Because media happens everywhere
Today, media production is more fragmented and distributed than ever. Modern workflows regularly span a number of teams, often in widespread locations. Files come in a wide range of formats. And storage is often scattered across on-premise and cloud.
Tomorrow? Even more fragmentation.
There are benefits of course. Producers now have easier access to remote talent and specialist capabilities located anywhere. However, creating seamless and efficient workflows against ever-tightening deadlines is more challenging.
The future is cloudy
For many, the great hope is the cloud. We see media companies the world over making the shift to cloud-based workflows. But all too often, this can’t be a clean break.
For many, local data centers will never go away. Producers will need to work with storage in a hybrid environment—on premises, in the cloud, and everywhere in between.
Fundamentally, this all leads to four key challenges for today’s media producers:
- Finding files across distributed storage quickly, easily, and cost-effectively
- Being able to preview the assets you find and select just the material you need
- The ability to download or share large media files quickly, simply, and securely, from anywhere
- Making remote and distributed workflow environments more efficient
Solving these challenges will enable media producers to create faster, more efficient workflows. It will allow them to work with the best talent, no matter where they are in the world. And it will enable them to create better productions at lower cost than ever before.
The good news? It’s possible to solve every one of these challenges, with the simple, smart media management and super-fast file transfer provided by the Signiant Platform featuring the Media Engine service.
Finding files no matter where they are. Solved.
Every modern media production involves many files in multiple formats and with a wide range of metadata attached. Often these come via multiple sources—from inhouse teams and contractors to specialist talent and localization partners.
Needle meet haystack
Media assets are often spread across multiple locations—data center servers in local offices or in cloud storage. More than this, assets are often duplicated and in multiple versions for specific use cases.
This widespread distribution can make finding what you need a time-consuming exercise.
Sometimes, this means a tedious search through file directories to find what you’re looking for. When that doesn’t work, you may need to call someone in another office and have them crawl through files on their local storage.
It takes time. And let’s face it, time is a resource that’s in short supply for every content creator today.
The solution isn’t always a solution
Of course, there are many media management systems on the market. However, they usually only work with one storage type at a time. This invariably creates a workflow silo and all the bottlenecks silos always create.
Some high-end systems will allow you to make modifications and tailor them to your individual needs. But doing so tends to require either expensive custom engineering or complex workarounds to create a hybrid storage environment.
No place to hide
The good news? We have a solution that makes finding media files easy. It’s called Media Engine, a SaaS-based service built on the Signiant Platform.
Media Engine enables your teams to search for exactly the files they need, no matter where they’re hiding. They can be in the cloud in AWS, Azure* or Google* or held on a local on-premise server. Media Engine’s unified visibility and federated search mean all you have to do is turn it on and tell it where your assets live. Simple as that.
Search. Find. Done.
Ultimately, with Media Engine, your teams will be able to do a keyword search to find what they need based on any available metadata, on any identified storage, anywhere in the world— just like a Google search.
How Media Engine works – Media Engine is part of the Signiant Platform. To gain access, all you need is one of Signiant’s fast-file transfer apps. Once you’re on the platform and Media Engine is activated, you show the system where your assets are. This can be any Signiant-connected storage, on-premise or in the cloud. Media Engine takes it from there. It rapidly indexes all your media and records basic metadata for each file, including its transfer history. No media encoding required. It automatically creates preview files which accelerate the common actions you take with your content. You’ll get full support for common professional media formats. And not just video. We know you’ll need to find and work with PDFs, JPEGs and TIFFS along with your MXFs and MOVs. Once everything is indexed, you can start using Media Engine to radically simplify how you search and preview media.
Getting what you need fast and keeping costs low. Solved.
It’s one thing to be able to find what you need when you need it, it’s another to be able to easily preview those files wherever they are on the planet. At the very least you’ll want to be able to scrub through what you found.
Media files are often huge (and they’re getting larger with every innovation in camera and output definition). Today, a 30-minute 4K production can easily weigh in at 40GB+.
