Task Force on File Formats and Media Interoperability Launches

Key media organizations have announced the launch of the Joint Task Force on File Formats and Media Interoperability, which plans to work with manufacturers, broadcasters, ad agencies, standards organizations and trade associations to develop greater efficiencies and cost savings for the exchange of file-based content. The initial focus will be to collect and analyze requirements for a machine-generated and readable file interchange and delivery spec for the media industry.

Sponsors of the task force include: the North American Broadcasters Association (NABA), Advanced Media Workflow Association (AMWA), Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), International Association of Broadcast Manufacturers (IABM), American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), and Association of National Advertisers (ANA).

In addition, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) will participate as an observer.

“We believe that, by improving the specification and exchange of professional media between organizations, we can enable new and more efficient file-based workflows,” said Clyde Smith, SVP of new technology for Fox Network and a member of the NABA tech committee that initiated creation of the joint task force.

“The task force represents a diverse group of sponsor organizations with an extensive global reach, and together we will gather and analyze information not only about user requirements, but also about current standards and specifications,” Smith added. “With this information we can rationalize the complexity of the current media landscape and make useful process and technology recommendations that improve workflow interoperability while reducing the attendant costs of file-based operations.”

The task force has published a user requirements survey that is open to all members of the professional media industry. Participants are encouraged to submit a “user story” that identifies “the nature of their work, the specific function they seek, and the business value that would be provided by that function.”

“Other task force activities will include the collection of data on existing products for transcode, transform, and file QC, and their ability to be driven by data from UML, XML, API, script, and other machine-to-machine communication mechanisms,” notes the press release. “In addition to analyzing and publishing this data within a formal report, the task force will analyze the data in terms of current, planned, and unplanned standards activities and publish recommendations for future activities.”