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What Ever Happened to Metadata?

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Simon Ubsdell
What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 18, 2016 at 10:01:13 am
Last Edited By Simon Ubsdell on May 18, 2016 at 11:36:06 am

Starring Bins, Folders, Libraries, Events, Keyword Collections and more. I asked Bette Davis and Joan Crawford if they would appear but they said the story was too tragic for them, besides which they're both dead.

So here's the thing - and some of you will spot that this is a reprise from several other places, but I was hoping we could widen the conversation beyond FCP X alone.

For more than half a decade (at least), we have been talking about how metadata is changing the world around us, and yet in one important area, we seem not to be using it that much, if at all. And that's media organisation.

We are still contentedly throwing our material into various containers and sub-containers, and sub-sub-containers - but what if there was a different way? What if we could use metadata do that organisation for us?

Obviously there are editing applications that do allow us to leverage the power of metadata to access our material - FCP X and Resolve are the most obvious examples, but the other NLEs do similar things too if not quite at the same level. These allow us to use filtering options to bring specific media (or groups of media types) to the fore and hide the rest.



So my question is: will we always still be using containers of one kind or another, alongside these metadata filtering options, or can you see a time when we might move over entirely to the metadata-driven model?

It's worth pointing out that when we drop a file into a container of any kind, we are applying a kind of virtual metadata to it - we are describing the file in a particular way such that we will be able to recall it at will. I can make a folder called "Boston Shoot, 05-15-2016" and drop all my relevant camera dailies in there such that I can later recall when and where they were shot. However, if I take any of those files out of that container, the virtual metadata doesn't follow along with it - it's volatile and ephemeral.

If instead I embed the place and time of the shoot into the file, I can use a filtering method to access it regardless of where I happen to have put it. And that seems to me to be a major advantage.

You will have spotted of course that your camera may well have embedded the date and even place (if it uses geolocation) of the shoot into the metadata already, along with a whole lot else that is potentially very useful if we were contemplating a filtering method of organisation as against a container-based one.

We can also embed metadata into our files outside of the editing application in a number of ways, the most obvious of which is simply by editing the filename, but there are other possibilities.

And inside FCP X in particular we have ways of adding useful metadata - we can add it into the text fields of individual files, of course, but there is a really powerful method that's a lot better, and that's Roles. Assigning Roles to Dialogue, SFX, Music, etc. gives us an easy way of accessing them ad filtering them from different parts of the application and we can do this in batches, which obviously makes it a lot easier. Thus we don't actually need to make a container called Music or SFX and we can let the Roles metadata do the work for us.

Of course, we don't have to stick to the Roles conventions that Apple have built in - we could for example have a Role called "Boston" in order to create a metadata "flag" for our Boston shoot. To me that seems potentially more powerful than simply having a container called "Boston" and if you are a power user of Roles I think you'll see why I say that.

So this is really all speculation at this point. I'm absolutely not suggesting there is a right way of doing it, or a better way. I'm just inviting the question whether in the not too distant future we might be moving towards a more metadata-based approach and away from the classic container-based approach.

I don't think we have the ideal tools for this just yet, but I would be very interested to see them developed. In particular, I'd like to see better and easier ways of batch embedding metadata at the Finder level. In OSX we now have batch rename which is great, but what about batch embedding anything and everything? Applications like FCP X let us see some of the metadata embedded by our cameras but not all of it. So I just want to stress that this is a question about the future of editing, not a practical suggestion necessarily about how we should be editing now.

I really look forward to hearing your thoughts ... thanks for reading this far.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Oliver Peters
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 18, 2016 at 11:39:43 am

Unfortunately the trouble with media and metadata is that camera manufacturers are inconsistent and contradictory. Most have little or no valid metadata at all. Most - many all - NLEs (other than FCP Classic) have no way to actually inject metadata into the media file itself. So while the FCPX methods are very useful, they also only live within the confines of FCPX itself.

Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 18, 2016 at 11:42:47 am

Agreed. It should all be a lot better implemented by now, especially after all this time. So in many ways we are hampered from using filtering methods to access our media because development of metadata whether in our cameras or elsewhere hasn't kept pace.

Really though, my question is not so much about what we can do now, which clearly has limitations, but what would we like to happen in the (near) future?

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 18, 2016 at 11:50:29 am
Last Edited By Simon Ubsdell on May 18, 2016 at 11:51:28 am

Thinking about the second part of your post, there's presumably then a market for a product (or products) that can externally embed many more kinds of metadata than is currently possible ... metadata that travels with the file rather than lives solely inside the editing (or other) application.

EDIT: And most importantly do this as an intelligent batch operation.

Would you agree?

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Oliver Peters
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 18, 2016 at 11:56:16 am

Absolutely. That would be great. But then it's a question of file formats or more correctly wrapper formats. MOV, R3D, MXF? It's a minefield. In theory MXF carries the most potential, but it's also the most opaque.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 18, 2016 at 2:08:31 pm
Last Edited By Simon Ubsdell on May 18, 2016 at 2:09:03 pm

I'm thinking more of how tags now work in OSX - they're readable across the OS in many Apple applications, and of course are very useful for use with FCP X. (Not readable in Motion though as far as I know ...)

Once you've tagged your files in the Finder with single or multiple tags each, importing them automatically creates keyword collections from any and every tag. Notice the difference here in that I don't have to create keyword collections and add the files to each of them separately. I could have a Boston tag, a date tag, a camera lens tag, an ISO tag, etc., etc. all applied to the same file or files, and each would create a keyword collection automatically on import. It then becomes easy to filter for those keyword collections.

What would probably work for me would be an extended version of the Finder tagging option with a dedicated interface that made it much easier to add and edit the tag metadata. In other words, what I would be looking for in terms of external metadata management is very easily achievable by Apple. All it would take is for the developers of non-Apple applications to provide the option to read the tag metadata in the same way the Apple applications can.




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Bill Davis
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 18, 2016 at 10:30:26 pm

Am I misreading this, or is this approach constrained primarily to clip and camera based metadata? The real magic of the X approach, IMO is that it uniquely adds and manages range-based metadata as well. And I'm not sure how you can apply/manage that outside of the NLE itself.

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Andrew Kimery
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 19, 2016 at 3:25:50 am

[Oliver Peters] "Most - many all - NLEs (other than FCP Classic) have no way to actually inject metadata into the media file itself. So while the FCPX methods are very useful, they also only live within the confines of FCPX itself.
"


Haven't had a chance to read the whole thread, but just wanted to do a quick, drive-by posting. PPro can inject metatdat into the media or it can keep the metadata attached to the project. This depends on what settings you start out with and can have unintended consequences. For example, if you are working collaboratively locally (i.e. everyone sharing the same media on a SAN) then having the metadata injected into the clip is probably the best way to go since you don't have to share project files to share metadata. On the flip side if people are collaborating in different physical locations, but each have a copy of the footage locally, then having the metadata saved to the project file makes more sense than having it saved to the media.



[Jeremy Garchow] " It is much more fluid and dynamic than bins, at least the way bins work in FCP7 and even Pr."

PPro has Search Bins which will allow multiple copies of media/sequences to exist in multiple places based on keywords. I think Resolve has a similar function though I haven't used it recently so I can't say for sure.



[Bill Davis] "The real magic of the X approach, IMO is that it uniquely adds and manages range-based metadata as well. "

In my very limited time with X I would agree. Ranges are more elegant than sub-clipping and then tagging the sub-clips. Hopefully though there are people smarter than use that can figure out away to, say, turn a range from X into an extended marker in PPro (for example). It's obviously not a 1:1 correlation in functionality, but it would at least keep the metadata in place.

Metadata 'lock in' is what keeps me more attracted to MAM's than NLEs for thorough metadata management because my NLE usage is so variable. PPro, Avid, (I think FCP 7 has finally been laid to rest in my world), X and potentially even Resolve (as an up and comer). One large company I work with on occasion uses Fork for all incoming media and exports.


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Oliver Peters
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 19, 2016 at 11:22:20 am

[Andrew Kimery] "PPro can inject metatdat into the media or it can keep the metadata attached to the project. This depends on what settings you start out with and can have unintended consequences"

Yes, but not the way you could in FCP7. For example, there, you could add Reel ID, TC, and change file name. Plus transcoding. These functions permitted you to use FCP7 as a "media processor" in addition to an NLE.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 19, 2016 at 1:57:40 pm

And of course in the PPro sphere there's Adobe Bridge, which uses Adobe's XMP metadata platform, and gives you the ability to create Smart Collections (which have been around since CS4). Here's a link to an article I wrote for the COW a while back, which touches on XMP Metadata (barely), and using keywords and collections to keep your searches fast and productive:

https://library.creativecow.net/bourke_joseph/magazine_27-Adobe-Bridge/1

As an organizational tool, Bridge is hard to beat! And given its' customizable interface, you can set it up for many different viewing styles. It has also been detached from the various Adobe packages it used to come with (and the purchase of which was required to get it), so you can do a freestanding install on a machine which doesn't have other Adobe packages on it. This makes it highly useful for searches by Producers, for example, in a department in which not everyone has a PPro license.

