The Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing has announced its partnership with digital archiving and migration specialists BMS/Chace and the Library of Congress’ “Preserving Creative America” program on a project to create a standardized protocol for music-related metadata that would travel with recorded music projects from inception to archive.
“We are extremely proud to be a part of this important project,” says Maureen Droney, executive director of the Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing. “It addresses many challenges in today’s recording industry that stem from our rapid transition to the digital environment, such as the lack of proper crediting and other critical metadata, as well as cohesive deliverables and other information critical to the life span of a musical project.”
The goals of the BMS/Chace project include creating a data dictionary and collection tools that will incorporate all fields related to the files that are part of a recording deliverable—from multitrack and stereo mix files to ancillary files, including e-commerce. The intention of the project is to have these fields harmonized with existing work from SMPTE, DDEX, AES and other relevant standards organizations to create a compatible metadata environment that includes common business-related fields such as ISRC codes, official song titles, producer and engineer credits, and copyright ownership. Other partners in the project include Sony BMG Music, Universal Music Group, EMI Group and Disney Music Group.
“The adoption of digital recording has virtually eliminated the vital documentation once created on paper during the recording process,” explains BMS/Chace president John Spencer. “We are losing valuable content when files are not being identified properly and incorporated into the asset management strategy. A standardized metadata environment will allow content creators, record labels, individuals and cultural heritage institutions to document, archive, manage and re-purpose ‘born-digital’ recordings effectively.”
Preserving Creative America is an initiative of the Library of Congress’ National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP), which addresses the long-term preservation of creative content produced in digital form. It targets preservation issues across a broad range of creative works, including digital photographs, motion pictures, sound recordings and videogames. Projects will be conducted by a combination of industry trade associations, private sector companies and nonprofits, as well as cultural heritage institutions, among which are the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Academy Awards), Universal Press Syndicate (UPS) and the UCLA Film & Television Archives.
“America’s creativity is unrivaled in the world, and it is among our most important exports,” says Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. “The Library is pleased to be able to bring together creators of such diverse content for the sake of saving our nation’s heritage, which is increasingly being created only in digital formats.”