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1 Interplay Production and Interplay Media Asset Manager How the addition of Media Asset Management transforms Interplay

2 Summary In January 2010, Avid acquired Blue Order, known for its comprehensive Media Archive media asset management system. The Blue Order Media Archive solution has now been positioned under the Avid Interplay asset management family as Interplay Media Asset Manager (MAM). The existing Interplay production asset management solution has been renamed Interplay Production, thus creating a new platform under the Interplay brand that spans the management of both in-process and finished media assets. With this new platform, Avid is fundamentally transforming the value offered to customers. Prior to the Blue Order acquisition, we offered our customers a production asset management (PAM) solution. The fundamental characteristics of a PAM solution are: It s focused on content creation It s project based It enhances production team collaboration It deeply manages the detailed composition of a project With the introduction of Blue Order Media Archive into the Interplay solution, Avid can now offer our customers a full enterprise-level Media Asset Management (MAM) solution. The fundamental characteristics of a MAM solution are: It s focused on managing the entire lifecycle of finished media assets It manages all assets It enhances collaboration across the whole media enterprise, not just the production teams It s focused on enabling business processes These two solutions are entirely complementary. The production process is coordinated by the PAM; the finished assets are managed by the MAM. Interplay and Media Archive customers now have the ability to acquire new, highly scalable MAM or PAM capabilities that are entirely complementary to their existing investments. The combined Interplay solution is a powerful media platform that enables media enterprises to: Maximize the value of media assets Integrate all of the content production, ingest and distribution teams within their enterprise to a single collaborative whole Become more agile media businesses able to profit from new opportunities The remainder of this paper will explain in more detail what this means. 1

3 The New Interplay Platform PAM, meet MAM Avid has been successfully providing production asset management (PAM) solutions with its Interplay products, and with the recent acquisition of Blue Order, now also offers comprehensive media asset management (MAM) solutions. With the dramatic proliferation of media assets, as well as sources of media and distribution channels, a complete media asset management platform is critical to the future success of broadcasters and content creators alike. The purpose of this document is to outline the respective positioning of the existing Avid Interplay Production and Blue Order Media Archive solutions within that platform; to outline how the two product lines are being combined and to explain what Interplay MAM (Blue Order) will mean to existing Interplay Production users, and what Interplay Production will mean to existing Blue Order users. Production Asset Management - Interplay Production Interplay Production has achieved wide market acceptance and is the industry-leading production asset management solution. More than 750 sites worldwide news, broadcast and post production it is counted on every day to achieve production goals and meet deadlines. Interplay Production excels at coordinating the collaborative editing workflow of dozens or hundreds of team members at each site, many of whom will typically be working on the same projects at the same time. Unlike enterprise media asset management solutions, Interplay Production and its client applications are focused on the detail level of each project. This detailed information allows the project to be handled live by multiple team members. For instance: One or more loggers can be adding metadata to the source clips One or more journalists can be taking those source clips and developing stories around them One or more craft editors can be taking those stories and editing them into complex sequences 2

4 One or more producers can be reviewing those complex sequences and providing feedback Multiple additional processes needed for the project, such as ingest, transcode, and sending to playback can happen and be controlled in parallel In order for all of these tasks to occur concurrently on the same project, Interplay Production tracks the components of that project at a detail level. For instance, Avid Media Composer, Symphony and NewsCutter editors,as well as Assist, and inews Instinct client applications all use MXF Op-Atom media files, in which each video subclip, audio track, and video effect is saved as a separate file. The video and audio files are coordinated across multiple available resolutions (e.g. Low res, SD and HD for video, compressed and uncompressed for audio) and each of these assets is stored in the database as a link to a specific MXF Op-Atom file. Furthermore, as shotlists, stories, and sequences are created around the project, each of these, too, is stored as a separate file, in this case an AAF sequence description file. As a result, the sheer number of assets tracked in the Interplay Production solution can be quite large and correlate with the complexity of the production work. Furthermore, Interplay Production is also able to track the dependencies between all these files. This is especially important for deletion workflows, where a media manager or system administrator wishes to delete a media file but is unsure whether it is still in use by one or more projects or users. Interplay Production parses the AAF sequence information of the projects stored in the database, and is able to alert the administrator if a dependency exists that would make a requested deletion problematic. This high level of detail empowers Interplay Production users with uniquely strong collaborative possibilities. An entire project, which would be represented as one or a few clips in a media asset management system, would have to be checked in or out of such a system by one user at a time. In Interplay Production, dozens of users can each be checking out and saving the components of the project instead, while referencing a largely common set of master clips. As a result, true collaborative workflows under deadline pressure have become not only possible, but routine. Media Asset Management Interplay MAM Interplay MAM, developed as the Blue Order Media Archive solution is a completely open, media-independent, and storage-independent system. The system is already deployed at some of the world s most prestigious broadcasters. As an enterprise media asset management system, Interplay MAM is capable of handling virtually any digital asset whether video, audio, or other media or non-media assets on a peer level. Employing a full service-oriented architecture, it serves as an integration platform for heterogeneous system landscapes and as an end-to-end business orchestration engine for workflows both within and across departments. It can work with nearly any storage system, as it does not attempt the real-time collaborative workflows and dependency tracking that Interplay Production covers. 3