This is not in any way to throw stones at FCPX and its infrastructure of metadata, but to show that there is another way to skin the cat, and manage thousands of media files quickly and efficiently, using another flavor of metadata.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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David Mathis
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 19, 2016 at 2:15:27 pm

Completely forgot about that one!

Tetris is my favorite video game unless tracks are involved.


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Bill Davis
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 20, 2016 at 6:22:34 am

For those content to shift their focus out of the current task - editing - to undertake a different task - searching - this makes great sense. And letting a separate producer(s) work on content markup that feeds one or more editors is a nice feature.

It's also one that quite a few high level X editors appear to be enjoying these days.
Ref:
And:
And:
That said, I still prefer the X system that slots search directly inside the editing app.

I want to search to enable the flow of my editing "in the moment". Not as a separate task.
Switching focus between separate discrete tasks - for me - adds "friction" into the editing process.
And to me, editing is all about staying "in the zone" as much as possible.

YMMV

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Simon Ubsdell
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 20, 2016 at 10:13:01 am

I hear what you're saying. I too am one of those editors who prefers to work inside the NLE and I totally agree about the importance of flow.

But I think the workflows we are discussing here are about the preparation of your media before it ever gets to the NLE rather than a process you would be accessing while editing, so I'm not sure it's fair to say they are disruptive to the editing flow. Given that usually the purpose is to help you find your material faster once you are in the NLE, I'd say the opposite is true - in other words, by managing your media more effectively, they are assisting with the flow once you get down to work.

Your observation does make me think of another major consideration that I don't think anyone has yet raised here, and that's the fact that regardless of which editing platform we are using and whether or not we choose to "pre-prepare" our media, most of us are still doing it twice over. Which is to say that we are organising at the Finder level and then again once we get inside the NLE.

Over here at Tokyo Towers we use Digital Rebellion's indispensable PostHaste utility which allows us to instantly create complex Finder level project organisation whenever we start a new project, using a house style that we have decided upon. But useful as this is, it still means we have to organise our media all over again once we get into the our chosen editing (or other) application.

It would be great to see ways that would eliminate some or all of this redundancy so we could media manage once and only once. But necessarily that would mean organising at the Finder level not the application level since we want our organisation to ripple through to wherever we happen to be working. That's obviously going to be tricky but that's where all those clever developers come in ;-)

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Misha Aranyshev
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 20, 2016 at 10:23:00 am

I quit building elaborate folder structures long time ago. For any given project I have "Original Camera Footage", "Production Sound", "Workprint", "M&E", "GFX" and "Deliverables" all on the same level and without any subfolders inside. Works just fine for a30 sec spot and a 2-hour feature. I paid Videotoolshed to make an app that timestamps my "workprint" with the same time the original has and I fill in slate numbers in an NLE — it gives me enough metadata to find my way around the footage.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 20, 2016 at 12:13:06 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "Your observation does make me think of another major consideration that I don't think anyone has yet raised here, and that's the fact that regardless of which editing platform we are using and whether or not we choose to "pre-prepare" our media, most of us are still doing it twice over. Which is to say that we are organising at the Finder level and then again once we get inside the NLE."

Since I have started using FCPX, my Finder level organization has changed. Because folder and bins and fairly synonymous, I would make folders and subfolders and import those into the NLE. The NLE then reflected the Finder and vice versa. Since fcpx's method favors searching and doesn't really reflect a folder/subfolder construction, I find myself putting footage, music, graphics in to large buckets on the Finder and then sort them in FCPX as most recent or last imported, or 'best', or date, or whatever. The reason for this is because sharing libraries or portions of libraries with other editors usually involves a process (Fcpxml or transfer library) in which all the metadata stays in tact. In other NLEs, this wasn't necessarily true. If you sent over a sequence, none of the browser tags came with the media, in FCPX, keywords and organization come with a Project, or Event/Library of course. It's a different way of working, and I find that I work differently becuase of it.

I'd imagine that some day in a somewhat distant future, all files will be abstracted from a desktop/finder environment. Also cloud based computing will further abstract files from a finder level organization. Most file organization will adopt some sort of tag/metadata based approach and that will be the new folder/subfolder hierarchy, for better or worse.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 20, 2016 at 1:18:35 pm

Your Finder organisation system is a good one and works because you are primarily working in FCP X.

The assets that we receive and generate are so diverse and they are needed in so many different applications that we really need to be super organised about our Finder level organisation otherwise it gets really messy and painful very quickly.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 20, 2016 at 2:51:10 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "Your Finder organisation system is a good one and works because you are primarily working in FCP X.

The assets that we receive and generate are so diverse and they are needed in so many different applications that we really need to be super organised about our Finder level organisation otherwise it gets really messy and painful very quickly."


I understand.

I also collaborate with other applications, and none of the organization that I have put in to FCPX transfers. None of it transfers from any other NLE either. I would love it if tags could transfer to any app, it would make things more tidy.

This also goes to show that metadata is highly subjective, and that MAM's are so hard to develop because one person's simple is another's complex.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 20, 2016 at 3:06:59 pm

I see what you're saying, but haven't you just made the case for Finder level organisation instead of application-based organisation?

Nothing is impossible (in theory!), but it's a lot easier to envisage organisation travelling smoothly from the Finder to whichever apps you are using, than to expect those apps to be able to export their organisation methods is a universally useful way.

In a sense, your FCP X organisation is "wasted" because it can't travel outside the application. (It's not really wasted, because it's super useful to FCP X.)

Conversely, if I make folders at the Finder level, these are items that I can usefully "import" into any number of applications with the organisation intact. Similarly with tagging at the Finder level - not quite so universally useful but with KFP and Kyno I can create keywords and ranges that translate to both FCP X and Premiere. OK, that's not a lot of choice yet but it's a reasonable guess that these developers might soon support Resolve, etc. In other words, we can already see the start of a process that lets us create universally useful "tags" that flow from the Finder to other applications.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 20, 2016 at 3:28:12 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "I see what you're saying, but haven't you just made the case for Finder level organisation instead of application-based organisation?"

Maybe, maybe not. When I transfer a sequence to Ae, the organization within Ae is lost, no matter what it looks like on the Finder. Ae's organization is pretty deplorable, though. If any App could stand to have Smart Collections it would be Ae.

With tagged based organization, it doesn't matter where the file lives (see my musings on Finder and cloud based file abstraction above).

With Folder/Subfolder, you are locked to that organizational structure, no matter if it's best for the particular app or project you are woking on or not.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 20, 2016 at 3:38:41 pm

It's definitely not easy and quite a few of the major applications we use are just not that good at this stuff.

I would certainly agree that tagging is a lot more useful in principle because it travels with the file wherever it goes and doesn't lock you into an organisational structure in the way the folder structures do. This is where MAMs and MAM-like offerings are starting to offer real benefits.

But for now many if not most applications understand external folder-based organisation and for that reason it's a useful stopgap until we get something better.

If I drag a folder into Ae, I've kept that structure and as things stand that's a reason for making sure my Finder level structures are fine-grained enough and make sufficient sense to be useful.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 20, 2016 at 4:34:19 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "If I drag a folder into Ae, I've kept that structure and as things stand that's a reason for making sure my Finder level structures are fine-grained enough and make sufficient sense to be useful."

But for me that would include dragging my entire Finder structure in to Ae which would be nutty.

If I have a project that has 8500 elements, but the timeline uses 600 of those, I don't see why I need to drag the extra 7900 elements in to Ae to keep my Finder level organization.

Also, typically shoots are organized by "shoot card" in the Finder, and then organized by something completely different and entirely useful in the NLE, let alone all the other elements I have in a typical timeline.

And then there's conform which creates all new elements from the original elements.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 20, 2016 at 5:31:09 pm

Another variable to throw on this, as if we needed another variable, is the lifespan (for lack of a better term) of the media being used. For example, on many of my projects the media has a pretty finite lifespan (once the show/documentary is delivered it rarely, if ever, gets revisited) so this keeps me inside the NLE for most of my organizational needs because after a few weeks or months it's all going to get archived and never touched again. The cost/benefit of using an standalone MAM is very low for these types of projects.

On the other hand, I used to work at a company that covered the video game industry (sorta like ESPN but for video games) and at that place almost every piece of media was evergreen. Taking the time to tag/label and track all that media (and they generated a lot of media) had a very high cost/benefit because a clip first used in 2012 could still be very relevant to a project being cut in 2016. During my time there we tracked things using spreadsheets (kinda sucky but better than nothing) and were experimenting with Final Cut Server, but then Apple pulled the plug on that. I think the company (well, parent company) eventually either went with Fork or CatDV.

