|Shared assets, or managed assets?
Storage area networks (SANs) have been an important element of the value that post facilities can bring, for over a decade. They provide shared, collaborative storage for multiple editors and producers – a big step up from the disorganization of sneakernet, and stacks of terabyte drives. But while media asset management tools have been available for most of this decade, very few post houses use them. Why?
It turns out that most media asset management systems aren't a fit for post, for 4 main reasons:
1. They impose specific workflows and codecs.
Most MAMs have a check-in workflow that needs to closely understand every single file being saved. Sticking points occur if the formats are not fully supported by the MAM. The recent explosion of DSLR cameras and new high-end formats have only made these problems worse.
2. They don't support the filesystem/folder organization you already use.
Most MAMs want to organize your media for you. This can be a big barrier to adoption when you already have a lot of media organized the way you want.
They're too complex for freelancers to learn quickly.
The check-in / storage sequestering approach leads to some complex workarounds, editor plugins, and general inconsistency versus what comes naturally, which can be hard to explain to freelancers and assistant editors who previously just worked on their laptops with a connected drive or two.
4. They focus on archival and repository uses, instead of work in progress.
Most MAMs are good at stockpiling completed work. Relatively few can handle the minute-to-minute dynamics of work in progress, and even these are too complex and expensive for most post applications.
axle is different
axle is a dramatically different system designed specifically for work in progress. It's also designed to stay out of your way, watching what you do rather than telling you what to do. axle then adds a lot of key functionality such as collaboration, low-res proxy generation, streaming, and searching on top of your existing workflows, in a way that doesn't set you back if you need to return to a simple shared-storage workflow on the fly. And with its super-simple interface that works in any browser, it's perfect for everyone from your assistants to your customers.
Sort your footage by project and by client.
You may only have one SAN to store your footage, but axle lets you categorize the media by project and client, and axle’s user management ensures that only those authorized get to see the media that’s relevant to them.
Let your client upload and log media.
With axle, the client can be a direct contributor to the project. Using a simple web browser, the client can upload new footage, or review, annotate and log existing media in the library, from wherever they are.
Discuss the work.
Each media asset has a conversation view so you and your client can share comments pointing to specific sections of the media – it's easy to capture each other's input quickly.
Integrated review and approval.
The client can view output media as it’s being created, and then once you want to start locking material down, they can lock it down as approved, or reject it sending back their comments. Not online on the system? No problem, you can make sure you get notified by email the minute a client adds a comment.
Offload bandwidth with the cloud option.
Concerned that running a streaming server from your facility will eat up bandwidth? axle’s cloud option uploads your proxies to a high performance streaming server that ensures your customers can reliably view your material from wherever they are without being constrained by your facility’s limited internet connection.