In celebration of American Archives Month and the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage (October 27), we are releasing new videos on video archiving and preservation. Earlier this month, we shared Planning to Preserve Video for Human Rights and Deconstructing Digital Video for Activists.
As an archivist at WITNESS, I am asked questions about video metadata all the time — what is it, where can it come from, and how can be useful (or harmful) to activists and their advocacy work? While the concept of metadata has entered into use in mainstream media and everyday language, many people are still unclear about what exactly it is.
To address these questions, we created a short new video that explains video metadata in a simple and straightforward way. In just three minutes, What Is Video Metadata? outlines the basics — how video metadata is created, why it’s valuable, and what risks and benefits activists might need to balance.
For more information on creating and collecting video metadata, check out these pages from our Activists’ Guide to Archiving Video:
- What Metadata to Capture,
- How to Capture Metadata,
- Types of Metadata,
- Transferring Videos and Metadata Together,
- Structure and Rules, and
- Tools for Inventories and Catalogs
Want to view the video metadata that is embedded in your files? Try these great free tools: MediaInfo, Exiftool, FFprobe.
To edit embedded video metadata (not recommended unless you have specific reasons, like security concerns), you can use Exiftool and FFmpeg.
For more information on using video metadata, check out this page from the Guide on Helping Users Find Videos, these blog posts on video verification, this tipsheet on authenticating citizen video, and this online conversation on using video for evidence.
For more information on risks and securing video metadata, check out our ObscuraCam app, this tipsheet comparing online sharing services, and these blog posts about metadata and security (here and here).
Did you like this video? Should we make more? Let us know what you think!