As we've already assessed there is no one single right answer, but there are number of right answers depending on personal need. On a related note, I have been looking for MAM solutions for my evergreen media (SFX, stock video, stock music, etc.,) but to Bill's point I don't want to keep jumping between my MAM and my NLE, but on the other hand I just want to organize all my evergreen media once and be done with it. On another related note, I use NeoFinder to keep scan all my internal and external drives so I have an interactive snapshot of what is where (and I store the NeoFinder database files in DropBox so I can pull them up on any machine). External drives seem to propagate like bunnies and NeoFinder helps me keep that madness under control. It's also helpful for when I'm working offsite and the client ask "Where's that one thing you said was on the drive?". I can just look it up in NeoFinder and then relay the location/file path to the client.


-Andrew


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Brett Sherman
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 21, 2016 at 4:02:15 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "NeoFinder helps me keep that madness under control. It's also helpful for when I'm working offsite and the client ask "Where's that one thing you said was on the drive?". I can just look it up in NeoFinder and then relay the location/file path to the client.
"


Neofinder and Finder/Folder organization is basically my MAM at the moment. Neofinder even added filmstrip capability because of my suggestion. It's great at what it does and is really fast. But it's limited.


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Bill Davis
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 20, 2016 at 5:41:54 pm

[Bill Davis] "It's also one that quite a few high level X editors appear to be enjoying these days.
Ref:
And:
And:
That said, I still prefer the X system that slots search directly inside the editing app. "


OK, that's just weird. Wonder how that happened? Must have been typing in my sleep? Oh well.

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Simon Ubsdell
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 19, 2016 at 12:01:06 pm
Last Edited By Simon Ubsdell on May 19, 2016 at 4:51:29 pm

[Bill Davis] "Am I misreading this, or is this approach constrained primarily to clip and camera based metadata?"

Absolutely not, as far as I am concerned. It's about something much bigger, I think.

There's an interesting conversation going on lower down about MAMs and the minutiae of how we currently work with metadata given the various tools that are currently on the market. But I was hoping we could also have a discussion about the wider picture of where we can envisage things going into the not so distant future.

What I'm interested in is which kind of models of media access we will be using in a few years time.

Here's an analogy, cos they always work well around here!

When we go to use Wikipedia, we are not pulling digital volumes off digital shelves. We don't go to the volume labelled X-Z and hunt through till we get to Z and then flick through till we get to Zuo Zongtang.

Instead we go to the search field and we type ZU ... and amazingly our work is done because the entry we are looking for pops up without having to type any more than that.

Out of the untold wealth of information (and misinformation, let's be fair!) that is contained in Wikipedia, I can find this one tiny nugget with just two keystrokes. If you don't think that's amazing, then you've probably lost your capacity for wonder!

All of which is to say that there are already better ways of finding things with our computers than hunting through "containers" to find them.

It's not always easy to see beyond the limitations of the tools we currently use and imagine what tools we might find ourselves using at a later point in time. Some of you may remember that there was a certain resistance to the novel concepts that Apple introduced in FCP X ... just for example.

So just because we can't necessarily imagine how search-based media management would look, it doesn't mean it's inherently implausible or impractical.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Brett Sherman
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 18, 2016 at 12:38:53 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "I'd like to see better and easier ways of batch embedding metadata at the Finder level. In OSX we now have batch rename which is great, but what about batch embedding anything and everything?"

Exactly. While FCP X works well with media WITHIN the library. Once you get outside the library all that work you did painstakingly keywording evaporates. If you have to search for a clip where you don't know what library it is in, you are SOL.

This is one of the primary reasons I don't spend a lot of time organizing within FCP X. It just doesn't have a lot of down the road advantages. It's also why I use the folder level organization you describe, even with it's flaws. Of course, I'm a bit of a weird animal on the board here being an institutional video producer. I actually have to care about footage and projects I worked on 5-10 years ago. I think too much of our workflows are centered around a once and done mentality. Maybe justifiably so.

At the moment I'm considering Keyflow Pro since it does seem to work with Finder level tags. And it would allow me to search across projects. One rule for me is not being reliant on any one application because in 20 years it's likely that application will not exist anymore.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 18, 2016 at 1:10:14 pm
Last Edited By Simon Ubsdell on May 18, 2016 at 1:30:55 pm

I'm only vaguely aware of what KeyFlow Pro can do so I'm hoping someone will explain how it may or may not be useful in this context.

EDIT: Way too cumbersome, would be my instant verdict ... I'd need something a lot faster and leaner. Great product for its designated purpose though.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 18, 2016 at 3:09:58 pm

This is a great conversation. I've been interested in metadata for a long time. In my mind MXF carries the most potential as the standards are more set, although mov is good too, but less universal. If you browse an FCPXML of an imported Alexa or Red file to see how much data is there that FCPX reads but doesn't really allow you to use it's pretty astounding (can't make a smart collection on ISO, for instance, or lens length, or fps, or camera position, or color space, other metadata that is already present in files). So having separate metadata files (such as XML) seems to be a safe way to go, but it's harder to track as you then have to track the media AND metadata files, and if the media and metadata is shared, you have to track the changes between all the systems.

As far as injecting metadata in to files, I think it's simply a very complicated task due to all the varying file formats we have today. Adobe products do this with XMP and it used to chase fits in FCP Legend. I know we've had covers actions before about standardizing metadata, but it's not s straightforward endeavor. The ACES standard is an attempt to do this with color and other metadata, but is a DJI or GoPro product going to conform to an ACES standard? Probably not.

[Simon Ubsdell] "EDIT: Way too cumbersome, would be my instant verdict ... I'd need something a lot faster and leaner. Great product for its designated purpose though.
"


There's a different style of cataloging software currently in beta called Kyno. It sits on top of the Finder so there's no library file. It sends to X, 7, and Pr, exports XMLs for all of those, and is worth checking out: https://lesspain.software/kyno


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 18, 2016 at 3:14:03 pm

Also, I should add that FCPx's containers aren't necessarily containers, they are more like saved searches. You can select multiple "containers" and get the results for all of them.

Your smart collection method is very interesting as it essentially creates another UI within FCPX. Events, I think, are still nice because you can keep separate the things you need to keep separate as fcpx's top view is very hard to give up.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 18, 2016 at 3:33:59 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] " I should add that FCPx's containers aren't necessarily containers, they are more like saved searches."

Very interesting way of looking at it.

But in a sense every container in any application is a saved search, isn't it? Or do you have a more specific idea in mind?

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 18, 2016 at 6:08:29 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "Very interesting way of looking at it.

But in a sense every container in any application is a saved search, isn't it? Or do you have a more specific idea in mind?"


No, I don't think bins are a saved search. That clip will always be in that bin. If I search for a clip, and it's in a bin, that clip will always be there. If I search for a clip in FCPX, I can then assign another search parameter to it (like a new keyword or other piece of metadata) and that clip will now show up in multiple places, with my original search, and the new search. Both of those "searches" are now saved. I can also select both of those "searches' in FCPX, and the Browser will display everything inside of it, and then I can go skim around all of the clips. With bins, I can only see what's inside one bin, not multiple.

With bins, the file is in that bin, and usually nowhere else (besides timelines, of course). I suppose you could duplicate clips and place them in multiple bins, but I never did that with bins, mostly because the master clip relationship can get strange.

With collections (keyword and otherwise) clips can be part of multiple collections. The clips aren't assigned a location as they can be anywhere (or nowhere). It is much more fluid and dynamic than bins, at least the way bins work in FCP7 and even Pr.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 18, 2016 at 6:31:05 pm

OK, yes, I see what you're saying. That's a great explanation.

I'd really love to know how this is working at the coding level - we're stuck with using analogies to describe the process, of course.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Bret Williams
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 19, 2016 at 12:59:43 am

Keywords and roles aren't containers, but I'd say events are. In Jeremys words, they keep things separate. Clips only exist in one event at a time.

I'm not sure why we don't have role collections. I import everything by dragging to a keyword collection. If rather drag to a role collection since that's more important. Then I'd apply keywords second.


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Tony West
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 19, 2016 at 12:08:32 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "If I search for a clip in FCPX, I can then assign another search parameter to it (like a new keyword or other piece of metadata) and that clip will now show up in multiple places,"

Bingo!

Exactly why I liked the app for sports way back when it was first introduced.

This one clip is:

The Player
The Team
a HR
Post Season
Side Swing and so on.


Once you set up your KW short cuts it's a matter of seconds to put this multiple places.

