Today’s the 4th of July so I thought I would muse over possible meanings of the phrase “Independence Day” as it relates to the business of media workflows:
It seems that most of the topics that occur to me all boil down to the one core subject – “How do you design a media workflow or media facility that minimizes or mitigates the risks?” Often this means designing for change. We all know that the business models in media are changing very rapidly. We also know that consumers are watching and listening to more media than ever before. The risk is that some new device or service will change viewing habits faster than you can respond. After all, if it’s your workflow or your department or your facility that becomes the bottleneck then the pointy finger of Risk allocation becomes an unpleasant reality.
It seems therefore that designing a facility or workflow that welcomes change without locking you into proprietary systems will help keep risk at bay. Today you might be transcoding to 25 different delivery formats and 3 different editing formats, but tomorrow that number might be 5 times as big. Today you might be able to do enough manual QC to maintain the standards of your organisation, but tomorrow with 5 times the throughput and no extra staff – how will you cope. Today you have a great XDCAM mezzanine that works just fine, but tomorrow you need to create VoD outputs for the latest-super-wonder-tablet that is able to show the difference between XDCAM, AVCIntra and JPEG2000. How do you cope?
Knowing that your mezzanine has a 5-8 year lifespan is half the solution. Choosing vendors who can hop from codec to codec whilst maintaining speed and quality will be key to the versatility of your company. Being able to link QC to transcode to ingest with an integrated solution where you can choose the QC analysis tool that is just right for your business will help you change the core formats and features of your workflows with ease. For more hints and tips including how scalability can be managed as your business requirements grow, why not check out the IMF solution for versatile multi-format versioning white paper.
Unfortunately I can’t promise you any solution for the huge amounts of food that will be consumed on Independence Day. If you’re reading this in another country then why not have a little mini-celebration along with the Americans who celebrate their escape from the “old ways” of Britain. We should all be celebrating the escape from the old ways of linear tape workflow and celebrating the fact that shared, collaborative workflows allow the creative talent to be independent of the constraints of media storage technology.
‘till next time.