I work as post-production engineer in broadcast, especially in reality television.
I'd like to bring to your attention what feature we are really missing in interplay production and mediacentral:
1 - Possibility to export the locators (and maybe metadata) OF MANY CLIPS AT ONCE in an excel file and print it in some human readable pieces of paper.
This is the number 1 request made by our clients, there are a lots of screenwriters that still want to work on paper, especially when working at the side of the editor. They prefer to hand-write timecodes and to don't use interplay at all if this feature is not implemented.
2 - A decent search engine in interplay window (inside media composer) and in media central.
Avid has developed media index, that seams to be so nice (just read it on paper), but it has been told me is not implemented in our Interplay Production Suite. So how do I need a so powerfull and expensive database system if I'm unable to search nothing else than a single text string? We need at least "and" "or" operators for words, phrases and keywords (see point 3).
3 - A keywords system.
This is something that's missed in Avid Media Composer and so more in media central. Loggers in reality television have many keywords to insert like the characters names, the locations, the moods, and so on... They need to write all those things in less time as possible (at clip level or at locator level) and they have to do it without grammar errors, because they need those informations to retrive back (see point 2) the material when asked by screenwriters maybe after weeks.
4 - A tool for batch renaming clips and batch metadata editing (to keep interplay database in order)
Another thing that is missed in media composer from the dinosaurs age and still be missed in Interplay.
I think that interplay has a really nice vision behind, but without theese little three/four things is not really suitable in reality television.
Obviusly we found out workarounds, expecially using automated input interface simulators (to do repetitive tasks extremely faster), but they are still not so elegant.
Hoping to see those things implemented in a new release and to be able so to have clients that are happy to rent and use the interplay production system, I'll thank you for the attention.
Searching around in the web I found also a topic of 5 years ago. Where a bunch of people had our same frustrations about the search engine in interplay window and assist: http://community.avid.com/forums/p/91600/530584.aspx
Comming from 10 years of technically designing, building and supporting reality shows I understand your needs. I can tell you interplay is simply not build to do live logging/annotation and browsing for reality shows. I have always used other logging tools, much more simple and specifically tailored to the specific reality show, that in my case had the ability to export an edl (now I would use an AAF).
If you want I can bring you into contact with some people that can help you with advice, if you so desire, but it will always involve a workflow outside of interplay.
Jeroen van Eekeres
Technical director, Broadcast support engineer, Avid ACSR.
Always have a backup of your projects....Always!!!! Yes Always!!!!
A.V.I.D....... Another Version In Development
Thanks Martin for jumping in.....
AOL IM: avidmarianna
Hi Martin. Thank you raising this initiative. Exporting markers/restrictions is also a desire from our Current Affairs and promos teams here in New Zealand. Can I please also request that the ability to select which metadata columns are available for export I.e please include all custom property layouts as export options, and also that this functionality is available through the web services API.
Cheers, Andy Jenkins.
Replied via mail, thank you Martin for the initiative. Me and my colleagues we would be pleased to be helpfull if we can.
Jeroen, I know... That's why I wrote this topic.
Our workflow is also based on a 12 years old one, have been integrated quite a lot with interplay in the last years, but many tasks involves painfull workarounds and we still can't use interplay alone, especially because of the missing features that I've listed in this topic. That in few words are:- Batch asset renaming and batch metadata management- Advanced logging features (keywords, multilanguage orthography corrector, possibility to add flags or evaluations or maybe other custom metadatas inside the locators)- A more powerfull search engine to browse the database ad retrive video contents easily and precisely- Batch export or print of locators and other metadatas from selections of assetsOwever, Jeroen, if talking together could improve the collective know how, it would be nice..
About the excel export I'll suggest to change it like this:
This second part could be also done quite easily by the user with a macro:
We also use an excel macro to export printable PDFs with this structre:
Header (with filename, date etc...)
TV programme/channel logos
XX:XX:XX:XX | Note content | Evaluation
footer with page numbers (XX of XX)
PS: We add an "evaluation" parameter to every note to set the importance of the moment, or notice technical problem, or something else... A special character interpreted by the excel macro would divide this parameter from the rest of the note. The clip name is coded to reppresent in a compact form all the metadata needed. Location, Troupe, Shooting Day, Category, DiskLabel, SourceFile name, etc... We found faster, simpler and efficient to batch code the filenames before import (using some external tools) than to use interplay tools for doing it.
You have to think that this is usefull because the screenwriters usually ask for the script of an interview that's composed by many clips. Or they say that they want to read and so develope a story about what happened in a particular day, in a particular location at a particular time and he have no time to watch all the material. They read-up what has been logged, write down a raw subject that has to be approved, and only then... He or the editor, with media central or media composer, start to browse the right material in the interplay database.
However, something like this could just be useful
Then the customer could manage the data as he wish, with custom software or excel macros. Making the possibility of downloading from media central (and eventually export also from media composer/access...) a ready-to-browse-and-filter excel table or ready to read printable pdf, would be one step more.
I wan to add two "little" but important thing.
1- Actually if you create a subclip from mediacentral that sublip doesn't copy many (quite all) the medatata of the original clip. Thigns like the origin, comment, disk label, tabe is going useless when you create one. The workaround is using a match frame.
2- You cannot create a su-folder on an empty folder. You cannot move if you don't have the delete rights. Based on this two phrase we have a complex situation with the logger that cannot create sub-folder (if the folder is empty) where they want, and we have to decide if getting them the highest rights (why we have the choice?) or pass the day moving and deleting the error and the double folder of the logger. Notice that the same problem pass with creating sequence.
3- Using Chrome is fantastic!!! (If you work in the other part of the earth). Chrome is usefull but have some problem, you have to refresh many times the page, sometime loosing data, so I ask: is imposibile, noticed that the coreof mediacentral is java, making a stable app?
In the end I want to quote Jenksand that tell us the importance tu select the metadata that we want export.
Ok guys, thanks for all the feedback. We are making progress on some of the features requested by you.
teo3vs:1 - Possibility to export the locators (and maybe metadata) OF MANY CLIPS AT ONCE in an excel file and print it in some human readable pieces of paper.
I am not allowed to announce something yet. But we listen. Please listen to our MediaCentral product announcements.
teo3vs:2 - A decent search engine in interplay window (inside media composer) and in media central.
Other features requested by you are in the design phase. I will keep you posted. Martin
Pleased to read your response.
About media Index, I read the "MCS_V2_2_Installation_and_Configuration_Guide" and seems to be just a matter of services that have to be started manually after installation, but can't find on the web the "Avid Media | Index Configuration Guide" document that seems to have the details about it (I read that's available only internally). In past we have contacted our sales representative to ask about media index. If, as I'm learning here, the possibility to activate media index actually exists, we'll just ask again. Activating it would unlock effectively the benefit of having an integrated metadata database.
As the configuration requires knowledge on how to push the data into the index the setup is done by Avid Professional Services. We are currently in the process of deploying Media Index to some very large multi-site installations and probably the experts are very busy. I know that product champions and training are working on making the information more accessible. Not sure yet when the information will be accessible without involving Avid Professional Services.
MediaCentral v2.3 is released and you can now
All new features are listed here: http://resources.avid.com/SupportFiles/attach/ICS/MediaCentral_Platform_ReadMe_V2_3.pdf
Thanks for your feedback, Martin
Great new! Thank You!We just waited for a production downtime to update and give it a try. Now loggers and screenwriters can download the excel file and we can program for them a custom excel macro to reorganize and print the data as the client wishes.A small but big step forward.
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