Home | News & Events | Events | 2014 Events | NISO Webinars | December 17: Part 2: Sustainable Information: Digital Preservation of Audio-Visual Content

NISO Two-Part Webinar: Sustainable Information
Part 2: Digital Preservation of Audio-Visual Content

Part 1 of this webinar was held on December 10: Digital Preservation for Text

December 17, 2014
1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. (Eastern Time)

  • About the Webinar
  • Agenda & Event Slides
  • Event Q&A
  • Registration
    Can't make it on the webinar day? Register now and gain access to the archive for one year.
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About the Webinar

Audio-visual resources in digital formats present even more challenges to preservation than do digital text resources. Reformatting information to a common file format can be difficult and may require specialists to ensure it is done with no loss in integrity. While digital text may still be usable if done imperfectly (e.g. skewed but still readable pages), even small errors in digital A/V files could render the material unusable.

This webinar will share the experiences of several projects that are working to ensure that A/V files can be preserved with their full integrity ensured.

Agenda & Event Slides


Todd Carpenter, Executive Director, NISO

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Planning for Video Preservation Services at Harvard
Andrea Goethals, Manager of Digital Preservation and Repository Services, Harvard University Library
David Ackerman, Head of Media Preservation, 
Harvard University Library

Nearly all of the major Harvard Library repositories count video (both analog and digital) among their valued holdings, though in many cases these materials are hidden from the scholarly community due to lack of resources for cataloging and processing. At the same time, these resources are at high risk of being lost because of format obsolescence, disappearing reproduction technologies, degrading physical media, and data corruption and loss. For media collections, there is only a small window of time globally in which to address preservation. Without a preservation intervention plan implemented in the next fifteen years, many of Harvard’s video resources will disappear.
This presentation will focus on the planning efforts and decisions that have been made in the early stages of establishing video reformatting and preservation services at the university. It will cover format, metadata and tool analysis, as well as an investigation of the potential impacts on the current digitization, reformatting, ingest and storage infrastructure.

Andrea Goethals is the Manager of Digital Preservation and Repository Services at Harvard Library. She is responsible for providing leadership for Harvard Library’s digital preservation program and for managing the Digital Repository Service (DRS), the university’s large-scale digital preservation repository. She is currently working on several projects related to A/V material including the enhancement of the DRS to support digitized and born-digital video material, and the migration of audio material in obsolete formats. In addition she participates in many preservation-related groups including the National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA) Standards and Practices Working Group. Andrea received a M.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Florida.

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AXF: Finally a Storage and Preservation Standard for the Ages
Brian Campanotti, Chief Technical Officer, Front Porch Digital

Rather than rely on archaic or proprietary approaches, recent domain-specific advancements in the area of open standards based, long-term data storage have been made helping ensure long-term preservation and universal accessibility for valuable file-based assets and collections.

This presentation will give a detailed technical overview of the recently published SMPTE Archive eXchange Format (AXF) standard. Born out of the Big Data-centric pedigree of the Media and Entertainment industry, AXF is applicable to all aspects of file-based asset preservation now and into the future. In sharp contrast to other approaches such as TAR and LTFS, AXF was designed from the ground up with the goals of asset transport as well as long-term storage and preservation. AXF future-proofs digital content repositories by embracing key OAIS preservation philosophies and abstracting the underlying operating system, file system and storage technology so that content remains available no matter how each evolves.

A history of the development of AXF highlighting its recent standardization will be given along with a detailed overview of the technology and its key features as contrasted with other non-standard approaches such as LTFS. End-user success stories will focus attention on the key features of the AXF standard and how it can be leveraged to ensure open access, long-term protection, and transportability of file-based asset and collections now and into the future.

Brian Campanotti is the Chief Technical Officer for Front Porch Digital, leading industry invention and advancement in cloud-based and on-premises global content storage management (CSM), media asset management (MAM) and content publishing, migration and preservation solutions. He is responsible for innovations in the area of cloud-based solutions for “big data” focused on media-centric content handling, delivery, storage and preservation. He was one of the primary inventors of the Archive eXchange Format (AXF) and has been active in standards body activities helping to promote innovation and openness in the industry for more than two decades.

