Carl, interesting you should ask.  When NAMTC first began looking at the
issue of standardizing metadata, they really only identified bibliographic
data as metadata.  Part of my proposal back to NAMTC was to point out that
for digital objects such as this metadata has grown by necessity past
bibliographic data (something I believe everyone already working in this
field had already identified and in fact done pretty extensive work on).

I identified, after some initial research into METS, MPEG 21, and other
standards, 6 types of metadata that this particular group (the educational
video market) might be interested in:

-- Bibliographic

-- What I termed concordance, what I believe you are terming descriptive
metadata - that is, data that describes elements of the content and is
aligned to the content in a spatio-temporal way.  That is, a description of
who and what is on screen at 5:43 into the video, etc.  We in fact are using
Virage (interesting you should identify that) as our indexing package, and
of course are supplementing its automatically defined data with human
entered data.  Which, I am sure you are aware, is an excessively long and
difficult process.

--Structural, as you say, to keep actual digital files linked together into
a single digital work.  Recently, after reading Priscilla Caplan's "Metadata
Fundamentals for All Librarians" I have begun to see the need for
super-structure data as well - linking different digital works together into
collections or series based on use, topic, or other reasons the original
content creator linked various works (I believe here is also where FRBR has
an impact).

-- Technical, as you identify below.  NAMTC is also trying to standardize
formats for digital video for content creators to make available (for
instance, 384 Kbps MPEG 4 as one standard, 1.15 Mbps MPEG 1 as another), to
try and cut down on the disparity of digital video formats out there.  This
type of work is really already being tackled however by groups like the ISMA
( and MPEG themselves.  I am sure we are all aware
however of the trouble MPEG 4 has had getting off the ground.

-- Administrative, including rights management.  As a content producer, this
is clearly very important to us.  Though I recently read a analysis of how
this fits into the metadata world as part of the MPEG 21 statement of intent
that I thought summed up the problem well - consumers of content are only
going to accept DRM and IPRM if it does not inhibit their fair use of the

-- Pedagogical, which would be where a standard of metadata would start to
cross over with standards of teaching packages such as NISO's Learning
Object Model standard (formally IMS's standard).

I did not identify preservation data initially because as current content
producers we are not dealing with any content in a format in threat of
deterioration in the near future.  However, I know libraries and archives
are using digital as a preservation technique and any standard we would use
as a current content producer we would want to fit into the needs of the
library, including working with archive management systems that expect some
level of preservation data.  We would like to record the process of how the
files were created as well, as we feel it is important data for a customer
to have to understand the quality of the source material the quality
assurance used to create the digital material.  Similar to CD's in the
consumer market, it is easy for the consumer to think that because the
format is digital quality it makes all the sound the same quality, when in
fact the process used to create the CD is the most important factor in

In my initial proposal back to NAMTC, I identified bibliographic,
concordance, and structural as data that should be immediately available
(due to this industry's long use of MARC, for instance) or of the most
immediate value.  The other types are going to be a little harder to achieve
and create I believe, which is to not to say that in the end all of the
types are not of important value.  In fact, I identified these types after
seeing the work already done on METS and MPEG 21 because it is clear from
the work all of you have done that all of the types are required to really
make management and use of a digital collection possible.

Hope that answers your question.

Thank you for the intriguing posting.  Some of us are also looking forward
to managing video in digital-file form and share your interest in the
general topic of appropriate metadata.  But help us with a clarification:

-- To what degree is your interest in "bibliographic" or
"descriptive" metadata, the kind of information that supports resource
discovery?  If in this category, does your interest include the output of
logging software, e.g., Virage?

-- To what degree is your interest in what digital library folks call
"structural" metadata, the kind that is needed to, say, keep a
multi-file/multi-part object wrapped as a package, for delivery or for

-- To what degree is your interest in the kinds of technical metadata that
might describe the characteristics of files in an object package, e.g.,
"this is MPEG-4 Simple Profile, with a picture size of 360 lines and 240
samples per line."

-- To what degree is your interest in metadata needed to support systems
that manage access to files, e.g., rights, restrictions, or payment data?

-- To what degree is your interest in the kinds of "preservation metadata"
that is presently being cooked up by RLG/OCLC

Best wishes,

Carl Fleischhauer
Project Coordinator
Office of Strategic Initiatives
Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20540-1330