Audio Metadata Standards

Sound Bytes: Audio Metadata Standards in Slightly More than Six Seconds

an ALCTS Program

Saturday, June 25, 2011 | 10:30am–noon

Track: Collection Management and Technical Services

Subtrack: Preservation

Do you work with digital audio materials? You're in luck!  New audio metadata standards are coming soon.  Get a sneak peek from those who are actively developing them, and learn how they can enhance your description and long-term preservation of digital audio materials. The session will be in three parts:

Metadata is key to long-term access and preservation of digital information. While this need is well understood, the existence and use of standards is not. The Preservation Administrators Interest Group formed a task force, under the leadership of Janet Gertz, Head of Preservation, Columbia University Libraries, to collect and disseminate existing standards for audio collections management. The presentation begins by defining metadata as it pertains to sound recordings, looks at current practice and options, and demonstrates how the use of standards makes your life easier and sets you on the path to sound file management nirvana.

Mike Casey will provide an introduction and update to the emerging  technical and digital provenance metadata standards from the Audio Engineering Society. He will also discuss how these standards may be applied in developing software applications and will demo the Audio Technical Metadata Collector developed by the Sound Directions project at Indiana University.

Jane Otto will discuss the efforts of Rutgers University Libraries to implement the Audio Engineering Society’s (AES) draft “Audio Object” schema, AES-X098B, extend it for moving images, align it with existing standards, and integrate it with technical metadata for text, three-dimensional objects, and graphics in Rutgers' OpenMIC open source bibliographic utility.


  • George Blood, Safe Sound Archive
    George Blood has been actively recording live concerts since 1982, and has documented over 4,000 live events. From 1984 through 1989 he was a producer at WFMT-FM, where he recorded and edited some 600 nationally syndicated radio programs. He has recorded or produced over 200 CDs, 3 of which were nominated for Grammy Awards. He was a Recording Engineer for The Philadelphia Orchestra for 21 years, serving Maestros Riccardo Muti and Wolfgang Sawallisch.
    George Blood Audio, L.P. (formerly Safe Sound Archive) was founded in 1992 as a repository for the thousands of recordings he had accumulated, and to house the recital archives of the Curtis Institute of Music, and concert recordings of The Philadelphia Orchestra—which previously had been stored in an unheated warehouse and the “smoking lounge” of a local radio station. Each month the company digitizes approximately 1,000 hours of audio and video collections from around the country, and its members are active in researching workflow, best practices, metadata, authentication, and interchangeability of digital information. George is also active as teacher and presenter at conferences and workshops. He currently serves on committees for IASA, AES, ALA, MLA, and the advisory board to Brenda Nelson-Strauss for the National Recording Preservation Plan.
  • Michael T. Casey, Associate Director for Recording Services, Archives of Traditional Music, Indiana University
    Mike Casey is the Associate Director at Indiana University’s Archives of Traditional Music and the Co-Chair of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections’ Technical Committee. He is the co-author of Sound Directions: Best Practices for Audio Preservation and managing director for the Sound Directions project at Indiana University. Mike is the creator of FACET: The Field Audio Collection Evaluation Tool and is the author of FACET Format Characteristics and Preservation Problems, a document that explores degradation issues for audio formats. He also authored the Indiana University Media Preservation Survey report which explores degradation, obsolescence, and research value issues for the half million media objects held by the Bloomington campus. He is currently leading the development of open source software for the collection of audio preservation metadata and is adjunct faculty in the School of Library and Information Science where he teaches a class in audio preservation.
  • Jane Otto, Media and Music Metadata Librarian, Rutgers University Libraries
     Bio: Jane Johnson Otto is Media and Music Metadata Librarian at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, where she contributes to the ongoing development of the University repository’s data model and metadata strategy and oversees music and media cataloging. She has been an architect and developer of the NSF-funded Moving Image Collections portal and the Getty-funded Women Artist Archives National Database. A leader in metadata for moving images, she has over 20 years experience as a working cataloger at the UCLA Film and Television Archive, the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA), and given numerous presentations on metadata standards and moving image cataloging.

Sponsored by the ALCTS Metadata Interest Group.