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Case Study: A Holistic Approach to DAM

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Media Processing and Transcoding

BlueStream automatically converts uploaded images and transcodes audio and video to ensure these assets are available in a variety of defined, commonly used formats. BlueStream can accommodate other formats as needed, pending user requirements. The system then automatically groups these different file versions with the original asset. Media analysis and metadata tagging. Search and find capabilities are only as strong as the underlying metadata is detailed. Automated media analysis can relieve users of the burden of manually tagging metadata. BlueStream supports voice-to-text analysis with time-coded keyword tracking, facial recognition with privacy protection controls, optical character recognition, and even scene change recognition that enables the generation of time-coded, navigable thumbnails to indicate when a video's composition changes dramatically.

ViewCast's VMp DAM platform is a critical component within BlueStream, providing the unified framework to help BlueStream administrators and users manage the full life cycle of their digital media content, including IP video. VMP supports online video publishing, live video streaming, and video on demand, with advanced content acquisition, transformation, indexing, workflow, and distribution capabilities for streamlined, end-to-end digital asset management.

Today, BlueStream supports some of the most media-intensive projects under way at the university. It interoperates with other enterprise-level academic tools and environments to provide users with automated media management services and capabilities.

BlueStream in Action

Professor Jesse Hoffnung-Garskof's American Culture Latin Tinge class makes a wide use of several types of media, ranging from Gregorian chants to modern-day videos of samba and tango dancing. To free himself from juggling physical media in the classroom (sometimes switching between playing a CD to a VHS tape to a DVD all in one class setting), he digitized more than 500 original assets and now delivers them securely online via BlueStream.

Students view the materials before attending class, allowing greater time for discussion during class. BlueStream materials are integrated into a course website, which provides a blogging tool where students can write responses after viewing and can share and read their peers' thoughts. An additional component was added to the class due to the flexibility of BlueStream: a "digital upload" assignment. Students must find a relevant media sample (audio or video file or a still image), upload it to BlueStream along with a response paper discussing it, and tag it appropriately with accompanying metadata. With this approach, students are afforded access to the extensive repository of Latin Tinge media, and they gain experience using media themselves. 

The University of Michigan's School of Education also employs an interesting strategy to prepare its students to be effective educators. As part of the school's Secondary Master of Arts With Certification (MAC) program, "records of practice" including video recorded lessons and student/teacher interviews as well as traditional materials such as grade, attendance, and assignment documentation are studied and synthesized to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of classroom teaching dynamics. 

Secondary MAC students are required to collect, study, and share records of practice centric to mentor teachers, as well as their own teaching exercises. With BlueStream, all of the necessary media formats are supported, the media collection process is dramatically streamlined, and collaboration among students is made easy. Digital media collections can serve as areas of focus for classroom and/or workgroup discussions, and they can be cited as evidence to defend the arguments the students put forth in their writing assignments.

Learning From BlueStream

It would be difficult to identify a more innovative and practical example of how digital asset management can be used to support learning initiatives on campus. The popularity and usefulness of the University of Michigan's BlueStream DAM platform continues to increase. BlueStream is currently available to all 19 academic units on campus, and more users are coming on board every day. With BlueStream, the University of Michigan can easily respond to the growing demand for media management project space, underpinned with advanced IBM- and ViewCast-enabled digital asset management capabilities.

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