Where was that file?


With nearly all media being created digitally conventional methods of storing and archiving those files are simply being overwhelmed.  Anyone working in a production environment can attest to the time and cost of searching for digital assets and manually opening them to compare and identify.  At a recent seminar on this subject we asked those in attendance (40 advertising industry professionals) how many of them had recently had to re-create a file because the original could not be found. Nearly half the people in attendance raised their hands.

The benefits are clear: Files that can be located can be re-used or re-purposed, while files that can't must be re-created or re-purchased.

Simply put, Media Asset Management solutions give you a way to organize large numbers of picture files and important information about those picture files, so that the files and the information can be found when needed.

Asset records are organized into catalogs and within those catalogs by categories and sub-categories.  Creating categories is much like creating folders on your computer's hard drive.  When cataloging an asset the software automatically creates a "thumbnail", a low resolution copy of the original file, and attaches to that thumbnail all the information about that asset -file name, file type, file size, the actual location of the asset, etc.  The combination of the thumbnail and the attached information is called the "record". The user also has the ability make part of each record an unlimited number of user defined information fields. These can be used for descriptions of the subject, notes, royalty and use information, or anything the user thinks is important. Assets can have records in multiple categories or just one.

So now you can search through your assets by actually viewing and comparing thumbnail images that are neatly organized by categories. A search engine lets you locate assets by using the information contained in the record, including notes and descriptions. By clicking on a thumbnail you can view specific information contained in the record.  If the actual asset is stored on or near on-line, you can retrieve it. Otherwise the record will tell you where the asset is (the name or number of the CD, ZIP or other media that it might be stored on). All this searching would otherwise have to be done by looking blindly through folders and individually opening each file in a picture viewer program a very time consuming process.

Catalogs can be viewed or shared by workgroups either on local networks or via the Internet.  They can also be published on line for public viewing (or viewing by clients).  Restrictions and access rights can be controlled.  There is also a use, revision, and control software that allows an administrator to regulate and manage access to selected files.

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