FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

A Model for Exchanging Media

Understanding how we create and consume media will ultimately answer a lot of questions we now have about how and under what circumstances media can be manipulated. The Media Streams Metadata Exchange (MSMDX) project at UC Berkeley is an attempt to define how media is and can be developed. The goal of the project is "to create a platform for collaboratively annotating, retrieving, sharing and remixing multimedia content." MSMDX would provide a metadata framework to mark up small segments of media, such as scenes in a movie. Tags would include character names, appearance (looking confused), emotions, moods, genres, themes, and actions.

Among the approaches MSMDX advocates are media-on-demand networks that remix content based on the user's specifications and templates, shot metadata repositories that would allow users to search for an access specific scenes from a movie or TV show, and remixing engines that would allow non-technical users to easily create their own music videos and mash-ups.

The majority of media consumers are passive, and will not take advantage of MSMDX the way that remix enthusiasts would. However, the movement of media to small formats such as cell phones may accelerate initiatives like MSMDX, which may find their first wide use in areas such as news and sports. This type of metadata also has promise in academia, where students and researchers will appreciate the ability to search video and audio content by keyword. However, there still remains the proverbial elephant in the corner: the issue of digital rights management and copyright infringement. Fully leveraging something like MSMDX fully would require a rethinking of DRM... something that doesn't appear to be in the offing.

Source: Long Tail