SC-03-06 meeting, London, 2010-05

Report of the meeting of the SC-03-06 Working Group on Digital Library and Archive Systems of the SC-03 Subcommittee on the Preservation and Restoration of Audio Recording held in conjunction with the AES 128th Convention in London, UK, 2010-05-24.

The meeting was convened by SC chair C. Chambers.

The agenda was agreed as written with the minor amendment that the last meeting was held in New York not San Francisco. The report of the previous meeting, 2009-10-10, was accepted as written.

Development projects

AES-X098B: Audio object structures for preservation and restoration

Scope: To collect information on all metadata issues pertaining to digital audio objects and all aspects of the digital documentation of digital audio objects. This scope includes field structures to describe and provide access to the audio content contained in digital files. It includes transfer, preservation and restoration information.

Current status: Sec revised draft as soon as possible
Project intent: Standard; Initiated: 1999-12;
Target date for completion: 2009
Current goal: PWD; Target date for goal: 2009-11

It was noted that the chair of this group had recently posted the latest draft of this document and it was hoped that this meeting could see this being pushed forward to the next stage for approval. It was noted that this version is dated 2010-05-14.

The document was reviewed and the changes noted, accepting that the bulk of this document has not changed since the previous review.

Changes reviewed were;

  • the material layout where two figures have been added to clarify the identity of the layers on disks.
  • The introduction of a data layer and a stock brand attribute.
  • Tape gauge has been replaced by tape width and a figure has been added to clarify shell dimensions.
  • Time and time range have been changed in order to provide a sample accurate time reference generally referred to as "timeType" which should be common with other AES documents requiring time references.
  • Figures have been added to clarify the playback direction of tapes and cartridges both for mono and stereo and
  • a series of sub-clauses on packet-lists and packets.

The schemas are contained in Annex A and B. D. Ackerman is in the process of checking the integrity of these schemas with a view to moving this document on to the next stage. A "name-space" has been set up on the AES site in order to host these schemas that will be used by a number of AES groups for a similar purpose.

(Note: following this meeting there has been further developments on the "timeType" which will be posted on the reflector of both this group and SC-03-07. This is to ensure a coherent approach across the EBU and the AES).

AES-X098C: Administrative metadata for audio objects - Process history schema
Scope: To collect information on all metadata issues pertaining to digital audio objects and all aspects of the digital documentation of digital audio objects. This scope includes field structures to describe and provide access to the audio content contained in digital files. It includes transfer, preservation and restoration information.

Current status: Sec revised draft ASAP
Project intent: Standard; Initiated: 1999-12;
Target date for completion: 2010
Current goal: PWD; Target date for goal: 2009-11

A early draft has been on the FTP site for a while and Ackerman has reported that he will be updating this during the next month or so.

The meeting looked over the current AES-X098C document. One minor comment raised was on the subject of the "worker type" which it was thought could be common with the similar "entity type" and definition used in AES-X134. This was thought generally to be a good idea although will need handling carefully to ensure each project proceeds individually but with these areas harmonized. I could be of benefit for which ever of the two is first to go for call for comment to act as the master reference for both standards. This issue will be left to Ackerman to agree as he re-works the AES-X098C document. It was agreed that the definition used for "worker type" in AES-X098C was excellent.

It was also felt that it would be worth including a few words in the introduction of standards containing schemas saying something to the effect that the document may contain elements in common with other standards. All members of this group is encouraged to study the revised AES-X098C draft when Ackerman posts it during the coming months.

AES-X155: AES standard for audio metadata - Production recording metadata set (iXML)
Current status: Task group to produce PTD.
Project intent: Standard; Initiated: 2006-01;
Target date for completion: 2009
Current goal: PTD; Target date for goal: 2008-10

This is the project proposing to standardise the iXML chunk (within the Broadcast Wave, or AES31-3, file format) produced by members of the Institute of Broadcast Sound to enable the transfer of a normalised set of metadata during the exchange of media through the production process. iXML is already supported by a number of products already on the market. This chunk has been in use for around 4 years.

It was noted that the task group members have not been able to progress this currently but it is hoped that work can progress over the coming 12 months.

For all those interested in studying this proposal, document X155-IBS-draft-090206.doc is available on the FTP site. This document was studied at the meeting.

A significant issue that was noted was the fact that the drafted XML code was all in upper-case text and there was also a statement (4.4) that said that the XML code was not case sensitive! It was confirmed that, according to the basic XML standard, XML is very much case sensitive so this draft did not conform . This could have major interoperability issues if manufacturers have produced implementations of iXML variously in upper and lower case. It was strongly suggested that some manufactures be approached to see if they had implemented this is upper case, (as the current documentation infers) then 4.4 should be either be removed or changed to say the body of the standard is in upper case. This should be done as soon as possible from both this draft and the IBS iXML documentation. It was also noted as the document was studied, that due to the drafting work, a few lower case areas were noted but this will be fixed in later drafts.

It was suggested that the IBS should survey manufactures to ask how there have implemented the case issues along with the TRUE/FALSE tests. It was also suggested that some common examples should be included in this document.

It was suggested that a schema could be produced for iXML and T. Vaervagen agreed to produce this.

Liaisons:

There were no other liaison issues.

New Projects:

No new projects were received or proposed.

New business:

There is a proposal being raised in the IEC by TC100 TA7 to standardise the archiving of audio from the physical layer to the application layer. This is relevant to this group as it proposes to store file formats and metadata developed in the AES among other places. There followed a discussion on the pros and cons of using optical discs for long term archiving.

The next meeting will be scheduled in conjunction with the AES 129th Convention in San Francisco CA., US., 2010-10.

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