Ensuring the preservation and enhancing the value of video collections

September 16, 2021
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As video takes a predominant place in communication, the issues of preservation and distribution of audiovisual content are becoming an important challenge for companies. Preserving video collections online and making them accessible without incurring huge costs is now possible.

Issues faced by video library managers

The managers of video libraries are confronted with three major issues today:

The obsolescence and the fragility of the physical supports

The rapid obsolescence of the physical video supports (VHS, Super 8, 16mm, etc.) jeopardize the conservation of the audiovisual heritage of many organizations. Older supports require infrastructures that are often costly (dedicated warehouses with strict temperature and humidity criteria). If the collection has been digitized, the content is often hosted on DVDs or external hard drives. All these supports remain extremely fragile.

The volume of video content

The volume of the files has forced the video managers to keep their files locally. Rushes, masters and variations in several formats require significant storage space. Video archives are therefore stored on high-capacity computers, on a multitude of external hard drives, or even with specialized service providers.

The localization and exploitation of the video content

Being stored on physical support or simply locally, video content is not easily accessible. To obtain a video extract, an employee or service provider will generally ask the video managers. It is then up to them to identify, locate, obtain and make available the requested videos in a usable format. This can take a lot of time. In contrast, getting an image from the DAM will take a minute at most. As a result, communication departments are more likely to use the still image collection to meet their illustration needs. Video archives are underutilized simply because of the time constraints and the complexity of retrieving usable files.

A new option: low-cost cloud storage

Public cloud storage is changing the game today. Hosting tens of terabytes of files is no longer technically or cost prohibitive. The cloud allows for easy access to files. It is possible to access them from anywhere, in direct or asynchronous access depending on the type of storage chosen. It also guarantees the backup and thus the durability of the content.

CIOs and communication departments might be tempted to upload all content to the cloud and leave it at that. But that would be to stop in the middle of the road.

The virtuous marriage of the public cloud and DAM

Once files are uploaded to the public cloud, they become technically accessible to end users. However, if users cannot find or quickly access the content, they will not be able to use it any more than they could when it was in the back of a closet.

Finding the videos

The DAM will provide value through its asset indexing, search and viewing capabilities. In a DAM (Digital Asset Management), the information linked to the content allows to find the right asset in a few seconds. Searches can be made by keyword, date, title, person represented or any other useful information. The precision of the search makes it possible to isolate the few videos that correspond to all the criteria sought.

Viewing the videos

The DAM then makes it possible to view the videos online without downloading them 

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