Over the past few years, while conducting training sessions or working on a project site, many customers have asked me why they should upgrade their platform to Dalet Galaxy. The answer is as simple as the upgrade process. You can maintain the same workflow, but, thanks to Dalet Galaxy, you can also cut down on the number of steps it takes to complete a task for a journalist, video editor or media manager, with a new and improved user interface and enhanced integration with a wide variety of third-party systems.
Here are just a few ways that Dalet Galaxy can improve your existing workflow:
Many of my journalism students over the years have complained that Dalet 3.5 is way too “Windows 98.” In Dalet Galaxy, we enhanced the look and feel while also keeping in mind what kind of tasks look better with a light skin, such as writing a story, while a dark skin is better suited for video editing. If you have ever sat with a video editor, it’s usually in the dark (think dungy basement apartment), while journalists like to be seen and see others.
The Home Screen, both in Dalet WebSpace and in the full client, cuts the amount of steps to create a story down from four steps to one, and, with the auto text and macros capabilities, the time needed to put common objects or words in a story has been greatly reduced.
While researching for assignments, the first place to look is the “planning event” associated to the assigned story, which is populated with maps, pictures, tweets harvested from Twitter, RSS feeds, and other types of digital media. A journalist has the all the information at his/her fingertips and thus can focus on the content rather than collecting information.
Dalet Galaxy has brought field journalists and those working remotely closer to home with its new Chat functionality. Available in the full client as well as the new and improved WebSpace, Chat offers a modern interface with support for persistent chats, group chats, messaging offline users and much more. In addition, the mobile app Dalet On-the-Go allows journalists to receive assignments via smartphone or tablet. They can then write stories, film interviews, record audio and take pictures using an iOS or Android device, which automatically uploads content to the newsroom, making news more current than ever.
While Dalet Galaxy enhances the experience of editing using Adobe® Premiere®, Final Cut Pro®, and Avid Media Composer® with tight integration with Avid Interplay®, journalists also have the option to edit in Dalet Galaxy using the multi-layer, effects-filled Dalet OneCut Multimedia editor.
With advanced metadata tagging and new API integration with social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, Dalet Galaxy enhances content once destined only for television or radio in order to reach a wider audience. All of this is monitored through analytics to better understand media consumption, regardless of the distribution platform.
For Media Managers
Before the birth of Dalet Galaxy, while coaching media managers, QC and ingest operators in Digital Media Centres or ingest rooms, I found that there were far too many steps when scheduling an ingest. The old process was as follows:
- Check email or the net for the ingest schedule
- Create a Planning event to alert others of the recording
- Create an ingest job for the recording
- Switch the router source
- Conduct a QC check while ingesting
- Sometimes manually create a proxy
- Fill in metadata for search
User(s) must open up many different applications for this process, with various other confusing and convoluted steps along the way.
With the Dalet Workflow Engine, the task is automated: Dope sheets with the Schedule and Information from agencies like Reuters imports into Dalet Galaxy as a Planning event; all information is associated to the corresponding ingest job, which is automatically scheduled. As the high-resolution video ingests, directly to the SAN or from the video server to the storage, the Dalet Brio video server generates a proxy so the user can access the content faster.
In 2015, newsrooms and media centres receive content from a wide variety of sources such as cell phones, tablets and even drones, in a wide variety of formats. Dalet AmberFin easily transcodes this content, which can even be in 4k, into an HD broadcast-quality format with QC integration to check the audio and video quality, then updates the asset in the MAM seamlessly. While this is happening, the Media Manager sits back in a rolling chair watching the process in the Job Monitor.
For program and archive workflows, with the easy-to-use workflow designer, administrators can setup complex orchestrated workflows with both automated and manual tasks. When the asset appears in Dalet it becomes a task of the Dalet Workflow Engine, which triggers different automated tasks and assigns jobs to users. As users claim different tasks, Dalet Galaxy automatically opens up the correct program for that task, such as the QC Playout module, or an Asset Management form to enter metadata for search.
With the new track stacking capabilities, workflow management tools and context map functionality in Dalet Galaxy, handling complex workflows with a wide variety of assets related to one other, such as subtitles, language tracks and multiple versions, has been made more fluid and easier to manage. Through this orchestration, Galaxy streamlines complex transformations to send content where it needs to go, in the correct language, and in the correct format to systems such as VOD, OTT and social media platforms.
With comprehensive use of glossary terms, and the faceted search capabilities of the SOLR search engine in Dalet Galaxy, entering metadata and finding content has never been easier.
In the past, librarians had to enter metadata for each asset that came into the system. Using ‘The Trailer Park Boys’ (Canadian Program), as an example, in every episode actor Mike Smith plays the character Bubbles, most of the episodes are shot in Nova Scotia, and the genre is comedy. Rather than entering all this information in multiple fields for each asset, by simply typing ‘T-R-A’ in the proper field, Dalet Galaxy will suggest what glossary term you might want, which is related to a wide variety of information in other fields such as the actor’s height, the shooting location and whatever else is common to every show.
If a Dalet Galaxy user wants to make a highlight reel of Canadian Male Comedians, the user can quickly choose ‘actor’ in a dropdown menu from the search template and narrow down the search results by selecting different criteria as facets such as ‘Comedy,’ ‘Male,’ and ‘Canadian,’ resulting in some videos, pictures and audio of Bubbles…I mean Mike Smith.
Instead of conducting separate searches in a production system, archive system, bureaus or different stations, by using the new federated search capabilities, users can conduct single queries that will search throughout multiple systems, which could be spread out across a country or even the world.
To add to the search functionality, Dalet AmberFin has the ability to extract closed captioning, which is then tagged by timecode to an asset in the MAM, allowing users to locate the exact moment a person says a specific sentence by simply typing those words into the search field.
If you need reports on how long it takes an archivist to log content, how many times a video has been watched on YouTube, or if content was used past its embargo date, the Dalet Reporting Centre is for you. Dalet Galaxy not only generates reports on the lifecycle of assets, it also shows managers where they can improve a system or workflow to avoid bottlenecks and improve on their return on investment with business intelligence.
For the past few years, the “Cloud” has been the buzzword for many of our customers along with PasS (Platform as a Service) and SaaS (Software as a Service). At NAB this year in Las Vegas, we produced an entire news broadcast with the help of journalism students from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where the entire system was hosted on the Cloud, with approved content uploaded to YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. I don’t want to spill the beans, but at IBC this September in Amsterdam, the world will be seeing much more virtualization from Dalet to automate workflows, simplify tasks and gather information to enrich assets.
For the past 25 years, we have listened to our customers and worked with partners to enhance the solutions of Dalet. The result: a feature-rich, automated, workflow-defined system driven by content.
Please contact us if you would like to talk to a product specialist or set up a demo.
Jonathan Coutts-Zawadzki, Dalet's Head Of Knowledge Management, joined Dalet Technologies in 2006 in the development office as a QA Specialist, documentation expert and trainer. After moving to Dalet France, he became the lead trainer for many projects such as BBC Arabic and NBC Washington, to name a few. He then joined the Dalet Washington office in 2010 as the Project Manager of Dalet’s largest multilingual site, Voice of America. In 2012, Jonathan led Dalet Sales in South Asia as Country Manager of India, based in Delhi. After establishing the Dalet India office, Jonathan has recently taken on the role of Head Of Knowledge Management, working closely with the Sales and Pre-Sales teams to establish a good understanding of customer's needs and workflows.More Articles By Jonathan