So. You’ve got your collection of multimedia files, which looked pretty manageable with your custom folder scheme when you first started, grew less fun to manage as it got bigger and bigger and now threatening to drown you under. You dread each day when new content arrives to add to your troubles. You cannot find what you are looking for, at a reasonable time. You need to secure your assets, but you need to make them accessible for your employees and customers too. Despite all your precautions, that irreplaceable footage you needed somehow got deleted, and you don’t even know who did it. Your content arrives in A,B and C formats, and you have to deliver in X,Y,Z formats, each with its own data form. Things look grim, you are starting to get buried under your content. You need an assistant.
Enter Metus MAM, your media management assistant. Metus MAM, 8 years old as of 2012, is an Enterprise Multimedia Asset Management and Transcoding software suite, that allows you to stop worrying about how to archive your assets and keeps you focused on how to use it instead.
Metus MAM helps you do the following:Collect your media assets into an archiveTrack the assets in your archiveConvert and keep your assets in as many formats as you wantKeep your archive useable, by making assets findable no matter the size of the archiveSecure your archive while still making it accessible to users, under your control.Export and deliver your assets in as many formats as you want, with optional customized dataInterface between your archive and 3rd party tools where you want to use itKeep track of actions performed on your archiveAnd hundreds of more, useful things.
Metus MAM is not a tool for a specific market or application that forces you to work in a particular way. No matter which market you coming from, no matter what application you have, if it involves managing and processing a lot of multimedia files, Metus MAM is your ideal assistant.
This is the “business end” of Metus MAM which the users see and interact with. It is used generally by power users who wish to use all of the functions of Metus MAM, like transcoding, cutting, joining, editing clips in addition to basic functions like importing, browsing, searching. Users with admin rights also configure and administer the system from the Desktop Client. The Desktop Client also includes the Media Asset Viewer, which is a customized player application used to play the assets in normal, fast, slow, reverse speeds, mark points and regions on the assets with metadata, choose and mix between audio channels, mark in and out points. Metus MAM Desktop client is a Windows desktop application and runs on the same local network with Metus MAM server components.
MAS is the server side component that is the glue that holds the system together. It manages the storages that are defined in the system. It sits between the clients, the database, and the other server side components and regulates the media and data traffic. It manages media traffic, in accordance with the security levels of the assets and access rights of the users. It handles the archiving process (of moving and distributing the imported files between defined storage/s) and delivers the file path to the client, with the necessary access level enabled. This file access mechanism prevents MAS from becoming a bottleneck in the system. MAS also handles the media life cycle of assets according to pre-set rules, and shuffles the archived files between the various online and nearline storages. And, it can function as a backup for other servers.
Metus Archive Server is a software that runs on 64bit versions of Microsoft Windows 2003 or 2008 Server. Multiple storages or any type (NAS, SAN, DAS) be defined on a single MAS. Multiple MAS servers can be installed in a project for load balancing during archiving, and/or for redundancy purposes.
If MAS is the brain, then MPS is the engine under the hood of a Metus MAM system. It handles all the multimedia processing that goes on inside a MAM system. Some of the things that MPS does are the following
Metus Process Server is a software that runs on 64bit version of Microsoft Windows 2003 and 2008 Server, or Windows 7 Professional. The number of jobs that MPS can handle in parallel, is defined inside the MAM administration. A large number of jobs can be handled by MPS by putting them in a queue and executing them in order. Progress of MPS jobs are reported in real time to the users via the Desktop Client. Multiple MPS servers can be installed in a Metus MAM project for increasing the total video processing power available. In this case all incoming jobs are distributed by MAM among the MPS servers according to their individual workload, creating load balancing.
In addition to the Desktop Client, Metus MAM can also be accessed and used by web client that can run inside all popular web browsers and from all operating systems. This lightweight client, while lacking all features of the desktop client, still allows users to import video files, enter metadata, browse the archive and play the proxy files.
Metus Web Server is the web server that hosts the web client and communicates with the MAS to stream and deliver the requested assets. It runs on Windows2003 or 2008 Server.
This optional server component, allows users to search a picture frame among all images and video files in the archive and display results in order of relevance. The image search is based on a custom algorithm that analyses the multimedia files in advance, calculates the visual information and writes it into the database. The image matching is then performed on the database level, and therefore thousands of hours of video can be searched in seconds.
Metus MAM has plugins for Grass Valley EDIUS™ and SONY Vegas™. These are opened from within the NLE interface and allow the user to search and browse the MAM project as if he/she were using the Desktop clients. Found assets can be played inside the plugin, and dragged and dropped into the timeline. By default, what goes to the timeline are the proxy versions of the files, so that they can be played from a networked storage without glitch. After users finish their editing on the NLE, a control on the plugin switches the files on the timeline with their high-res versions. Then, after the render is performed, the rendered file is imported back into the MAM.
