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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 optimzies 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.

Sound Editors

Sound Editors have long relied on Soundminer’s advanced feature set.  The biggest names in Sound use Soundminer:  Warner Bros, Disney, Skywalker Sound, Soundelux, Sony Pictures, Universal Studios, and many many more....why?  Because it has a proven track record in not only leading the industry in features but in making available options that start as low as $199.

So which product should I buy?
This depends on your budget and your needs.  You may not need all the features our flagship v4pro offers.  Check this product comparison out.  And often people will ask about which metadata features exist as you go up the product line. This document will dispel myths.

We make two different lines of desktop products:  The HD line and the V4.5 line.  The V4.5 line is MAC only and is our flagship product line that has been embedded in so many facilities world wide.  If you need ALL the bells and whistles and are a Mac user, check out v4.5 Standard or v4.5pro.  The HD line was created as a less expensive option with the ‘best of’ from our V4.5 line and it was built on a new framework that allows for either MAC or PC based licenses (or Universal , both MAC and PC support).  Most of what Sound Editors need can be found here.  And the products now offer an entry level application, HD Basic, for $199, an intermediate application, HDplus for $399, and a server version for those needing to have centralized shared databasing within their facility and we recently added a ProPack for Windows and Mac HDplus users to get them most of the features from 4.5pro($275).  HDplus Server is $599 per client and the Server software starts at $500 for up to 5 connected clients. And if you buy one and need to move up, the price is ALWAYS just the difference if within the same version!!  

Check out our product tour as well.

Server Options
For facilities that need to operate on shared centralized databases,  Soundminer offers a few different options:  V4pro can be outfitted with Soundminer Server and each attached client can have a log in, permission set and access defined by the server software.  In addition, HDplus Server is now available allowing MAC and PC  clients to work off the same database in the facility.  HDplus server has a lighter Server software component (HD5 for up to five attached clients for $500, HD10 for up to 10 attached clients for $1000 or can use the more advanced SM server, $1500 for more clients).  In addition to adding true centralized controlled server functionality, any server can also be equipped with our Web Portal which allows a facility to add web browser access to their database from either within their intranet or to the world wide web.  The Web portal can be customized for graphics and branding as well.


Soundminer Web Portal(Musicminer) - advanced web software that can be installed on your master servers, locally or remotely and can provide a fully customizable web front end to share/distribute your tracks.  APIs exist to allow it to be integrated into your site as well.  Musicminer has many advanced search options, easy to use drag and drop playlists, many sharing options that allow you or your clients to share playlists or selections, option for Cuesheets, Ecom and licensing and mobile interfacing and is ideal for facilities with secondary users who may not require the desktop features but still need access to files.

Mp3converter - MAC only - add-on utility (stand alone or with v4pro) that batch converts your master file format to any kind of mp3 while retaining the exact folder structure, artwork and metadata in the process.  Ideal for creating streaming proxies for the web!

CueManager - add-on to the web portal that enables broadcast cuesheet creation will EDL import from AVID, Pro Tools and Final Cut.  Cuemanager also leverages the metadata work on your site to auto-fill the Composer and Publisher information on recognized tracks in the cuesheet and can electronically deliver a final validated cuesheet to ASCAP’s RapidCue system.

ECOM/Licensing - Musicminer can be fitted with this option for those wishing to sell directly on the web or even for those who wish to have an advanced licensing module.  This allows clients to convert a playlist for licensing, pick their preferred licensing options for a rate card and submit it.

Mobile Interfacing - This is not just an optimization for your site, but an actual dedicated interface for all phones and tablets that allows users to do almost all the same functions they would when connected to the site via a standard desktop browser.

Music Publishers and Content Creators

Soundminer is has long been recognized for its work and features in metadata management.  Our v4pro flagship product and Mp3Converter Utility are used extensively by this industry to internally manage their files, tag, enrich and modify their metadata and to batch convert it to formats used by the industry at large. Extensive features including import/export of text, batch tagging, extensive modification control, and the ability to embed metadata in several formats to best distribute files for use in many different platforms is why these two products are the ‘GO TO’ products for Publishers and Music creators.  In addition,  Soundminer offers the ability to control publishing of content via its Web Portal software.  This software leverages the work done on the files to make it easily available as part of your web site and internal facility.  Soundminer also makes an advanced Cuesheet maker that reads industry EDLs and can electronically submit cuesheets to ASCAP/BMI.

Products to consider:
V4pro - MAC ONLY - main product for managing master file formats and metadata and includes full batch conversion facilities. It can be directly connected to the web portal so as you make changes they are reflected instantly on your outward facing portal.

Can I not use a cheaper product than V4pro?
Yes, you can.  HDplus and V4 standard allow text import and simple manual editing of metadata, but they do not provide processes like Copy, Append, Prepend, Set, Add numbers, Find and Replace, Regex, Script Engine customizations, Auto BPM or Key detection and more....

Mp3converter - MAC only - add-on utility (stand alone or with v4pro) that batch converts your master file format to any flavour of mp3 while retaining the exact folder structure, artwork and metadata in the process.

Soundminer Web Portal(Musicminer) - advanced web software that can be installed on your master servers, locally or remotely and can provide a fully customizable web front end to distribute your tracks.  APIs exist to allow it to be integrated into your site as well.  Musicminer has many advanced search options, easy to use drag and drop playlists, many sharing options that allow you or your clients to share playlists or selections, option for Cuesheets, Ecom and licensing and mobile interfacing.  For those who would rather we host it for them, we offer this as well!  Also see the product tour page

CueManager - add-on to the web portal that enables broadcast cuesheet creation with EDL import from AVID, Pro Tools and Final Cut.  Cuemanager also leverages the metadata work on your site to auto-fill the Composer and Publisher information on recognized tracks in the cuesheet and can electronically deliver a final validated cuesheet to ASCAP’s RapidCue system.

ECOM/Licensing - Musicminer can be fitted with this option for those wishing to sell directly on the web or even for those who wish to have an advanced licensing module.  This allows clients to convert a playlist for licensing, pick their preferred licensing options from a rate card and submit it.

Mobile Interfacing - This is not just an optimization for your site, but an actual dedicated interface for all phones and tablets that allows users to do almost all the same functions they would when connected to the site via a standard desktop browser.

Contact steve@soundminer.com for more info

For more info on our metadata standard, read the Metadata Initiative we publish and if you need help,  we can do that as well....

With the Soundminer's Toolset (v4pro and mp3Converter) you can manage, modify and output your master files as well as mp3 versions complete with enriched metadata in both the Soundminer wrapper as well as other industry chunks like the id 3 standard and the Broadcast Wave BEXT standard.  Soundminer manages it all and allows you to maximize your compatibility whether your files are destined for AVIDs, Final Cut Stations,  iTunes, Pro Tools or other industry applications.

See our Services page for more info.