July 9th, 2014

“MAM Project Planning and Integration” on The Workflow Show
Media Asset Management (MAM) is a burgeoning reality for video production companies, both large and small. The evolution of MAM has been accelerated by several factors: the near extinction of recording on videotape, an increase in shooting ratios, and an exponential increase in file sizes inherent with new Ultra HD formats.
In other words, video entities today are awash with digital data, and file-based organization approaches just cannot keep up anymore.
MAM solutions involve the addition of metadata (think “data about data”) to media files. There are three types of metadata:

  • Intrinsic – where the metadata provides information about the file, such as format, location, time of day, frame rate, etc.
  • Qualitative – human-tagged info such as “good” or “bad” shot
  • Process-oriented – where metadata triggers a subsequent action or workflow

“Media Asset Management is by far the most complicated solution we offer, both from a technological point of view and the scope of the projects,” says Nick Gold, Director of Business Development at Chesapeake Systems.
As one of the foremost IT-centric media systems integrators within the US, Chesapeake Systems recently held in New York City the third of its on-going series of symposia that explore the intricacies of deploying MAM solutions.
The event was titled, “MAM Project Planning and Integration Symposium,” and in addition to Gold, it featured John Fico, Solutions Architect with Axispoint; Mike Szumlinski, CEO of Professional Video Technology (US distributor of Cantemo Portal); and Greg Shiff, Director of Technical Sales at Levels Beyond (creators of Reach Engine).
The audience included decision-makers and potential front-line MAM users from some of New York’s top media corporations and independent production companies.
Foremost among the best practices discussed during the opening panel was gaining acceptance upfront from throughout the customer’s workforce. “Everybody has to be ready to embark on a big change for the organization. There has to be universal “buy-in” or successful implementation of the MAM solution just will not happen,” said Greg Shiff. In tandem with that, Mike Szumlinksi added, “I think a really important thing to have is a thorough understanding of what your current infrastructure looks like before we even start to talk about a MAM solution, because without that in place, the process will become a much more time-consuming and expensive endeavor.”
John Fico discussed the challenges that come with implementing the actual switchover from an existing workflow to a new MAM system. “I think one of the challenges of bringing in a legacy system is, where does that cut-off happen? Is the plan to knife-switch the changeover? People say they want to do that, but I’ve never seen that happen. There is always a period when both systems need to run in parallel.” Fico added, “So we need to put our heads together and come up with a plan to deal with that.”
Many more valuable insights and much more advice can be heard in the recording of the hour-plus panel discussion, which can be accessed by listening to the latest episode of The Workflow Show audio podcast series. Access within iTunes via
Storage partner Nexsan provided financial sponsorship for the symposium.
Nexsan’s E-Series RAIDs and NST-Series file servers offer exceptional performance, density and value for SAN, NAS and hybrid environments.
The Workflow Show is a production of Chesapeake Systems, whose slogan is “Creative IT for the Creative Professional.”
Contact for more information:
David Ryan 410-400-8934