In Broadcast - April 2013 - 64


I N T E R N A T I O N A L

WWW.INBROADCAST.COM | ISSUE 18 - APRIL 2013

N E W S

InMEDIA

The Evolution Of MAM
By Peter Gallen
Product Manager
Tedial

O

64

riginally the term Media Asset
Manager (MAM) was coined to
describe a system that was like a
Digital Asset Manager (DAM) but
able to deal with the complexity of
video rather than printed material.
For broadcasters MAM was
introduced to the market close
on the heels of digital archiving
as apparently a “must have” for
organisations that wanted to be in
the technology vanguard. As a result
it took some time to persuade them
to adopt another foreign concept.
Not surprisingly the early MAM
offerings were lacking in functionality
when exposed to real processes such
as ingest and archive. The availability
of reasonably priced transcoders
to produce low-resolution browse
or proxy versions brought video
onto the desktop and together
with search engines made content
more accessible.
The problems arose when these
embryonic systems had to connect
into real broadcast technology
such as video servers. In fact the
integration of MAM systems with
video servers was at that time
pretty challenging, bearing in mind
that most broadcast sub-systems
couldn’t communicate with each
other let alone a MAM.
At the other end of the process the
MAM could more easily connect to
one of the so-called HSM systems
like Front Porch Digital DIVA and
SGL amongst others. In summary
the early MAMs could deliver more
benefits in making the archive visible
and accessible than they could in
production areas. Nonetheless during
this period until around 2004 there

were a number of successful projects
and a few failures. In any case those
early adopting broadcasters learned
a lot and were better informed on
their future requirements and
able to better judge the value of
following generations of improved
MAM products.
The progressive introduction of
integration via web services gave
broadcasters the possibility to
integrate their production systems
together and, coincidently to make
integration with the MAM a lot
simpler. This development makes
the MAM, which needs to be able
to capture metadata from as many
sources as possible, much more
useful and powerful.
One of the early expectations of
MAM was that a single instance
could communicate with every
sub-system in the typical media
organisation. However, it soon
became clear that this is not a
practical scenario not least because
nowadays there are many MAMlike entities in the typical system.
For example there are systems
like Avid’s Interplay, which keeps
metadata relating to post-production
systems or tape library systems to
name but two. In this environment
what could be called the central
MAM might be the biggest player
in the content management area
but it needs to connect to every
other system that holds content
metadata and either capture it into
the central MAM or be able to search
other systems on demand. At the
same time MAM technology has
become somewhat commoditised
and has been deployed by other

Tedial Production Workflow and MAM

broadcast suppliers in the guise
of local content databases to
support a variety of applications.
The major suppliers of MAM have
as a result expanded their offerings
to encompass more operational
functions and some have added
Workflow Management to their
capabilities as a way to continue
to add value to content production.
MAM can be useful, not just in
preserving asset value but also in
relation to process management
and, as it is normally the repository
for content based metadata, it
is also well suited to collect and
store information about the media
production processes.
This could be applied to manual
workflows but it is a logical next step
to implement a Workflow Manager
that controls each task in a workflow
ensuring that all processes are
complete before moving onto the
next step. In this instance MAM and
workflow management are natural
partners as they provide different
perspectives on content stored or
flowing through a media facility.
The MAM holds metadata down
to the single frame level as well as
ownership and rights parameters
which are made available to users
inside the production group or more
widely in the enterprise and beyond.
Meanwhile the workflow manager
provides the process oriented
information where precise data about
the status of content, both currently
and historically, delivering an audit
trail for every task executed in the

system, which is also preserved in
the MAM database.
This combination is potentially very
powerful especially in an industry
where the demands for re-purposing
content are rising all the time and can
no longer be reliably satisfied using
the old manual methods. In systems
using these joint technologies the
MAM/Workflow Engine takes centre
stage in the production facility. In this
instance the MAM helps to optimise
production process. Broadcasters
who are using these systems in this
way are very clear about how they
have improved efficiency as a result.
Finally, in summary, MAM has
shown that it’s here to stay having
evolved during a period where
file-based working and IT based
technology have become almost
ubiquitous in the broadcast industry.
In this regard MAM technology is
at the forefront of the gradual
migration of broadcast systems to
IT based platforms. This has enabled
broadcast facilities to use off-theshelf technology: ingest using simple
capture cards is a prime example.
Early predictions that many
broadcast facilities would be
controlled by a central or enterprise
MAM have proved to be mistaken;
such a thing doesn’t make
sense any more.
However the underlying
technology represented by MAM
is alive and well and although not
everywhere it’s underpinning much of
broadcast and high end video media
production today.


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In Broadcast - April 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - April 2013

In Broadcast - April 2013
Contents
InNEWS: Chyron to Merge With Hego Group
InNEWS: Studiovision Lebanon HD OB Truck
InPREVIEW: Nab Show 2013 Keynote Address: Disruptive Media
InREPLY: Harmonic Answers on MPEG DASH
InGEAR: Camp Digital Hits the Road
InVIEW: Hyper-Local TV Channels
InMEDIA: Digital Nirvana’s Cloud Based Anystream IQ
InMEDIA: Keeping One Step Ahead With on Demand Video Streaming Technology
InMEDIA: Understanding Media Asset Management
InTEST: Oversight via Monitoring & Logging
In Broadcast - April 2013 - In Broadcast - April 2013
In Broadcast - April 2013 - Cover2
In Broadcast - April 2013 - Contents
In Broadcast - April 2013 - InNEWS: Chyron to Merge With Hego Group
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 5
In Broadcast - April 2013 - InNEWS: Studiovision Lebanon HD OB Truck
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 7
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 8
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 9
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 10
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 11
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 12
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In Broadcast - April 2013 - 25
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In Broadcast - April 2013 - 28
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 29
In Broadcast - April 2013 - InPREVIEW: Nab Show 2013 Keynote Address: Disruptive Media
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 31
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 32
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 33
In Broadcast - April 2013 - InREPLY: Harmonic Answers on MPEG DASH
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 35
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 36
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 37
In Broadcast - April 2013 - InGEAR: Camp Digital Hits the Road
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 39
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 40
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 41
In Broadcast - April 2013 - InVIEW: Hyper-Local TV Channels
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 43
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 44
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 45
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 46
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 47
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 48
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In Broadcast - April 2013 - 51
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 52
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 53
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 54
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 55
In Broadcast - April 2013 - InMEDIA: Digital Nirvana’s Cloud Based Anystream IQ
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 57
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 58
In Broadcast - April 2013 - InMEDIA: Keeping One Step Ahead With on Demand Video Streaming Technology
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 60
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 61
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 62
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 63
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 64
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 65
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 66
In Broadcast - April 2013 - InMEDIA: Understanding Media Asset Management
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 68
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In Broadcast - April 2013 - 86
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 87
In Broadcast - April 2013 - InTEST: Oversight via Monitoring & Logging
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 89
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 90
In Broadcast - April 2013 - Cover4
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