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Media Workflow - stage

Media Workflow Management

In this article we will take a closer look at a shared media workflow from content acquisition, editing and distribution. What are the primary production points and how can Vidispine manage your content more efficiently?

Regina Lisa Schneider - image
Elina Dimitrova - image
Rasmus Bergander (1)
Media Workflow
Building blocks of the digital media workflow
Case Study
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In this article, we will cover five production and distribution points in your workflow where media needs to be managed. But first, some terminology you will encounter in this article:

  • MAM – Media Asset Management. A system that manages your media and makes your media available to you.
  • Video CMS – very overlapping functionality to a MAM system, but more specialized on the actual distribution side.
  • RAW files – very large files used for mainly as a feature film, documentary production format (Red, ARRI, Black Magic RAW, Apple ProRes RAW)
  • Transcoding – a process where one digital format is converted into another digital format – to save space or meet a target format requirement
  • NLE – Non-Linear Editor. Editing software such as AVID, FCP X, Adobe Premiere
  • Metadata – “data about data”, yes, this is what it is. And by managing this information efficiently, you can make use of your current media much better.
  • OTT – Over The Top is an expression of internet-based tv that was added “on top” of the traditional broadcast distribution. However, OTT is taking over as the primary way of delivery now.
  • Cognitive Services – the next step of automated QC where actual video and audio content can be analyzed or “seen” by a machine and described as metadata for your MAM to manage.

Media Workflow

A media workflow is essentially a description of all involved processes from media creation, and media preparation to media distribution. Today not only the traditional broadcast, but post-production house and the VOD / live provider are also working on optimizing their media workflows. We also see new areas of a business adapting very rapidly to the digital media workflow for video as an additional tool of communication.

No matter the area of business, you need to pay attention and plan your media workflow management. And Vidispine is here to help – no matter the size, capability or scale that your digital media workflow requires.

In this article we will take a closer at a shared media workflow from content acquisition, editing and distribution. What are the primary production points and how can Vidispine manage your content more efficiently?

What are the building blocks of the digital media workflow management platform?

Building Blocks of Digital Media Workflow | Vidispine

No matter the area of business, content in the form of media files and metadata will enter your media workflow – followed by some kind of process – to be processed and delivered. Here are the essential building blocks of a digital media workflow management platform:

  • Content acquisition

    Media files and metadata can arrive into your media workflow in many different ways and shapes depending on your area of business. RAW media files from on-set in a post-production workflow, broadcast masters, media to be prepared for internet distribution internally or externally are just some examples of many digital media workflows today. 

    At the content acquisition stage, Media Asset Management (MAM) is responsible for copying and indexing media into the target storage location for processing. 

    The VidiCore Server Agent (VSA) is an agent locally installed for ingesting media and associated meta-data into the Vidispine media workflow using the VidiCore API. The Agent consists of two media services, a Transcoder and a Storage Handler, enabling you to manage and transcode local files, as well as transfer files to and from your cloud storages. In this process, you can opt to transcode your media locally before uploading or upload the original media file as-is. Associated meta-data will be ingested according to a pre-defined ingest API job defined in the VidiCore API.

    The VidiCore API also allows for building customized ingest processes directly into your NLE – such as the panel API in Adobe Premiere. See Arvato VPMS EditMate example for more info.

  • Media processing

    Media files and metadata almost always need some processing into a house format to be available and accessible in your digital media workflow. Master files might be too big for browsing and therefore needs to be transcoded into smaller and more light-weighted proxy files, while maintaining the necessary metadata for later conform. Or external metadata needs to be associated with your media files – it all depends on your area of business.

    It is not uncommon that metadata needs conforming into a house format for metadata in the same way as media files.

    In VidiNet, the Vidispine cloud-based media service store, you will access high performance and scalable media processing services such as the VidiCoder and AWS Elemental Media Convert for transcoding media into your digital media workflow while maintaining the necessary metadata relation in the Vidispine database.