A time saver also when doing something that has a bunch of family photos where there are multiple people in each photo so it's tagged with everyone that is in it.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 18, 2016 at 3:44:11 pm
Last Edited By Simon Ubsdell on May 18, 2016 at 3:49:31 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "There's a different style of cataloging software currently in beta called Kyno. It sits on top of the Finder so there's no library file. It sends to X, 7, and Pr, exports XMLs for all of those, and is worth checking out: https://lesspain.software/kyno"

Kyno looks very interesting and I'm certainly going to see how that works out for me. I think from the point of view of this discussion though it's not the kind of thing I was looking for. If one is going to be tagging outside the NLE, I'd want it to be super simple and dedicated to media tagging. Kyno and KeyFlow Pro do too much else, if that makes sense. By which I mean that they're not simple and fast enough to justify using for media tagging alone.

EDIT: Kyno exports a FCP X Event, which again is not really what I'd be looking for here.

The Apple Finder tagging is so close to what I'd ideally want that I'm hoping to see an option that's very close to that - or better still that we get a more dedicated, slightly more expanded (but not too much) tagging interface in the next OS ...

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 19, 2016 at 3:49:52 pm
Last Edited By Simon Ubsdell on May 19, 2016 at 4:00:05 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "There's a different style of cataloging software currently in beta called Kyno. It sits on top of the Finder so there's no library file. It sends to X, 7, and Pr, exports XMLs for all of those, and is worth checking out: https://lesspain.software/kyno"

Thanks very much for this tip, Jeremy. This is exactly the solution I have been looking for for our business.

It's very fast, very lean, very capable and super simple to use. It does many of the things that KeyFlow Pro offers in terms of what we are talking about here (it works a treat with both FCP X and Premiere), though not at the same level of complexity. But because of its super light weight it does many of them a lot faster and for me that's a really big consideration.

I don't know whether it's a solution for a networked environment which is where KFP seems to excel, but it's well worth looking at otherwise.

EDIT: From the FAQ however there is this ... "Currently we have no support for raw video formats like RED Raw, Arri Raw, or Adobe DNG as produced by Blackmagic Design cameras. Adobe DNG is planned but we have no ETA yet."

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 19, 2016 at 4:35:40 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "I don't know whether it's a solution for a networked environment which is where KFP seems to excel, but it's well worth looking at otherwise."

It's in active beta, so if you're interested, knock around on it and send over any bugs/feature requests to the developers. They are looking for people's experiences with it.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 19, 2016 at 4:43:56 pm

Yes, I've been hammering away on it today and doing some back-to-back comparisons with KFP for a point of reference. As I say, the speed factor is a really noticeable bonus because you're not waiting for it to build a library as such.

From the FAQ answering the question whether or not it's a MAM: "Well, sort of. Many of the features like tagging, descriptive metadata support and filtering give it a MAM kind of feel but its scope is currently rather a very light-weight support of production processes rather than long-term archival, although people may still find it useful for that as well. The main point is, that is is much more light-weight than typical MAMs because it does not require an import/ingest step before you can do something useful with your material. That means there is not really a concept of "inside" or "outside" of Kyno, which also means there is no global search of all content Kyno has ever seen."

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Bret Williams
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 18, 2016 at 1:21:31 pm

[Brett Sherman] "Exactly. While FCP X works well with media WITHIN the library. Once you get outside the library all that work you did painstakingly keywording evaporates. If you have to search for a clip where you don't know what library it is in, you are SOL.
"


FWIW Library manager seems to claim it can search keywords across libraries. But I don't have the he advanced license to try it out. http://www.arcticwhiteness.com/finalcutlibrarymanager


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John Davidson
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 18, 2016 at 4:45:16 pm

[Brett Sherman] "At the moment I'm considering Keyflow Pro since it does seem to work with Finder level tags. And it would allow me to search across projects. One rule for me is not being reliant on any one application because in 20 years it's likely that application will not exist anymore."

Brett, as kind of an unofficial PR guy for them, I think you're on the right track. I've been working really closely with KeyFlow Pro's developers. There are bigger things in development for the app, but also improvements for many other functions, like how they handle metadata. Right now, metadata added to files in FCPX can actually be imported into KeyFlow Pro using the FCPX Agent app. This is pretty limited - but full metadata back and forth with FCPX is planned.

Personally speaking, it's a more user friendly app for novices. I had our office manager log with in/out and keyword ranges every SOT for about 8 hours of footage we're working with this month. There's something amazing about that living outside of the NLE forever. In terms of being reliant on a single app, I've expressed the importance of KeyFlow being able to export all data that users put into it in CSV or similar format. I believe this will happen within the year.

By the way, the KeyFlow Pro NAB sale is back online until midnight tonight for $199 because a lot of folks were traveling back from NAB and didn't get the discount.

I wouldn't expect to see this price again for a while.

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 18, 2016 at 7:07:04 pm

John, I know you've gone into this before in a lot of detail but could you give me an idiot's guide to the main selling points of KeyFlow Pro as they might relate to this broader question?

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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John Davidson
Re: A nice long list of KeyFlow Pro functions
on May 18, 2016 at 7:47:36 pm

KeyFlow is called a MAM but I feel that is misleading. Basically, it's a database of media and media locations with a lot of functions built-in.

If you have a lot of old hard drives or archive drives that you don't want to always have connected, KeyFlow will add those files to it's 'library', create mp4 or H264 previews of every file you want a preview for, and then you can disconnect the drive and put it away. KeyFlow will let you 'see' the previews of your files and tell you where it's lives.

You can add/edit/remove finder tags on the source files. Drag/drop into FCPX, Premiere, AE, etc. OR - export XML's of groups of files for FCPX or Premiere.

You can annotate all video files. This means adding markers, keyword ranges, etc. We add markers for dialogue transcriptions of shoots, and then keyword range those SOTS later to limit our imported keywords to things like 'SOT PAUL, SOT TALENT, etc'. You send the annotated files to FCPX and they all import as markers and keyword ranges.

You can send fcpxml files to KeyFlow with or without media that you've added Metadata to in FCPX. I didn't even know about that until last week. This doesn't include added keyword ranges or markers. I'm not sure how much function it adds at this point, but they know it needs to add more capabilities.

You can build watch folders to auto-import files into projects or groups within the app, and assign a storage location for that media to get moved to.

You can import files inside the library, leave them where you have them, or have them copied somewhere else on import.

You can share this library with anyone on a local network easily.

Networked users can connect and edit the metadata of your library. Annotations, markers, tags, rename, etc.

With a little clever port forwarding you can also share your library over the internet. This is more limited to the speed of your internet. Users can play and do everything that local users do - except they aren't directly connected to your server that stores the media. They will play the preview files if you have those created. They CAN however download high res originals.
This is something that still needs to be worked out, but I stumbled across it the day after my presentation and wish I had found it early.

Right now, preview files can't be used for offline/relinking in FCPX. This is being worked on.

You can build lots of workflows to auto tag media with specific names on import.

Lots of features are being worked on and many current ones are being refined. I met them at NAB and the whole team actually came to the office in LA after NAB.
They're super nice and very eager to work out solutions.

End of the day - this app has so much potential. The implementation of remote users editing the server in the recent 1.5 release is absolutely the best thing to happen to the app. It's opened up a huge window for bigger functions later on.

There are things that do still need work. Relinking has a confusing UI, menu structures need to be revisited, UI dialogues are a little confusing at times (this is being fixed) - basically everything every 1.* app encounters as it grows up.

That help?

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: A nice long list of KeyFlow Pro functions
on May 18, 2016 at 7:54:36 pm

Very helplful guide, thanks John.

Just one specific query in what you said.

"You can build lots of workflows to auto tag media with specific names on import."

Could you elaborate on this?

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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John Davidson
Re: A nice long list of KeyFlow Pro functions
on May 18, 2016 at 8:04:57 pm

Hah, I was hungry and typing fast. You can have automatic workflows - similar to automator actions - that can be triggered when files are added to specific projects or with a right click. Like 'Create Proxy media', etc.

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: A nice long list of KeyFlow Pro functions
on May 18, 2016 at 8:22:05 pm

OK, cool - I see what you're saying.

Those automator type functions are somewhat limited right now, though? Useful, but I guess I was holding out for something a bit more.

it certainly is a great product though, with lots of interesting depth.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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John Davidson
Re: A nice long list of KeyFlow Pro functions
on May 18, 2016 at 8:34:39 pm



Here are some of the parameters you can set. Transfer file means uploading via FTP.

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: A nice long list of KeyFlow Pro functions
on May 18, 2016 at 8:39:10 pm

Ah, OK - I missed those. Intuitive UI misfire. But yes, those are useful.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Anders Utterstrom
Re: A nice long list of KeyFlow Pro functions
on May 18, 2016 at 8:14:05 pm

Thanks John,

Workflows for automatically adding tags/keywords in KFP. Just brilliant! I was adding keywords by copying/pasting/deleting last night for a test project and gave up. Very interesting thread. Thanks to all.

Anders Utterstrom
Chicago, Illinois


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Tony West
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 18, 2016 at 3:03:21 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "So my question is: will we always still be using containers of one kind or another, alongside these metadata filtering options, or can you see a time when we might move over entirely to the metadata-driven model?"

