Sonuma is a publicly funded subsidiary of Radio Télévision Belge Francophone (RTBF), the Walloon region of Belgium, and the FWB (Federation Wallonie-Bruxelles), with a goal to archive, preserve, and protect francophone audiovisual content. We are dedicated to the digitisation, preservation, and commercialisation of the rich diversity of assets within the RTBF archives (amongst others), an audio and video collection that comprises more than 120,000 hours of content on all variety of media, including VCR tape, DAT tape, LP, MD, and 16mm film.
We began our work on the Sonuma project in the spring of 2009. To manage digitisation of the tens of thousands of hours of RTBF archive content, we implemented the NETIA content management system (CMS). We chose to work with NETIA not only because the company has a long history in audio production and management, but also because the company’s suite of media asset management solutions is highly focused on handling documentary content and metadata appropriately, and it offers convenient tools for preserving and enriching these audio and video assets.
Integrating seamlessly into our existing environment, the NETIA CMS has enabled us to leverage previous technology investments to realise a highly automated workflow from ingest through to delivery. The solution simplifies the task of preserving, managing, and accessing content within our rapidly growing digital library.
The Sonuma library in turn supports hundreds of journalists from RTBF and other media outlets, allowing them to order and import content, facilitating and automating the delivery of archived media to RTBF.
When digitising RTBF content, we use an internally developed process for consolidating metadata from various metadata sources and formats, along with metadata collected through segmentation. Metadata and media – both high-resolution and a low-resolution proxies created via a CarbonCoder transcoder – are ingested into the NETIA system, in which search tools and a powerful Thesaurus subsequently aid archivists in performing fast searches of stored content. The archive itself is a StorageTEK SL3000 from Oracle and the HSM is a SAM-QFS file - system.
In managing this workflow, the NETIA CMS organises media management processes, harmonises exchanges between different applications, handles prioritisation across the system, and automates content distribution processes.
The system brings efficiency to content delivery, as well, supplying tools for content packaging, metadata tagging, and rights management, with workflow-supervision guiding these processes. As a result, RTBF journalists, directors, and producers all can gain access to archived RTBF media via their DaletNews, news and production system as well as Tramontane archiving applications, conceived by RTBF.
And potentially in the future, our archivists will be able to make media available to the public via the Sonuma website. The volume of content within the Sonuma archive grows steadily, and effective and highly automated media management workflows are essential to our ability to share this unique content. As we move forward, the power, flexibility, and scalability of the NETIA CMS will be essential to the maintenance and expansion of what has already become a valuable large-scale operation.
Eric Denis is IT Manager at Sonuma.