Real-world reality show workflow
Servers have been deployed in the post-production environment to improve media access for editors and to improve workflow efficiency. Take, for example, a reality show format. Based on a nonstop recording-based process, editors can browse and retrieve media while the server is still recording; a significant productivity improvement compared to the previous VTR workflow. (See “Reality show benefits” side bar at the end of this article.)
Editing, content management and storage
Whether integrated into the server system or accessed through plug-ins, editing tools are capable of delivering edits without the time-consuming rendering processes of older systems. Editing software can also be optimized for the specific application, allowing support for multiple formats and resolutions on the same timeline and extended metadata management features. Some editing tools and servers are fully interoperable with all existing post-production systems. Open content management systems are critical to third-party integration and successful workflows.
Some server technology incorporates comprehensive management suites that allow ingest control, metadata management, on-the-fly browsing and editing, and playout scheduling — all managed from a single interface. Running on a common platform, all network personnel can instantly share content, metadata, edits and rough cuts. The software suite integrates with third-party systems, simplifying the transfer of media to post-production tools or archiving. Suites such as these also allow management and recording, enabling operators to stay continuously linked to the media. In post production, editors can use the descriptive information to search for certain clips or content. The system will retrieve specific clips, and editors can manipulate them through a simple drag-and-drop sequence.
The increase in the volume of content of various formats and spread over countless platforms makes for complex media content management. Features of a centralized media management system may include: a Web-based interface to instantly find content throughout multiple platforms; intelligent media browsing based on descriptive metadata and logging; automated media digitization; rewrapping based on integrated hardware and software tools; and robust processes for instant transcoding and media delivery to simplify the promotion and distribution of content.
The important benefit of all these tools is to reduce post-production time. Allowing faster access to specific content through metadata, for example, allows editors to spend more time on creative, not logging.