Metus MAC Client is a desktop client that runs on MacOSX to search and browse the archive from MAC computers, and interface with Final Cut Pro. Selected videos can be played on the user interface and dragged to FCP interface, upon which their proxy versions, together with marker metadata are added to the FCP timeline. The users, after finishing their edit on the interface, then can switch the proxy versions of the videos with the hi-res versions with a control on the FCP Client. The files rendered from the timeline can be ingested automatically back into the MAM
Metus MAM can scale from the single server and workstation to multiple sites on a WAN, that span over dozens of servers and hundreds of clients. For small installations, some or all of the server side components can be installed and work together on a single server. For larger installations the components each have their own servers, and the largest ones can have multiple server components of each type running and communicating together, for load balancing and/or redundancy. Multiple storage systems can be connected in each MAM installation, on one server or on different servers. The users see it as one space. Multiple servers on different sites can communicate and synchronize with each other, over internet or WAN. There’s simply no architectural limit to the size of the system.
We don’t tie users to us, by developing and and using “optimized” and “high quality” custom formats, thus forcing them to keep using us because their archive is unreadable outside of the archive, unless exported by us into a standard format. Instead, we believe in natively supporting as many open, industry standard formats as possible. And indeed, we support almost all of them. The media formats supported inside Metus MAM include:
File wrappers: MPG, M2P, AVI, F4V, MXF, GXF, MOV, XDCAM, MP4, TS,
WMV, WAV, M4A, P2, Microsoft Smooth Streaming™
Essences: MPEG2, DV, DVCPRO, uncompressed, DVCPRO50,
DVCPRO100HD, H.264, AVC, AVCIntra,
Apple PRORES, IMX, VC-1, PCM, AAC, WMA
Plus, almost all picture formats in the world are supported. And, let’s not forget about the document formats. Metus MAM supports Word, Excel, pdf files. It can also support popular archive formats like zip, rar etc.
Metus MAM is NOT simply an archive system. It’s also a multimedia processing solution. The built in video processing engine Metus Process Server (MPS) that comes inside the MAM, is faster, and has more features than many a dedicated file transcoding product. For large systems it is deployable in a load balancing farm topology. Here are some of the tasks it can be used for, to give an idea about the wide range of applications:
Files created and transcoded from Metus MAM are frame accurate, so that users can do things like seamlessly switch from proxy to hi-res during playback, or use the proxy files in editing software and switching on the timeline with hi-res versions later, without damaging the edit.
NAS, DAS, SAN.. all types of storage technologies can be used as multimedia storage by Metus MAM. Ethernet, fiber, iSCSI, SAS, we work with them all. MAM can also manage Tape drives and libraries as nearline/offline multimedia main storage or backup. Metus MAM is designed to make the most out of the storage systems available. The Information Lifecycle Manamagement (ILM) feature can automatically move files between fast, slow and nearline storage systems based on their access frequency, or other user defined rules.
Metus MAM is fast. Users can start working with assets as soon as import starts. Videos can be played , trimmed, cut, even before they finish copying into the storage. You can even edit videos that are still being captured by Metus Ingest. Metadata can be input during capture and edited later. Or metadata does not have to be input manually at all; MAM will assign metadata automatically using custom templates you created, or via any xml based metadata form that accompanies the files. Or a mix of all methods can be used at the same time. The client user interface is entirely virtual. All objects, including bins, assets and even thumbnails are read from database so browsing bins that contain hundreds of assets is very fast. All searches done on MAM are done on a custom optimized database, so that archives made of thousands of assets can be searched in seconds. Metus MAM even allows users to work on nearline/offine media, as if they were online, by always keeping the proxy versions on HDD based storage. Users can play, mark, trim assets using proxy, only when they need the high res file does MAM actually retrieves it from tape.
No one needs to be rocket scientist, to become a content manager anymore, because Metus MAM is extremely easy to use. All controls for daily operation are right where the operator needs, in a single interface. All controls that are not necessary are hidden away where only administrators can access them. Importing assets is a matter of dragging and dropping files into the client interface, or copying them to a folder in a client, which is watched by Metus MAM with its Dynamic Bin feature. Basic information about clips, like format, popularity, whether it is online etc. are available right on the thumbnail, and all metadata is available on the user interface at a single click. Storyboards are automatically created to get an idea about the video at a single glance, and to quickly navigate to that point. Clips can be played directly from the interface, or from a media player, where users can play fast or slow, mark points and regions, using keyboard shortcuts. Monitoring files with multiple audio channels is a breeze, done at a single click. Users can even have one language on the left headphone and another on the right. Organizing clips is as easy as dragging to a folder, metadata entry is click and write. Search is as easy as writing in Google, or clicking on a folder. And export is as easy as dragging out of the software.. of course, if you have the right to do so.
