Staff across the BBC will soon have access to the metadata contained within the broadcaster’s archive from their desktop computers.

The archive function is the latest addition to the Digital Media Initiative (DMI) project’s file-based toolset, known as Fabric.

BBC chief technology officer John Linwood told Broadcast the broadcaster expects to begin making the archive function available to everyone in the BBC within a couple of months.

“All of the heavy users are already on DMI and over the coming months more and more of the peripheral users will come on board,” said Linwood.

“It is limited to 2,500 users at the moment and, once they are happy and it has settled down, we will open it up to everyone.

“We are looking at it mainly from a support point of view - we don’t want to have 30,000 users on the system all in need of attention.”

Linwood said the availability of “off-the-shelf tools” had prompted the BBC to shift the focus of DMI from production to archive.

“The BBC was ahead of the industry in terms of its requirements,” he added. “The vision that was painted for DMI six or seven years ago probably wasn’t realisable at the time because the technology didn’t exist.”

He added that the next phase of DMI would look to address the need to move digital content from production systems into the archive.

The BBC is also building a rough cutting tool with IBM and technology consultancy Mediasmiths.

  • The full interview with John Linwood appears in the next issue of Broadcast TECH on 7 September.