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Yes, MAM

by Digital Studio Middle East Staff on Jun 24, 2017


MAM tools can help broadcasters to distribute content on various platforms to different types of devices.
MAM tools can help broadcasters to distribute content on various platforms to different types of devices.

Deployment Challenges

Iyer stated that putting the solution together to ensure proper sizing was the biggest challenge. Furthermore, the arduous process of identifying material to be managed by the AM system, converting it to a digital format that would be usable in the long term, and then tagging it with the correct metadata so that discovery would be easier than a manual library were some of the biggest challenges. “We are blessed with some of the best technical manpower and as such did not need to look for expertise outside our team. We did, however, engage a third party to help with conversion of our legacy material to a format where it would be managed by the AM platform.”

Moreover, MAM may be the only solution for the vast amount of content being generated now. “The nature and working of these systems may change over the years but they will all still manage assets. YouTube is MAM. So is Netflix.”

“Almost all MAM vendors are cognisant of the need for customers to do more in lesser time and are gearing up to the various challenges being thrown at them. I am confident that MAM vendors will catch up with security, cost, faster access, and other demands being placed on them,” he added. According to him, MAM is the right solution for small content aggregators. “All aggregators track the material they are bringing on board their platform—from acquisition to expiry. This can help them track license usage, reduce the risk of overuse penalties, help cross-index material from multiple sources, track ownership, and allow their customers to find the real videos.”

Najmi said that with the business being spread across locations, the Avid MAM had to be planned for a multi-site environment that would cater to the business’s functional needs and provide a standard operating procedure to unify the content archival at all locations.

Today, MAM is also offered as a SaaS (software as a service) model, which does not require upfront capex. MAM solutions also manage metadata, multiple dub and subtitle files, and a host of other data that is needed for linear and non-linear play-out. “Powered by hybrid cloud architecture, MAM can offer media management capabilities across global sites, including public cloud infrastructure like AWS,” Sankaranarayanan said.

Added Sharma: “When there is a large quantum of legacy content, the best way to manage media assets is to run the new and old system parallelly for some time till content migration finishes. This way, the user has access to both legacy and new content. Migration of legacy content and its integration with Avid MAM can be a challenge. We were following a particular workflow for the media management, which was different than the Avid MAM workflow, and could not be incorporated directly into the Avid workflow. This required end users to adopt a workflow that was new to them and were not comfortable using.”

Associating Metadata

Manual description and transcription of content by skilled archivists will nearly always provide the best possible descriptions which, in turn, optimise the accessibility of content. Often, however, only the most valuable content can justify this expense.

It is important to migrate existing metadata and proxies for legacy assets to ensure easy accessibility. “Technical and descriptive metadata should be generated as part of the ingest process. Furthermore, content should be enriched with catalogued metadata to ensure best results during searches,” added Sankaranarayanan.

“Automated scene and object recognition and speech transcription and segmentation can be applied at less expense, with greater speed, to larger volumes of content using either local or cloud-based resources,” observed Palmer. At the low end, a practical method is to associate related files to the assets. Because these files already exist, they just need to be attached to the asset and they immediately provide rich descriptive metadata. This has the benefit of not only being the least expensive option but it also provides immediate access to a larger number of users and enables more sophisticated automated or manual processes to be subsequently applied.

“Effective cloud-based MAM virtualises the content supply chain and brings content to the centre of the business allowing stakeholders to access their content anytime, anywhere, and on any device. Furthermore, a MAM built on hybrid cloud architecture enables users to run workflows on the cloud while retaining their priceless assets in-premise,” Sankaranarayanan pointed out.
To address the challenges of delivering content in a TV Everywhere universe, MAM systems have evolved rapidly over the last few years to handle larger volumes of content and more users and playout platforms. With the extent of digitisation only set to increase, MAM, with its versatility, fits the bill.


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