Taming your MAM - best practices and practical advice

A MAM is a big beast. You could try to manage a MAM system on the fly but this could mean that your Media Asset Management (MAM) system is not fulfilling its potential and leave your video content drowning in a digital ocean. Those individuals and businesses that are successful in the MAM space are immersed in the industry, aware of the trends and can digest and use all that information to successfully manage their system. Or, to put it another way, successful MAM implementation is not just reliant on the hardware or software used, but developing a strong organisational philosophy through a system of best practices. There’s no stringent rule book for MAM best practices - it all comes down to your business, your media collection and your system. Whether you’re a new player or an old hand to the world of MAM, here are a few best practices to guide you on your way.

Standardise using an accessible format

If your media has been gradually collected from a range of disparate sources, then it probably uses a range of codecs and container formats. You need to apply consistency to your entire media collection to ensure users can access this collection in a standard format. The format needs to be one that is accessible to everyone, regardless of whether the correct codec is installed or whether a specific media player supports a certain container format (think of trying to play a Flash video on an iPad or iPhone). Your MAM system can help by transcoding your videos into a format that works on multiple devices. Our Imagen system does just that with its powerful transcoder engine that converts content into a wide variety of A/V codecs and container formats for delivery across a range of computers and devices.

Understand video cataloging and processing times

The cataloging process can take a long time due to the sheer amount of data contained within a file. The processing power of your MAM system (such as the CPU, hard drive speed and memory) determines how quickly you can catalog and convert files. This is a particularly pertinent point for potentially massive video files. Imagen gives you the choice between an onsite installation or cloud based service. With either of these options we can make sure your MAM exceeds, not just meets, the system requirements. It connects to a range of storage platforms to give you a highly scalable and flexible solution and even connects ‘out of the box’ to third party platforms such as Amazon S3 and Microsoft Azure.

Embed metadata

Metadata is the lifeblood of a MAM system. It affects how users find and interact with your media and it must be used consistently to get the most out of your system. Ideally, you should use your MAM to write metadata such as descriptions and keywords into your video files. This makes your assets accessible in other applications and your MAM will also be able to read metadata written into video files in other applications. So that it’s available for searching and other such functions. This metadata must be governed by a set of rules to maintain consistency and make your media as accessible as possible.

Understand users

As your MAM grows, an increasing number of users will access your media. The most important aspect of user management is to make sure your media collection is secure. Imagen gives you full control over who can see and interact with your media through its granular user management controls so you can set specific permission levels to individuals or groups of users.

Accept evolution

A final philosophical message is that a MAM is a dynamic organism that needs to be given space to grow and evolve. MAM is rooted in technology, which can all too quickly become defunct, so make sure you future proof your MAM system. Good examples are metadata standards and schemas, but this point applies to all MAM initiatives including using a flexible and scalable solution. Again, it’s not just about hardware and software updates, but using your MAM to its fullest. There is very little in MAM that is concrete, including an established and well developed set of best practices, so it is vital to grow, adapt and change your MAM philosophy.   Our Imagen end-to-end Media Asset Management system is maintained using best practice MAM principles. To find out more, contact one of the team today.  

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