Depending on the DAM, the process to upload (import) assets and metadata to the DAM may vary. While a DAM is only as good as the metadata associated to its assets, someone will need to upload assets and metadata to the DAM at some point, maybe on a frequent basis. Realistically, you will need to upload assets and link the metadata to the assets at some point so these assets become searchable (not just visually). How you upload assets to the DAM is something you need to seriously think about when selecting the DAM solution right for your organization.
- Do you need to upload one asset at a time and apply/associate metadata after the upload?
- Do you need to upload one asset at a time with embedded metadata which needs to be recognized within the DAM?
- Do you need to upload multiple assets and metadata to the DAM at the same time?
- Do you need to upload multiple assets at a time, all with embedded metadata which needs recognized within the DAM?
- Do you need several or all of these methods to upload to the DAM?
- What tools or interface do you need to use in order to upload assets and metadata to the DAM?
Is the process so complex that you would rather pay the DAM vendor every time you need to upload assets to the DAM? Some vendors offer this service, but do you need this? If you do need this, what are the fees? Do you want to be at the mercy of their schedule rather than yours when it comes to uploading? It all depends on your business needs and how time sensitive uploading assets along with metadata are in your business cases.
The answer will vary based on the DAM solution you choose. Just as different DAM solutions serve different purposes, there is no single right way to upload assets because it depends on:
- What kind of assets will be uploaded?
- How many assets are being uploaded?
- How often are assets being uploaded?
- What is the maximum number of assets that can be uploaded at one time?
- Are there minimum or maximum file size restrictions for assets being uploaded?
- Is there a need to upload compound assets? If so, how is that handled by the DAM?
- Is there a need to upload many assets with the same metadata? (such as a photo shoot)? If so, how is that handled by the DAM? Can you apply the same metadata once to all the assets easily in these cases?
- Is there a need to upload many different assets with different metadata? (such as completely different presentations for different purposes) If so, how is that best handled by the DAM? What tools are available to speed up this process in these cases?
- Are there multiple methods to upload to the DAM? What are the best practices behind each method?
- Can you version assets in the DAM? Can you version metadata in the DAM? Can you version both assets and metadata at the same time in the DAM?
- Does the DAM vendor provide documentation and support when it comes to uploading assets and metadata to the DAM?
The metadata can be embedded into the asset itself and/or associated separately to the asset in the DAM. You will need to weigh the need for embedded metadata versus having metadata just associated to the assets in the DAM for both reference and search purposes. There are various ways which metadata can be embedded into assets since many types of assets can support embedded metadata. It also depends what types of metadata the DAM recognizes for its functions such as search, which are critically important.
There are advantages and even some disadvantages to embedding metadata to the asset itself. The main advantage to embedded metadata is that the information (metadata) travels with the asset wherever it goes, inside or outside the DAM. The disadvantage to embedded metadata is that it may be outdated information traveling within the asset, such as credits. This is a common issue when discussing Royalty-Free or Rights Managed photographs which occasionally change representation when photography vendors merge and the credit may change along with this new representation or ownership. Hopefully, most of your metadata is timeless and this will not be much of an issue.
How do you upload assets and metadata to your DAM?