How to manage your videos as your library grows

The past several years have seen a large increase in the size of video libraries. This has been driven by the natural build-up of content from publishers and courseware from eLearning organisations and also by the emergence and growth of video-intensive businesses.

For businesses working with literally millions of videos, and libraries in the high-hundreds or thousands, managing such large volumes can often be complicated and frustrating. Old content gets forgotten, videos manually becomes virtually impossible. Organisations with growing libraries should plan ahead to automate their library management.

The rate of growth is important. When you reach the scale of producing an additional 10,000 videos on a daily basis, UI management features won’t cut the mustard. Enter our API to upload the videos we immediately give them a video ID number. Subsequently, they retrieve more info about the videos – whatever they need e.g. thumbnails, poster frames. No need to do any tagging because they’ve already got a video matched with a listing.

At vzaar we always aim to use our video platform expertise to provide functionality that is powerful, but simple to use. Our approach is based around Categories, Tags, Playlists and Search. Categories are the core feature. Subscribers to the vzaar platform can use Categories to organise their content, rather like folders and sub-folders. They are the primary taxonomy in vzaar and the most powerful method of organisation.

Typically, publishers organise their libraries by publication and date; eLearning organisations by faculty and course. 4One of our clients uses six levels of categorisation and you can often learn a lot about how companies operate from their category structure. Categories are the principal unit of organisation of your video library and Playlists can be created which pull videos from Categories automatically — if a video is added to a Category then the Playlist is updated automatically!

Cutting across the Category structure is Tags, which can be used to label videos with common characteristics – the same lecturer, or same topic or the same geographic location, for example. Soon we’ll be releasing a powerful UI enhancement that makes tags visible in the video manager, along with other enhanced features to aid your video management.

Customers with their own workflows may choose to set up library automation via the vzaar API. This requires a software developer or someone with some development skills. The API gives subscribers an incredibly simple yet powerful way to set up video management features equivalent to those available in vzaar’s standard user interface and some clients make such good use of the vzaar API that they rarely login to the web interface at all!

A good example of a scenario when the API would be the preferred route would be where you want to integrate video with your own platform (such as a CMS/LMS) or link meta-data to the video, for instance if students are submitting video course work, or other kinds of user-generated content.

When it comes to organising large libraries, Video Management works hand-in-hand with Search. In the next few months, vzaar will be enhancing its powerful search functionality to allow advanced searches such as “get the 50 latest videos in a given Category with a given Tag and sort them by the number of views”. Watch this space!

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