5 Furthermore, Interplay MAM metadata representation is among the most flexible in the industry. Each database can have completely custom metadata layouts, and these can even be modified or extended on the fly while the database is in use. In a corporate environment where it s often impossible to predict in advance how a given database will be used, such flexibility and configurability is extremely important. The metadata capabilities also include support for authority lists, such as legal lists, thesauri and master data, as well as the ability to configure, per asset type, individual metadata views for the various user groups. Much as the Interplay MAM metadata layout is flexible, so is its approach to storage. The Interplay MAM solution is designed to work across multiple storage environments provided by different vendors. These storage environments can be added at any time, and any environment can be either a single piece of hardware or a larger storage configuration managed under HSM (Hierarchical Storage Management). These options give Interplay MAM a highly flexible, scalable set of possible storage configurations. In contrast with the Interplay Production s largely thick client application architecture (executable code running on a Mac or PC), the Interplay MAM client applications are largely web-based. They do not require direct access to shared storage, but instead leverage streaming, low-resolution representations of the high res media clips. And while Interplay MAM does not handle the detailed representation of how these clips are constructed, that level of detail would be inappropriate for a tool being widely used in a corporate network. In larger broadcasters, Interplay MAM is typically is accessible on more than a thousand desktops, across the production network as well as the corporate network. Interplay MAM s use of Web clients, as well as its highly scalable database back end, makes such very large scale deployments not only practical, but routine. Unlike Interplay Production, Interplay MAM is capable of tracking assets beyond the production and editing workflow, such as graphic files and documents, with a very rich level of metadata equivalent to its tracking of video and audio assets. This different focus from Interplay Production makes for simpler and efficient handling of questions such as 4

6 media ownership and rights management, repurposing of output files for a variety of delivery formats, and searching across libraries of all available media. The Interplay MAM solution also contains a highly evolved workflow automation system, with workflows defined by a built-in scripting language which has been deployed at almost every Interplay MAM site. This scripting language is a uniquely powerful asset to the system and it allows for a degree workflow customization not possible within Interplay Production. This language also benefits from its connectivity to the BPEL business process language standard, as an external interface to scripted business processes that may be taking place throughout the customer s organization. Summary: A single media-focused asset management platform The New Interplay Platform What Interplay MAM means to existing Interplay Production users For customers who already own Interplay Production, Interplay MAM brings a wealth of new possibilities. In effect, Interplay MAM is an extension to the Interplay product line and provides the following new capabilities: Ability to manage assets across multiple tiers of storage from third parties as well as Avid Ability to manage all forms of media assets and documents at a peer level Ability to integrate a wide range of media formats on both ingest and playout Ability to deploy searching and browsing widely, both inside VPNs and on the Internet Ability to provide more advanced tagging and searching capabilities Ability to provide highly flexible metadata configurations which can be reconfigured on the fly 5

7 Ability to track the full history, or genealogy, of each asset in the database Ability to build highly automated internal workflows, or interface to external business processes with a sophisticated workflow scripting language and execution engine It s important to note that the Interplay Production solution will continue to have its own aggressive development roadmap, with ongoing improvements in the areas of format support, ancillary metadata handling, low-resolution proxies, client applications and more. Customers can anticipate an increasingly mature, broadened product line with a wealth of capabilities across both the enterprise media asset management space, and in Avid s traditionally strong production space. What Interplay Production means to Interplay MAM users For customers who already own Interplay MAM (Blue Order Media Archive), the Interplay Production solution brings a powerfully deep production capability. Interplay Production gives them: Ability to directly migrate data out of Interplay MAM databases into Avid production environments Ability to manage fine-grained sequence information through the extended system Support of a global leader in media technologies, with a strong financial position, invigorated by a dynamic management team and a clear vision for the future Powerful client applications able to directly edit high-resolution as well as low-resolution proxy media Over time, accelerated availability of integrated news and production solutions that are accessible from, and co-managed by, the Interplay MAM platform Like Interplay Production, Interplay MAM has an aggressive development roadmap under Avid, with a wide range of current and future commitments in place. Customers can anticipate advancements in functionality, connectivity, partner support, user applications, and more, as it addresses an expanded role as a business-enabling platform for media-related content and media-focused enterprises. Corporate Headquarters AVID (2843) Asian Headquarters European Headquarters To find your regional Avid office, visit Avid Technology, Inc. All rights reserved. Product features, specifications, system requirements and availability are subject to change without notice. Avid, the Avid logo, inews, Interplay, and Instinct are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Avid Technology, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective companies. IMAMWP0610

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