  • Quality control

    Quality control can be many things. From a technical standpoint, you might want to ensure the correct codec, format and audio mapping arrives as expected – and if not, your Media Asset Management software should address the problem and alert the user for visual control. In post production workflows and distribution environments, there are highly trained specialists for this purpose referred to as Golden Eyes.

    Visual QC has been a human only task for until now. In fact, today, cognitive AI-driven services are starting to take over more and more visual and audio measurements such as speech recognition, black detection, bars detection, face detection – yes, even lip-sync services can to some extent be automated.

    The Media Asset Management system will be notified and store this information as metadata to drive the next process downstream.

    Quality control can, of course, be applied and necessary for both incoming and outgoing media and metadata.

  • Editing

    Editing in the Media Workflow | Vidispine

    NLE – Non-Linear Editor (AVID, Adobe Premiere, FCP X)

    Editing video and audio is the creative center point in the digital media workflow. Some media workflow, especially in feature film products require low res resolution versions of the original media – for later confirming the same edits to the original clips based on metadata. A Media Asset Management software can store and update the NLE:s projects based on the editor’s edits. 

    As the market for video management expands beyond traditional broadcasters, post production houses and similar – we now see and expect more new editing solutions and environments. An editing project in those new environments might be a more straightforward storytelling product for immediate distribution through one or more social media platforms – for example, news clips. This requires solutions preferably adapted to the expected average knowledge of anyone in the news or marketing team, just like another office product really.

    So, the additional editing solutions need to be much more simple, efficient and integrated in the current environment. For this reason, it is not uncommon that more straightforward editing tools are being developed as part of the MAM´s feature set.

    VidiCore API includes the necessary metadata data framework to build smart ingest and delivery methods for your chosen NLE. There several examples on panels made for Adobe Premiere – one of them is EditMate which is an excellent example of how to build a solution on the existing VidiCore API. 

  • Distribution

    Distribution of media can be either an internal requirement or a distribution workflow for targeting your customers and viewers. Either way, the media itself needs to be prepared for the best viewing experience. This process involves the preparation of both your media content and metadata data.

    The media files themselves need to be transcoded for distribution to standard target devices such as web browsers, smart devices, Chromecast, Apple TV and similar. This target group for distribution is commonly referred to as OTT (over the top) and will require the media to transcoded into a ladder of different bitrate profiles to fit the currently available bandwidth, and devices decode capability.

    Equally important is, of course, the metadata management in the distribution processes were descriptive (title, abstract, author), structural (technical metadata) and administrative metadata (rights and preservation metadata) are correctly updated and applied depending on distribution target.

    In VidiNet, you will find scalable and cloud-native transcoding and packaging services available such as VidiCoder, AWS Elemental MediaConvert and Bitmovin to ensure to the most robust media processing distribution capabilities for your digital media distribution workflow.

    A more traditional form of distribution to typical streaming providers, broadcasters, and cinema is, of course also part of this distribution workflow.

    No matter the target, you will need the necessary information to automate this process as much as possible to maintain efficiency by avoiding the human factors as a single point of failure.

    The VidiCore API service in VidiNet includes the necessary API building blocks to connect to your existing Video CMS.

    Our vision is to be the most innovative and widely used platform for managing media from digital to audience.

Case Study: Designing and integrating a cloud-based MAM system in only three weeks with Vidispine

Learn how LOGIC Media Solutions implemented a complete Vidispine media supply chain for German live-broadcast provider AKK in just three weeks thanks to the use of managed services and by reusing development components. 

The Vidispine MAM solution was the perfect choice for building a media supply chain, flexible enough to meet the digital media workflow challenges and requirements that LOGIC and AKK were facing.

Let us help you get started!

Let us help you get started with your digital media workflow management. Contact us to get a free demo or if you have any questions. 


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Your Contacts for Media Workflow Management

Regina Lisa Schneider - image
Regina Lisa Schneider
Elina Dimitrova - image
Elina Dimitrova
North America
Rasmus Bergander (1)
Rasmus Bergander
Rest of the world