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FADGI’s Diverse Approaches to Digital Video Format Guidance

Title (author1): 
First names (author1): 
Surname (author 1): 
Library of Congress
Other authors: 
Carl Fleischhauer, Bert Lyons, Guha Shankar
Presentation type: 
spoken paper
9 October Thursday
Start time: 
CFB Committee Room

The U.S. Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative (FADGI) Audio-Visual Working Group has three subgroups working on file format guidance products related to creating and archiving digital video. The lead video effort entails the development of AS-07, a specialized profile of the MXF format tailored to serve preservation. Some of the features include carriage of multiple timecodes, frame-level checksums, closed captioning and subtitles as well as supplemental metadata. A complement to the MXF work for those institutions that want to explore other format options is the Digitized Video subgroup’s matrix which compares target wrappers and encodings against a set list of criteria that come into play when reformatting analog videotapes. The evaluation attributes include format sustainability, system implementation, cost, and settings and capabilities. Finally, the Born Digital Video (BDV) subgroup takes a lifecycle approach to born-digital video by focusing on guiding principles. Case histories from a variety of federal agencies explore the range of choices to be made – and consequences from those choices – in both creating and archiving born digital video. File creation case histories emphasize the advantages of starting with high quality data capture; archiving case histories explore options for identifying the composition of video files and evaluating their characteristics to better understand if action is warranted and if so, when the action needs to be taken. These case histories will help establish the groundwork for current practices with an eye towards eventually developing formats recommendations. These efforts build on related projects, especially the 2011 report by George Blood for the Library of Congress titled Determining Suitable Digital Video Formats for Medium-term Storage as well as ongoing work on extracting data from optical discs. The format comparisons support the ongoing work of the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives Technical Committee as they draft a general guideline for video preservation. FADGI’s guidance products will be available through its public website: