Digital Curation Systems
What are digital curation systems?
Understanding what digital curation systems can do for you
A “digital curation system” is the term we use at Africa Media Online to describe any system, beside desktop software, that is used in the lifecycle of a digital file from centralised systems to gather and sort digital files from across an organisation, to systems that end users will use to find files, gain permission for their use, and download the files. Digital Asset Management Systems (DAMS), Media Asset Management Systems (MAMS), Content Management Systems (CMS), Digital Preservation Systems (DPS) and even systems to showcase the files such as Attraction Management Systems (AMS) can all fit under the category of “digital curation systems”. Often different curation systems will be used together in a technology stack to create a digital repository. The digital repository together with the digital and media assets it services are often known as a digital archive.
Digital Asset Management Systems (DAMS) are information technology (IT) systems that manage what are known as “digital assets”. DAMS focus on complex media files maintaining not only the files themselves but als the information in the files and the information about the files known as metadata. DAMS tend to be relevant for a broad range of file types and are often used for brand asset management (managing all the files associated with advertising and branding) and library asset management (managing all the files in an organisation that need to be kept for the long-term). Depending on the role assigned to the DAMS in the organisation, they often operate as the “source of truth” for all digital assets.
Media Asset Management Systems (MAMS) are information technology (IT) systems that manage “media assets.” MAMS focus on time-based media such as video and audio files for production houses and broadcasters. While DAMS tend to be able to manage video and audio files to a limited degree, MAMS are specifically designed with video and audio production in mind and with capabilities to manage vast amounts of food and sound data and to integrate with complex video editing suites. An organisations MAMS tends to operate as the source of truth for both raw footage and post-production files.
Digital assets and media assets are often interchangeable terms. When it comes to DAMS and MAMS, however, “digital assets” tends to refer more broadly to any publishing- or broadcast-quality file with its associated content and metadata, whereas “media assets” tends to refer to multimedia files – video and audio files. Digital assets tend to be publishing- or broadcast-quality digital media files such as digital photographs, video, audio and text files which may be produced by digitising a museum object or digital photographs of a recent event, digitisation of audio recordings off a vinyl record or video recordings from a smart phone. Media assets would refer more specifically to files and their associated content and metadata that one would find in a film, radio or broadcast collection. Such video (film and footage) and audio files have a time dimension to them and tend to be far larger than their two-dimensional counterparts.
Digital Preservation Systems (DPS) are IT systems designed for the long-term preservation of digital files. The Open Archival Information System developed by many of the world’s leading space agencies provides a foundational reference model for long-term digital preservation. In the ideal digital curation technology stack, DPS’ work alongside DAMS’ and/or MAMS’ to preserve and serve digital media files. In this case the DPS tends to become the “source of truth” for the digital and media assets which are know as Archival Information Packages (AIPs). AIPs are then made available as Dissemination Information Packages (DIPs) to the DAMS or the MAMS for access by the audience.
Different digital curation systems have different strengths. Africa Media Online has put together a portfolio of complimentary digital curation systems that enable:
- Work-in-Progress – gather and work with media files from all across your organisation bringing arrangement and management of rights and standardised information about the files preparing the best of them for ingestion into the Digital Preservation System
- Preservation – preserve your digital assets for the long term in a repository that is your immutable “source of truth”
- Public Access – present publishing- and broadcast-quality digital assets to select audiences whether internal users and/or the public
- Commercial Use – enable income streams to be created from digital and media assets
- Engagement – curate the digital files in a way that engages the public
The ideal work-in-progress DAMS for gathering and enriching digital assets
Mediagraph is a scalable B2B, cloud-based digital asset management platform that allows organizations to acquire, organize, store and share media files. Africa Media Online’s Preservatio digital repository uses MediaGraph as its work-in-progress module enabling the gathering and preparation of files for ingestion into the permanent repository.
