Organizing Video


Organizing your collection involves arranging your files into a coherent directory structure, and clearly naming those directories. Good organization is needed to retain the original order of your video files, and ensures that videos do not get lost or accidentally overwritten. It is also easier to find videos in a well-organized collection.

A Scenario: When Everything is in Someone’s Head

The Children’s Rights Center regularly produces short edited videos about children’s rights issues. For every video that the Center produces, it ends up with a large amount of raw footage and production elements like graphics and music that can be re-used in other productions. The material is not organized, but Mohammad, the video editor who works with the footage, remembers where everything is stored and can find clips when he needs them.

One day, Mohammad is offered a job at another organization and leaves the Children’s Rights Center. The Center’s new video editor, Raja, cannot make sense of Mohammad’s files and cannot locate the footage she needs.

To prevent this from happening again, Raja starts to organize new videos by production in clearly marked directories. In each production, she separates the raw footage, final outputs, and production elements. Within these subdirectories, she places files into clearly named folders with unique identifiers.

Video files and metadata are stored in folders labeled with unique identifiers. Folders are organized into directories by production project, and content type.
Video files and metadata are stored in folders labeled with unique identifiers. Folders are organized into directories by production project, and content type.

What’s Next

When to rename your files and how.

Using Unique Identifiers
How unique identifiers can help you organize and share your videos.

Folders and Directories
Using folders to create information packages, and organizing them into directories.

Tools for Media Management
Software applications to manage your video collections.

  • Always preserve the original order when naming and organizing your files.
  • Do not rename filenames assigned by a camera.
  • Do not use “illegal” characters such as @#$%&*:”’<>?/\~| or spaces in folder or file names.
  • Do not make your folder or filenames overly long (260-character limit on total filepath)
  • Name files consistently by following a template.
  • Use unique identifiers to identify and help organize your files.
  • Use “information packages” to keep media and metadata together.
  • Organize your information packages into directories.
  • Use a media management tool if you need to navigate your collection in more complex ways.
Key Concept: Information Package

Content can be organized into self-describing units of content, called information packages.
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Key Concept: Unique Identifier

Unique identifiers are a helpful organizing tool for identifying items in your collection, and grouping them with or distinguishing them from others.
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Key Concept: Original Order

Videos should be organized in a way that preserves the context of their creation.
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Key Concept: Metadata

Metadata is the basis for organizing your content.
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Key Concept: Findability

Good organization supports navigation and retrieval, and contributes to the findability of an item.
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The Archiving Workflow

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