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Keynote speech given at the Broadcast Content Management Conference BY Ashley Highfield (09 Jun 2005)
Traditionally a manual and arduous process, the creation and collection of the data that describes content is becoming increasingly more automated, although nowhere near perfect.

BBC News is currently trialling the Virage software as a means of capturing data on news programmes to help you find the right clips, the news stories of interest to you. It's clever stuff: it works by not just by looking at a programme's description, but by converting the speech and dialogue within it to text, and putting that in a database. It's more accurate and comprehensive than compiling metadata from subtitles - and, after a number of years of hard slog, it works.

Together with projects like TV Anytime, a set of standards developed by the BBC's Research & Development department, which labels and manages content across a number of platforms, you can start to see the future possibilities of finding the content you want no matter what device it is stored upon.

Indeed, one such product in development from the BBC will rely heavily on such advanced metadata if it is to succeed. Stapler is an aggregation tool in development, which in essence pulls together diverse BBC assets and 'staples' them together around an editorial proposition.

Still in its early development stages, the service uses cutting edge 'barcode' technology which is read by a camera phone and enables you to grab content when you see the special BBC Stapler barcode on a poster, a magazine, or the TV, and then provides you with the right content - tailored for you, tailored for the device you're using, and tailored for where you are.

The service requires amazing levels of metadata - from both our archive and current broadcast output - to work well, and true multi-platform authoring of all our content. To give you a taster of what you may experience in three to five years' time, here's a brief working demonstration.
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