Why can’t we standardize our XML schemas? It should be easy – right? After all, we’ve been exchanging content between facilities for decades and we write the same stuff on bits of paper regardless of who’s receiving it. Don’t we?
We’re Consistent – Right?
It seems the answer is “Not really”. One of the hidden consequences of moving to file based workflows is that the metadata we enter into systems is no longer simply “Descriptive”. It is often “Instructive”. In other words, back in the tape days a piece of descriptive metadata such as “Episode Title” was simply a way of conveying information from one human to another. The receiving human could make judgments on whether the spelling, capitalization, language and other aspects of the metadata were good enough.
What’s Happening Today?
Today, that very same metadata is going to be used by a machine. It is no longer good enough to have the metadata almost right. It has to be exactly right and the hidden instructions that only lived in the heads of the operators are now being performed in software. “If language is French then put the tape in the captioning pile” was just something that “Fred” used to do because he invented the process 10 years ago. Today, we have to carefully instruct the software what we mean by “French”, what we mean by “captioning” and what we mean by “pile”. Your workflow is different to your competitors’ therefore your vital metadata to describe that workflow will also be different.
The Complex File Based Workflows
Today’s complex file based workflows are driven by metadata. Don’t forget that your QC / ingest and transcode tools need to be just as effective with metadata as they are with audio and video. It’s the little things in life that matter. If you get the 10kByte of metadata correct, then the 100GB of video will be in the right place at the right time at the right cost.
See our metadata plug-in blog post for a way to make our generic tool validate your custom metadata.