Manage media assets right across your organisation setting up each department with their own area, including external contributors and collaborators:
• Unlimited users, admins, and groups
• Easy multi-departmental setup
• Wall-off users, storage, and content
• Preview any user group access
• Unlimited federated accounts available with Enterprise
Attach meaning and context to people, places, and things:
• Capture metadata against files or multiple files
• Organise media into consistent taxonomies
• AI enabled speech to text transciption for video and audio
• AI enabled auto-key wording
• Attach to linked data and information
Powerful management of rights for all digital assets so you never infringe rights:
• Customizable rights tagging
• Embeddable rights statements
• Attach contracts and releases
• User agreement upon upload
• Filterable rights status
• All assignable by drag-and-drop
MediaGraph has advanced integrations with workflow tools such as Adobe and Zapier:
• Integration with Adobe Lightroom, Lightroom Classic, InDesign, Premier
• Integrations with Dropbox, Box.com, Google Drive
• Integration with Webhooks such as Zapier
• Integration with CI Hub an all-purpose connector providing integration with Adobe Creative Cloud and other applications including Google Workspace, WordPress, Microsoft 365, Dropbox, web development tools, rights management and more
The professional online workspace for video teams
Limecraft is an enterprise MAMS able to serve the largest broadcasters yet nimble enough to service small production houses. It is an online workspace that keeps track of assets on online and local storage and uses AI transcription and image recognition to index video and to automate repetitive work. Creative video teams and post productions facilities rely on Limecraft to more easily organise and exchange media assets.. Africa Media Online’s Preservatio digital repository uses Limecraft as its middleware keeping track of files on tape storage as well as online systems and enriching multimedia assets.
Limecraft is a powerful DAMS system keeping track of all your media assets whether online or on offline storage, such as tape libraries. It maintains proxies of files and knows where they are stored even recalling them from tape.
• A virtual workspace connecting you to all your digital assets, wherever they may be stored
• Build collections, enrich them with metadata and share with colleagues
• Workflow tools including speedy ingestion, audio synchronisation and encoding of proxies
• Connect the physical and the digital world, and add local storage as part of your online collaborative workflows
Save hours of manual work using automatic audio transcription. Limecraft is an advanced AI development house focused on broadcast clients for whom time is money, they use many AI engines to achieve the highest possible accuracy in the least amount of time:
• Using Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) optimised for accuracy, we ensure the best possible result in minutes
• Limecraft handles all possible file formats
• Easily download your media or send them directly to the edit suite
• Create and share shot lists
Automated Subtitling uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to turn audio into high quality subtitles. It saves you the time and cost of conventional subtitling, and you retain the intellectual property rights:
• Uses a combination of speech-to-text (STT), machine translation (MT) and a dedicated service to automate the spotting
• Allows you to create same-language and translated subtitles at a fraction of the cost
Rushes management redefined. This workflow gets the most out of a production day from set to edit. In our scripted TV & feature film workflow, we use the following integrated applications.:
• Limecraft Edge backs up, synchs, transcodes and uploads your rushes, no matter whether you are shooting on ARRI, Red, Canon, Sony, or whatever you prefer
• Limecraft Flow is a browser-based dailies management software which organises your clips according to the screenplay and allows you to control who can view or download dailies
Remote and collaborative video production streamlined. The ideal workflow for magazine, documentary or human interest productions. In our unscripted TV & entertainment workflow, we use the following integrated applications:
• Limecraft Edge backs up, synchs, transcodes and uploads your rushes, no matter whether you are shooting on ARRI, Red, Canon, Sony, or whatever you prefer
• Limecraft Flow is a browser-based media management software that handles encoding and playback enabling you to manage your media through collections, tags and custom fields and easily download and share your media
A scalable and flexible DAMS ideal as the access system to digital assets for media and corporate collections
Picvario is a powerful and flexible DAMS that is ideal for media and corporate collections. Africa Media Online’s Preservatio digital repository uses Picvario as the administrative middleware for its access module.
Picvario is incredibly flexible in terms of its deployment and its ability to draw on multiple storage instances:
• Picvario can be installed on premise on client servers or operate as a SaaS application on AWS servers
• You can use its in-built storage or it can be connected to external storage on S3-compatible services, FTP, Google Drive or Dropbox
Using Elastic Search, Picvario is able to implement advanced search options including:
• Simple and advanced searches
• Boolean and wildcard searches
• Search by orientation
• Search by empty fields
Picvario enables you to specify access to digital assets, to whom they should be distributed and how long including:
• Time-based access permission
• Access at multiple levels from asset level to collection level
• Personalised access links
• Customise download rights
Picvario incorporates powerful AI tools for:
• Face recognition,
• Emotion recognition, and
• Object recognition
Picvario intorporates advanced multilingual support:
• Instantly translate title, description, keywords, alt text, licenses and copyright fields
• The platform supports numerous languages and writing systems
• Unlimited number of translations per field
A DAMS specifically geared toward the beautiful and engaging display of open access heritage collections
AM Quartex is a digital asset management (DAM) system that enables libraries and archives to powerfully showcase, share and celebrate their archival materials in intuitive and visually engaging ways. Africa Media Online’s Preservatio digital repository interfaces with AM Quartex as the web interface for heritage collections.
Quartex is the only digital collections platform that includes both Optical Character Recognition (OCR)and AI-powered Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR) technology. Together, HTR and OCR enable search beyond metadata, making your text-based materials more discoverable and accessible through automated transcription and full-text search. Quartex can become your transcription one-stop-shop; your command centre for generating editable, fully searchable manuscript transcriptions and transcriptions of all your handwritten and printed digital assets.
Open your AV materials to deeper exploration with the in-platform hosting, streaming and discovery capabilities of Quartex. From oral histories and music recordings to newsreels, commercial films and footage from private collections, your audio-visual files can be ingested into Quartex and showcased with our powerful range of discoverability and accessibility features.
Engage your user community and improve understanding of your archival collections with dynamic, feature-rich and easy-to-build digital exhibitions. As well as being a vital means of staying connected with audiences as part of your outreach strategy, digital exhibitions also create journeys into your digital collections. Use them to guide users deeper into your most popular or historically significant resources or to highlight less well known facets of your collections.
Achieve your open access objectives with Quartex, which enables you to publish your digitised archival collections for global audiences. Give analogue collections the digital profile they deserve, opening up new research opportunities and broader awareness of your library’s holdings, and publish newly digitised materials that enable researchers to critically evaluate accepted knowledge. Quartex uses the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) to publish resources for collaborative research.
Quartex is easy to implement and intuitive to use, and supports diverse user needs and workflows, providing a robust and scalable solution to digital asset management and presentation. Manage digitised assets your way with customisable settings and workflows, and powerful batch editing functionality. Then customise your front-end site or multiple sites to meet WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility standards as well as your navigation and branding requirements.
Quartex is more than a digital asset management (DAM) system. It’s also a powerful content management system (CMS), a website creation tool with which you can build multiple, showstopping websites to showcase your digital collections. Build responsive and highly searchable websites that meet WCAG 2.1AA accessibility standards as well as your own navigation and branding requirements.
An attraction management system ideal for leveraging your digital archive to engage your audience
n-gage.io is a highly editable attraction management system that includes a web-based operator platform and visitor-facing mobile app that will digitally transform your visitor attraction. From location services and push notifications, to Bluetooth and in-built GPS, n-gage.io takes advantage of all the latest smartphone technology, delivering an out-of-the-box, yet highly customisable, visitor experience solution for the African attractions industry. Africa Media Online’s Preservatio digital repository uses n-gage.io as its audience engagement platform.
The n-gage.io attraction management software and mobile app helps to manage the entire visitor journey, whilst increasing your knowledge of their behaviour, to unlock insights & drive revenue:
• Enables seamless creation of engaging, interactive mobile optimised experiences pushed to the mobile app in real time
• Provides insights into visitor behaviour
• Integrates with other attraction industry software and digital ticketing and events management systems
A highly customisable mobile app to enhance the attraction experience, gain valuable insights, and drive revenue benefitting the visitor by:
• A feature rich branded mobile app enhancing the overall
visitor experience before, during and after a visit
• Delivering engaging content with interactive features to provide
real value and improve visitor retention
• Personalised notifications with offers and discounts
• Mobile wallet for tickets, memberships and vouchers
• Mapping, wayfinding and trails
• Education and learning features
• Plan your day and events schedule
• Capture your day photo frames
n-gage.io is a highly customisable platform in terms of your branding:
• Mobile app templates are fully customised in the operator platform to suit your brand
• From fonts, colours and logos, to custom map overlays, you have the power to brand the app the way you want it
• The operator platform also controls the apps core menu functions, including their description, allowing you to amend these live at any time, without the need for time consuming app store updates. Make a change, hit save, and it’s done
• You can even change the naming convention of any of the dynamic fields and features in the app to suit your attraction. Exhibits, rides, artefacts, musicians, speakers or retailers you have the power to label your content to suit
There are numerous opportunities for monetisation:
• Use the platform’s insights and segmentation features to promote highly targeted offers to your visitors based on their on-site activity
• Upsell your experiences, cross-sell F&B offers or target ticket upgrades
• Send offers in-app with push notifications or by email using the platforms custom email templates
• Seek feedback on your attraction activity following talks and events
• Use Bluetooth beacon technology to tigger in-app activity based on location, date or time insights to deliver a more personalised attraction experience