I don't think there will be. kInd of like there will always be filling cabinets even though we have computers.

I think there will always be a multi level approach to most things.

I will use some pics to help describe what I'm talking about this time.


I start off with over 800 b-roll shots from various locations. Some locations have many shots and some just a few. In this example of Coldwater Creek, there are only 10 shots at this location. If you notice, I didn't even bother to label the individual clips. I didn't really need to because after one click I went from 800 to 10 and I can see what they are so I don't waste time naming all these clips. I couldn't search for these clips by name because I didn't name them but in this case I can see what they are so I don't need to.





So when do I use more meta data?


Interviews.

Unlike B-roll or stills, I can't see what he is talking about by just looking at the interview clip. So when I'm reviewing the interview I make favorites and I label those with notes. Then I can search a subject like Silkwood, and find the section of his interview where he or anyone else is speaking on that topic.





So there you have it. I'm glad Apple was smart enough to give me two options because one size does not fit all methods. Sometimes I need to group with folders because that's faster and sometimes it pays to add more meta data because that's faster. It just depends on what you are doing and what becomes more efficient after experience.


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Tim Wilson
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 18, 2016 at 3:49:21 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "So my question is: will we always still be using containers of one kind or another, alongside these metadata filtering options, or can you see a time when we might move over entirely to the metadata-driven model?"

"Entirely" is a strong word, but I think it's the right word to use as a goal.

The issue in the longer run is what happens When Metadata Models Collide. We actually wrote about this way back in 2008, in an interview I did with David Stump, ASC, called Metadata and the Future of Filmmaking. Dave has been a cinematographer specializing in VFX over the years, and (at least as of 2008) the chair of the ASC Camera subcommittee and co-chair of the Metadata subcommittee.

He was also very active in developing metadata recorders for cameras, cranes, lenses, and other on-set systems. He won a SciTech Academy Award for his work on that.

He's currently one of the big brains behind Lytro, which can be better understood in this context: the highest-grade sensors and optics coupled with a staggering amount of both data and metadata. That's the reason why Lytro is currently the size of a small car: it takes more computational power than can be contained in even multiple desktop computers.

The question with metadata is what happens to it downstream. For example, it's very nice that FCPX reads Finder-level tags, but does Motion? (Maybe it does. I'm just asking.) What happens to those Finder-level tags for two clips that are rendered together to form a third piece of media? I assume that the metadata of the original clips is decimated, and you wind up with a clip whose metadata is a tabula erasa -- not just a BLANK slate, but a slate formerly full of information that was erased.

Think about something as simple as timecode. It wasn't that long ago that NO applications preserved timecode for something as simple as a rendered color correction. The only reason that they do now is because Warriors for Metadata Integrity told developers that they WANT that metadata preserved.

The same is true for plug-ins. There are times when their renders overwrite metadata as simple as timecode.

But timecode isn't always the most relevant metadatum. The fact is that every setting on a modern high-end camera generates a field of metadata that your CAMERA can read. HUNDREDS of fields, just for camera menu settings. But does FCPX read those? Does After Effects? Does Resolve? Where does all that metadata go? Most of it simply disappears.

The goal that Dave and others have been striving for is, if your application doesn't care about that metadata, don't destroy the metadata already written to the file.

That's asking a lot, but on the other hand, not so much. It would be intolerable if applications overwrote file names, creation dates, and other typically high-level metadata. Why would we not expect applications not to overwrite fields that are none of their business? Just leave that stuff alone.

Then there's the data collision issue that I mentioned. The same finder-level information might be written by multiple applications (including a camera) -- so usually the last one in is the one whose metadata "wins," even though you might have preferred that the original data remained unscathed. So you'd need some higher entity being aware of multiple sets of metadata, and asking you what you want to do when there are conflicts.

And what WOULD you want to do with conflicts? The default would probably be "Which one of these do you want to choose," but what if you want to save both pieces of information, but only have a single field of metadata to fill?

Avid's solution is the right one I think, which is to allow the creation of a vast array of custom metadata fields. They're only readable within the context of Avid editing, but that's where metadata wrangling comes in. The offline footage goes to Resolve, where good-sized bits of the metadata are overwritten, then back to Symphony, which depending on how workflow was set up, may or may not have access to the original metadata. Somebody has to KNOW in advance where they want the metadata stored in such a way that it's available where it needs to be.

Dave's article goes much further into the production side in particular, noting that the most critical metadata on set is frequently only recorded in the script supervisor's handwritten notes. In 2008, that was kind of a dead end. Today, thanks to relentless advocation by people like Dave, some tablet based applications can capture handwritten notes, but they're not all that widespread. Acres of mission-critical data and metadata is still captured by hand, and often goes no further than a notebook on a shelf.

This is why I say that "entirely" is a strong word. You may not need Resolve or After Effects to do anything with a script supervisor's notes, or your camera's lens settings -- but it'd sure be nice if they didn't destroy those fields if you've filled them in. But it'd sure be nice if this plethora of metadata being written by all these different sources had some meaningful way of talking to each other when you wanted them to too.

Even if you're only nominally interested in this, you won't find sharper insights into the technical side of filmmaking than Dave Stump shares in this interview. It was actually put together by longtime COW member Gary Adcock, an associate ASC member who's another Warrior for Metadata Integrity who was able to join us for part of the interview. It's one of my favorite things to have ever put together in my 10 years here, and I think you'll really enjoy it too.

Metadata and the Future of Filmmaking



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Simon Ubsdell
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 18, 2016 at 5:05:15 pm

What a fascinating and important article.

"Once we have metadata everywhere, everyone will look around in shock and awe and ask each other, “How did we ever make movies without this stuff?"

And then I looked at the date again and somehow after all this time we're still not collecting all the metadata, we're still not preserving it, and in many cases we're not even using it when it's there.

And of course we're no nearer anything resembling open standards.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 18, 2016 at 7:40:35 pm

I'll tell you a little story.

I used to click around and about and drill down through folders to find my documents and images and music and everything else.

i used to click to create tabs in my browser and search for things.

I used to click to open applications.

I used to do a heck of a lot of clicking.

Then a few years back, one of my ridiculously talented editing friends asked me if I'd ever used Alfred.

These days, I practically never click to find/launch anything.

And, goodness me, have I got faster at using my computer.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Richard Herd
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 18, 2016 at 11:06:41 pm

As I read this thread, I had the same thoughts as you. I was thinking of it as a question: at what point are we actually editing? Editing is sorting and sifting.

I can definitely see how this is going to help me, though, in a documentary I'm trying to launch, about college wrestlers (same weight class, same conference; there can only be one champ)-- all that footage all season long. whew. 10 athletes in 10 cities. Wow.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 18, 2016 at 5:15:51 pm

[David Mathis] "I believe you said in a previous post (feel free to correct me) is that text looks at the clip name. It turns out, my apologies if I missed it in a previous post, that text can look at notes and other metadata that is used."

Thanks for the correction, David. I did not know that, and yes, it's very useful as you say.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 18, 2016 at 9:29:33 pm

This place ain't what it used to be.

I was hoping this would lure Walter S. out of his batcave and David L. down from his ivory tower and it would get very interesting very quickly.

Where are you, guys?

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 21, 2016 at 1:17:54 am

To quote Batman: if you stick around long enough, you end up a troll, a bore or worse, an incoherent evangelist.

http://ogallchoir.prosite.com/
producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Scott Witthaus
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 21, 2016 at 4:48:07 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] " an incoherent evangelist"

For Adobe?

;-)

Scott Witthaus
Senior Editor/Post Production Supervisor
1708 Inc./Editorial
Professor, VCU Brandcenter


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Steve Connor
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 21, 2016 at 8:15:11 am

[Simon Ubsdell] "I was hoping this would lure Walter S. out of his batcave and David L. down from his ivory tower and it would get very interesting very quickly.
"


But you managed to get Aindreas back, that's quite an achievement


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 21, 2016 at 10:40:58 am

A troll. A bore. An incoherent evangelist. Or very possibly all three.

When Aindreas turns up like the ghost of Banquo to damn you for being de trops, you know you can sink no further.

I recognise that as my cue to leave and skulk off into the shadows to nurse what shreds remain of my dignity.

To have irritated and/or mystified you is bad enough, but to have failed to engage your interest is an unforgivable solecism.

There's nothing worse than the person who thinks s/he has something interesting to say and is wrong in that opinion.

Carry on being scintillating amongst yourselves; I will bore you no longer.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Steve Connor
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 21, 2016 at 4:07:16 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "Carry on being scintillating amongst yourselves; I will bore you no longer.
"


Not acceptable I'm afraid Simon, you're one of the voices on here that actually keeps it interesting!


