What’s new in Media Asset Management

  • With David Kirk

What’s new in Media Asset Management

Contributing Editor David Kirk examines the state of play in Media Asset Management workflow technology...

The defining recommendation among managers of stored digital data has long been that nothing is secure unless held on at least three separate systems, preferably at more than one location. Analogue-epoch risks of film and tape degeneration have been largely succeeded by the statistics of disk-server MTBF and the potential for human error when decisions are made about which content can safely be deleted.

Securely networked MAM solves the unintended deletion problem provided the administrative boundaries are clearly defined and understood by relevant managers. Cloud-based MAM also delivers the advantage of easy access for authorised staff. The following summary looks at recent progress in this fast developing sector, including new developments in automated content recognition, metadata creation and indexing. 

Ateliere is partnering with media application integration specialist ‘qibb’ to support hybrid storage workflows across the content supply chain. Ateliere says its cloud-native media supply chain workflows and open API seamlessly integrate with qibb's media workflow connectors, ensuring the swift automatic transfer of local files to the cloud and vice versa.

Dalet has introduced new features for its cloud-native Flex. Faster editing workflows with Cut allow users to work on content preparation, social media, cutdowns and highlights. An enhanced user interface for FlexMOVE enables users to upload media and metadata for individual files or in bulk. Integration with IBM Aspera Connect is included. Simplified camera card ingest provides greater control of assets and productions in conjunction with Dalet AmberFin Kiosk. Dalet also recently introduced SaaS-based InStream which integrates with Flex, Pyramid and the Galaxy five news workflow platform, enabling customers to schedule, record, access, edit and deliver content from anywhere. Dalet InStream can be deployed within a day and reduce ingest costs with potential savings between 50 and 80 per cent.

Editshare, recently acquired by Shift Media, now offers the latter’s MediaSilo SaaS-based collaboration tool as an integrated feature. Authorised members of the Editshare team login wherever convenient. Content and metadata can be automatically shared without need for manual transfers. “Data can move in both directions,” says CTO Stephen Tallamy. “On a reality show, for example, someone might be responsible for using AI tools for transcription or might need to log which characters appear in which scenes and storylines. Full asset management access is not required as the operator can work from MediaSilo but feed into the core metadata. The marketing department might want to send teaser clips, protected by a watermark. In an ideal world you would not want the risk of watermarks being added to work in progress; no editor wants to look at logos bouncing around when trying to fine tune a scene. With MediaSilo you can keep that technology separate but readily available for secure delivery.”

“EditShare’s One,” Stephen Tallamy adds, “delivers a single, streamlined experience across all our storage and asset management tools but presents an intuitive user experience at every stage. That includes embracing AI where it can add value to the process which could be as simple as speech to text transcription or something more demanding like object detection and identification. With EditShare One, the screen adapts to the task in hand, for example focusing on text when checking transcripts or AI outputs; or allocating most of the screen to the video window when checking edits. It combines the benefits of a unified approach with dynamic automation to present only the information and facilities you need at that moment.”

EMAM Inc., announced the production release of version 5.4 of its eMAM media asset management platform at the US National Association of Broadcasters show in April. This adds several enhancements for video editing.

Integrating with Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve offers an option for video editors to collaborate with remote or non-technical staff using eMAM’s web interface plus existing Apple Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro integrations. The extension panels for Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator are now enhanced with support for motion graphics templates. eMAM also now supports a range of options for remote workflows, including remote connectivity from cloud workstations as well as streaming from S3 cloud storage. Additional sharing and delivery options include better download tools, advanced media packaging and delivery, more stitch and delivery options, support for Cable Labs delivery, and additional transcoder support. The new version also integrates with Ross Inception, Playbox Neo, SNews and Capella. Extra storage and archive tiering options are now available for both AWS and Azure.  

