Organizing Video

Tools for Media Management

Using your Finder or File Explorer to browse organized directories and folders may be perfectly sufficient for your needs. However, if you need to navigate or sort your files in more complex ways there are many tools ranging from simple to highly sophisticated that you can use alongside your organized directories.

Personal Media Management Applications

Personal media management tools often come pre-installed on your computer, or can be purchased for a low cost. These systems are usually very easy to use, but are limited in their functionality, so are best suited to small collections. Some examples include:

Note that personal media management tools are not usually built to allow you to export your information to other systems. If you enter a description of a video in iTunes library, for example, you cannot easily move that information into another system later on.

Video Production Media Management Systems

Media management systems built for video production usually offer extra functionality beyond organizing your videos, which you may or may not need, such as logging, transcoding, batch processing tools and integration with video editing systems. These systems also usually provide more access to your video’s technical metadata. Some examples include:

Customized Databases Applications

If you have the in-house resources, you can customize off-the-shelf database applications to function as both a media management and a cataloging tool. This will take substantial time and know-how to develop, but will be specific to your needs. See “Catalog” in the workflow for more information. Common database applications include:

Institutional- or Enterprise-Level Collection Management Systems

Museums, libraries, and corporations use specialized systems to manage their collections and repositories. These systems usually require professional support to install, customize and maintain. They are suited to large collections. Some examples include:

In This Section
  1. Introduction
  2. Filenames
  3. Using Unique Identifiers
  4. Folders and Directories
  5. Tools for Media Management
  • 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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