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Audio Visual Working Group Update: Evolving Standards

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The following is a guest post by Carla Miller, Administrative Specialist for the Office of Strategic Initiatives.

This is Part Two of a post reporting on the joint meeting on March 23, 2012 of both the Still Image and Audio Visual Working Groups of the Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative hosted at the National Archives and Records Administration’s College Park campus.  Part One covered the Still Image meeting, and now we move on to the Audio Visual meeting.

After the Still Image Working Group meeting, attendees had lunch and then were given a tour by Kate Murray of the Digitization Services facilities at NARA.  Once the tour concluded, Carl Fleischhauer of the Library of Congress led the Audio-Visual Working Group meeting.

Seen on the digital conversion tour at NARA in College Park, MD: the Sondor Altra Film Scanner, used to capture imagery from motion picture film. Photo by Criss Kovac, courtesy of NARA.

Standards are not fixed but continue to evolve over time, and so it is with the standards for embedding metadata in Broadcast WAVE files.  In 2011, the European Broadcast Union standards body updated their specification for Broadcast WAVE files.  In response to this, Jimi Jones led an effort to draft Version 2 of the FADGI guideline Embedding Metadata in Broadcast WAVE Files, and at this meeting the revision was adopted by the group.  Thus the FADGI document remains in sync with the revised EBU standard.

Kate Murray from NARA presented information about an XML technical metadata schema they have developed for reformatted video objects.  In support of this schema, NARA has also developed an XML metadata export/extraction tool that will organize and assemble data to meet the schema specification.  NARA has identified the best area within the AVI file header to embed limited and controlled metadata for preservation purposes and has developed a tool that supports embedding, validating and exporting of metadata in AVI files.  This is an interesting example of synergy with open source, since NARA borrows from and uses a pre-existing tool MediaInfo (available through SourceForge) and contributed a new open source tool AVI MetaEdit (available through GitHub).  Some additional information is provided on pages linked from NARA’s Products and Services Web site.

Expert consultant Chris Lacinak discussed his audio performance metrics project.  The project report Analog-to-Digital Converter Performance Specification and Testing Study and Recommended Guideline has been posted on the FADGI site for comment.



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