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Applying AXF tools from set through production

October 24, 2014

Consultant S. Merrill Weiss presented a paper on "Applying AXF Tools from the Set through Production Workflows." AXF was developed to enable multiple files to be treated as a unit for operational storage and longer term preservation purposes and methods were developed to establish hierarchical relationships between files through use of folders established in the AXF structure, with an extensive set of metadata that helps manage and document the files stored in AXF Objects. "As end users began to understand AXF, it became apparent that those tools offered solutions to file management and documentation needs throughout the production workflow, starting on the set," said Weiss.

Why use an archive standard for this production workflow? "Archiving begins at the birth of a file, as does preservation," he answered. "Metadata authoring also begins at the birth of a file." He also noted that organizations can impose data schemas sooner; the tools needed for archives and manifests are virtually identical. There are several tools available from AXF for archiving: XML Schema Structures and file naming methods for structural elements.

Weiss described a crucial difference between AXF Parts 1 and 2: packed (for intermediate and long-term storage) and unpacked for (short-term workflow applications). "The packed form yields AXF Objects for archiving where as the unpacked form yields AXF Bundles for workflow, operating directly on any file system," Weiss said. "There is a possibility of bi-directional conversion between Bundle and Object." Tools being developed of AXF for workflows; Object Manifest, Virtual File-folder set; AXF Bundle and Sidecar File BInding.

Currently, AXF Part 1 for archiving was recently published by SMPTE and Part 2 is under development. Part 2 will extend methods and XML Schema from Part 1, designed for use from content creation onward with manifests for file aggregation and movement. It will also provide folder structure to contain files, with a binding mechanism for metadata about files and the means to convert AXF Bundles into Objects. "We need more input, so please join us," said Weiss. "The opportunity exists to influence the outcome and the SMPTE Working Group on AXF is moving relatively fast." More information here.

Tag(s): AXF

Debra Kaufman

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