SC-03-07 meeting, New York, 2005-10

Report of the meeting of SC-03-07 Working Group on Audio Metadata of the SC-06 Subcommittee on Network and File Transfer of Audio, held in New York, NY, US, 2005-10-09

The meeting was convened by chair C. Chambers

The agenda and the report of the previous meeting, 2005-05-28, were accepted as written.

Development projects

AES-X071: Liaison with SMPTE Registration Authority
Project scope: to formalize a working relationship with the SMPTE Registration Authority

Assigned to: SC-03-07, Initiated: 1997;
Intent: Liaison, Target: Continuing;
Current goal: Status report, Goal date: Continuing;
Status: No action required

AES-X114: Metadata review
Project scope: to study and report on the methods and techniques for attaching and implementing metadata through all aspects of interfacing real-time and file-transfer audio, including, where related to audio, other metadata related to other media. The scope includes metadata for professional recording, sound reinforcement, production, broadcasting, and transmission as well as the exchange of metadata and associated audio among different organizations. It also includes the development of techniques, such as UML, to aid the description of the relationships and flow of metadata requirements in an open and recognised way.

Assigned to: SC-03-07, Initiated: 2001-01;
Intent: Review, Target: Continuing;
Current goal: Status report, Goal date: Continuing

A discussion ensued on metadata work, especially for professional audio, over the last year. The EBU report on Middleware and system integration (Tech 3300 and Tech 3300s) as introduced in May was briefly review for the benefit of those not present at the last meeting.

A question was tabled asking how domestic digital media items such as cameras seem to be able to exchange basic metadata between different manufactures and software tools. One if the standards used by digital cameras for instance is EXIF (EXchangeable Image File) format, which was first produced by the Japan Electronic Industry Development Association in the late 1990s. There are a number of software tools available on the web that allows the extraction of the metadata tags from media produced in this standard. This work may well be also standardise in the IEC by now. It was felt that this was an excellent example of what is needed for professional audio in both file and streamed formats.

It was noted that Dolby Labs was working on a disclosure document within SMPTE that describes in detail all the metadata generated and carried in Dolby digital streams. While this in not an open standard, this structure being propriety, it is an attempt to provide freely available descriptions of the metadata carried in Dolby media.

A discussion then ensued on the issue of core sets of metadata for exchange and the need for proper definitions for entries in such a set. I-XML and A-XML (DVD pro audio and additional information within BWAV) was also discussed and the roles of various parties in managing the content of these.

It was noted that the insertion of unique IDs into AES3 (AES-X111) would be posted for public comment as AES52-20xx in the next few weeks.

AES-X134: Core audio metadata XML definition
Project scope: "To study and produce a standardised set of XML tags, along with their definitions, that describes the core set of metadata to accompany professional audio when being transferred by file or streamed formats."

Assigned to: SC-03-07, Initiated: 2002-09-23;
Intent: Report, Target: 2005;
Current goal: PTD, Goal date: 2006-05;
Status: PTD expected

It was hoped that members of this working group would post a core set of XML tags along with their meaning on the reflector by the time of this meeting. However, this had not happened but it is hoped that this could be done soon. The group discussed issues around what a minimum core set could consist of such as numbers of items, if the metadata is technical, administrative or descriptive and so on. It was noted that SC-03-06 had a document that was nearly complete, which contained a potentially usable set based on Dublin core that is almost entirely descriptive. It was suggested that if no other contributions were made, the tag names originally suggested by NRK could be harmonized with the work done with SC-03-06 in AES-X098 (as document X098-PTD-SEC-040906) and this proposed as a starting point for use in this workgroup. From discussions around the table, it was clear that there is a good bit of important work to do!

It was hoped that those interested in this set would post proposals soon if this work is to proceed.

AES-X138: IFPI Liaison
Assigned to: SC-03-07, Initiated: 2003-03;
Intent: Liaison, Target: Continuing;
Current goal: Status report, Goal date: Continuing;
Status: Continuing


There is informal liaison with the EBU P/MAG group as at least one member of this group is also a member of that EBU group.

New Projects:

No new projects were received or proposed.

New business:

There was no new business.

The next meeting will be scheduled in conjunction with the AES 120th Convention in Paris, France, 2006-05.

AES - Audio Engineering Society