A media file is a complex digital asset. To understand how to actually improve your workflow you need to start by tuning in to the needs of the central element, the asset itself. From conception through to archiving, let’s take an in-depth look at a 'day in the life of a media file'.
As a new media file is created the world of information dissemination and entertainment is full of possibilities. The creator (and caregiver) of any new file plays a fundamental role in a media files life. Choosing a meaningful, keyword searchable, and unique file name, combined with providing a workflow capable, backed up, and secure home, are the foundations for success. What more could a new, little file need?
Home is where the heart is
Let’s be honest, a media file is a ‘high maintenance’ file type. It needs a fit-for-purpose home in order for it to reach its full potential. This home is one of the few places where size really does matter. It needs space to grow, to start a family by creating mini versions of itself, and have all the supporting friend files it needs. It dreams of a wardrobe of music backings, voiceovers, credit rolls and different ending options.
While it’s still maturing as a complete media works it needs to feel secure and protected. It needs to know that it’s safe from accidental deletion, file corruption and critical eyes before it’s got it’s make up on. Back it up people, for their sake (and yours), just back those media files up!
The Metadata diet
Now when it comes to media files getting ready for their debut show they love attracting the right kind of attention. We all know it’s what’s inside that counts, but it also helps to have enriched metadata to put a pretty layer on the outside. It wants the finishing touches from the experts in their field, and as much admiration from peers as it can get. The timing of these touch ups is key, it needs to know exactly which pose, or turn, is already perfect, and what needs fine tuning. This is where the feedback and approval stage for a media file is so vital. There can be tight deadlines for some events and the collaboration efforts may all be happening at once. Think sound checks, scene transitions, and accompanying press releases.
A media file wants to be able to capture all these comments and look back at them in years to come, like an album of comment memories. Just like when you’re looking for a certificate or favourite photograph you want a convenient catalogued history of your life. It’s the same for a media file. How else will it be able to look back on who visited, appropriately approved it and thoughtfully sent it ‘break a special effect’ cards? This is the metadata diet, and a healthy one includes all the audit history and workflow action groups.
The right platform to shine
Life is all about first impressions and every media file knows it. It wants to be able to be instantly previewed, easily downloaded anytime, anywhere, with flawless sound quality and surrounded by complementary lighting (otherwise known as branding). If there is a long delay in downloading there is every likelihood that the media file will miss its chance to shine. Big events wait for no one, and in competitions you only got one shot to make your designated screening time.
Every media file lives for its 5 seconds of fame, and our media file is no different. It just needs to be in the right place, at the right time (and shared by the right person), then bam! The media file is # trending and living the dream. It’s meeting so many new people that it cannot possibly remember all their names (let alone devices). The little file that could has achieved what every media works strives to do, deliver a unique message or vision and do it in style.
The final resting place
The glory phase is not necessarily over after those precious 5 minutes. This media file can go on to reach “legendary” or “classic” status if it is continually made available for some years to come. Who knows what new fad it might hook up with, or what one of the stars in it might do? The key is making sure that it remains in an easily found, strategic location, where it can sit back and bask in that glory as long as it possibly can.
From conception to archiving there were some key milestones in this media files life that we can all learn from. It started with a stellar name choice and was supported by a large GB capacity home. It ate a varied diet of workflow and audit metadata, and importantly had a great set of wheels to travel in.
Every media file wants to hit that “rock star” status, so think about how your workflow tools can help it get there.