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Importing clip metadata with markers from external source

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Robert Krueger
Importing clip metadata with markers from external source
on Jul 25, 2014 at 6:48:32 am

Hi,

I am in the process of evaluating ways to integrate Avid Media Composer into a heterogeneous workflow. I have dealt with FCP7, Premiere and FCPX before but am new to Media Composer.

What I am looking for is any way to transfer descriptive clip metadata (including markers) that is generated by an external source into Media Composer, i.e. the equivalent of XML import in the three other NLEs I listed above. Is there any such way in Media Composer or is it a closed box as far as that is concerned?

Thanks in advance,

Robert


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Michael Phillips
Re: Importing clip metadata with markers from external source
on Jul 25, 2014 at 1:03:25 pm

Yes and no... but mostly no depending on the implementation.

The most common way to get source information into a bin is via ALE and it various settings; this will create new master clips, subclips, or merge info into existing clips etc. The ALE format has been in use since version 1.5x in 1990. And while still useful and used on a daily basis, it is getting long in the tooth for more modern workflows.

For example it does not support markers or spanned markers as part of the source metadata exchange. It can't even roundtrip its own new clips color designation...

Markers on the other hand, can be exported and imported via a version of ALE and now XML but it is for Markers only. Arrrgghh. And only works on sequences. When Avid implemented XML import/export of Markers in v7 I questioned why they couldn't include support for multiple source clips in the same structured XML?

The "yes" part is that it is possible with AAF, but AAF is way too complicated a format for simple stuff, is a binary file, and needs a different skill set of engineering to work with. But it is a method if you have those resources at hand. I have always felt that lack of a good XML structure for I/O has prevented a cottage industry of third party applications creating additional solutions for Avid.

With the announcement of Avid Everywhere, Central, Marketplace, etc. maybe there is something in place to make that easier for developers.

Other source side solution for you might be AMA which you can get a license for from Avid. But it combined essence and metadata, and not just metadata on its own. I created a mus.ID AMA plug-in to grab all the ID3 tag information when linking to songs as it was being dropped with other Avid methods of import or linking. It also offers an option of drag and drop reporting of the AAF to a spreadsheet for all songs used in the sequence with timing info. You can see a video and demo at http://www.mus-id.com

But the addressable market is smaller seat wise compared to other NLE's and Avid does not have the resources help market the third-party solutions so you are pretty much on your own once a solution is developed.

So in many cases, it is a "wait for Avid" to offer the solution as it is difficult to interact with the editor itself for metadata other than via ALE in its current state or AAF. Nothing in between.


Michael


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Robert Krueger
Re: Importing clip metadata with markers from external source
on Jul 28, 2014 at 7:06:43 am

Hi Michael,

thanks a lot for taking the time for a super-helpful in-depth answer! This is incredible. After initial research I was afraid that the answer was going to be something like that. It is such a trivial thing engineering-wise to offer a decent XML metadata i/o and clear negligence by AVID if they don't offer it, period.

I'll wait for AVID or someone else to offer something then.

Cheers,

Robert


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