Survey: How Do You Use Sony Media Manager?

Jonathan Neal wrote on 1/5/2007, 3:12 AM
1. Do you use the Sony Media Manager? For how long?

2. Share with the group your experiences or even lack-there-of with Media Manager, and also any other opinions you have of Media Manager. * Note: It doesn't matter which software you use with Media Manager or which version of Media Manager you are using, but be sure to share that information with the group when you post.

3. Would you recommend to current Sony Media Software users that they begin taking advantage of Media Manager's features? With that in mind, do you think it should remain installed by default in Sony Media Software products?

It may be helpful to write the numbers (ex. 1. 2. 3) into your reply to organize your responses.


cbrillow wrote on 1/5/2007, 3:42 AM
1. Don't use it - yet. Maybe someday. My present level of immersion in video editing isn't really sufficient to require it.

3. As long as it can be disabled, I don't really mind that it's installed by default.
Chienworks wrote on 1/5/2007, 4:05 AM
1. No.

2. I've installed Media Manager with Vegas amd ACID maybe 40 times. Only once was it operational. Every other time it refused to function. Frankly, it wasn't worth following the steps in the knowledege base to get working.

3a. Well, i wouldn't recommend against it since i do see some glowing reviews. However, i certainly can't recommend for it either.

3b. I strongly feel it should be a separate download, similar to the Plugin Manager. It seems a huge waste to get the full package with every download and have it installed by default. That's especially true in my case when i have to disable it every time in order to not get the error messages every time i launch Vegas or ACID.
JohnnyRoy wrote on 1/5/2007, 4:12 AM
1. I’ve been using the Media Manager since it first came out in ACID Pro 5.0 (before Vegas 6.0 had it).

2. I got tired of navigating the brain-dead Windows file system that doesn’t even allow symbolic links so you can’t cross reference any of your content. The Media Manager gives me one place to find stock footage, stock music, stock images, masks & overlays, etc. The thumbnail images are invaluable for browsing your content (something Windows does very poorly unless it’s a filetype MS likes) and the ability to say, “find me all of the images that can be used as borders” saves hours of hunting. Once you tag your media, it is there at your fingertips with just one or two clicks. I couldn’t live without it.

3. Yes, I think everyone should take an afternoon and really try and understand how to use it because it’s a great productivity boost. We have an entire training DVD dedicated to it at VASST because it is quite deep and takes time to fully appreciate. Some will decide that it’s overkill for their workflow and just use the Explorer view to navigate media and that’s OK. But a lot of time can be saved by using the Media Manager to organize and find content quickly.

Should it be an optional install? My vote is definitely YES, make it optional! Since not everyone needs it, and since it can be totally turned off after installation it is not a required component to run Vegas. Enough customers have begged Sony to make it an optional install that I don’t see why there can’t be an option on the installer. You know one of those “Typical, Minimal, and Custom” options like other software installers have. This would keep everyone happy.

Grazie wrote on 1/5/2007, 4:48 AM
Now, I don't do any projects without it. Some projects benefit more, most will benefit a lot. But to date I haven't done a project that MM wasn't somewhere in the workflow mix . . Plus each time I use it for a new project I find another way to make use of it. I even have a ALT+D+3 workspace dedicated to the way I "View 'n Use" Media Manager.

Yesterday I wanted to bring together some clips from 5 different completed projects that were still archived on 3 separate external drives. I inputted some of the slimest of info I could recall. MM came back with heaps of stuff. I then went "Aha! I need to hone THAT down." But that's the point. I HAD a report of stuff I kinda knew about . .AND SOME!! So off I went again and fine tuned the search I reduced - eh 1000 bits of media down to about 50 odd. Now try doing that with was called - . . . . tired of navigating the brain-dead Windows file system .. ? - And this it did in a blink of an eye. AND WHILE MY IDEAS were still relevant! AND that is the difference. Ideas and narrative.

Once accumulated i could then plop ALL the Media in a TAG/Folder just for that project! - Yeah, you;ve guessed it! If I open up a NEW instance of Vegas that TAG/FOLDER with this collection is available to thet NEW instance too!


Chienworks wrote on 1/5/2007, 5:10 AM
Grazie, you've made me think of another point that should be considered.

With the exception of my logo clip, i almost never have any media that carries over from one project to the next. Each project starts out fresh with it's own original material and i purge each project when it's finished. I suppose that means in my case that Media Manager would be full of references to material i've used in the past and will never use again, and isn't on my drive anymore anyway. So, in my case, it doesn't seem like it would be of any benefit at all.
JJKizak wrote on 1/5/2007, 6:05 AM
1. No.

Jay Gladwell wrote on 1/5/2007, 8:43 AM

1. No.

2. N/A

3. N/A

Yoyodyne wrote on 1/5/2007, 11:27 AM
Well I finally gave MM a try on my most recent project. It was kind of a mixed bag,

The Positive:
I love the way one can tag media and choose the Icon of the clip that shows up in the bin - it makes organizing and selecting clips really fast. Multiple tags are great, you can really search it fast. It is really responsive. Like the way one can save a specific library.

