The Open Media Foundation's last deliverable for the Open Media Project Knight Foundation grant is a shared content solution for the OMP partners. Our proposed solution differs from existing solutions in that we want to enable automated or user-driven content-sharing, as opposed to the admin-focused solutions that exist with PEGMedia or the ACM/Telvue solution... For example, we want a community member in San Fran, searching for "Cambodian Comedy" videos to see the matching files in SF, and also see a lower-tier of search results from other OMP partner sites. If they like a show they see which was contributed from Denver's Cambodian Comedians, we want that local SF member to be able to "sponsor" or vote on that show and (based on scheduling rules for their station) have the broadcast file transferred to air on the SF Public Access TV station.
From the beginning, we've explored the benefits of a centralized media repository, vs a distributed solution. In either case, the media module panel today showed how this process will be simpler in Drupal 7, with streamwrappers which allow nonlocal files to be viewed on your website.
Here's a summary of the conversation happening at the Open Media Foundation so-far, broken down into the centralized and distributed approach.
From the beginning, we've liked the idea of a distributed approach that doesn't tax any single provider of storage or bandwidth, and fits the general approach of the Public Access and Community Media environment. The idea here is to host a Centralized Metadata Server that would be the master of all metadata and file-locations for the OMP media content of all stations, and would contain the database that let the SF webserver see the Cambodian Comedy files from Denver and other partner sites, and would facilitate the movement of those files when necessary.
Because a significant end-goal of the Open Media Project is enabling our communities to find the top-rated content out of tens or hundreds of thousands of hours of content, the centralized metadata server would help manage and coordinate voting, comments, and other community feedback across sites, and let stations automatically schedule a "best Community Media of the Week" for example, featuring the top-rated content from across all OMP partners. This will also help reduce duplication of files and metadata, or the confusion of different copies of identical shows, as they are shared between stations (so we don't accidentally recognize each new copy of a video as an independent show).
We have a unique opportunity through partnering with Archive.org to work with an organization who can provide nearly limitless storage and bandwidth without charging the OMP partners. We'll be meeting with Archive.org on Friday this week to discuss the challenges we're facing with our unique metadata needs, and hopefully get this process moving.
After hearing ArthurF's discussion of the media module in D7, I asked him about how we could use streamwrappers to bypass local bandwidth, local transcoding, and local storage of media files using Archive.org. He explained how our media ingest process could upload files directly to Archive.org (never hitting local storage or bandwidth), allowing Archive to transcode the files and manage large, remote uploads, and (if we could coordinate it with Archive) spit-out the broadcast-quality version back to the Access Station. This isn't a necessity in Denver of SF, since we have enough local storage, bandwidth, and transcoding capacity to make Archive.org the last step in the process, but it would be possible to make them the first step in the process, and off-load the majority of the work and expenses to Archive. Arthur explained how this would possible even in D6, but will be easier in D7.
Of course, none of this matters if OMP members don't use Creative Commons. Its our position that the content-sharing system should not support the exchange of content without CC licenses. We hope to have a solution that is at least sharing the content of SF and Denver (the only two partners who have so-far committed to enforcing CC) by the end of June.