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Bill Davis
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 21, 2016 at 5:57:31 pm
Last Edited By Bill Davis on May 21, 2016 at 5:59:32 pm

Simon,

Wish I had money for every time I had similar feelings of exhasperation here.
I've come to see how incredibly invested people get in needing to validate the opinions they have taken in public. Myself most definitely included.

The thing is, when your opinion is based on clear, logical thinking and you can articulate WHY you hold the opinion - it's never that much of a risk to espouse it.

Others can disagree. And you can even prove to have gotten things entirely wrong. But what is impossible to support is that the opinion was dumb to begin with.

X is either a valuable and INNOVATIVE tool, or it's not. If it is, ever more editors will see and accept that over time. And those who try to say it's not that will eventually fail, because that's not the reality.

Yes, superior ideas do regularly fail. But usually because they dont have the financial and/or creative support to flourish over time. That is NOT the case here. FWIW.

New signature under construction and coming soon. Please stand by...


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 21, 2016 at 6:39:07 pm

Good grief, man! I said I was leaving. It's a low trick to kick me again as I pass though the door.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Scott Witthaus
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 21, 2016 at 8:21:19 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "Good grief, man! I said I was leaving. It's a low trick to kick me again as I pass though the door.

Simon Ubsdell"


I hope you didn't take my post was aimed at you! Quite the contrary, we need folks like you around here!

Scott Witthaus
Senior Editor/Post Production Supervisor
1708 Inc./Editorial
Professor, VCU Brandcenter


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Bill Davis
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 21, 2016 at 9:22:26 pm
Last Edited By Bill Davis on May 21, 2016 at 9:25:57 pm

Huh? Kicking you? I was AGREEING with you.
Seems to me that my long ago nemesis Aindreas stomped back in (as he has a habit of doing) and started the old refrain that anyone thinking too differently about editing orthodoxy is an idiot.

I LOVE that you've been thinking differently about this stuff.

It's been exciting.

I've spread your thinking (with appropriate credit to you AND Charlie for engendering the whole discussion) around in some of my more private circles and it's been met with great interest and discussion.

So the LAST thing I want to do is hold a door for any exit on your part. If I had my druthers, I'd lock said door with you INSIDE so the discussion can continue.

Just so we're clear here.

New signature under construction and coming soon. Please stand by...


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 22, 2016 at 11:33:48 pm

yes exactly - to be clear - I was just talking the mickey with that batman stick around until you're the villian/troll quote - that one applied directly to me and many others. I don't check this place as often as I did, but Simon is one of the people who I would turn up to read. He's not Batman, he's an essentially genteel Islington Spock as it were. Unpick that one yanks. He's probably Corbynite. That's a limestone mineral.

Anyway - not here that often and I wasn't here. Please ignore the stupid gag. That said - Master level tag search HUD for editors is a mad wheeze though? Wouldn't it demand some memory mind you?

I wonder why all Derren Brown scale card counting memory feats involve trained mental spatial arrangement of items. In physical rooms even. I wonder if that practice is important and applicable to critical non-linear editing decision making at the sharp end, where you have trained yourself into a, oh I don't know... spatial mind palace of discreet footage location compartments for recall. That can't be right surely. Why did we replace a command line search string with memory based spatial drag and drop MacOS finder again? Three decades ago? I've got to be wrong there.

ANYWAY. It's not David Lawrence material there God knows but it's at least a small pile of verbiage for you to mercilessly unpick Ubsdell? I do buy spatial recall though. I think it's as old as the hills and it has form.

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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 22, 2016 at 6:02:59 pm

eh, I was just ribbing there, people. You might occasionally be a bit of an evangelist but I was the other two..

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producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Walter Soyka
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 23, 2016 at 4:37:04 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "I was hoping this would lure Walter S. out of his batcave"

I laughed out loud. Thank you. I hope you don't mind that I'll jump straight into the weeds with a wall of questionably-topical text.

First, a quick definition. Metadata is data about data.

I see one big barrier to broader adoption of metadata in "average Joe" workflows: the desktop mindset we computer users have adopted over the last 35 years of personal computing. We have trained ourselves to think about documents and files and folders, and we've built this into the way our applications work and the way our filesystems work. Now, because our applications encourage us to think of documents as files and our filesystems encourage us to think organize our document-files hierarchically, we do.

We are accustomed to working directly with our data. We are less accustomed to working with the data about our data, but there are some notable exceptions (or beacons of hope) that I'll get to in a minute.

I think Jeremy hit the nail on the head when he talked about the transition away from "the desktop/Finder environment." The first thing that I think we need to do to embrace metadata-driven workflows is stop thinking about files, period.

Let's look at "file-based workflows" for a moment. What do project files, source media files, proxy files, render files, waveform peak files, subtitle files, XML files, and deliverable media files actually have to do with our work?

Absolutely nothing.

A file is a data abstraction from the computing Stone Age. It's a metaphor that made it easy for us to move from working on paper documents to working on electronic ones. This made sense in the 1980s when a computer with word processing software might replace a typewriter, or a computer with spreadsheet software might replace actual paper spreadsheets. Computers allowed us to launch a vicious cycle of increasing complexity; it's easy to create new documents when we need them, so we do, and this in turn creates more need for more documents.

In analytics circles, there's a lot of talk about the three Vs: volume, variety, and velocity. We have more data than ever before, it comes in lots of different types (both structured and unstructured), and the pace at which we generate new data is continually increasing.

This isn't limited to Big Data -- this is happening on our desktops, too, and our Stone Age hierarchical filesystems don't give us the tools to manage this.

Firstly, manual organization of increasing volume is doomed to failure because it is labor-intensive; look at Google's algorithmic web search versus Yahoo!'s original manual directory of websites, then apply the same concept to our increasingly complex daily work.

Secondly, variety doesn't exist in most filesystems. A file is a file, and outside of a couple of special attributes like being directory or an executable, that's all there is to it. Images, movies, music, word processing documents, spreadsheets, etc. are all the same to the filesystem. The tools we have for working on these objects are completely unaware of the contents. We can move/copy/rename/delete, but we largely cannot understand the contents of a file or operate on the data within it, without opening it in the application that created it.

Finally, velocity just tells us that both of these problems will only ever get worse.

So what are the beacons of hope? The two most common cases where people regularly work on collections of objects, instead of working on objects directly: email and music. Looking for a document (!) you remember you got from Alice at the close of the last quarter? Trying to exclude holiday music and show tunes from your party mix? These are ridiculously hard when you have to work on the data directly, but very nearly trivial when you can use the computer to work on the data about the data.

What makes these cases easy and practical? As Simon, Oliver and Jeremy mentioned, standard schemas: from/to/subject/date, artist/album/track/genre.

I think that real, pervasive metadata in production is more likely to come top-down than bottom-up. Apple has given us some nice metadata tools, but no real way to communicate across systems. Adobe has done the inverse: XMP is a great way to communicate across systems, but aside from a few very cool features, they don't drive metadata use in their applications. The three Vs of analytics haven't overwhelmed most of us on our desktop systems yet. We can still cram a bit more into our brains before we truly have to build some automation on data about data.

But we're not Netflix:

http://techblog.netflix.com/2016/03/imf-prescription-for-versionitis.html

http://techblog.netflix.com/2016/03/extracting-image-metadata-at-scale.html

We need new metaphors and new abstractions to break our outdated mindsets and help us escape our chicken-and-egg dependence on the file metaphor for data. We need more apps like FCPX which do not require you as a user to think about files in your daily work. We need new standards like IMF, and we need to make better use of existing standards like XMP, in order to break down the walls between applications.

We also need a good understanding of the problems we want to solve, so we can create the right metadata architecture to support our needs.

So what problems do you want to solve?

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Bill Davis
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 23, 2016 at 7:00:57 pm

[Walter Soyka] "We also need a good understanding of the problems we want to solve, so we can create the right metadata architecture to support our needs."

Another LOVELY Walter S. post.

Dude, I miss chatting with you. Come back more often.

Re: the above...

As most of you know, I've been with FCP X from the start. I've tried to study stuff like taxonomy and tagging strategies - but even after 5 years, the fact that I don't edit the same material, for the same clients, to the same ends, over and over again, means I have to constantly switch around even something as basic as my fundamental tagging strategies searching for the best results.

Some things have been consistent and profound. Like the joy of using the REJECT tag to remove the pure crap from my field footage early, so that it never enters my field of view unless I need to mine it for something.

And many sorting and display strategies I've developed to help express how I think about organization, onto my asset searches.

But I feel every day that I can constantly improve on my metadata tagging and access strategies JUST in terms of how I apply keywords to my clip ranges. And this doesn't even begin to touch at ALL on the types of universal "across whole systems" metadata strategies that Walter discusses in this post.

The only thing I'm totally sure of, is that I'm decidedly NOT going to get bored between now and when my active editing time someday ends!

And so it goes.

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Simon Ubsdell
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 24, 2016 at 12:07:34 pm

Fascinating post! Many thanks, Walter!

