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Exploiting And Protecting Valuable Interplay Metadata With Marquis Broadcast

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Avid® Interplay® PAM has become a mainstay of many production workflows. It is relied upon daily by large and small production facilities around the world to find, track, archive and deliver projects. Some have been using Interplay for many years and have been actively managing the media on their ISIS NEXIS; usually archiving media after use. However, for very good reasons they have intentionally not archived or deleted the Interplay metadata associated with project media that has been archived.

Often users want to keep the rich set of Interplay metadata online and available for later operational and production use. For example, searching and referencing the Interplay metadata, perhaps to recover referenced media from an archive. The scale of the Interplay database can grow exponentially, ultimately adversely impacting Interplay performance.

The Interplay Metadata Export Tool (IMET) copies and externalises Interplay metadata, making it simply searchable through a browser interface by operational staff. Importantly, the source externalised metadata record in Interplay can be safely deleted, thus reducing the size of the Interplay database and thereby improving the Interplay database performance, stability and indexing speed.

IMET is simple in concept and operation. When a user wants to export metadata from Interplay, they just drag that project or folder to an Interplay watch folder. From there, a data extraction service picks it up, extracts all the user and system metadata, including any AAFs, and creates a set of folders that contain the data wrapped in JSON files. A standard web server is pointed at this folder structure and delivers a simple web UI in a browser to any users who have the right to log in to it.

From the user's perspective, they simply drag and drop the project in Interplay and, soon after, it appears in their web browser. Here, they can navigate the folders, project, media descriptions and metadata, and see head frames in a very familiar way, searching and browsing from any location that can see the web server.

The benefits of exporting metadata like this are easy to understand. An export of the rich Interplay metadata makes it more accessible to users. Exported metadata can then be backed up and the source Interplay version deleted. This provides an opportunity to reduce the size of the Interplay database, with benefits of speed and stability. For some users, this might be the first time the Interplay database has been reduced in size for many years.

Using IMET, the exported Interplay metadata is now open and transferable. This greatly increases the workflow options for production facilities. IMET offers many new downstream operational and integration possibilities to fully exploit the valuable Interplay metadata they have been carefully creating and collecting for many years.

This article is also available in the April edition of Broadcast Film & Video.
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