Audio Visual Working Group Charter
NOTE: PDF for Charter not available yet, should be soon
Version of July 14, 2008
The goal of this project is to identify, establish, and disseminate information about standards and practices for the digital reformatting of audio-visual materials by federal agencies. The acceptance of a common body of digitization standards and practices will provide the public with products of uniform quality, set common benchmarks for digitization service providers, support content preservation for the long term, and facilitate the exchange of findings from related research.
The effort will cover sound and video recordings and motion picture film. The main focus of the work is on the reformatting of older materials, with limited discussion of the formatting of born-digital content. The term formatting is used here to cover (a) encoding; (b) file formats and/or wrappers, e.g., the Broadcast Wave File and the Material Exchange Format (MXF); and (c) content-bundling formats, ranging from examples like METS to ZIP. The activity will also examine the non-descriptive metadata associated with the content and the digitization process, i.e., metadata in categories sometimes called technical, administrative, digital provenance, and preservation. The project will consider metadata encapsulated within files or other packages as well as metadata maintained or transmitted in conjunction with files. Although derivative representations of content (e.g., listening or viewing versions for Web dissemination) are within scope, the primary focus of this project is the creation and validation of digital masters.
All United States government agencies and institutions involved in digitization activities within the scope described in this charter are encouraged to participate. All agencies desiring to participate will designate one or more representatives. These representatives will include staff responsible for, involved with, or possessing special knowledge of audio-visual digitization. While representatives may limit their participation to specific areas, a core group will be required to be involved throughout the full process of drafting, review and finalization of the joint standards. Other participants may elect have a lower level of involvement limited to providing comments and opinions on draft standards awaiting approval.
The technology for reformatting audio-visual content and for the capture and manipulation of related metadata elements is specialized and constantly evolving. In order to assist the project team in identifying and developing standards and guidelines, corporate, academic, and governmental experts will be engaged as required and as resources permit.
Standards and practices will be defined and evaluated in terms of objectives. Why are reformatted copies of content being made? What uses will these copies support? What can be said about the time-frame during which those uses will occur? Do the preceding considerations vary from one content class to another? An important first step for the project will be to identify broad classes of content and to define the reformatting objectives and use cases associated with each class.
Last Updated: 12/28/2012