MediAnswers Announces Seminars on Interoperable Master Format

Want to know more about what is happening regarding asset identification for a more seamless cross platform measurement solution? Chris Lennon, CEO of MediAnswers just announced a one day seminar on The Interoperable Master Format (IMF) which is seen as the solution to problems within the area of file-based media exchange. 

IMF helps to deal with the various proprietary formats in use today (both in-house and in multi-platform distribution), as well as customization of various versions of content.  “The days of just having a ‘one size fits all’ version of a piece of content are long gone, and in fact, that often was ‘one size fits none’, according to Lennon. “Today, audiovisual content (be it program material or commercials) needs to be re-purposed many times over its lifetime, in a cost-effective way.  IMF provides a clean, standardized, interoperable way of doing this,” he explained.

Charlene Weisler: What is the Interoperable Master Format (IMF)?

Chris Lennon: IMF in this case isn’t referring to the International Monetary Fund (thank goodness), it’s the Interoperable Master Format, which is a relatively new SMPTE standard, allowing, among other things, mastering of material which might need to be distributed in a variety of versions, to a variety of destinations.

Charlene: Why is it important?

Chris: This is critically important as we continue to create derivative versions of commercials and programs.  I don’t see that trend declining, and in fact, it’s likely to expand.  And, it makes sense.  For instance, if you have a commercial that will run with different graphics, voice overs, in different languages, or even with some scenes differing from market to market, or platform to platform, do you really want to have dozens of different copies of the commercial to manage?  Wouldn’t it be better to have one copy, with metadata directing how to play it out?

Charlene: How long will it take to roll out?
Chris: IMF is already in use today, and has enjoyed great success although it’s a relatively recent technology.  In fact, we’ll be discussing several real-world examples of implementations in the media business at these seminars.
Charlene: What are the challenges?

Chris: As re-purposing and versioning of content has become more prevalent, we need technology to make that simpler.  It’s a reality that we have to deal with now that we are re-using commercials and programs across so many distribution platforms.  The core piece of content (be it a commercial or program) remains the same, but with different “flavors” being used.  IMF makes this all much easier to achieve.

Charlene: What other things do we need for full asset id?

Chris: Asset identifiers, such as Ad-ID and EIDR help us a great deal with this.  As we get more and more versions of commercials and programs out there, they need to be tracked, managed, and properly identified.

Charlene: Where is the industry at this time with asset identification? How far along?

Chris: Both Ad-ID and EIDR continue to play an important role in both current and up-and-coming technologies in our business.  They are both key in Open Binding of IDs initiative being led by CIMM, and which is moving forward within SMPTE. 

Charlene: What time frame do you see for a complete industry acceptance and standardization of asset id?

Chris: Gazing into a crystal ball for this sort of prediction is always difficult.  I can say that they are becoming increasingly important, as we have more and more commercials and programs to manage.  This is really all inter-related, and fortunately, there are several wonderful new initiatives emerging (like IMF) that will allow us to deal with this in an efficient manner.

Join MediAnswers and Mesclado for a one-day seminar which will get you up to speed on what IMF is,
and how it can help you and your organization not only survive, but thrive in the ever-changing area of
file-based workflows.   The first two cities for this seminar will be Toronto on March 10th  and Manhattan on March 15. Space is limited, so click here to register now for Toronto or New York!  Cost is only $299 per person for the full day seminar, or $285 for SMPTE or AICE members!

Article by Charlene Weisler, Weisler Media LLC. She can be reached through her research blog or at Twitter:

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