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Media asset management

Media asset management is a highly effective digital-content management solution that is designed specifically to streamline the process of ingest, index, storage, and retrieval of media digital assets. MAM is an end-to-end software solution, created to fully optimize the value of our assets through a centralized management of digital content and associated metadata. Its effective implementation both increases operational efficiency and maximizes the return on investment of digital media.


MAM strategies first emerged in the early 2000s. In 2003, tapeless recording came onto the scene. Until then, original video data was often managed on the tapes it was recorded to, but in time, this data was no longer kept on disk. Instead of referring to tape labels to identify content, people wanted to use metadata. Although the value of metadata was clear, it was adopted in file management only gradually, because most editing environments at the time were not networked. From 2008 onwards, flash memory card camcorders hit the market followed by a surge in file-based workflows; more people now recognize the value of the MAM systems.

For any MAM application, metadata is a critical element that distinguishes asset managers from file browsers. Without metadata, file names end up doing the heavy lifting with long names like 20191019-abcdefgh-broll-01-lv-0001.mp4, which strings together a shoot date, subject, camera number, clip number, and more. Structured file naming is not a bad practice, but it does not scale easily to larger teams of contributors and creators. And metadata is not used only to search for assets, it can be fed into other workflow applications, integrated with the asset manager for use there. Metadata is particularly important for images and video because, unlike text-based documents, they cannot be searched for keywords.

Over the past decade, many have implemented MAM systems across the media lifecycle, from ingest, production to transmission. As file sizes, media libraries, and editing needs in networked environments grow, effective media management becomes more imperative. Knowing who shot what, where and when, and with which camera. Knowing whether a take was approved, rejected, or secondary. These are all reasons why solutions for quickly finding and using needed material in large libraries is essential. This is the thinking behind media asset-management (MAM) systems.

MAM simplifies the process of content management by streamlining the digital workflow, bringing media to the market faster and in multiple formats, thus ensuring an exceptional and frame-accurate content. MAM is an indispensable workflow orchestration that simplifies complex tasks across the entire media lifecycle. These media assets are often in need of sorting, editing, sharing, and managing. A media asset-management (MAM) system software is designed to help you do this. MAM software should excel in the handling of video and include integration with external editing applications, like Media Composer, News cutter, Adobe’s Premiere or Apple’s Final Cut Pro etc., and should also handle versioning requirements and updating A/V content as edits are made.

By taking advantage of recent advancements in artificial intelligence, auto-tagging has revolutionized the way in which modern MAMs manage rich-media files. Nowadays, most of the MAM applications are equipped with AI capabilities to automatically scan rich-media images and generate tags based on the contents of that image. In practical terms, if an image of an object is uploaded, for example Cat, the cat keyword is applied to the file, which can then be used for better searching – especially useful if you’ve forgotten a filename, while also saving you the effort of having to tag images manually.

The MAM technology of today can typically handle the majority of file types, and this is simply a consequence of the growing demand by organizations (end users) to support the variety of file formats they work with on a day-to-day basis. This helps enormously in the management and retrieval of a wide range of file formats used on a day-to-day basis, without having to download them. Traditionally, media asset-management systems have run on one or more servers and can be deployed on-premises, in cloud, or hybrid, and have them communicate with an archive server via a network.

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