MediaConch Newsletter No. 1 (9 Oct 2015)

Hello!  Welcome to the MediaConch Newsletter. Here we’ll be providing regular updates on all aspects of the MediaConch project. MediaConch is part of the PREFORMA (PREServation FORMAts for culture information/e-archives) project, co-funded by the European Commission under the FP7-ICT programme. Learn more about MediaConch here

MediaConch Release Notes

September’s release of MediaConch, (v15.09) highlights our brand new feature, MediaTrace. MediaTrace is a technical reporting tool that expresses the binary architecture of a file as interpreted by MediaArea’s principal software, MediaInfo, in a well formed XML and graphical output. Read a short blog post on the MediaTrace feature along with some sample case studies on our website here

We’re also very excited to roll out MediaConchOnline, a web interface that allows a user to generate policy sets for reporting on files available either online or via upload without ever having to directly download or install any software. By creating a profile, MediaConchOnline users may make up to ten policy sets for Matroska, FFV1, and LPCM file formats, and may run up to 100 policy checks per day (although these numbers can be increased on request). For online file reporting, MediaConchOnline supports HTTP/HTTPS/FTP/FTPS application protocols. 

Team MediaConch in the News

At the recent International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives Conference in Paris, France, Hermann Lewetz presented progress reports on MediaConch and the PREFORMA project to a packed audience of moving image and recorded sound archivists on behalf of the team. A full programme of the conference is available here.

MediaConch team leads Dave Rice and Jerome Martinez have been working closely with developer communities to refine the current file format specifications for Matroska, EBML (a markup language originally created for Matroska but now used widely in file formats on the web), and FFV1. This work includes rewriting current specifications to allow for a more precise language on how to define each file format’s core elements, as well as converting the specifications to an easy-to-read syntax, extending community reach for each format. 

Back in June, team members Jerome Martinez and Tessa Fallon attended the Internet Engineering Task Force’s IETF 93 Meeting in Prague to present ongoing work on the standardization of FFV1 and Matroska. Their presentation raised new and interesting questions among the IETF crowd with regards to and enlisted several supporters to review and assist with specifications work prior to the formal standards publishing process. 

Be sure to check out team leads Dave Rice and Ashley Blewer’s interview with Kate Murray on the Library of Congress’ The Signal: Digital Preservation blog. The full interview, entitled “Improving Technical Options for Audiovisual Collections Through the PREFORMA Project”, is available here

Upcoming Events

MediaConch will be active and in attendance this fall at several key conferences. Team leads Dave Rice and Ashley Blewer will be presenting at the Association of Moving Image Archivists Conference in Portland, OR, USA (20 Nov); team member Tessa Fallon is presenting at the Fédération Internationalle des Archives de Télévision / International Federation of Television Archives Conference in Vienna, Austria (7 Oct - 10 Oct). 

Feedback

MediaArea is eager to build a community of collaborators and testers to participate in and use the results of the project. You can contact us here for more information.

Best, 

The MediaConch team

Follow us on Twitter: @MediaConch