On the last day of Loose Women, I met Barry Hinchey, the head of Media Management and Acquisitions (MMA). MMA deals with both ends of the ITV machine – ingesting media into the system and ensuring old media flows out via deletion. Both processes are key to keeping the workflow running smoothly:
- Without Acquisition ingesting media into the system, television show’s wouldn’t be able to include content not created in the studios i.e. archive footage or clips from outside sources like the internet.
- Without Media Management, the system would quickly become filled with the huge of media which gets ingested every day. You gotta make room for new stuff coming in.
In order to understand how this system works, you must first understand how a media file works. There are two main components in a media file: Metadata and Media
Many people assume they are one and the same, which is an easy mistake to make because when you click on a file on your computer, that file opens to show the media. However, Metadata is a description, acting as a link to the file rather than containing it. The actual Media is stored somewhere on your hard drive.
Barry used the music on your phone as an example – the songs you see in your music library are metadata, giving descriptions of the song’s name, artist, duration etc. You don’t see the actual song, the endless lines of 0‘s and 1‘s on your screen – you see the neatly packaged reference of the metadata.
Another important point is that you cannot have one without the other. Without the media, your metadata is referencing an empty space. Without the metadata acting as a link to it, media merely becomes ‘dark matter’ on your hard drive – taking up space without actually appearing as a file on your computer.