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Digital preservation

Logo Presto CentreEURIX is involved in the EU funded project PrestoPRIME, where is responsible for developing the P4 (PrestoPrimePreservationPlatform) under open source license, a framework for digital preservation OAIS compliant, able to plug-into the several tools and software provided by the project partners. This activity is still running and will be published at the project web site as well as at the PrestoCENTRE portal.

Together with CNR (Pisa), EURIX is investigating how to set up autonomous, automatic digital preservation:  the "autonomic preservation", novel approach still under analysis, already accepted as position paper at the UNESCO conference in Vancouver (September 2012) [UNESCO2012].

Other current research activities are related to the Preservation Metadata, especially for audiovisual contents.
OAIS specification recommends the Preservation Description Information (PDI) to be sticked to the SIP package and these are strictly related to the content itself.

digital preservation image, old books and PCActually these information are dramatically important for long term preservation, especially for audiovisual contents. Currently the PDI described in OAIS, because of its general purpose, lacks addressing the specific needs of audiovisual contents. In order to cover this gap, together with NIST [NIST] and within the PrestoPRIME project, EURIX started the promotion of a novel standard, able to support the long term preservation of audiovisual contents, especially regarding the specific metadata needed for describing audiovisual material. For example, concerning the provenance we have to deal with master and wife copies and we have to take into account the several audiovisual format migration, which includes codecs and wrappers [Allasia_FIAT2011].  Also fixity information, dealing with large size files such as those created in high quality video production, must be tailored specifically to new audiovisual needs. "Compression" represents an issue if you want to evaluate an hash code (MD5, SHA1,etc) for your digital content to preserve. Due to their large size, the hash computation must work on subparts of the files. Although this can be done easily with plain byte array files, when compression (and Group Of Pictures) is introduced, chunks to be processed must be taken accordingly to the compression algorithms, in order to have cuts meaningful, limiting the risk to loose fixity information of single tokens. Hence, with experience matured in PrestoPRIME and gathering feedbacks from broadcasters and professional organizations such as FIAT-IFTA [FIAT-IFTA], together with NIST, EURIX has created a new MPEG Ad Hoc Group on Multimedia Preservation [AhG_MP].

Started in mid 2011, the MPEG Group intends to standardize a Multimedia Preservation Description Information (MPDI) framework in order to enable users to plan, execute, and evaluate preservation operations (e.g., checking preserved content integrity, migrating preserved content from one system to another system, replicating subpart or entire preserved content, etc.) to achieve the objectives of digital preservation [N1263]. The goal is to provide the industry with a coherent and consistent approach to management of multimedia preservation that can be implemented in a variety of applications, systems, and methods, using different hardware and software, in different administrative domains, and independently of technological changes [N1263]. A formal call for proposal on MPDI is under finalization at the moment of writing, collection contributions to develop the MPDI standard in next years. A specific reflector has been created, open to everybody to contribute [MP_refl].

References:

  • [NIST] National Institute of Standards and Technology - Last visited: 05 Apr 2012
  • [Allasia_FIAT2011] W. Allasia. Multimedia Preservation Standardization. Report from 2011 FIAT/IFTA Media Management Commission Seminar in Toronto, Oct 2011.
  • [FIAT-IFTA] Federation Internationale des Archives de Television - International Federation of Television Archives - Last visited: 05 Apr 2012
  • [AhG_MP] MPEG Ad hoc Group on Multimedia Preservation - Last visited: 05 Apr 2012
  • [N1263] ISO/IEC JTC1/SC29/WG11. N1263 - Draft Call for Proposal on Multimedia Preservation Description Information (MPDI). February 2012.
  • MPEG Multimedia Preservation Ad hoc Group Reflector - [MP Refl]
  • [UNESCO2012Vancouver Conference Proceedings, pg. 976