SMPTE 2011: Take a Unique Material Identifier, Please

HOLLYWOOD: UMIDs take metadata to a whole new level. UMID stands for “Unique Material Identifier,” a core component in MXF and AAF. UMIDs are also part of a SMPTE spec and intended for linking audio/video material to metadata. Such deployments are rare, according to Yoshiaki Shibata of MetaFrontier, yet material is more easily trackable via UMIDs than metadata alone.

“Suppose you want to retrieve AV material which captures ‘Ichiro Homerun’ scene,” he said, referring to the Seattle Mariners right fielder. The metadata, which describes the file, indicates it is a UMID-numbered clip, so the media asset management system searches for the UMID.

However, Shibata said, the industry now lacks a common UMID resolution protocol. He recommended clarifying two principles: UMID integrity and UMID identification. The first would assure the “unique” part of a UMID for individual clips. The second assures that the UMID identifies the “essence representation of the material,” he said.

Using a IMID Managed Domain embodies both of these principles and would provide content identification across a workflow, Shibata said. All workflow elements can identify and track files, from acquisition through ingest, cataloguing, editing, playout server, archiving, etc. UMIDs can be much more useful, he said, under appropriate common rules for its applications.