Mr. Campanotti and his team have won Emmy® Awards for their work in content collection preservation technologies and for innovation in serial digital video technology. Mr. Campanotti has founded several start-ups and began his career at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in Canada and holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toronto.

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An Open-Source Preservation Solution: Hydra/Blacklight
Tom Cramer, Chief Technology Strategist & Associate Director, Digital Library Systems & Services, Stanford University Libraries

Tom is Chief Technology Strategist and the Associate Director of Digital Library Systems and Services for the Stanford University Libraries (SUL). His role as director for the Stanford Digital Repository and the development of SearchWorks, SUL's next generation discovery environment, led him to interest in Fedora community initiatives that include being a founder of and evangelist for the Hydra Project, and the first adopter and an active contributor to Blacklight.

Event Q&A

You emphasized tape as a storage media, but also mentioned disk and cloud as options. Does tape dominate storage in large media archives, or is there a mix? Is there a certain size of archive after which tape dominates?

(Brian Campanotti): Tape does dominate in these large (big-data) environments because the scale of the data cannot be economically maintained on disk-based storage. Data tape is also easy/cheap to expand, physically transport and has much higher resiliency than disk based arrays. It can also be argued that it lasts much longer than disk technology as well. There are a lot of studies on this which are available on the web but ultimately disk environments are typically 10-23x more expensive (TCO - power, expansion, cooling, etc.) than those involving tape. Protecting your stored data with tape involves simply making two copies and shipping one of the data tapes (preferably in AXF format!) to another site. No power, cooling, etc. required. Even at the lower end, the only way to truly protect your data on disk is to have two physically separate storage environments running all the time which is expensive to implement and manage. Then with upgrades, they always involve a BIG swap of equipment. Expansion also involves more gear, cooling, power, connectivity, etc. All of our environments are combination of disk and tape in a 1:10 (very roughly) relationship. Disk for immediacy of access, staging on the way to the data tape library, site-to-site replication, etc. However, even at the lower end there are many compelling data tape robotic solutions available for less than $20k offering the reliability and advantages of larger scale solutions. 

Where can we get access to AXF and who are the 25 organizations already implementing it?
(BC): The AXF Standard can be downloaded from the SMPTE store. It does cost a couple of hundred dollars (SMPTE imposed fee for maintenance of the site, etc.) unless you have access to the SMPTE standards packages. There is no fee for development, usage, etc. as this is just a simple admin fee for the maintenance of the document. In terms of the customers currently using AXF, they include Disney Studios, Paramount, Labatoire Eclair, Danish and Dutch National Archives, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Major League Baseball and many others.


Registration closes on December 17, 2014 at 12:00 p.m. (ET)

SAVE! Register for both parts of this two-part webinar and save 25%!

If paying by credit card, register online.

If paying by check, use this PDF form.

  • NISO Member
    • $143.00 (US and Canada)
    • $164.00 (International)
  • NASIG Member
    • $143.00
  • Non-Member
    • $188.00 (US and Canada)
    • $224.00 (International)
  • Student
    • $74.00

Registration Costs: Part 2 only.

If paying by credit card, register online.

If paying by check, please use this PDF form.

  • NISO Member
    • $95.00 (US and Canada)
    • $109.00 (International)
  • NASIG Member
    • $95.00
  • Non-Member
    • $125.00 (US and Canada)
    • $149.00 (International)
  • Student
    • $49.00

Additional Information

  • Registration closes at 12:00 p.m. (ET) on December 17, 2014. Cancellations made by December 10, 2013 will receive a refund, less a $25 cancellation. After that date, there are no refunds.
  • Registrants will receive detailed instructions about accessing the webinar via e-mail the Monday prior to the event. (Anyone registering between Monday and the close of registration will receive the message shortly after the registration is received, within normal business hours.) Due to the widespread use of spam blockers, filters, out of office messages, etc., it is your responsibility to contact the NISO office if you do not receive login instructions.
  • If you have not received your Login Instruction email by 10:00 a.m. (ET) on the Tuesday before the webinar, at please contact the NISO office or email Juliana Wood, Educational Programs Manager at jwood@niso.org for immediate assistance.
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