I do wonder whether the Big Data question is fully germane to this discussion though. The problems of Big Data are problems of analysis, whereas the challenges we are talking about here are a lot more humdrum - namely, how to find stuff.

The question ""Where is thing X?" is a lot easier to solve than the question "What do things A-Z mean?"

I would suggest that the problem of how to find stuff has been answered very impressively, but just not so much in our industry.

To take the example of Google - a pretty convincing example of an answer to the question of how you find stuff - the solution in its crudest form is fundamentally simple. When we use Google, "all" we are really doing is a string search; in other words, we are asking for a match to a set of characters that we type into the search field.

What makes it clever is the "AI" component. It can cope with "fuzzy" matching (mistyping on my part, approximate matches, etc.), which is obviously important, but Google also "knows" what I might be wanting to type (autofill), it "knows" what I have typed before, or to put it more grandly it "knows" the things that are important to me and the things that are less important, which means it can display the things that are important to me with a higher ranking than those which are not.

Of course, when we talk about this in the context of Google, it seems like rocket science, but there's an app that I use every day that also knows useful things about how I use my computer, and that's Alfred. (If you haven't used Alfred, you are really missing out on a fantastic productivity resource.)

So how about we just ask our developers to give us "intelligent search"?

Would that work for you?

(Of course, intelligent search still relies on more or less intelligent "labelling", but that's another question. Again, I think the answer to that one is relatively simple, but I won't go into that here although it's been touched on elsewhere in this thread.)

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Oliver Peters
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 24, 2016 at 12:13:46 pm

The trouble with searches, though, is that you have to know what you are looking for. It completely negates what I would call the "proximity" effect. In other words, finding something you didn't know you needed, because you spotted something in the way to going for what you originally wanted. It was the thing close by but not the original target. The equivalent of shuttling through footage and finding the perfect shot in that process.

Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 24, 2016 at 1:00:40 pm

[Oliver Peters] "It completely negates what I would call the "proximity" effect."

Does it, though? Could we not have the benefits of both? Having more efficient search doesn't mean you couldn't still pick through a random pile of stuff if you wanted or needed to.

And yes, I completely agree about the value of serendipity to the editing process - Serendipity is a truly genius editor and we do well to trust him/her.

In my experience, editing serendipity comes to your aid more effectively when you haven't over-compartmentalised your material and/or your workflow. I have watched too many editors organise their material to death and lose all the random benefits of a looser organisational structure.

In a sense, my argument for better search is also an argument for more relaxed, less heavy-handed organisation.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Oliver Peters
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 24, 2016 at 1:04:24 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "In a sense, my argument for better search is also an argument for more relaxed, less heavy-handed organisation."

Agreed. That makes sense. Ultimately we are all trying to reduce the amount of stuff in the bucket that we have to sift through at one time, without hampering the actual sifting process.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Michael Hancock
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 24, 2016 at 1:22:31 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "In my experience, editing serendipity comes to your aid more effectively when you haven't over-compartmentalised your material and/or your workflow. I have watched too many editors organise their material to death and lose all the random benefits of a looser organisational structure.

In a sense, my argument for better search is also an argument for more relaxed, less heavy-handed organisation."


That's one of things that I've come to like so much about FCPX . You can have the best of both worlds.

You can drop all of your footage in an Event, then compartmentalize it into keyword collections to organize it to death. This is useful to me because if I know I'm looking for some b-roll of a boat I can go directly to the keyword collection "Boat" to very quickly narrow my search, without having to remember that I should search for "Boat". I just twirl down the event and I have a list of keywords to choose from. I find this very helpful in the event that I have to hand off my project to someone else, or revisit it in 6 months. I don't have to remember exactly how I tagged everything so I can accurately search for stuff. And they can, at a glance, find very specific groups of files without having the learn how I tagged everything (VO, Music, Graphics, Lower Thirds, Logos, Pictures, etc...).

But anytime I want to look for a file in context of all other files I just select the Event and all that organization goes away. At that point, it's just a massive bit bucket. Add in a Smart Collection to automatically start grouping stuff based on what you're working on and it makes it relatively easy to find your clips while still giving you a general overview of all of your material. Now as I'm working and becoming more and more familiar with the material the need for detailed organization goes aways, but again - someone new to the project would benefit from it. Or revisiting it months down the road.

----------------
Michael Hancock
Editor


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 24, 2016 at 2:02:30 pm

OK, so this would be the second part of my plan for a simpler, more efficient world, although strictly speaking it's the first part.

The best, most efficient place to store metadata is the most obvious and easily used.

And that's the filename.

If instead of putting your file inside a folder called Boat inside whatever application it is you are using, you rather added the characters B-O-A-T to the filename (outside any specific application), you are immediately at a very considerable advantage.

The first advantage is that the metadata travels with the file wherever it goes, so whoever is accessing the file in whatever application immediately knows what you want them to know about it. This is vastly more useful than metadata added inside a specific application which can almost never usefully travel outside.

The second advantage is that you can now access your Boat files instantly within your application, assuming it has a simple search function (which almost everything does).

Typing BOAT into a search field is always going to be faster than clicking around to find a "folder" with your boat files inside it. Typing is always faster than clicking. Always. Operating any application from the keyboard is always faster than using the mouse or pen.

The third advantage to metadata stored in the filename is that it's human-readable, which obviously confers its own benefits. Even a producer looking at a folder of files in the Finder now knows their contents without having to open them in any application.

There are plenty of ways to edit the filename (and batch edit multiple filenames), but my current favourite is Kyno which has a set of very elegant options for how the original filename is handled and how the new characters are added.

Sometimes the most powerful solutions are also the simplest.

Interestingly quite a few of our clients are now asking for deliverables to have specifically formatted filenames that "embed" a whole range of useful metadata, including date, frame size, codec, aspect ratio, track configuration, language, texted/textless and more. This system has obvious advantages for distribution of deliverables.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Bill Davis
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 24, 2016 at 4:06:11 pm

Tom, could you email me a copy of:

160524NabiscoShowreelV2MOStexted2997unapproveduncolorcorrectedsubmasterwithoutCEOnotesforexecreviewdonotdistribute.

Thanks.

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Simon Ubsdell
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 24, 2016 at 4:14:16 pm

I get that this is meant to be satirical, but it's how a lot of the major film companies are now working, along with their distribution suppliers, for the simple reason that it works.

Some things that make a lot of sense can take time getting used to, as I'm sure I don't need to tell you ;-)

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 24, 2016 at 4:16:59 pm

Here you go:

The guidelines for Digital Cinema Naming Convention.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Bill Davis
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 24, 2016 at 4:34:58 pm

Yes, I was being a bit silly. (long work-slog human decompression underway for few hours)

But this post is seriously useful. Thank you. Simon.

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Simon Ubsdell
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 24, 2016 at 7:36:17 pm

Actually what's interesting is how extremely useful and descriptive your joke example is. I can read that filename and know exactly what the content is even though I know nothing about the job, and you could come back to it in ten years time and still know what was meant.

Simplicity is the most powerful tool of all.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Bill Davis
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 25, 2016 at 12:09:01 am

Well, except the part of the file name that ran off the screen on my phone...
That's going to be a bit hard to understand.



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Steve Connor
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 24, 2016 at 2:58:39 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "And yes, I completely agree about the value of serendipity to the editing process - Serendipity is a truly genius editor and we do well to trust him/her.

In my experience, editing serendipity comes to your aid more effectively when you haven't over-compartmentalised your material and/or your workflow. I have watched too many editors organise their material to death and lose all the random benefits of a looser organisational structure.

In a sense, my argument for better search is also an argument for more relaxed, less heavy-handed organisation.
"


I could not agree more,


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Bill Davis
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 24, 2016 at 4:15:11 pm

[Steve Connor] "I could not agree more,"

Me too. Generally.

But it's kinda dependent on the type of work I'm doing at the moment. If I'm cutting something factual - what's critical is the shortest way find the next fact. I marked B-Roll for the Johnson interview - system show me just THAT now.

If you're doing more artful work. "I could really use a big visual here to heighten the emotional impact of what was just said." Then absolutely, I want the ability to mine wide and deep to find something ideal.

I could also be working from a fixed pool of assets - JUST the stuff I've shot for this program. Or I could be looking in a much larger pool of stock footage or the entire historical archive of a TV station, for example.

I suspect most of us do many different types of searches all the time.

FWIW.

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Bill Davis
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 24, 2016 at 3:59:02 pm

[Oliver Peters] "In other words, finding something you didn't know you needed, because you spotted something in the way to going for what you originally wanted. It was the thing close by but not the original target. The equivalent of shuttling through footage and finding the perfect shot in that process."

Kinda like switching a filter from "Hide Rejects" or "Favorites" back to "Show ALL" where you can skim the entirety of your source material without any filtering whatsoever?

