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Media Shuttle and Signiant Simplify IMF Complexities

May 27, 2021 By Jon Finegold

In today’s multi-platform world, the distribution of a single finished title typically requires the creation of dozens of separate versions that tailor the content in a variety of ways—from including audio tracks in different languages, to increasing accessibility with subtitles or captions, to complying with national or regional standards, to providing technical variations, including 4K, HDR and immersive sound. The Interoperable Master Format (IMF) standard was designed to streamline this customization process by defining a single master bundle of finished audiovisual assets from which a multitude of versions may be derived. 

In recent years, as more Signiant customers came to recognize the potential of the IMF standard and adoption levels increased, Signiant began to hear feedback that the standard, although efficient and powerful, was very technical in nature. In contrast to Signiant’s Media Shuttle’s ease of use, IMF isn’t very user-friendly. Signiant addressed customer concerns with new Media Shuttle functionality that makes it easier for those working with IMF packages to identify and construct the versions they need.

In the latest installment of Metadata Everywhere: Simplifying IMF Adoption with Media Shuttle, Signiant examines the challenges of multi-version content distribution and how its software helps media companies work with IMF packages more easily.

Since its launch in 2012, Media Shuttle has become the standard for media companies seeking to provide end users with a means of easily and securely accessing a shared pool of content. Media Shuttle’s growth is indicative of its ability to successfully support a much wider trend in the industry—consumer demand for access to content across platforms, devices and geographic regions. By using Media Shuttle to send and access the content in IMF packages, customers can resolve the challenges commonly associated with producing and delivering all the required versions of a finalized media asset. Using IMF and Media Shuttle together delivers significant benefits:

  • Maximized delivery speed
  • Global availability
  • Ease of use
  • Data integrity

The unique architecture of Signiant’s Software-Defined Content Exchange (SDCX) SaaS platform helps realize the power of a metadata-intensive format like IMF. Media Shuttle users gain fast, secure access to complete IMF packages, or to individual component assets within that package. In parallel, metadata extracted from IMF packages can be processed, used to drive actions and inform decisions. These two system elements work in concert to simplify and speed up file-based content distribution workflows.

Continual innovation      

Media Shuttle’s IMF capabilities are a clear example of Signiant’s commitment to meeting the needs of the media industry. As practical application of a powerful new standard increased, we listened to the market and responded with enhanced functionality. Keeping up with significant industry trends and specific customer requirements is essential in today’s fast-changing media world. Signiant is working in partnership with our customers and with standards bodies such as SMPTE to ensure that Media Shuttle will continue to be the ideal tool for fast, efficient access to media assets regardless of where and how they are stored.


Learn about the many different ways media organizations can utilize the Signiant metadata framework to enhance productivity and optimize their technology stack in our series, Metadata Everywhere. Other chapters explore, in more depth, the ways in which Signiant’s SDCX SaaS architecture works with the media essence and metadata across disparate and distributed storage environments.