The Negative:
I wish it was more integrated with project media. No way to open a clip directly into the trimmer, this was a real pain. The showstopper was I had to uninstall/re-install Vegas and I completely lost my library. All the tagging/organizing was completely gone.

I wish that the Media Manager and Project Media could work together. What I love about Project media is a can double click a clip, it opens in the trimmer. I then can use markers and regions on the clip and that gets saved to the clip. Whenever I want to see what I have marked etc, I just double click that clip. It would be great if project media had the functionality of Media Manager. I love MM's tagging and fast organizing/searching - it's a great way to narrow down a pile of clips.

Like Cheinworks I don't have much media that travels from project to project so everything is project specific. Righ now MM seems to be a good database tool for much used clips but has limited use for projects that are media specific.

Thats just my experience - and I am by no means a Media Manger expert!
JohnnyRoy wrote on 1/5/2007, 12:16 PM
> No way to open a clip directly into the trimmer, this was a real pain.

Try drag-n-drop. I have my displays set up with the Media Manager/Project Media/Explorer on the bottom right display and the timeline and trimmer on the left display. I just drag all of my media across my displays to wherever I want it including the trimmer.

> The showstopper was I had to uninstall/re-install Vegas and I completely lost my library.

You must have deleted the default library. Always create a new library and give it a unique name. Then you can uninstall Vegas all you want and just reconnect to your library when you re-install. You should never loose a library. They are files on the file system and do not get uninstalled. Something definitely went wrong. Creating your own names and not using "default" is just extra protection against this.

> All the tagging/organizing was completely gone.

That's because you didn't save the tags with the media. This is what the little floppy disc icon is for. Once you get your tags all set up, select all of your media and then save the tags back to the media. Then you can create a brand new library, import the media and the old tags will reappear because they were stored with the media and will never get lost again.

Like any tool worth using, you have to take the time to learn how to get the most from it.

logiquem wrote on 1/5/2007, 12:23 PM
1. No. It dosen't works

2. I use Smartpix to organise my images and would be very glad to use something that actually works inside Vegas.

3. If it works perfectly, then include it, otherwise, scrap it...
Yoyodyne wrote on 1/5/2007, 12:44 PM
Thanks johnyroy! - I did not realize you had to save the tags seperately.

Drag and drop....DOH!

I did save the library but when I opened it up again all my tags were gone, of course had I known about the tag saving...

I guess I just assumed since the tags were still there upon re-opening of the MM that they were saved. Thanks a bunch for your post, I think I'll head into MM and try out a few things! Much appreciate the help.
ScottyLacy wrote on 1/5/2007, 1:23 PM
1. No
2. N/A
3. N/A

Here's my question: If you find yourself frequently short of disk space, or moving media around as you increase your disk space, doesn't that create havoc with a system like MM? My reluctance to jump in with MM is that I know I will invariably have to move media around, and reorganize it, to accomodate the ever-growing demand for space. And I'm guessing that would create a giant pain as then you'd have to manually repoint MM at the new file locations.

I guess the key would be to invest in massive amounts of fixed storage, organize your media painstakingly, then bring in the MM. Even then, it seems, maintaining the integrity of your library over time would still become a part-time job.

But perhaps I'm missing some key piece of the puzzle? Am I looking at this the wrong way?
GlennChan wrote on 1/5/2007, 1:41 PM
1. No.

2. If you need to organize a lot of stock elements, then I can see how media manager would be useful.

Hoewver, when users talk about the media management being better in other NLEs, they are talking about something else. There should be a way to:
A- *Efficiently* log your footage as you capture. Ideally, the user would be able to add notes on the fly, as Vegas is capturing. Optical scene detection would also be cool for formats that don't support automatic scene detection, or if you want to conform a project someone else is giving you.
B- Easily search through your logging notes. It should be possible to search regions and markers.

For example, one logging scheme (for docs) is to add a description to each clip and use asterisks (*) to indicate the good stuff, and more asterisks if it is really good stuff. At the end of your project, you could do a search for * and see if you are leaving out any golden moments.

For interviews, you really need to break them up into subclips/regions/markers with a log note for each section. Ok, here is the part where the speaker talks about X, here is the part where the speaker talks about Y, here is a golden soundbite, etc.

2b- For some users, it would be nice if the logging information could be kept across multiple workstations, or if multiple users could work off the same set of logging information / multiple users can work on the same project.

Perhaps a simple system that would solve this is if users could export logging information based on reel name. This way once someone logs a new tape/reel, they could export their logging info to be imported elsewhere. For multiple users on a SAN, perhaps Vegas could automatically import new notes upon startup (from a shared folder). There should however be some way of handling reel name changes, and a way of handling media that has moved locations (perhaps like the existing solution, where you just point Vegas at the right place).

3- For most people, you will spend a lot of time logging footage and searching through your logging notes (even pen + paper notes). Solving this problem would be a big time-saver.

