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Friday 15 December 2017

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Media Technology students were joined yesterday by Mr MXF himself, Bruce Devlin. Bruce came to talk about two crucial standards that he was heavily involved in developing – the Material eXchange Format (MXF) and the Interoperable Master Format (IMF). These are found throughout the broadcast and cinema industries and are becoming increasingly important as distributors seek to automate the delivery of media content to an ever wider range of end user devices.

The students really benefitted from Bruce’s insights as he described the evolution of file formats and metadata schemes – who knew that modern captions files still had a field showing how many floppy disks were required to store them!

Bruce covered the physical and logical views of MXF and explained how the structure was developed to address technological and operation requirements. The students study these formats from a theoretical perspective and many use them in operational environments but the amount of context Bruce was able to provide was extremely helpful. It was also interesting to critically analyse the formats and understand where issues could arise such as when synchronising fractional framerates with standard audio samples.

After the talk Bruce shot two episodes of Bruce’s Shorts in the University’s Studio D, which was a great collaboration between Media Technology and Television Production students. Keep an eye out for episodes on Block Chains and Micro Services in the New Year!

Bruce Devlin has dedicated his professional career to developing files formats for the broadcast industry, he is a Fellow of SMPTE and now Vice President Standards. His passion for education and sharp sense of humour made for an excellent afternoon or learning and networking. Thanks to Bruce for taking time out to meet with us and we look forward to seeing him again soon.

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