IMF is an exchange format for exchanging media between companies. Wrapping up many different versions of a programme or film into one deliverable, this Interoperable Master Format promises to reduce storage costs, to simplify workflows and, of course, to allow any company to deliver to any other.
Niklas Hammarbäck from the Nordic Entertainment Group explains how they have moved their workflows over to IMF and the benefits that has brought. Niklas lays out the problems he was trying to solve – the main one being the many different delivery formats that must be ingested. These differences create complexity and inefficiencies. The talk examines the requirements that the group developed ahead of transforming their workflows; having a single common format, for example.
This leads in to IMF which Niklas compares to baking a cake. The IMF format contains ingredients and a recipe for creating the deliverable. The ingredients in IMF are the video, audio and metadata files and the recipes are also contained in the delivery. This method allows for a video to be delivered once with several audio files. The traditional alternative would be sending the same video four separate times just with different sound.
Niklas goes in to some detail about the contents of an IMF delivery including the CPL files which are the ‘recipes’ for the media ‘ingredients’ giving examples from https://cpl.fishtank.cloud.
The talk finishes with a summary of the benefits, a check against the requirements and what has been achieved and some questions from the audience.
Microservices split large applications into many small, simple, autonomous sections. This can be a boon, but this simplicity hides complexity. Chris Lennon looks at both sides to find the true value in microservices.
By splitting up a program/service into many small blocks, each of those blocks become simpler so testing each block becomes simpler. Updating one block hardly affects the system as a whole leading to quicker and more agile development and deployment. In fact, using microservices has many success stories attributed to it. Less vocal are those who have failures or increased operational problems due to their use.
Like any technology, there are ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ times and places to deploy it. Chris, from MediAnswers, explains where he sees the break-even line between non-deploying and deploying microservices and explains his reasons which include hidden comlexity, your teams’ ability to deal with these many services and covers some of the fallacies at play which tend to act against you.
A group has started up within SMPTE who want to reduce the friction in implementing microservices which include general interoperability and also interoperability across OSes. This should reduce the work needed to get microservices from different vendors working together as one.
Chris explains the work to date and the plans for the future for this working group.
IMF is an interchange format designed for post-production/studios versioning requirements. It reduces storage required for multi-version projects but also provides for a standard way of exchanging metadata between companies.
Annie Chang covers the history briefly of IMF showing what it was aiming to achieve. IMF has been standardised through SMPTE as ST 2067 and has gained traction within the industry hence the continued interest in extending the standard. As with all modern standards, this has been created to be extensible, so Annie gives details on what is being added to it and where these endeavours have got to.
In this talk from Andy Wilson at Northern Waves 2018, we find that IMF, the Interoperable Master Format is not just about technology, but if anything it’s more about improving workflows today with an eye to being the foundation of future workflows and business models.
Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary release which needed 106 versions for its simultaneous world-wide release forms the example which shows how IMF helps broadcasters reduce duplicate copies, support versioning workflows, maintain quality and much more.
Mastering as a new route to save storage, costs and time – as well as look at automation as part of the process. This introductory session outlines the business benefits and use cases that the DPP have developed with global broadcasters and online players.
Industry Principal – Media, Dropbox
Former Head of Business Development, DPP
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