At its core, the ASTRA MAM provides a common database and a set of tools for all ASTRA applications. Having all tools tightly integrated around a common media asset management system enables lower costs, better interoperability, and simpler workflows.
Media Asset Management Systems
The ASTRA MAM enables site-wide or multi-site desktop management for all high-res and low-res content. The ASTRA MAM database links to all other storage devices to provide a central point for media management. A rules-based transfer engine automates transfer and operations between multiple systems to simplify day-to-day operations.
ASTRA MAM Database
The ASTRA MAM database contains metadata about content regardless of where it resides or how it was generated. It does not replace other databases, but rather provides a common location for all your content’s metadata, enabling facility-wide media management through the ASTRA MAM interface. This includes:
- Asset Search
- Placeholder Search
- Metadata Entry, Updating, and Viewing
- Direct Playout to Air from MAM
ASTRA MAM monitors production systems, NLEs, video servers, and the archive for new content and records its location and metadata.
The ASTRA MAM resides locally for standalone systems or externally on ASTRA BackOffice for distributed systems. For every large system, it can reside on a dedicated, fully redundant database server. An open interface enables applications to easily import/export data.
File Transfer Rules Engine
A rules-based transfer engine automates many day-to-day functions. Using specific metadata fields, ASTRA can automate file transfers between systems or sites including automated transcoding and archiving. For example, video server files can automatically be moved to a near-term NAS after two weeks and then to a long-term tape archive after eight weeks. Files can be identified for automatic repurposing for mobile phones based on content in a metadata field.
Comprehensive Security System
Various levels of security can be assigned to users, groups, or sites to ensure that only the appropriate people can access a specific material’s metadata. Additional rights are needed for viewing, editing, archiving, and purging of content. This level of security is especially important for multi-site operations to prevent unauthorized use.
To keep your operation in accordance with content contracts and to manage your disk space, ASTRA MAM can purge content automatically, manually or through a combination in which the system recommends what to purge but a user does the actual purging (with appropriate security rights). Content may be purged from the entire system regardless of how many copies or versions exist in various locations, or purged only from specific storage systems.
ASTRA Browse System
ASTRA MAM has three options for low-res proxy support:
- Scavenge Mode – proxies are generated from existing high-res content
- File Mode – work with existing proxies generated by NLEs, file-based cameras or video servers
- Real-Time Mode - proxies are generated at the same time as the high-res content is being encoded in the video server
Default metadata is automatically generated by ASTRA on ingest. This includes unique IDs, names, kill dates and categories. Metadata can be imported from remote systems via MOS, XML, or other interchange formats. Users can view, edit or enhance a clip’s metadata while viewing the high-res or low-res material from the desktop anywhere on the network (with appropriate security rights).
ASTRA MAM works with third-party archive management systems or can archive directly to any disk storage, data tape or networked device. In addition, it can also archive to video tape.
Content can be viewed and edited from a desktop or from anywhere on the network. With ASTRA SpyGlass, an asset can be viewed, metadata updated or new metadata created. Clips can also be trimmed or with ASTRA’s Proxy EDL editor (Figure 1), new clips can be built from segments of other clips. This generates an EDL that is then used to conform the high-res material on a NLE.
ASTRA is unique in its core design. Built on a powerful Real-Time Operating System (RTOS), it is not impacted by viruses that threaten most PC-based systems. Hardware and software module failures can be protected with complete mirroring. An “N+1” model offers a cost-effective playout solution that in most scenarios provides seamless failover. The ASTRA database is automatically backed up and optionally protected by full redundancy.
For organizations with multiple sites, news stories, graphics or other content can be easily shared. Low-res proxies can be reviewed remotely and the high-res content then transferred over the network for use at that site. All content can be security-protected to prevent unauthorized use.