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What is metadata and the Metadata Initiative

We have long realized that sending a digital file isn't enough. In today's environments, you need all the search and licensing information as well.  You need to make sure your asset can be tracked as best as possible.  To that end, we have designed and offered software solutions that allow both end users and production libraries to control and embed their important information in the files they distribute as well as create software solutions that can collect that data. 

Metadata is a key components for both the user who needs to manage and search the assets as well as the libraries that need to document, manage and collect licensing information.  The MI is comprised of a suggested format and set of guidelines for metadata delivery as well as tools that allow both users and publishers to control that metadata within Soundminer.   The net benefit means lower costs for production libraries, instant delivery and a very happy user base.  Many music and sound effect libraries already deliver their assets using these software tools. Soundminer’s specialized toolset allows anyone to embed their data for delivery with both the audio and the information joined and readable in Soundminer applications. The toolset also supports the 'open' containers like BWAV BEXT(Pro Tools) and Mp3 ID3 tags(iTunes).  Soundminer's toolset also takes care of all the conversions keeping everything ordered, neat and organized. 

Music libraries like 5Alarm Music, Megatrax, 615 Music, De Wolfe and many other great libraries have all used our toolset to embed and deliver their assets.  The user benefits immediately as the tools allow the libraries to deliver files in several formats to the end user for immediate use in Soundminer, Apple’s Itunes, Digidesign’s Pro Tools, Steinberg’s Nuendo and other programmes that support the Soundminer metawrapper or any of the 'open' containers - ie. the BEXT broadcast wave standards and the mp3 id3 tag standards.  The end user needs only to drag and drop these files onto their aggregator and start searching. It is just that easy.

In addition to providing a toolset to enable the delivery of metadata, the MI also encourages libraries to follow a standardized process for the category, sub-category, composer and publisher fields.  Following this standard will ensure data will be viewed and searched in an efficient and organized manner.  For too many years each production music has been delivered without any standard forcing end users to deal with the mess that inevitably results when the library data is combined. 

By promoting standards for content ensures, that when combined with assets from many sources. the end user can search a manageable list of categories and sub categories.  In the real world, end users have music and sound effects from many providers.  Allowing those assets to be easily aggregated, makes them instantly useful and that means less costs for everyone and immediately potential usage. The standardized formatting of the composer and publisher fields will ensure cue sheets will become easier to both create and submit.  The end user experience is improved and the workload for the libraries is streamlined.  Everyone wins.  Leading production music libraries like 5Alarm, Music have delivered standardized data to end users with nothing but praise from users like Cory Coken in Chicago:

"We used to spend so much time adding new assets to our server. now its much easier with Soundminer and standardized music files.  The exceptional work on the 5 Alarm Music library has made it more effective for our editors to find, track and update their music.....I wish all libraries would adopt standardization.  In fact, we are now updating libraries with this standardization on our server first. I personally give preferential treatment to those libraries that do provide assets in this very usable, search-able format"

It is a simple streamlined process that, when followed, allows a library to use one toolset to prepare files for many systems, not just Soundminer and ensure that their assets are viewed along with other assets in a way that makes searching and updating assets for users easy.  They control their own assets with these tools, not Soundminer.  In addition, Soundminer continues to develop tools for every step of the process to ensure accurate reporting.  Soundminer’s Web Portal builds automatic cue sheets from the metadata embedded in these files and Soundmienr v4pro extracts the critical information right from the Pro Tools session.  The net result is better more efficient searching and this translates to better more accurate reporting.

To learn more download the PDF - Metadata Initiative

**Metadata standards vary across the industry.  Not all applications read all metadata and each manufacturer may have their own standard.  What all Soundminer products do is print to Soundminer's own metadata container while at the same time printing to as many of the industry standards available.  Users can add custom fields for a small fee and all embedding optimizes based on the file format for as many metadata standards as possible.  Every product in our arsenal is capable of import/export and remerging of text and V4.5pro+ can be suited to import Microsoft Excel directly.