Quality check for IMF exchange format saves transcoding time in media production.
IMF stands for Interoperable Master Format. It is a new universal format for exchanging files in professional media production settings. Since it was released as a standard by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), it has become a popular exchange format in film production. It takes account of many challenges presented by today’s distribution channels – such as producing different language versions. We are pooling our expertise with the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT to develop software components that can run automatic quality checks and be optimally integrated into IMF workflows. The software checks the material for errors and artifacts that can occur during, for instance, compression or color space conversion. Given the ever-increasing volume of distribution formats, these are key developments for saving time and money in production. Our joint approach was to integrate quality assurance modules into the transcoding processes. At the IBC in 2016, we presented a version that can already check the production of IMF packages (IMPs). The function is integrated into the overall system of our easyDCP software. In future, it will be possible to run checks when producing distribution formats from IMPs, and to use advanced test settings.