As server virtualization and cloud functionality infuse the world of video post and broadcast, there are now hundreds of options to manage media. The most popular strategy preferred by larger organizations is to consolidate the number of media services and primary platforms for greater simplicity and ease of use. Depending upon your workflow, this can be as easy as finding one media management product that provides most if not all of your functionality or a minimum combination of products and services.
For larger workflow demands, operational cost and a simple user interface will likely require multiple platforms and services. In this scenario, choosing products that can communicate with each other will require a strong inter-communication (API) capabilities and a user friendly configuration interface. MAM systems (Media Asset Management) will need to talk to PAM systems (Production Asset Management) and DAM systems (Digital Asset Management).
This article can help review how MAMs, DAMs and PAMs differ in resolving these needs. For enterprise or smaller organization media management, we invite you to contact us for a personal demo or quick quote as this product space is changing daily!
Some really good news
With recent advancements in virtualization and cloud resources, the cost and ease organizing your media has taken a quantum leap forward. First let’s agree on some terms for the common types of asset management systems.
Post and broadcast production asset management systems:
In most post and broadcast environments, a Production Asset Management system (PAM) is perfect. For Larger applications or tighter integration with other business systems, a Media Asset Management system (MAM) is a more functional and customizable choice. Digital Asset Manager systems (DAM) can be used for post and broadcast, however MAMs are typically used with DAMs to provide better workflow functionality.
Secure Sharing & Remote Access
PAMs, MAMs or DAMs consider secure files sharing with coworkers and clients to be a core feature. Assets can be directly accessed via browsers or other applications, saving everyone time and effort. To minimize bandwidth for these purposes, proxy (low resolution) versions of the files are used with access to the full resolution version for download as needed. This is the single most important issues when determining system hardware and cloud resources.
Clients requiring remote access or working on mobile devices can also require real-time proxies. In general, the more proxies you need, the more processing you’ll need. If your demands moves beyond a few editors or require real-time proxies, special hardware or dedicated cloud/virtual services may be required (ie: it can get expensive quickly). However the flexibility and benefits may be well worth the extra costs.
MAMs, Future Proofing & APIs
For larger applications, MAMs can provide real-time access to data for other business systems. This opens up functionality for ecommerce, traffic, compliance and many other crucial business functions. Communication with other business systems is usually managed through a common application programming interface or “API”. The need for APIs is largely related to customization and real-time data sharing. For systems requiring customization or sharing program data, API is a big feature. If you think APIs will become important for your future needs, this may determine if the extra cost for a MAM compared to a PAM is a good value. If you invest in a MAM, you should confirm the API documentation is well maintained and supported by the manufacturer.
Ease of Use Is Everything
Editors don’t like to leave the editing application while they are working. For this reason, PAMs or MAMs that allow editors to access and manage assets from within a workflow application’s user interface are highly valued. To accomplish this, the MAM or PAM asset features appear as a panel or menu option. This is a big time saver as bouncing between applications becomes unnecessary. DAMs don’t usually provide this feature for post and broadcast applications.
Each asset management system has its strengths, weaknesses and specialized features. There are 100’s of manufacturers, and each have their own market focus. Let’s compare MAMs, PAMs and DAMs from the post production and broadcast perspectives. Below is a brief comparison for each system type.
PAM (Production Asset Management)
Editshare Flow, Avid Interplay, SNS ShareBrowser, Facilis FastTracker, ProMax Platform
MAM (Media Asset Management)
Arvato MediaPortal, Square Box Systems CatDV
DAM (Digital Asset Management)
MicroSoft Sharepoint, Workfront (formerly AtTask), Adobe
Which One is Right for My Application? MAM, PAM or DAM?
– Fear not! There is likely a product off the shelf that’s right for you… but it will take some tweaking. If this article helped answer a few questions, it likely created even more. Drilling down on the details of the many manufacturers and options can be the more challenging part of the process. We can help you get it right today while keeping an eye on future trends to protect your investment.
Give us a call, chat or get a quick quote today!
Capture, Transcode & Distribute:
Free On-Demand Webinars
Learn how to work faster, get better results and reduce your costs. EAR is sponsoring a free webinar specifically for content creation professionals and broadcasters. Specify a time that is best for you when you register.
See how Telestream and EAR can make your life easier and more productive with the best of breed transcoding, media distribution and file evaluation quality solutions. And for a limited time, you can get a free test drive! You can try Telestream’s “Vantage” software, the next generation world class product line of encoding, confident monitoring and media distribution hardware and software.