The whole point of having a content management system is a) cataloguing your assets with enough information so that b) you can find them immediately whenever you need them. Metus MAM allows for unlimited metadata in many types to be created by system administrators, right out of the box. Users can add easy categories, marker and region definitions to sections of the assets to be used during searches. Assets can be organized in virtual bins. Virtual assets from the same file can be created with different metadata. Searches can be performed Google style as free text search, or users can build custom searches using any kind of metadata that exists in the system. Frequently performed searches can be saved as search bins, to be executed at a single click. Users can even optionally perform image search, to search for a picture frame inside all pictures and videos in the archive. It’s all about keeping your archive usable at your fingertips.
You imported your assets, you carefully added your metadata, you made your search and found what you needed. What then? Metus MAM opens new vistas in front of customers who need to deliver a large number of multimedia assets to multiple locations. Files can be made available to subscribers for web download via Metus Web client, or customized browser based clients. Files can be automatically transcoded on-the-fly during export to any number of formats defined by an export profile. If the exported files need to be imported to another system after MAM, custom xml based metadata form reports can be created and exported automatically together with the files.
By default, it is not possible to access the files archived in Metus MAM, by any other way other than the Desktop Client, such as through Windows environment. Metus MAM has its own built-in security system, separate from Windows security. There are separate , and individually assignable permissions for adding, playing, editing, downloading and deleting assets. Contrary Windows environment, users with read permission, may or may not have the right to copy/retrieve. Or, users with the permission to add/write, may not have right to delete. These permissions can be assigned on the whole archive project, or on individual bins, or on individual assets, or even on individual metadata fields. User with no permissions may still have the right to Request, which upon granting gives one-time use right. Parts of assets can be censured for video or audio only, non-destructively hiding sensitive information from regular users.
Metus MAM makes a breeze out of managing huge archives. The archive is organized around Archive Projects, which are the collected sum of the multimedia files, data, and security. Different projects within the same Metus MAM installation, may have different media storages, archive servers, different metatada fields, different users. The same users can exist in more than one project, with different access rights. Metus MAM has detailed access monitoring and logging system called User Actions. Every action done on the archive, is logged, together with where and when and who. This log can be easily browsed, sorted, filtered and printed. All delete operations are virtual and can be retrieved from built in Recycle Bin by administrators. The assets can be optionally versioned so that changes on them (metadata or video) can be tracked and rolled back
Expandable media asset management and transcoding suite, deployable from a single desktop to hundreds of clients
Supports archives up to 100s of TBs containing millions of assets
Distributed server architecture allows limitless expansion
Transcoding can be deployed on a single server or as a server farm with load balancing
Format Support and Video Processing:
Supported containers: (MPG, M2P, AVI, F4V, MXF, GXF, MOV, XDCAM, MP4, TS, WMV, WAV,
M4A, P2, Microsoft Smooth Streaming™ )
Supported essences : (MPEG2, DV, DVCPRO, uncompressed, DVCPRO50, DVCPRO100HD, H.264, AVC, AVCIntra, Apple PRORES, IMX, VC-1, PCM, AAC, WMA)
Support for proprietary formats via 3rd party components
Also supports audio, picture, word, excel, pdf and text files
Supports transcoding between supported formats
Supports multi channel audio
Supports easy cutting and joining of clips
Supports partial retrieval with optional transcoding
Supports watermarking of video with timecode, logo, etc.
Supports LTC and VITC timecode in video
Windows, MAC and web clients
Optional web server / access MAM over internet / intranet
Optional high level web service API for custom integration with web sites and 3rd party systems
Asset Management Benefits:
Supports configurable proxy files for network playback
Supports playing and editing of growing content, that is still being captured.
Supports playing and editing of growing content, that is still being captured.
Flexible bin structure independent from file system
Built in media player with: mark in/out, fast/slow playback, marker/region definition, video&audio censure, audio channel selection and mapping
Flexible metadata structure that can be customised by user without any development
Many different types of metadata, per requirement
Easy Category assignment
Multiple search modes, which can be combined :
- Basic (full text search among all information in the archive),
- Advanced (custom searches made from specific metadata selected by user)
- Category based
- Optional image matching / search image in video
Assets can be archived manually, or via dragging into the interface, or via dragging into watch folders (“dynamic bins”)
Searches can be assigned to bins (“filter bins”)
Metadata can be automatically assigned to imported assets (“template bins”)
Different formats and qualities of the assets can be automatically generated and attached to them (“Attachments”)
Other video and non-video files can also be attached to the assets (documents, audio files, pictures, subtitle files etc.)
Storage & IT Architecture
Uses standard off the shelf server hardware
Uses industry standard Microsoft SQL and Oracle databases
Support of any type of storage such as NAS, SAN, DAS
Supports nearline-offline storage systems ranging from single tape drive to enterprise
All components can be installed on single server, or distributed across multiple servers
Archives are organized into Archive Projects: each Project can have the same or different users metadata structure, server, storage
Supports different failover and redundancy scenarios both at database, application and storage level