But say you just want a 20-second clip from a 30-minute show. Why should you spend the time downloading the entire file?
More than this, with cloud storage providers charging for every gig you move, why should you waste budget when you need just 1% of the output?
The obvious answer is: you shouldn’t. The better answer is: soon you won’t need to.
The proxy preference
With Media Engine, you can quickly scrub through a preview version of any file on your storage network to be sure it’s what you need. In future, you’ll also be able to play that file in frame-accurate real time from your local storage, the cloud or on storage on the other side of the globe.
Today, you can select the entire file and start working with it. In the near future, you’ll be able to specify in and out points to extract just the segment you need.
And because Media Engine is a service built on Signiant’s fast-file transfer foundation, it’s easy to download or send the full-res file to anyone in your production ecosystem.
Faster and cheaper
It’s easy to see how this will accelerate every part of the file access workflow: faster search, faster selection, faster delivery.
However, this becomes even more important when working with cloud storage. Those painful egress charges that make cloud storage providers so much money? Not on your dime.
Transferring any size file anywhere at speed. Solved.
You’ve found what you’re looking for. You’ve previewed the footage. And you’ve selected exactly what you need. Now what?
Within any workflow you’ll need to quickly and securely move large files between different teams in different locations. Today, this means HD of course. Increasingly it means 4K too. Not to mention 8K and whatever comes next. And you don’t want to jump from one application to another just to move a file. (Who has time for that?)
Fast by nature
Media Engine is built on the Signiant Platform and has fast-file transfer at its very core. Our proprietary technology practically eliminates latency and packet loss. It’s why Signiant has been the file-transfer technology of choice for thousands of media companies for nearly two decades.
With Signiant, you can take full advantage of all the available bandwidth on the internet. Without restrictions.
Forget about compression and kiss goodbye to waiting to confirm your file is downloaded and delivered.
While you’re at it, say farewell to FTP too.
Where speed meets security
Security is built into every layer involved in moving your files. We leverage standards-based security technology such as Transport Layer Security (TLS) to secure data and information as it is transmitted.
It means you can be confident your assets will go where you want and nowhere else.
Enabling remote workflows in a hybrid everything world. Solved.
Recent events have fundamentally changed the way many businesses operate. Media production is no different.
Expensive fixed offices have given way to flexible spaces and home working. Permanent teams have been replaced by project-based freelance talent. And companies are partnering with more specialists than ever (no matter where on the planet they’re based).
The future is hybrid
The promise of this kind of distributed working is seductive. Many love the increased flexibility it offers. They understand that, in theory, their people and partners can work from anywhere with an internet connection.
Making it work in practice is often a more significant challenge. But it doesn’t have to be.
Remote is a state of mind
With the Signiant Platform, remote teams can work with the same files as if they were in the same office.
Simply tell Media Engine the location of your distributed storage and assign who can find, preview and interact with that media. Want them to see all storage or just the project files they need? It’s your choice.
Connecting teams, busting silos
From direct team members to non-payroll specialists, everyone is able to find and move assets quickly and easily.
The result? Those media silos that are slowing you down and costing time and money come tumbling down. In their place you get a more efficient, more connected remote production ecosystem.
What can the Signiant Platform with Media Engine Solve for you?
This is an exciting, challenging time to be in media production.
How we create, edit, and adapt productions is in a state of near-constant flux. Audiences are changing how, when, and where they view content. And the industry is having to evolve (and evolve again) to keep pace and take advantage of the opportunities on offer.
While the challenges can sometimes appear overwhelming, the reality is that many can be solved right now. More than this, solving them doesn’t always mean ripping and replacing what you already have. Nor does it mean breaking the bank to have simple, yet powerful media management for all your team to work with.
Accessing Media Engine is simple. You just need to be on the Signiant Platform by having one of our fast-file transfer solutions. Then, when you’re set up, we can show you how you can start to manage your media assets more efficiently.
We call this smart media management. It means you can radically accelerate many of the processes your teams use daily. And you can strip out wasted costs allowing you to invest more into what really matters, your product.