Grass Valley has introduced new capabilities to its Framelight X asset management offering which is based on the company’s Agile Media Processing Platform. Damon Hawkins, Director, Production: “Adding an AMPP native MOS Clip List Player allows AMPP players, connected to Framelight X, to be driven by an NRCS rundown for newsroom and live event production playout. Multiple rundowns can be supported with features such as preview of intro or outro, end clip behaviour and post roll support. This allows users to produce anywhere and distribute everywhere. Another enhancement to Framelight X is the repurposing of Grass Valley’s Mync universal media player/organiser as a tool which allows users to ingest virtually any digital video format, create in and out marks and upload them to Framelight X where they can be edited in the Framelight X HTML5 Editor, Edius X or Adobe Premiere for craft editing. Support for HTML5 graphics is now included in the Framelight X editor. This allows editors to create graphics and set template variables which can be modified directly on the timeline. The Framelight X Inspector tool will also have the ability to view closed captions, paving the way for the soon to come ability to edit closed captions within the Framelight X editor.”

Marquis Broadcast’s X2Pro5 software is designed to integrate Apple Final Cut Pro projects into a professional audio workflow, enabling Avid Pro Tools to be used for audio finishing. It converts the exported Final Cut Pro XML into an AAF file which Avid Pro Tools can then open as a session. The new X2Pro5 software is a rewrite of Marquis’ X2Pro Audio Convert software and brings with it native Apple silicon support plus a redesigned user interface. It also takes advantage of the metadata-based organising features in Final Cut Pro X with expanded role management allowing unlimited numbers of audio roles in Final Cut Pro X to be converted into Pro Tools tracks.

ProConsultant Informatique (PCI) describes its Louise as a complete business management solution scalable for use by a single television station up to a multichannel network and from linear broadcasting to VOD/OTT publishing. Louise offers management of content and business information in its central database, including rights, contracts, scheduling and all associated metadata.

Ross Video has added new features to its Streamline Pro MAM system:     

  • Improved resilience between servers when using MOS in fast-paced environments.     
  • Support for AP ENPS v9.4.     
  • Placeholder watch folders, Edius X and other third-party NLEs can now contribute to Streamline Pro placeholders without the need of an integrated panel.

"Streamline Pro accelerates content production, ensures higher-quality output, and promotes seamless collaboration across teams, both onsite and remotely,” says MAM Product Manager, Alan Dabul. “From planning with your NRCS, editing in Adobe, automating the rundown via OverDrive and playout via Media I/O), Streamline Pro is the connection that facilitates content creation across Ross production systems.”

Tedial recently enhanced smartWork, a cloud-native no-code media integration platform based on smartPacks - described as the media and entertainment industry’s first and only Packaged Business Capabilities (PBCs) solution, pre-packaged for citizen developers. 

Julian Fernandez-Campon, CTO, Tedial: “In the M&E industry, different organisations have unique needs depending on their specific business focus. smartPacks are designed to accommodate this diversity by offering ready to use solutions for various key business services. These pre-designed, compiled, and grouped workflows, resources and dashboards are installed via drag-and-drop offering flexibility, agility, a higher level of automation, and a focus on business outcomes without the need for complex technical processes - a true embodiment of the citizen developer concept.”

Tailored for different categories such as news, post production, sports, ingest, delivery and migration, smartPacks deploy all the necessary resources, workflows, and monitoring tools for each specific use case with just one click, enabling the creation of a new business unit on the smartWork platform in a matter of hours.  Providing a modular and customisable approach, smartPacks allow organisations to pivot swiftly with evolving market trends, selecting and implementing the services that best align with their individual requirements and optimising media operations based on their specific needs.

Users can select the smartPacks that they need or acquire additional ones as their business evolves or changes direction. They can also reduce costs by only paying for modules that fit their requirements, instead of spending larger sums for features they might never use.

VSN’s VSNExplorer MAM offers metadata segmentation functionality with an aggregator view of metadata coming from multiple AI engines, as well as new functionality for advanced segment searches by AI elements. The VSNExplorer MAM web interface allows users to install all or part of the system on platforms such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Drive or Google Cloud. It can be also accessed on a pay-as-you-go basis. VSN’s Business Intelligence module also features new detailed reports on the platform’s own status. These can be added as widgets to any dashboard. The BP Editor now has an ‘expert mode’ which includes predefined tasks to streamline and optimise business processes. The Broadcast Management system includes improvements to its linear scheduling module and now supports specific digital platform rights in the Acquisitions module as well as greater support for publishing content on YouTube.