Here are the questions asked:
- How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
- Are there any grants available for Digital Asset Management?
- What advice would you like to give to DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM Professionals?
Henrik de Gyor: [0:01] This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset
Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with Linda Tadic. Linda,
how are you?
Linda Tadic: [0:09] I’m doing great, Henrik. How are you doing?
Henrik: [0:11] Good. Linda, how are you involved with Digital Asset
Linda: [0:15] ; Well, it’s funny, how I’ve come to this might be a little untypical
from how others have. My background is really as a film, video, television, and
audio archivist starting back in the mid ‘80’s when everything was analogue. As
we all know everything has now shifted from analogue to digital. [0:31] I would
say basically all the positions and work I have been doing since 2000 have been
digital related. All of those jobs, once you have digital files, you have to deal
with managing those files from before creation to archiving.
[0:45] Basically I’ve been involved with Digital Asset Management from manager
of the Digital Asset Management system, implementing systems, using archival
preservation workflows through the Digital Asset Management system. So
pretty much mainly for more hands-on implementation, I’ve been involved with
Digital Asset Management.
Henrik: [1:08] Great. Linda, are there any grants available for Digital Asset
Linda: [1:14] Well, grants are a little bit tough. Just by the nature of using the
word ‘grants,’ usually that means that the applicant organization must be a nonprofit,
an organization, or an educational, or a cultural heritage institution, because
funders give grants again to nonprofit organizations. [1:31] So thinking in
terms from the educational institution world, those types of organizations don’t
really consider Digital Asset Management at all. When I look at Digital Asset
Management or think about that term, I’m thinking about you’re actually using
a system for the whole life cycle of that digital asset, from creation again all the
way through archiving, and there could be some workflow into creating that
[2:00] What these educational institutes are thinking about though are more like
digital repositories or content management systems. So the grants that they
are receiving and applying for are more to receive grants for digital repositories.
The difference there is whether the repository is accepting digital assets
that have reached the end of their creation period. They are already completed.
They’re done. There is metadata, and those are just uploaded into the
Henrik: [2:25] I see.
Linda: [2:26] So then what the organizations are also doing, because this is the
funding world has been very interested in developing further is working with
open source tools. For example, some of the open source digital repository applications
that you might hear out there like Fedora, D Space. Those are two of
the major open source repositories. [2:48] Those are also very complex to implement.
Essentially what’s happening is these nonprofit educational institutions,
they must become software developers themselves.
Henrik: [2:59] When you mentioned that they have to become the developers
themselves, is it because a lack of support for those in comparison to other vendors
that may give that type of support?
Linda: [3:11] Well, it’s because they have to become software developer
whether they hire staff to work on it or they already have internal talent that can
work with the programming that’s involved. [3:23] What is happening because
once you go open source, you then you’re basically building this tool yourself or
you’re hiring someone to build it for you, then you own the code.
[3:33] In contrast to going out and finding a vendor and provide what you need
and then perhaps doing some customization to suit your purposes.
[3:41] What people are finding though, is ironically, here they’re thinking open
source would be less expensive than going through a vendor but they’re finding
it’s pretty much it’s either more expensive to do it open source because then
you must have the staff in order to keep it going and developing it further.
Henrik: [3:55] Sure, and supporting it, I guess.
Linda: [3:59] Yeah, so it’s either the same cost or it could be even more expensive
to go the open source route. However, what is appealing to these organizations
and institutions is that they’re then not dependent on a vendor who then
might go out of business. They have this digital management system or a digital
repositories which they have no further support.
Henrik: [4:18] What advice would you like to give to DAM professionals and
people aspiring to be DAM professionals?
Linda: [4:22] Well, there are two areas that are so key for whether somebody
is already working in the field or somebody who wants to become a DAM professional.
That’s metadata and preservation. [4:34] Metadata, we here so much
about already. I think that as preservation becomes key within Digital Asset
Management systems, which I think is really in the near future, this is going to be
a crucial area of growth in the field.
[4:49] You have to have far more discrete metadata in order to track these digital
preservations actions, which must be done for your digital assets to survive in
the coming years.
[5:01] Metadata, I think that the training in metadata has to go beyond just
saying, “OK , we want to have these fields.” You can’t just use basic keywords
searching any longer, especially when you have thousands of items
and you have perhaps, different working states of files and different preservations
[5:18] I think that people should start studying metadata, more not just knowing
what the standards are what is the type of metadata that really you should
[5:25] The descript of the technical preservation metadata but importantly along
with that is why does that have to be captured. Just throwing around the terms
of the words, but understanding the concepts behind it.
Henrik: [5:37] Makes a lot of sense.
Linda: [5:38] Yeah, and the preservation part of it also, as I mentioned that with digital assets you have to keep preserving them. Preservation doesn’t mean
keep backing them and putting them on LTO tape on servers but you have to
keep checking those files and make sure there isn’t any bit lost.
[5:53] As they are moved from one media to another and also there could be perhaps file
formats that are becoming obsolete. We’re all used to video tape becoming
obsolete. Every format can become obsolete.
[6:05] Now it’s digital files that are becoming obsolete. You have to track all of
this information in your digital management system so that you can migrate
even that file format forward. Not just the media that file is sitting on.
[6:17] The only way you do that is to actually have that data in your DAM so you
can just manage all of those preservations actions.
Henrik: [6:25] Would you recommend a specific time frame to do that checking
on a regular basis? Let’s say you’ve archived a whole bunch of files with XL
formats, how often would someone check their file formats to make sure they’re
still current and usable?
Linda: [6:39] The way and how they can check their file formats to see if they’re,
they would have to look at digital file format registries and really research those
because if in your database in your DAM you can easily search for how many
assets do we have that are in format X because now you’re learning that oops,
format X is no longer going to, it’s a proprietary format. [7:03] It is no longer
being supported. Perhaps we better check all those files and then consider
should we migrate them forward so we can use them in the future.
[7:12] That is just something that is constant. You just, as a Digital Asset
Manager, you have to be aware of what file formats are becoming obsolete in
your database will help you do that and manage those files.
[7:24] As far as moving them to new media then whether it’s LTO tape or even
checking them sitting on servers is the, pretty much what archivists are considering
is every three to five years, you have to check those files and make sure
they are still valid and to checksums are still valid.
[7:41] That there’s no bit loss especially with larger files, if you’re working with
moving image files with large video files you’re absolutely, it is essential to check
those files. Because the larger the file is, the more bits that can be lost. If you
have some bits that are corrupted then that can perhaps corrupt your entire file.
Henrik: [8:00] It makes a lot of sense. Check your check sums whatever check
sum you happen to be using like MD5, or whatever and then also making
sure that before you sense that or get rid of a piece of software across your
organization that can read file format X, make sure that you have something else
that can read it or transfer it into another file format. Is that far to say?
Linda: [8:22] Right, yes and what many archivist need to do especially if they’re
working with proprietary file formats, is that they are saving the environment in
which those files can be read or rendered. [8:35] That means saving all of the operating
systems that that file can be rendered in. It’s not only saving the assets,
but again, saving the environment in which that asset can be read.
Henrik: [8:46] It makes a lot of sense. Well, thank you so much, Linda.
Linda: [8:48] You’re very welcome and thank you.
Henrik: [8:50] For more on Digital Asset Management, log on to
AnotherDAMblog.com. Thanks again.