Project Management for the Digital Media Age

This blog will attempt to compile some project management and product management resources for practitioners working in the field of digital media; touching on areas such as standards, formats, methods and tools, platforms, architectures and distribution channels; and discusses some of the tactical and strategic issues that may arise.
Please also visit the accompanying blog exploring related Technology Convergence issues.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

DRM Tools

There are a number of tools on the market which can be used to provide DRM capabilities to content. Typically these tools will provide flexibility in the following areas:-

  • Licensing capabilities and options - purchase vs. rental
  • License expiry frameworks
  • Subscription frameworks
  • Multiple hardware platform support
Windows Digital Rights Manager provides a Rights management SDK which can be used to fine-tune the level of rights management used in your application.

The thorny issue of Digital Rights Management (DRM)

Digital Rights Management (DRM) is one of the thorniest issues in the the Digital Media world. Views on the subject range from the libertarian perspective that all digital content represents knowledge and should therefore be "free"; to the stance of the major media giants, who claim that digital media represents intellectual property that should be copyrighted in the same way that print media is copyrighted; and enforced accordingly (in all honesty, a much more realistic approach).

Follow this link for an Overview of Digital Rights Management.

Some level of DRM is usually necessary to deter piracy, even if it is impossible to completely eliminate unauthorized duplication of content. The trick is to get the level of content accessibility just right. Too little, your content will be easily duplicated and distributed on the black market. Too much, and you may alienate the legitimate users by imposing too many restrictions.

For example, the Electronic Frontier foundation contends that DRM does little to deter content piracy, but often does prevent legitimate content users from making backups, or transferring their content from one format to another. Read their article on the subject here.

A more extreme position is taken by which describes itself as "a broad-based anti-DRM campaign that is targeting Big Media, unhelpful manufacturers and DRM distributors". Their goal appears to be no less than the complete elimination of all DRM restrictions' in effect the position that all digital content should be "free", despite the effort that went into the creation of that content.

Basics of Digital Asset Management (DAM)

This link provides a good overview of the Basics of Digital Asset Management; and explains the differences (such as they subjectively exist) with Enterprise Content Management (ECM); Entertainment Media Asset Management (EMAM); Marketing Content Management (MCM) etc. The list goes on.......

Comparison of Mobile Development platforms

Found this useful comparison of mobile development platforms on Wikipedia. It covers the main ones such as J2ME, BREW, Symbian, PalmOS etc. but also the (relatively) new kids on the block such as Android and iPhone.

As well as the comparing the capabilities and strengths of each platform; it also compares their existing deployment patterns and technology dependencies e.g. although BREW is now also supported on GSM/GPRS networks; its penetration has been minimal and it is still used predominantly by CDMA carriers in the US and South Korea.

JavaFX 1.0 scripting language released

Sun Microsystems has released version 1.0 of the JavaFX scripting language, which provides video playback capability through native Java codecs for the first time; thus providing Sun with a serious entry to the Rich Internet Application (RIA) space.

Although third-to-market after Microsoft's Silverlight 2.0 and Adobe Flex; and supported so far only on Windows and MacOS, (Linux and Solaris support will be available in the first half of this year); it should be able to take advantage of the large base of Java developers out there who have not yet explored the other platforms; and has some cool features, such as being able to move content between browser-based and desktop apps.

Support for JavaFX mobile applications will be launched at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February.

IBM Rational Composer uses visual metaphors for requirements definition

IBM have released Rational Requirements Composer, a Jazz-based requirements definition tool set; intended to complement the Rational RequisitePro requirements manager.

Using the Jazz collaboration platform will allow all stakeholders to get a clearer view of the initial requirements formulation process right from the outset of the project; and utilize the chatting/tagging capabilities to speed up the process.

What could potentially make this tool especially useful for the digital media world is the advertised ability to capture storyboards, user-interface sketches and rich text - a boon to the more visually-oriented perspective that many in the digital media world find easier to work with.

"...This collaborative toolset provides the ability to visually capture requirements information as process sketches, storyboards, user-interface sketches, and rich text to better articulate and communicate the context of your requirements. Requirements context is further enhanced through shared glossaries, comment threads, and rich-text editors that facilitate collaboration and communication so teams anywhere in the world can provide inputs, get clarity, and achieve consensus quickly around developing business-driven architectures, code, test plans, and ultimately solutions."