- April 20, 2021 at 11:15 am
Hoping for some advice for an archive novice…
I work at a sports team that has a massive archive of different footage, this can be full games from decades ago through to folders of rushes from training sessions, events etc. All different formats and varying quality.
The archive has never been maintained properly and is currently in not very well organised or labelled folders. It makes finding anything a nightmare as you can imagine.
I’ve set myself the task of finding and implementing the best solution, I know it’s going to be a lot of work to go through and transcode and tag everything but think it’ll be worth it going forward for the time we’ll save over the coming years.
We have a fairly decent sized NAS – around 18TB I think, which I believe is set up as a RAID which we can connect to via the local network. A lot of the files are stored on there at the moment, but my plan would probably be to copy everything off to sort through and transcode before moving back on through the new system, whatever it is.
What I’m essentially looking to be able to do is tag a file with keywords, i.e. player, opposition, date, then be able to search for those (ideally through some sort of integration within Premiere as we all work on Adobe CC.)
A nice-to-have would be to be able to access this server archive remotely too, but not sure how feasible that is.
Any advice for a starting point would be great, this is one of those things where I’m not sure what to look for in terms of terminology so Googling becomes difficult. I have been looking at some DAM systems such as pics.io, but these all seem to be cloud based, and very expensive when you have multiple users… and seem more geared to organising finished video/photo files to be able to reuse past posts etc. whereas a lot of what we’ll be archiving is rushes that we’ll be editing with on future projects.
Excuse my ignorance on the subject, our IT team hasn’t been much help and this seems a bit outside their wheelhouse so hopefully someone can point me in the right direction.
- April 20, 2021 at 2:44 pm
Sounds like you’re searching for both storage and an asset management system?
What is brand and model of NAS you’re currently using?
You mentioned a lot of the files are on the NAS, but what do you estimate the total size of the archive is?
Can you give an idea of the old formats and codecs?
- April 20, 2021 at 4:18 pm
Hi Eric, thanks for replying…
I think the NAS is a Synology, not sure on the model as I’ve never actually seen it ‘in the flesh’ so to speak, but I can find out.
Currently, the NAS is basically full, so there’s around 18TB, then we have a lot of footage on external hard drives too, probably another 6-8TB.. But, I suspect a large portion of the footage on both will be able to be deleted, or transcoded to a smaller file format, or there’s possibly a lot of duplicates in the archive currently.
Formats and codecs are a real mix, recent stuff has been shot on FS7s and EX3s so theres .mxf files and .mp4s, a lot of the older stuff is .mov, some has been ripped from old videos, DVDs and even film reels in various ways by different people so nothings been done consistently.
So one of the things I’m going to do as part of the process is encode everything to the same format – I assume ProRes would be best for this if we’re using the files for editing in the future.
Don’t know whether this information makes things more complicated or easier!
- April 20, 2021 at 4:24 pm
Should mention – my plan was to copy everything off the NAS that’s currently on there onto hard drives temporarily, so the NAS would be a kind of clean slate to work on.
- April 20, 2021 at 9:02 pm
Are you planning to edit off of the NAS? If so you’ll want to find out the model, and how old it and the hard drives in it are.
One of the issues you may run into is trying to convert 32-bit codecs if you’re on MacOS Catalina or newer. Is that the case for you? If you convert old videos/DVDs etc, depending what they were digitized to, ProRes may end up being huge.
Can you start removing duplicates by using a program like Gemini 2?
- April 21, 2021 at 1:59 pm
You should take a look at CatDV. I think it would be a good option for you and your needs.
- April 22, 2021 at 11:59 am
That does look like it could be a good option…
I do have an update to my initial query… it looks like the business is investigating the idea of moving everything to cloud based storage, so our archive would no longer be on the NAS.
I’m not sure how this is going to effect editing performance, it may be that we have to download clips when we find them rather than editing straight from the server.
So, after going through and sorting everything ready for upload, is there anything software based that would be able to do what we’re looking for? Add tags in the metadata, integrate with Adobe CC. etc.
By my research, services like pics.io tend to offer the cloud storage as part of their service, so what I’m looking for is just the software functionality to work with an existing cloud server.
Thank you for everyone’s input so far, it’s much appreciated.
- April 22, 2021 at 4:37 pm
CatDV has exactly what you need and more. It’s extremely powerful and infinitely customizable. There’s a CatDV panel for the Adobe suite. It is capable of one button archiving/un-archiving. Tagging and metadata are super deep and everything is searchable. You can create proxies for all your footage and that makes everything accessible even if your footage is offline or archived. And your proxies and catalogs are all available via the web.
- April 23, 2021 at 2:36 pm
Hola Steven, to embark on a mission to find the best tools and workflows to improve what you do is always very exciting, at least until you realize there are more than 10 ways to solve your specific problem and then all the excitement becomes fear and confusion. Yes it sounds like you may need a MAM (Media Asset Management tool), with good capabilities and simple operation that can be modular, and grow with you and your operation when needed without the hefty price tag for the initial investment, or even worst, for the second year of support and maintenance. Where are you located Steven? Maybe I can ask someone close to you to better help you in your search. Saludos
- May 6, 2021 at 3:15 pm
This is one of those situations where I’d call an integrator, like ALT Systems or Northshore Automation, who does a lot of sports work with archive/data implementations.
CatDV would be my top choice though, as I’ve used it at 4 sports institutions and being basically a MySQL database, flexible to the workflow you want to build.
It can certainly be handled in house, but there are A LOT of moving parts that I could spend weeks designing/implementing, and I don’t think an out of the box solution is particularly great. I’ve yet to find one. It’s been cost effective for me to have a solution delivered to my door. And I’ve tried to build my own on several occasions, with success and with failures.
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