Media Manager - Export data to another program?

NickHope wrote on 5/13/2011, 2:21 AM
I'm thinking of giving Media Manager a try.

Is it possible to export the values in Media Manager? If so, what format? I'd be rather nervous about making a big investment in time if the data is locked into this program only. I have a library of about 15,000 clips, mostly marine life.

Also, any gotchas or tips before I dive in?


WillemT wrote on 5/13/2011, 2:59 AM
Thought I would give you my experience.

I never used Media Manager, or any other media management apart from folders. Recently we filmed a pilot reality show (only the promo has been edited at this point in time).

This resulted in over a 1000 clips spread over about 10 days and shot all over the area (if successful more will be added). There are jib, dolly and a few different cameras, including 4 GoPros. The sheer size of this became impossible to manage without some help. This prompted us to try Media Manager. It is not perfect, but it made the whole thing manageable.

The ease of adding any required tags and selecting and previewing the clips is great. Adding them to the timeline is instant. The thumbnails are very flexible. So, as an aid, it is great.

I know, however, of no export facilities. It is a database manager intended for Vegas - it can be docked right next to the explorer and Project Media making it's use straight forward. It took me all of 10- 30 minutes to figure it out. A lot longer to tag the clips - which is actually straight forward and can be done in "bulk" (once you have decided on a system and setup your tags).

I wish SCS would put a little more work into it and get it up to date with the current Vegas (the basic look is still the white background etc). I find it quite fragile and it can drop you in an instant. Keeping backups of your libraries, which seem to consist mostly of thumbnails and the tag log, is vital. Doing this type of work some sort of Media Management is a requirement and Media Manager is all I know of that integrates this well with Vegas.

I think you can make good use of it with your huge catalogue but it will probably be for Vegas only. I am a rather recent user and will leave it to others to comment as to the global usefulness.

NickHope wrote on 5/13/2011, 4:33 AM
Thanks Willem, that's helpful. If there's no direct export command, I wonder if it's possible to get into the files that store the filenames, tags etc. and getting out text that could be hacked about into a csv file or whatever that could then be imported into something else. Hopefully all that data isn't stored in gobbledygook format.
WillemT wrote on 5/13/2011, 6:01 AM
Media Manager does what I need for the moment - that may change in the future. So I might also want to get to the data.

Opening the *.mdialib in Notepad is totally "gobbledygook", so I don't know. It does seem to use MS SQL Server (2005 it seems), so it may be possible in some way. I know too little about SQL Server to make any intelligent comments.

Give it a quick spin and see what you think. It is easy to just try it, the manual/helpfile only takes about 5 minutes to read.

NickHope wrote on 5/13/2011, 6:29 AM
It does seem to use MS SQL Server (2005 it seems), so it may be possible in some way

There is a free version of SQL Server 2005 that might be the tool to do it. This stuff is totally new territory for me as well. But it would be super cool if that could open the MM data.
WillemT wrote on 5/13/2011, 6:37 AM
The Media Manager installer, as downloaded from SCS, includes and installs MS SQL server. I do not think you will need the separate download. How to, outside of Media Manager, access the data is not something I looked at yet.


NickHope wrote on 5/13/2011, 8:13 AM
I was just thinking that it might be able to open a *.mdialib file. I'll check it out.
farss wrote on 5/13/2011, 8:26 AM
You should be able to connect to the SQL Server from MS Access via ODBC. From Access it's a piece of cake to export to xls etc. Come to think of it Excel should be able to connect to an ODBC server, have to look into that. Only problem is you need the permissions. Am I allowed to ask has anyone cracked this, all it contains is our data.

NAB last year SCS apparently were demoing Vegas working with a 3rd party media management system. Sorry I don't recall the details but I'm certain a search here should find it. That product worked with more than just Vegas and depending on the price might be a better bet.

NickHope wrote on 5/13/2011, 10:42 AM
I use OpenOffice, not MS Office, but OpenOffice Base has a "connect to an existing database" option in the startup wizard with a whole list of formats including ODBC. I don't even know what that stands for but I'll happily give it a whirl. I'd pay for MS Access to do this if necessary. I don't think Base is the strongest app in the OpenOffice suite.

If you mean Media Backbone, you made a post about it here. I get the feeling it's enterprise-level stuff and way out of my league.
rmack350 wrote on 5/13/2011, 11:05 AM
I just tried connecting to it through Excel and discovered I can do it but have no idea what I'm doing. From previous tries at poking MySQL with a stick I'm guessing that I need a specific name and password to get at the specific database. All I'm seeing through Excel is a top-level structure.

I don't have the courage or know-how to mess with it farther than that.

LoTN wrote on 5/13/2011, 11:56 PM
I was just thinking that it might be able to open a *.mdialib file. I'll check it out.

Hello Nick,

You can install SQL server management tool
farss wrote on 5/14/2011, 3:07 AM
If all you want to do is catalog all your media then you could just use a database to do that.
Another alternative would be WhereIsIt which is excellent and if you had all your media files sorted into folders and named following some system might be all you need.


ushere wrote on 5/14/2011, 3:13 AM
oh how i wish scenealyser would work with mpg.....

i still have all my dv footage neat cataloged with head and tail pics. absolutely invaluable tool.
farss wrote on 5/14/2011, 3:28 AM
WhereIsIt can do that via the Video Files Plugin. I haven't tried this but it seems so long as you have the required DirectX codec installed it'll work. I have tried creating thumbnails for image files and it works fine.

