New in Hedge 22.2 🚀
Long before COVID-19, Media Assets Managers (MAMs) were already moving to the cloud. Born out of the Cantemo MAM, iconik has been at the forefront of this trend, being cloud-first since its inception.
Having a MAM in the cloud solves a lot of collaboration issues, but all that media still has to go into the cloud one way or another. To solve that, iconik has a great solution: ISG.
Iconik Storage Gateway
Iconik Storage Gateway is an app that runs as a service on a computer, automatically uploading any data added to predefined watch folders. This makes it ideal for production companies that have a dedicated ingest desk, DIT computers, or a media management station. Offload your media first, and ISG will take it from there.
But MAMs aren't just about files, they're actually more about metadata - “if a file doesn't have metadata, it might as well not exist." That's particularly true for MAMs: how do you find a file when you don't know anything about it?
ISG solves this by working with sidecars. ISG's sidecar format allows you to define metadata per file, which is then processed by ISG and added to the accompanying assets in the cloud.
However, when it comes to cloud MAMs, not all media is created equally: proxies are great to store in the cloud, but storing originals isn't necessarily useful or even affordable. So, iconik uses different flavors of proxies, for editing, and for the web. Those proxies are often created at a later time than when the initial offload takes place, and that's where the Great Disconnect rears its ugly head: often, metadata captured on-set is not connected to proxies that make it to editorial. Time to pull out the Excel sheets, CSV files, camera reports, and more favorite 90's technology.
That should be easier, right? We think so too.
Hedge's new iconik integration allows you to create ISG sidecars with custom metadata, without requiring you to upload files to iconik while offloading.
By generating a sidecar, Hedge tells ISG a file exists, and ISG then creates a placeholder for it in iconik - without needing to upload the actual media. When at any (most likely, later) time the assets are uploaded, it all gets reconnected. A proxy that's uploaded at a later time together with a sidecar containing the original file's checksum will then be linked too.
Most organizations that have been using this integration in stealth mode for the last two years (time flies when you’re having a pandemic) use it in two ways:
- Either, DIT stations offloading original media run ISG but only process the sidecars, adding proxies to iconik from a second transcoding machine on-set that also runs ISG.
- Or, travel drives make it back to the office, to be ingested into shared storage. There, a dedicated Mac will be running ISG for processing sidecars.
There's also a third use case: be prepared for the future. Even if you don't use iconik now, having a sidecar sitting next to your media is a great asset to have, for whenever you start using a MAM. When you do, you hook up all your drives sitting in a closet to a Mac running ISG, and tadah, your media catalog is created on the spot.
It doesn't have to be iconik that you'll be using - these sidecars are easily changed, so when the time comes, it shouldn’t be too hard to convert them all into a format your MAM does support.
For the last two years, we've been adding some very specific functionality to Hedge that is for a more select audience. Most of these features are aimed at automation and improving hand-offs between departments. This new iconik integration fits right into that.
The iconik integration is available to all Hedge users eligible for release 22.2. For those that have a Pro license, we're going beyond: whereas Hedge users enable this integration for all transfers, Pro licensees can define ISG sidecar creation on a per-preset basis. Decide if a transfer deserves a sidecar, define which Elements are to go with it, and also define if custom elements in a preset are to be used only for sidecars. More information here.
Bonus: ASC-MHL preview
Also new in Hedge 22.2 is the preview of the next Media Hash List standard: the ASC MHL. Since it was released last month, all major data management apps have been working on implementing the new standard that allows you to create a chain of custody of your offloads, backups, and archives.
Hedge users that have a Pro license can make use of ASC MHL right away. If you don't have a Pro license, reach out, and we'll add a flag to your license to give ASC MHL a go.