SVG Sports Asset Management & Storage Q&A: Matt Stamos, Director of Technology, JB&A
The SVG Sports Asset Management & Storage Forum is coming up fast, on Thursday at the McGraw-Hill Building in New York City. Leagues, networks, and manufacturers will take the stage to address common challenges, solutions, and best practices in the exploding field of media-asset–management (MAM).
CLICK HERE for more information and to register for the SVG Sports Asset Management & Storage Forum now!
Managing content in an age of multiple delivery formats continues to be a major challenge, and content owners are always looking for new ways to keep up with new formats while still supporting the old ones. In one of the day’s key panels, “A Method to the Format Madness: Best Practices for Transcoding and Content Management.” leaders from CBS, IMT, JB&A, the NHL, Primestream, the University of Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish Digital Media will offer advice on how your facility can more efficiently juggle content as it comes in from the field and heads out to viewers.
SVG caught up with panelist JB&A Director of Technology Matt Stamos to discuss what to expect from the discussion and how transcoding, metadata assignment, and content management are key to a high-functioning organization.
How integral is a metadata-assignment and -identification system to a reliable asset-management workflow?
Metadata is the critical link in asset management — often driving workflows and integrations between not only vendors and products but also locations, departments, and individuals. The easy examples we see every day are in the metadata that links and drives the transcoding, archiving, and review and approval processes, not to mention automation, delivery, and storage management as well. In today’s modern file-based workflows, metadata is not preferred or recommended; it is flat out required.
What is one major trend you are seeing in sports-asset management and storage today?
The number-one trend is metadata creation becoming a process that travels with the files in a workflow. What we are seeing more than ever is metadata being created prior to shooting and even after elements have been archived. Bottom line, until a file is no longer used in a workflow, there is metadata being constantly added and/or modified.
What are your sports clients demanding of you in terms of asset-management and -storage products/workflows?
There is one thing we can all count on: workflows are going to change. In order to have a nimble and adaptable workflow to accommodate the ever changing workflow landscape, clients require flexibility and user- or self-managed automation. Many MAM-automation systems are too cumbersome to script or to code, making the inevitable workflow changes a huge challenge. Clients are demanding tools that are easier and faster to automate, allowing them to adapt to these changes. Our solutions at JB&A offer the power of command-line and scripting interfaces with the power of a UI [user interface], so our clients have options on how they automate their workflow.
[For a prime example of how high-end college-athletics production entities are embracing MAM, check out JB&A’s University of Alabama – Crimson Tide Products – CatDV Case Study.]
How are you working to make the transcoding process less laborious/aggravating for customers?
By using metadata to trigger the transcoding process, utilizing logging, file, and production metadata to trigger automated file transcoding. An example is making mezzanine files, proxies, and multiple delivery profiles easy and accessible to folks that may not know the technical mumbo jumbo that is going on under the hood. This shows up in workflows as simple drop-down menus and check boxes, but these features are so powerful because they allow folks to trigger transcodes by logging and tagging their media. Suddenly, the people that know the content are kicking off complex processes based on the content rather than simply on some technical criteria.
What is an example of a new technology/product that you see streamlining transcoding and content management and making it easier for end users to juggle a variety of formats?
One great example is integration or compatibility between software/hardware, so that the MAM, storage, or ingest tools triggering automated transcodes can all work together. It seems that just about everyone has an API, but very few folks have time to integrate with these useful connectors or tools. Predefined integrators are streamlining the deployment and workflows as organizations deploy complex, multivendor solutions. Today, it is not enough to simply say that certain products will work together, but rather they must show an example of those products WORKING together.
What are you looking forward to most at the SVG Sports Asset Management & Storage Forum this week?
There are a couple of things that come to mind. First, I’m looking forward to the opportunity to learn from some of the industry’s finest; I always learn something valuable at each SVG event. Second, I look forward to the people. SVG really is a community with many passionate professionals, and these events are such a great opportunity to collaborate and stay in touch with colleagues and partners, as well as the chance to meet new folks.
For more information on the SVG Sports Asset Management & Storage Forum, visit sportsvideo.org/main/sam2014.