NickHope wrote on 5/14/2011, 3:28 AM
Thanks for the replies everyone.

Well all my footage is named like this:

E:\moray\moray-snowflake-Echidna nebulosa\APNmoray-snowflake3b.m2t

So I've got the common name, scientific name, location, night/day, and number in the sequence all built in. It works pretty well but I'd also like to add alternative common names, colours, equivalent file names at my stock footage representative, other species that are in the same clip etc. etc.. Also thinking of building a Drupal-based marine life community site with a taxonomic structure, so I might want to link to that.

I do fancy having it integrated into Vegas. I'll have a play with MM and see if one of the MS products can retrieve the tags. If not, and the data is all locked into Vegas and only Vegas, I'm pretty unlikely to invest a lot of work in it. It would be a very long one-way street. I may well build a standalone database. Then the question is which software to use... MS Access, OpenOffice Base, MySQL etc.. I have next to no experience with this stuff.
LoTN wrote on 5/14/2011, 4:07 AM
I would be very surprised to learn that SQL server manager doesn't allow you to fully export database data including it's schema.

The path to import all the stuff into some MySQL database shall not be too difficult.
NickHope wrote on 5/14/2011, 5:46 AM
It's just that Bob was mentioning that permissions would be required, or maybe that was only for Excel access(?). Anyway I'll try MM and SQL server manager when I get the chance. Thanks for the link.
LoTN wrote on 5/14/2011, 7:37 AM
There is a trick to install SQL server manager. See

It works but I'm still trying to figure out how to access the Sony MM database. Being used to browse with phpMyAdmin, I am a bit lost :)
Jacques le Fataliste wrote on 5/14/2011, 11:51 AM
It is not very difficult to access the sony media database / copy the tables to access or openoffice.
To start you will need to create a new ODBC Data Source Name opening Administrative tools in Windows. One can find various tutorials on the Internet (for example : Don't forget to change the default database to the one you actually use in Media Manager.

But to connect to the sql server the first thing is to make out it's name... you can download and install Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio Express to find out, but it is something like YOURCOMPUTERNAME\SONY_MEDIAMGR2

Once you have created your new DSN, you can open Access/ Base and import or link to your Media Manager database over ODBC. All the tables and data are then there, but it is an another story to make some use of them.
LoTN wrote on 5/14/2011, 12:41 PM
But to connect to the sql server the first thing is to make out it's name... you can download and install Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio Express to find out, but it is something like YOURCOMPUTERNAME\SONY_MEDIAMGR2

For sure but when I say I'm a bit lost is that I find phpMyAdmin UI being more straightforward and intuitive. Still haven't found how to simply browse a table...

Found ! Being connected to an instance, you also have to explicitly open a table to browse it...
NickHope wrote on 6/19/2011, 11:18 PM
Thanks for the help Jacques and LoTN.

I followed your guidance and found out that SONY_MEDIAMGR2 is the correct name, but when I get to creating a new data source, the dropdown list for "Which SQL Server do you want to connect to?" is empty. Any idea what might be wrong?

Kimberly wrote on 6/20/2011, 9:17 AM

I am pretty good with MS Access and SQL queries. If you can send me a small vanilla flavored file, I can take a look at it. Make it generic if possible so that it contains no confidential or proprietary information.


NickHope wrote on 6/20/2011, 9:33 AM
Thanks for the offer Kimberley. Do you mean the "Default.medialib" file that is sitting in my "Sony Media Libraries" folder? It's now 50Mb and the oldest backup of it I have is that big too. I could upload it somewhere.
amendegw wrote on 6/20/2011, 9:40 AM
Nick, I used to do this stuff all the time 3-4 years ago, but now my memory is dim. As I recall, you need to make sure your SQL Server is started. Right click on "Computer"->"Manage"


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Kimberly wrote on 6/20/2011, 9:59 AM

Yes, I guess that would be the file. You could upload it to MediaFire and I could download it. If there is a way to get a subset of the entire libary, or at least a portion that reveals no confidential information, that would be best. All I care about is the file format so that we can see if it opens in MS Access.

On a semi-related note, the Suunto Dive Manager software that came with my D9 stores the data in the Program Data location rather than a user-specified location such as My Documents or whatever. This meant my dive log was not getting back-up with the rest of my data in my routine Windows back-up.

So when my hard drive was dying a few weeks ago, I was in danger of losing my dive log. I poked around and learned that Suunto was storing the dive data in an older format Access data base in the Program Data directory. I couldn't open the DB without a password, but I was able to make a copy of the DB before the computer completely died. Then when I reloaded the Suunto Dive Manager, I copied my populated DB over the blank one that came with the fresh install. It worked great. Oh and now I routinely make a copy of the DB and keep it with my other back-ups.

The moral of my story is that we, as users, have legitimate need to back-up our data and use it in ways that are meaningful to us as long as we are not reverse engineering, altering the code, stealing secrets, etc.

Let me know if you wish to post a file and where. I've been wondering about Media Manager myself but have been too busy learning about other things to take the time.