Chapter 1. Functional Overview

This chapter contains a functional overview of StudioCentral Library (called StudioCentral here), which is a digital asset management system that is used to store, manage, retrieve, preview, and distribute multimedia data. This data includes video clips, movie frames, sound files, animation cells, presentation storyboards, engineering designs, documentation, or any type of data that can be stored in a digital format.

StudioCentral is a complete solution that provides end users with desktop tools for managing their digital assets. The tools can be used with SGI platforms, Web browsers, and desktop computers such as Macintosh, in installations that range from small workgroups to enterprise-wide installations.

Digital assets stored in StudioCentral consist of:

By separating the descriptive information from the content, each can be stored in a way that optimizes its access. For example, the metadata is stored in industry-standard databases, letting users search the descriptive information for assets that match certain criteria without having to read the content. And, the content can be stored in a variety of devices, including online, hierarchical, and archive storage, enabling efficient use and storage.

All assets in a StudioCentral system have metadata associated with them, but not all assets have content. For example, an asset that is used to group assets that contain different digital formats of the same video content, is a composite asset and may not have content itself. However, the assets that it groups, or points to, do have content.

Important features of the StudioCentral digital asset management system are:

The content for an asset is brought into the StudioCentral server by copying it from external files or transferring it from another StudioCentral server. When the content is checked into (that is, stored in) StudioCentral, it is cataloged. During this cataloging, or asset typing, process, if the content file's digital format is one of the types recognized by StudioCentral, the following steps are performed:

When assets are checked in, the end user or StudioCentral administrator can use graphical tools or command-line utilities to enter metadata attribute values, in addition to the ones that are automatically generated during the asset typing process. For example, the user may want to enter keywords, notes for the editor who will be reviewing an asset, or a description of a new version of an existing asset.

Once assets are stored in a StudioCentral system, they can be:

This functionality is shown in Figure 1-1.

Figure 1-1. Functional Overview

Functional Overview

A number of clients are available with StudioCentral, including:

In addition to these applications, software engineers can use StudioCentral services or the StudioCentral Asset Management Protocol (AMP) to develop applications that are tailored to specific needs. (See “Developing New StudioCentral Components” on page 31 for more information.)