The DAM Lowdown returns with: A new web scraper from Helium, the second annual DAMMY awards, the Golf Channel implements IPV, Handmark chooses Unicorn Media for mobile video and Widen discusses SaaS DAM vs. installed DAM.

Helium Software Releases Helium Scraper

While we spend a great deal of time covering the big software platforms that manage digital assets, we rarely mention the smaller applications that help create those libraries of digital media.

Helium Software provides one such application in its latest product -- Helium Scraper. The application is aptly named, considering that it does, in fact, scrape web content. However, it does quite a bit more than simply pull down everything from a given URL.

After going through the introductory video below, which I recommend to get a better idea of how the software works, my first impression is that Helium Scraper is a combination of a downloader like wget and record/playback software like Selenium.

Users can select specific data elements on a web page for scraping and then the scraping can be controlled. Before you dust off your Perl scripting skills, you may give Helium Scraper a try.

The Second Annual DAMMY Awards

You just thought that the Oscars and the Nobel prizes were important. Those awards don't come close to the stature or respect reserved for the DAMMY awards. Okay, maybe that is a slight exaggeration.

Nevertheless, excellence in digital asset management should be recognized and thus -- The DAMMY Awards.

Entries for the DAMMYs will be accepted April 1, 2011 through August 1, 2011 in the following categories:

  • DAMMY of the Year
  • Best Storage, Archive and/or Preservation Solution
  • Best Example of Asset and Media Repurposing
  • Best Strategy or Solution for Digital and Media Asset Management During the Acquisition of Content
  • Best Example of Ease of Use for End-User Interface

The winners will be announced at the New York Createasphere Digital Asset Management Conference on September 22-23, 2011. More information can be found through Createasphere.

The Golf Channel Implements IPV

Just in time for, arguably, the most prestigious golf tournament in the world, the Golf Channel announces its intention to implement IPV's Curator Production Asset Management System.

IPV already knows the Golf Channel through the recently completed implementation of an advanced browse solution for live logging and highlight creation in the Golf Channel's Orlando, Fla., broadcast facility.

The addition of Curator enables the Golf Channel to consolidate metadata and material from the following sources:

  • Avid Interplay
  • Avid AirSpeed
  • Avid ISIS
  • Dixon Sports Computing's sports logger
  • Front Porch Digital's DIVArchive
  • The existing Golf Channel library

According to Ken Botelho, Senior Director of Engineering at Golf Channel: 

The system’s ability to search media and metadata across different databases and ingest points and have this media readily available at the desktop, was essential to our collaborative production process. The beauty of the tool is that these files are made instantaneously available to operators annotating bookmarking and cutting the highlights packages, even while the material is still ingesting.”

Handmark Chooses Unicorn Media for Mobile Video

You have heard of Handmark from such popular mobile applications as TweetCaster or PocketExpress. The accomplished creator and distributor of software for multiple mobile platforms now moves into video content syndication.

Unicorn Media provides a patented technology platform, called Unicorn ONCE, which enables content to be ingested at a single point and then be distributed to any Internet-connected device. Along with distribution, Unicorn Media also provides tools for dynamic ad integration and advanced analytics.

Handmark looks to Unicorn Media to provide a solution that optimizes workflows and supports syndication of video to existing mobile platforms while also being prepared for the emerging mobile market.

Widen Discusses SaaS DAM vs. Installed DAM

Widen Enterprises (news, site), a provider of web-based digital asset management solutions and a technology company with over 60 years of experience, addresses the decision facing many IT managers: Our Hardware (Installed DAM) or Their Hardware (SaaS DAM).

Because Widen is a SaaS DAM vendor, the blog post is persuasive in nature -- as all good sales copy should be. However, the article does cover four important aspects that must be discussed as part of the decision-making process. Those four aspects are:

  1. Time -- Does your organization have the time to wait for an in-house solution to be installed and configured?
  2. Support -- Once your in-house solution is up and running, does your staff have the time and expertise to provide the necessary support?
  3. Scalability -- Will your organization be able to afford scaling an in-house solution appropriately -- think licenses, hardware, and people?
  4. Cost -- When you look at TCO, which one makes the most sense at the end of the day?

The full article can be found on the Widen Enterprises Blog.

Thanks for another great week and we will be back on Monday with the latest news from the DAM world.