Now available, Vantage 7 adds two new products built on the Vantage platform, new media analysis capabilities, more post-production formats and 3rd party product integration.
Post Producer – automates repetitive content assembly and production tasks which would otherwise tie up editors and NLE workstations
- Constructs multi-layered video deliverables
- Composites video, graphics, captions, subtitles
- Provides greater efficiency and accuracy
- Benefits multi-language distribution, promo creation,
local weather updates, audio dubbing, station branding
TrafficManager – following its highly successful predecessor, this next-gen product streamlines file-based ad ingest and media management
- Ingests local, regional and national spots
- Increases ad sales by streamlining ad processing
- Reduces errors by creating centralized ad inventory and management
- Automates regulatory compliance and file-based measurements
Vantage Analysis Pro – expands Vantage media analysis and intelligent decision-making capabilities
- Makes decisions based on Dolby E metadata
- Provides QC action for compliance checking
- Integrates MediaInfo, extending media parameters
- Removes the complexity of mixed media environments
More features for Post-Production – following recent receipt of the Engineering Excellence Award from the Hollywood Post Alliance for Vantage video processing technology, we’ve added:
- Direct ingest of DPX sequence files
- Direct ingest of RED RAW acquisition formats
- 24 to 25 frames per second audio conversion
Need help? Call, contact us via our website or request a demo. EAR has designed and delivered national media distributions systems based on Telestream for broadcast and cable systems. We are one of their most experienced professional resellers featuring individual products at great prices or design and installation of complete systems.
What To Call 1,000 Terabytes?
I recently listened to an episode of Science Friday on National Public Radio. The topic was “The Data Deluge” and featured discussion of how much data exists in the world today.
Ira Flatow and his guest Martin Hilbert noted that the amount of stored data in the world today is about 600,000,000 Terabytes. I remember hearing “gigabyte” for the first time in the 1980s. Then 10 years later, in 1997 EAR sold the first terabyte storage system for animation, audio and video storage in Arizona. At $225,000 was this a bargain? It was for it’s day!
Fast forward to 2011. The thought of multi-terabyte storage systems has become routine. But when will we move beyond terabytes to 1,000s of Terabytes? And what about the next generation of mass storage benchmarks? Below is a chart courtesy of Wikipedia.
The answer to our question “What unit of measurement is beyond terabytes?” Answer: Petabytes. And 1,000 petabytes is an exabytes. There are approximately 600 exabytes of data in the world today.
If Moore’s Law holds, we should have personal storage devices by 2026 that store exabytes the way we store terabytes today!
Continued Part 2 of 2 (read part 1 of 1)
New, But Not Beta. As an investment, buying the latest generation in technology is the best way to insure a long life cycle for your purchase. If you’re building a system, the safest way to integrate is to include equipment of the current generation, but not version 1.0 if possible. Many upgrade projects stop dead in their tracks waiting for just one component to get a stable software release or a firmware patch. An example would be choosing a file format that has great advantages but is too new to know if it will be widely supported before the next generation replaces it. The best option would be to build around proven standards and design a way to migrate to newer formats into your system.
Telestream Vantage – Workflow Automation With Graphic UI
If you’re looking for a very flexible but friendly tool set to manage your workflow encoding and media distribution, we highly recommend Vantage by Telestream. Typical applications include:
- Broadcast audio and video processing
- Batch encoding into multiple formats
- Routing of incoming and outgoing clip
- Quality control processing
Contact one of EAR’s product specialists today for complete details and special pricing. EAR has delivered large enterprise systems nationally and can demonstrate how we can improve your workflow speed, product quality and save you time & money. Call 800-473-6914 today for details of request a demo.
Release of Update 3.0.4 for Vantage video transcoding and workflow automation software adds the following capabilities:
- The ability to change the priority of actions within a job, using the SDK. Changing priority through the SDK may cause lower-priority encode actions to pause to allow higher-priority jobs to perform.
- The ability to include carriage returns in the body of an email.
Telestream Vantage™ combines media capture, transcoding, clip management, analysis, QC, and metadata processing into one unified video workflow design and automation framework. Vantage integrates with all the major broadcast servers, edit systems, streaming servers, cable VOD servers, SANs and virtually any network digital device in your facility to improve your video operations—without disrupting your video operations.