Legendary weekend comedy show archives 40+ years of media on Cloudian

Cloudian Customer Case Study

Active archives are an increasingly critical part of the media workflow. Today, the need for highly scalable and quickly accessible archives is greater than ever as higher resolution media demands more capacity and media re-use requirements multiply in multi-format, time-pressured workflows.


A well-known weekly, weekend comedy show was experiencing these challenges firsthand. Having outgrown the capabilities of their tape archive, they urgently needed a faster, more reliable, highly scalable archive solution to provide their post-production staff speedy access to 40+ years of content — over 800 episodes, millions of digital assets, and petabytes of data. And they required a less labor-intensive process that would eliminate tape handling and migrations.


The Challenge of Achieving Flexible and Searchable Archive

The show’s previous archive solution employed tape libraries along with an offsite warehouse for long-term storage. Archiving was controlled via a media asset manager which maintained the asset database.


To ensure integrity, it was periodically necessary to read and re-write the tapes to newer tape media. In addition to the headache of merely transferring the tape data from tape to tape, were the regular format transitions that occurred when tape readers progressed from one generation to another. As the post production supervisor put it, “over the course of my career, I’ve seen every part of the chain get changed. Ensuring access through all of those transitions has itself been a full-time job.”


Beyond the interoperability challenges, tape was unreliable. The tape libraries, tape readers and tapes themselves could all fail at inopportune moments. The manager recalled, “many times I’ve had my hand in the library trying to fix a jam while the robot is whizzing around in there. When we’re on a deadline, we do what it takes, but sometimes it’s perilous.” Tapes also present logistical challenges. Tapes had to be moved among sites, and when it was necessary to retrieve them, even the traffic could be a factor in meeting a deadline.


Another limitation of tape is the ability to find assets. The search capabilities were only as good as the underlying media asset manager. When searching for specific clips, the producers were limited to the MAM capabilities and the indexing decisions that had been made years ago. “It seemed crazy that in the era of Google we would be limited by primitive search of our most valuable resource, but we were. Finding media could take hours if not days,” the manager added.


Read more: https://cloudian.com/resource/case-studies/legendary-weekend-comedy-show-archives-40-years-media-cloudian-object-storage/?utm_source=nurtureemail&utm_medium=email&mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiT1dRMk1qQXlOMlZqTlRZdyIsInQiOiJiT3RlZXRzQUlmUnhLell6VGJDSkl3eGZmVzRwam8wTldFS0JpM054VTVcL1pcL2hHZTNWQkw0aHJ1NDZ1VkxYOUFTdHJWSWh6eWMzRFJhTk41ZG5mQUxGdzUzNCszQmEzcU81SHZZeDJRZitCaE9pc2pZUHRWOEI1NUxuVG81a2VKIn0%3D

TM Broadcast International

Broadcast and audiovisual digital magazine