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Do you hear that rushing sound? It’s the sound of FIMS getting louder.

Only published comments... Sep 28 2011, 12:00 AM by Al Kovalick


It’s the sound of a new era in building media workflows.




The logo spells it out, FIMS is about media services. The idea of services is not new. Google, Twitter, YouTube and 1000s of other web sites offer service interfaces to remotely initiate an action, export data, import a file, query for something, and other you-name-it things. FIMS specs how media services should operate and cooperate in a professional, multi-vendor, IT environment -- not just through a web site interface.


FIMS is based on the concepts of a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA). So what makes it different from the run-of-the-mill SOA business environment? Plenty. For one, FIMS is designed from the ground up to be media friendly for broadcast, production, post production, media distribution, and media archive applications. It understands large files (TB+), frame accuracy, and long task times (transcode). It’s media aware Lego Blocks for building workflows.


At the just completed IBC 2011 in Amsterdam, Avid participated in a joint technology demo along with Sony, IBM, Cinegy, and Cube-Tec. These five vendors worked cooperatively to show file-based camera capture, ingest, transcoding, audio processing and final display in a Media Composer timeline. This was the first European demo of FIMS. Many hundreds of people saw three fundamental FIMS services (ingest, transcode, move) lashed together to implement the 2 minute camera driven workflow.


FIMS is the joint brainchild of the Advanced Media Workflow Association (AMWA.TV) and the European Broadcast Union (EBU.CH). To date, there are over 100 participating members aligned with FIMS efforts. See for more info and to download the recently produced FIMS 1.0 spec.


Some comments heard during the IBC demo; “Wow, this is what I need now” ,  “How can I join the effort?” , “This is a crucial step in making SOA work for me”. Avid is a contributing member to FIMS on many levels. We intend to integrate its principles into our Integrated Media Enterprise products over time.


Yes, FIMS is making big noises. Fortunately, it’s a sweet sound to those of us creating the new world of agile media workflows.



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About Al Kovalick

Al is a Strategist and Fellow with Avid. Previously, he was with HP as a Systems Architect and served as the CTO of Pinnacle Systems. He is an active speaker and educator and authored the 2009 book Video Systems in an IT Environment – The Basics of Networked Media and File-Based Workflows ( Al has an MSEE degree from the University of California at Berkeley and holds 18 US and foreign patents. He is a member of the AMWA Board of Directors. Al is active in SMPTE Standards and is a contributor to the FIMS specifications. He is a SMPTE Fellow.

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