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March 1, 2012

National Archives Announce Release of AVI MetaEdit, Other Resources

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) recently announced the public release of several tools related to metadata for digitized video, including AVI MetaEdit, reVTMD, and development of integration with the existing tool MediaInfo. Of primary concern in the development of the resources is the ability to capture, review, edit, embed, and compare/analyze metadata specific to digital video files, either individually or simultaneously across large batches of files. Developed in collaboration with AudioVisual Preservation Solutions (AVPS) and with members of the Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative (FADGI), the resources are free and open for download at NARA’s GitHub site or on Archives.gov.

Similar to the BWF MetaEdit tool that AVPS also developed in collaboration with FADGI, AVI MetaEdit supports embedding and validating metadata in RIFF-based AudioVisual Interleave format (AVI) video files. AVI is currently the target format for creation of Preservation Masters within the Digitization Services Branch at NARA.

reVTMD is an XML schema tailored to include fields that address the creation and long term management of reformatted videos, especially with the cultural heritage community. It is a concise subset of the large array of technical metadata available, structured in a way to make it highly usable for accessing and managing all types of video files beyond AVI. Drawing from existing schemas such as videoMD and PB Core, this new schema, according to a NARA press release, “adds value to the community through the inclusion of parseable structures to record capture history data which would include critical information such as make and model of playback and capture devices.”

As part of reVTMD development, new support within the MediaInfo tool was developed, including the ability to extract technical metadata from a wide variety of video file formats and wrappers, populate the reVTMD schema and export the data as a reVTMD schema compliant XML file.

The release of these resources follows close on the heels of several other exciting and innovative developments by NARA’s Digitization Services. Along with efforts by FADGI, Library of Congress, and other federal agencies, these kinds of efforts are crucial to our ability to preserve digital files and continue to provide access to our cultural heritage. AVPS is excited to have contributed here and to be a part of creating resources available for the broad archival and media communities.

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