working on emails already exists, it can be cumbersome and confusing. Collaboration and project management tools has been around and it is now becoming a part of mainstream platforms, which will make document management easier.

Coming years will see document managers collaborating online within a single social space in real-time which will make working on and managing multiple projects faster irrespective of the geographical location of the professionals.

Scalable Solutions

Scalability is a necessary criterion to keep up with the growing volume of documents. Modern Document Management Solutions will not only have the capability to let employees collaborate and edit on a single platform but will also enable the clients to scale up with the growing number of users, storage requirement, multiple locations or the volume of documents. Cloud based solutions will have an edge as they’d be able to offer pay-per-user or pay-as-per-storage pricing models.

Cloud computing, collaboration, and the proliferation of mobile devices are making lives easier for document management professionals. Coming years will continue to see the growth and mass adoption of technology giving birth to integrated, user-friendly solutions, blurring the physical space issues.

The Tube Goes Personal- My Television, My Time, My Way

The Tube Goes Personal- My Television, My Time, My Way

The Tube Goes Personal

It was just another lazy Saturday noon at 41, Manchester lane for the Smiths. Everyone in the family was busy with their routine weekend affairs. Jenny was busy with her preparations for the dinner they were hosting for their family friends and was hoping to get a helping hand from her teenage kids Amber and Alex. She exclaimed looking at her teenage son, Alex “God knows what these kids to up to! They are always hooked to their mobile phones and iPads.”  It was half past seven and Alex was still completely engrossed in his tablet, watching something with rapt attention. Out of sheer curiosity and a bit of anger, Jenny took a peak into Alex’s screen trying to figure what he was glued to.

What Alex shared was a revelation for his mother. He explained how he can catch up on his favorite TV series on his smart phone or a tablet as and when he gets time. The very thought of watching her favorite shows without having to fight for the remote made Jenny smile, and she was super excited to learn that she can enjoy all of her sops simply by downloading an app on her mobile.

A global research suggests that an adult-internet user spends almost 20 hours per week online – consuming media. Interestingly, for the first time ever, Britons will spend around GBP 1.31 billion on video streaming subscriptions and film/TV downloads in 2016, more than on buying and renting DVDs.

My Television, My Way:  Happy Viewers

Television has been constantly reinventing itself and today, it has transformed itself from an idiot box to a smart device offering a personalized experience.  There were times when watching television was a family affair but with growing options, reach and changing preferences, there is a major change in content consumption patterns. While the previous generations fret over missing an episode, the modern viewer is consuming content in a whole new way.

OTT services providers like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon , beIN Connect etc. are now offering subscription based services to consumers on one end and are investing on sourcing content. Netflix has even taken a step forward by entering into production of content.

Cord cutting (the term used for viewers cancelling their television subscription services for alternate content sources) is now catching up with millennials around the world. As a viewer, on-demand TV gives them a choice to watch the content they like anytime, anywhere and on any device.

Getting Heard:  A Marketer’s Delight    

OTT, SVOD, Mobile TV are a fantastic medium for marketers to reach out their audience. Not only does it offer targeted advertising options but it offers meaningful insights for marketers to analyze and optimize their campaigns.  The result is impactful campaigns, reduced media spill and improved ROI.

Feed the Appetite: Content for the Consumers

With this trend shift, the industry is more focused on creating content to cater to the diverse set of viewers. While creating new content is important, re-purposing old content to make it accessible is also equally important. Digitization and management of old content in various formats is necessary for the survival of the heritage. Because, the new generation may not have read the works of Jane Austen, but chances are they would not have missed ‘Emma Approved’, the web-series based on her popular novel Emma.

What Happens in Vegas Comes to the Television near You!

What Happens in Vegas Comes to the Television near You!

Vegas lights up to host the NAB Show 2016. As the industry gears up to catch the latest in the show, we bring you the top four driving forces for broadcasters in 2016.

Your Favorite Content Anytime, Anywhere

How many times have you watched all the seasons of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. till date? Or played those quizzes circulating on Facebook that determines which F.R.I.E.N.D.S. character do you resemble?

In the age of digitization, the eternal wait for when your favorite season would be telecasted on TV is over. Now, content can be accessed at the drop of a hat. Today, digital asset management has made it possible to archive, access, share and distribute content to the viewers on the platform of their choice, anytime and anywhere.

As DAM/ MAM (Digital Asset Management/Media Asset Management) vendors bring the yesteryears closer to you, watch out how they innovate to make content inter-operable between systems and broadcast workflows.

Video Digitization

Headphones plugged in, eyes glued to phone screen – a common sight at any public transport, right? While our older generation complains that we are becoming unsocial, watching videos in free time has become a routine. No time to go for a movie – watch a short film instead!

With digital archiving around the corner, we don’t miss any episode of our favorite programs? Over the top (OTT) technology ensures our favorite program gets recorded while we are busy. Video-on-demand brings entertainment to our living room at our will.

As content producers move from making two hour movies to 20-minutes short films, the industry gears up for the next big change. New innovations around interactive TV technology, cloud based media resource planning and video digitization is something to look out for at the NAB Show 2016.

World of Mobile Apps

From networking on social media to playing games, from ordering grocery to keeping a tab of finances, our daily life is ruled by various apps. Be it making travel plans, getting news across as and when it happens, sharing photos, messaging, playing games, or even measuring our steps and daily calories – apps influence almost all our daily activities.

With drones capturing videos, monitoring crops, and flying quadcopters, mobile app developers are setting new standards every day. The NAB Show 2016 promises to introduce a host of new apps to drive engagement with functionality-rich experiences for the broadcast industry.

Merger of Real and Reel Life

You don’t miss a single movie of your favorite star, read all his interviews, listened to all his shows, and follow him on social media. Wouldn’t it be great if you could meet and click a selfie with him? Or attend one of his live shows?

As reel life spills over real life, consumers are looking at extending their digital experience to real life experience. With 3D, 4D and 7D technology already popular, industry is moving from watching a movie to living it with 4DX technology, where viewers live the experience with environmental effects.

How the industry players continue to innovate to provide immersive cinematic experience to consumers is something to watch out for this year.

If you are headed to the NAB show in Las Vegas and would like to meet our experts, drop a line to marketing@mediaguru.com