AAF set to finalize edit protocol, more robust newsroom editing likely

The work that started on the Advanced Authoring Format (AAF) Association edit protocol last year is likely to come to fruition when the group meets later this month in Havant, U.K.

At the meeting, the association's engineering committee is expected to finalize the protocol and submit it to the association's board for a final vote.

The importance of the AAF edit protocol for editors, journalists and news directors won't be appreciated fully until it begins showing up in products for the newsroom.

According to association executive director Brad Gilmer, the AAF edit protocol gives users for the first time the ability to go beyond a simple edit decision list because the protocol describes where to find and how to work with a number of other elements in an edit. The new protocol makes allowances for fades, wipes, audio transitions, and identification of URLs where content is stored on a server.

"There's a whole set of parameters that a CMX 3600 EDL never envisioned," said Gilmer.

"There's nothing in a CMX 3600 EDL to explain the relationship of one layer to another, foregrounds and backgrounds. The AAF edit protocol describes those things in a robust way that is beyond what any CMX 3600 list could do."

"In news editing, content files reside on servers. A CMX 3600 had no way to point to a file located elsewhere."

The agenda for Havant also includes a review of contributions for AAF-X, the project name for the development of an XML representation of the AAF data model, which is also shared by the MXF format. Once completed, the project will produce an update to the AAF Specification that standardizes a schema for defining AAF metadata in XML.

The Havant meeting of the AAF is scheduled for Jan. 26 through Jan. 29.

For more information, please visit: http://aafassociation.org.

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