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MetaRex FAQ - Engineering

Free Software? What!? When?

Our main goals are to create three bodies of work that will be freely downloadable from our GitHub repository.  

  1. A test suite that can wrap, unwrap and validate a MetaRex container.  This will be kept in sync with the specification as we test use cases.
  2. A register that resolves MetaRex IDs to allow low code and no code metadata usage in real life situations.
  3. Open Source integrations for FFmpeg and multiple languages to support vendors in building systems.
.zip with a timeline

Media metadata almost always needs to be realted to one or more assets (video, audio, data) as well as to the timeline of the media clip, composition or programme.

Zipping up metadata or putting it in a tarball are common concepts, but associating it with frame accurate video, sample accurate audio, or the timebase of the stepper motors of a lens would have to be invented for these common formats.

The MXF standard was designed for the job, has been in production for 20 years and is seen by every consumer on the planet when they go to the cinemas. It seems an obvious candidate, given that putting the zip or the tarbal inside an MXF container is already standardised.

Welcome to MetaRex.

MetaRex Registry?

When FedEx put a barcode on your parcel, they're actually putting a reference to a register that contains metadata about the package.  What's in it? How heavy is it? Does it contain a live dinosaur so needs air?

MetaRex uses the same idea.  A magic number - the MetaRex ID - allows software to read specifications, schema and lists of online services to process classes of metadata.

As the register grows you'll be able to use it and test it and test systems at no cost during 2023 and 2024.  At the end of the project, the register will be gifted to a standards organisation for the long term.

Where's the GitHub?