Video is like The Mississippi River

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Before anyone deals with video asset management systems, or plans strategies for adding video to digital asset management systems, standing at the edge of Lake Itasca in Minnesota where the Mississippi river begins, stands a person with a video camera ... the beginning of the video stream. When he/she presses record on the camera, he/she is creating the first asset of many that will become part of the video river. As the video flows south, tributaries start to feed the mighty river. The Wisconsin River joins in by adding a project file from video editing software, like Final Cut Pro and Avid. Later on down stream in Iowa, the Iowa River brings in graphic files, or still photos. The Illinois River brings in audio files like narration tracks, and music beds. As more tributaries bring in more files, the stream grows not only in size, but in the number of people viewing or working with the files.

By the time the Missouri River starts to feed the beast, we now have a finished high resolution video, with all of its parts. Draw a line in the sand. The main focus so far had been the creation of the video. Above this line, video asset management has very different needs than what is going to come next. Below the line, viewing, access, and distribution are key. This is where our digital asset management service comes into play. Although, stay tuned for future enhancements to our system that will venture into the upper Mississippi.

Then we hit the Mississippi Delta, which has many distributaries. You guessed it. A distributary is the opposite of a tributary. Instead of feeding the river, a distributary flows away from it. In its lifespan, the high resolution video file will feed many different work flows. From it, mpeg2 will be created for DVD production. Quicktime and WMV versions will be made for download and local playback. FLV files will be made for embedding into websites.

As you can see, an overall media asset management strategy has a lot of ground to cover. From little old Lake Itasca in Minnesota, all the way to the Gulf of Mexico ... from a person with a video camera, to millions of views of a web video. Most marketing departments are like the Mississippi Delta. Web based DAM is an indispensable tool.

Video files are large. There is no way around it. But Widen can help determine where in the delta your work flow starts. My preceding blog discusses mezzanine formats as a way to help reduce overall storage size. Determining where you are at on the Mississippi River will help determine what kind of Mezzanine format will work best for you.

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