; )

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Walter Soyka
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 24, 2016 at 1:27:32 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "So how about we just ask our developers to give us "intelligent search"? Would that work for you?"

I think intelligent search is metadata-lite. Finding the piece of footage I need is only one small problem we can more easily solve with metadata. I'm actually most interested in the analytics(-lite) potential in media metadata.

What if we broadened our concept of metadata beyond a simple structured description of unstructured data (i.e., keyword-tagged ranges of video), and tracked and stored information about the work we do with our media, so we could query and analyze it?

Let's say I'm working on a set of deliverables for a specific client, and I am tasked with making an update to their logo. If the system as a whole understood more about the project and the use of media elements, what could it do for me?

The system could tell me what dependencies of that logo are affected by the change: an animation, a video, a brochure, a web site. It could understand the entire dependency graph and know that every video that used the logo animation should be updated, and know that every version of the video should be updated.

It could tell me how much time I spent working on the logo change, and also how long all the dependency revisions took as a result of the change, across my entire team.

It could know what other people I had shared the old logo with, both in my company and externally, and allow me to keep them up-to-date with this change.

It could know that this kind of change is typical for this specific client, but unusual for my clients overall, and offer me insights that might affect my future bids for this client.

It could understand version control, so that when the client inevitably asked to change the logo back to the original, I could roll back the change across every dependent deliverable.

I have data for my work. I want metadata for my metawork.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 24, 2016 at 2:04:04 pm

I agree that the potential for metadata analysis is very interesting, but that's probably getting over-ambitious at this point.

The first challenge is to convince enough people that there's value in metadata in the first place ;-)

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Walter Soyka
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 31, 2016 at 10:38:55 am

Here's a real-world example of the need for post-delivery workflow metadata, from elsewhere here on the COW this week:

"Best practices for tracking an original file name after client delivery? Metadata?"
https://forums.creativecow.net/thread/2/1074041

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Misha Aranyshev
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 20, 2016 at 7:58:06 am

Tech gets wide adoption when it's useful and relevant. Timecode with all its limitation is useful and relevant. Slate metadata is crucial for feature and scripted TV but apparently this is too small a market for this metadata to have a working implementation. Location metadata is useful for docs and news but irrelevant for features and scripted TV. In short, there's no money in metadata.


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Brett Sherman
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 20, 2016 at 12:59:11 pm

Slightly off topic. I know this is really about editing application, file system metadata. But on the camera front, I find really almost all the metadata generated in camera useless. Frame rate? Not much there to sift through. This is what I would need at the camera level for metadata to actually be useful.

1. Location aware - few video cameras do this. GPS soaks up battery life and doesn't work inside. Not sure what the solution here is. Tying to cell phone location data might be a solution.
2. Ability to enter metadata on my cell phone on the fly. There is no way in hell I'm going to attempt to enter metadata within the camera menu. Just forget it.
3. Setting a metadata expiration time/date. Worse than no metadata is the wrong metadata. And I can guarantee you once I enter specific metadata for a project. The next shoot I do, I will absolutely forget or not have time to change it.

Interesting that all of these would be enhanced by a connection to your cell phone. I wonder why that hasn't been really utilized. Imagine if one of the camera manufacturers created a really robust cell phone app. It seems to me they would have a huge competitive advantage.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 20, 2016 at 1:17:40 pm

The Sony F55 (and F5) has its own wifi network (created by the camera on a separate Wifi chip on a USB) where you can control and enter a lot of metadata via any web based device. GoPros are wifi enabled, DJI products are controlled via an app where you can control and enter all kinds of things.

You do bring up a good point that metadata is highly subjective. FPS and ISO data would be very helpful for me to have in the Browser and when importing straight from MXF files that data is not captured, but obviously that wouldn't help you out. Most cameras have fairly easy ways to upload metadata sets via SD card.


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Bill Davis
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 20, 2016 at 5:52:13 pm

[Brett Sherman] "Slightly off topic. I know this is really about editing application, file system metadata. But on the camera front, I find really almost all the metadata generated in camera useless. Frame rate? Not much there to sift through. This is what I would need at the camera level for metadata to actually be usefu"

In my experience, however, sometimes what I "thought" I needed, turns out not to be what I actually could benefit from.

Case in point, (which I've mentioned on boards before) is how after a photographer friend showed me how to set my Owner Name ID in my 5dMkII years ago, I was kinda shocked to find to discover that very info attached to one of my Vimeo uploads in the "Shot by" fields. Basically, the camera metadata had survived all the way from ingest to editorial to share and eventual download.

THIS is the new reality.

Basically knowing what is or is not important, in my experience, evolves.

FWIW.

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Andrew Kimery
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 20, 2016 at 6:11:19 pm

[Bill Davis] "Basically, the camera metadata had survived all the way from ingest to editorial to share and eventual download. "

Was it at that point when you regretted using BillRox5000 in the Owner Name ID setting? ;)


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Bill Davis
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 20, 2016 at 7:10:45 pm

I'm always eternally grateful that WAY early in my "internet self-training" after I watched a vicious exchange between two idiots hiding behind their "handles" on CB Simulator (one of the earliest chat applications) I pledged to myself to ONLY post under my own name whenever allowed - and not write anything online I wouldn't say to someone in person. I've certainly not been anywhere close to perfect about that, but in subsequent years came to see the as a really smart strategy.

As to the critical importance of actively wrangling camera metadata - I now can easily imagine some poor innocent videographer selling their used camera on Craig's list and some subsequent owner using the device to shoot some extremely objectionable content - the subsequent distribution of which results in an unpleasant FBI visit to the original owner. Not that far fetched a scenario today.

Metadata management matters in the modern era. A lot.

FWIW

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Walter Soyka
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 26, 2016 at 1:12:17 pm

Coming back to the original question.

[Simon Ubsdell] "So my question is: will we always still be using containers of one kind or another, alongside these metadata filtering options, or can you see a time when we might move over entirely to the metadata-driven model?"

What if the user doesn't have to choose? I think this is a thing that developers can drive, especially if they make it transparent. I think that people tend to do whatever the software makes easy.


[Simon Ubsdell] "It's worth pointing out that when we drop a file into a container of any kind, we are applying a kind of virtual metadata to it - we are describing the file in a particular way such that we will be able to recall it at will. I can make a folder called "Boston Shoot, 05-15-2016" and drop all my relevant camera dailies in there such that I can later recall when and where they were shot. However, if I take any of those files out of that container, the virtual metadata doesn't follow along with it - it's volatile and ephemeral. If instead I embed the place and time of the shoot into the file, I can use a filtering method to access it regardless of where I happen to have put it. And that seems to me to be a major advantage."

Going back to your idea of a smart search (and mine of analytics), what if the computer could use people's ephemeral classifications to derive more permanent metadata and associate it with the file via XMP?

Google and Bing both know that Boston is a place. Why can't a cloud-enabled NLE?

Just putting clips in a folder named "Boston Shoot, 05-15-2016" should be enough for the system to know to tag the media with Boston as its location. (Of course, you'd be hosed if you were doing a documentary on rock and roll in the 1970s and 1980s, but surely "location" would be the correct assumption in the overwhelming majority of cases...)

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Oliver Peters
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 26, 2016 at 1:29:50 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Just putting clips in a folder named "Boston Shoot, 05-15-2016" should be enough for the system to know to tag the media with Boston as its location. (Of course, you'd be hosed if you were doing a documentary on rock and roll in the 1970s and 1980s, but surely "location" would be the correct assumption in the overwhelming majority of cases...)
"


There's actually a lot of work being done in computing circles on this sort of stuff under the banner of machine learning. This could be a hybrid of human and NLE sorting. For example, a human does the initial sort. The software analyzes what's been done and "learns" the patterns. As you get deeper into it more becomes automatic or at least "pre-filtered" by the NLE. The software understands that you want more of X and therefore does it for you.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Steve Connor
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 26, 2016 at 1:42:12 pm

[Oliver Peters] "There's actually a lot of work being done in computing circles on this sort of stuff under the banner of machine learning. This could be a hybrid of human and NLE sorting. For example, a human does the initial sort. The software analyzes what's been done and "learns" the patterns. As you get deeper into it more becomes automatic or at least "pre-filtered" by the NLE. The software understands that you want more of X and therefore does it for you."

I would be very wary of my NLE using the Cloud to "learn" patterns and take data from my footage and sorting, client confidentiality is an increasingly large issue.


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Oliver Peters
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 26, 2016 at 1:46:51 pm

[Steve Connor] "I would be very wary of my NLE using the Cloud to "learn" patterns and take data from my footage and sorting, client confidentiality is an increasingly large issue."

I don't think the technology is cloud-dependent.

Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Steve Connor
Re: What Ever Happened to Metadata?
on May 26, 2016 at 1:54:48 pm

[Oliver Peters] "I don't think the technology is cloud-dependent.
"


Most of the machine learning tech I've seen so far is based in the cloud and not local


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