Tracking and Managing Media Assets - Getting Your Feet Wet

Whitepaper 600 x 400If you’re involved in post production, you’re probably juggling a lot of media these days; probably more media than ever before thanks to increasing shooting ratios and the prevalence of multi-camera productions. Some people say that 30% of time taken in the edit suite is spent searching for things, but with so many files, are you able to find what you are looking for using Apple’s Spotlight or Windows Explorer?

Modern file-based cameras store a multitude of data along with the shot that can be useful when searching in the future. However, it’s nearly impossible to search by descriptive metadata with OS level search tools. There is simply too much data that operating systems don’t know how to handle.

Maybe you’ve looked at media asset management systems only to be frightened away by a combination of sticker shock and/or concerns around successful implementation in your organization. Can you find tool that works equally well in any editing environment? Something that won’t burden your team with unnecessary rules and structure that they’ll ignore when working to a deadline? It’s true that there are many forms of asset management systems out there: MAM, PAM, - DAM! How do you make sense of it all and avoid making a mistake that takes your finely tuned crew in the wrong direction?

Mistakes have been made

In the quest to better manage media files, some very expensive, modern asset management systems have been completely mothballed due to the added complexity they brought to an already time-sensitive, overstretched post production crew. In many cases, the change in workflow was too invasive, and administrators found themselves arguing with staff more than they were helping them. The old adage holds true - it’s easier to change technology than people.

Finding the right balance for media tracking, search, and access

As an organization works to define its asset tracking needs, it’s important to find the right balance between managing content and minimizing the impact that management can cause to users who are under a deadline to get things done. The correct balance doesn’t interfere with workflow, has minimum policies for data entry, but still provides the efficiencies of powerful search and access to the media needed.

Tracking, searching, and finding are important aspects to any solution, but what happens once the asset is found?  How can you be sure it’s the right one?  Viewing any flavor of digital media file directly is required to be sure you have the asset you’re looking for.  Once the media has been found, how easy is it to bring it into your editing application? All of these elements are critical to achieving a streamlined workflow that can take your team to the next level in productivity.

For facilities wanting to get started with tracking and managing their ever growing library of media assets, it’s important to find a lower-cost solution that doesn’t threaten workflows and will still grow as the facility’s asset management needs scale in the future.

At Facilis, we want to help you make the right decisions for your business even if it means that we don't end up selling you one of our products if our solutions are not right for you! To that end, we’ve written a whitepaper that explains various media asset management systems, the pros and cons surrounding their use, and the reasons we built a system called FastTracker.

We encourage you to “get your feet wet” by reading the whitepaper and learning what’s out there and why you may or may not need it. The whitepaper also discusses the importance of joining asset tracking to the entire creative process. It is important to search and find things, but how you view and access the found media in your project is equally important. Please contact us if you have any questions.