Searching through media libraries is a smaller problem that media manager seems to solve (I never really gave media manager a chance so I can't say).
JohnnyRoy wrote on 1/5/2007, 2:00 PM
> Here's my question: If you find yourself frequently short of disk space, or moving media around as you increase your disk space, doesn't that create havoc with a system like MM?

Not really. The Media Manager has an excellent system for relinking to media that is moved and it's very easy to resolve broken links. You can show it where the media has been moved to, you can have it search for the media, or you can tell it that the media is off-line but still keep it listed so you can still search for it later. It's very robust in this regard and if you save the tags with the media as I suggested in my last post, you can easily recatalog the media and get all of your tags back.

farss wrote on 1/5/2007, 2:41 PM
1. NO

2. Slows down Vegas for zero gain

3. NO. A waste of R&D dollars, should never have seen the light of day or been included and that we are forced to install it is a black mark against Vegas. The only reason I can imagine it exists is because marketing had a panic attack when they saw another bullet point on PPro's list.

All that said the concept is long overdue but hang on, there's plenty of companies doing asset management, why not simply hook Vegas into their systems?

It's another useless, money wasting, half done feature that shows so much promise but falls short of the mark. Maybe by V10 whoever wrote it will get it to the point of it being usefull. Until it has a client app that can be run outside of Vegas and the server moved to a backend it's pretty much useless. Should be taken out of the distro until it's ready.

Bagheera wrote on 1/5/2007, 4:41 PM
1) I've disabled it after 10/15 secs past installation finished.

2) Probably the limited scope of my work doesn't give me the need of the MM, more complex projects could be technology-enablers.

3) I believe the best choice is a separated installation (optional)

4) I prefer a newer/simple Developer Kit .vs. the MM.

Tchak wrote on 1/5/2007, 5:07 PM
Before I start with the 123's let me say that I am using VV7 only for the entertainment (or lack thereof) of my family and friends.

1. I used MM for about a week until I tried to edit a song I created with Music Studio 5. I got an error message in Music Studio that the fx's were not available. After uninstalling and re-installing everthing I had in different order I determined the MM was the cause of the lost fx's. So I no longer use it. MM might not have been the culprit, but after the sequence of un- and in- wo MM everything worked correctly.

2.When I did use MM before my experience with Music Studio, I liked the features. I can see the advantages if I kept a lot of clips on my HD that I would reuse, but I don't reuse very many clips.

3. Since I only work on two projects at the most before transfering my captured files to DVD I don't have a lot of stock footage to keep track of; mostly lead ins, my wifes footage when she thought she turned off the camera, other funny stuff, and credits are the only thing I leave on the HD. For an individual who saves multiple files, I could see an advantage of using MM. For me the file name says it all.

Now a question for the Pros about MM if I can get it to work again:

I have about 50 Hi-8 tapes from the last five years that I want to capture and burn the avi to DVD. In the last six months I have put the avi's on DVD, but the projects I did before that, I didn't .

I have a TRV520 that I think won't last too much longer, so I want to capture all my video from tape and put on DVD's

For example; clips from Pennsylvania in Spring 2002 at Falling Water/Frank Lloyd Wright.

Can I reference the DVD "E:/Spring_2002 bla bla bla" or do I have to reference the tags b4 I burn the clips to the DVD?


Which way would be more efficient?


BrianStanding wrote on 1/5/2007, 5:17 PM
I'm a recent convert to MM. Here's how I've been using it for long-form docs:

Grazie wrote on 1/5/2007, 10:45 PM
Brian, still a great post to read. Love it!

I wish I knew why MM gets such a -ve press? Your comment about it being almost fun now to log, great stuff. I'd go one step further - It is now THE way to truly audition my shots, interrogate AND sequence clips allowing me to assemble directly or pre-assemblage onto the Timeline.

Any tool that un-earths some special sequence from my "hard-won" footage, always gets a big Yahhooo from me.

I really really don't understand why people are soooo recalcitrant about using it?

Maybe I benefit from NOT having used any other NLE and its media management system to be aware of MM's pitfalls. All I know is just how intuitive and rewarding - FUN - it is to use?

It was back a year ago now, when I installed ACID6 that is screwed with my Vegas MM. And you all know what I went through then. I went through it and was persistent BECAUSE I realised just HOW magnificent I felt Media Manager was for Vegas.

farss wrote on 1/6/2007, 12:02 AM
Let's ignore all the problems with getting it to work right, everything has bugs and I'm as prepared as anyone to work through issues if the rewards justify the pain.
Now I've never so much as edited a frame on anything but my own systems but I do grasp how things work at the pointy end of the business and asset management is a huge issue for them and a pretty big one even for lowly old me. I have assets everywhere, some clients come back every year, actually most of them do, and I spend a lot of time working with their assets, logos, intto clips, sound files etc. Stuff that goes into their every video, onto their DVD labels, onto their DVD slicks etc, etc.
Same goes for anyone with more than one edit bay, one local house has more than 3 Vegas systems, others here have more than that.

For MM to make any sense to me, for it to offer any reward for the pain it has to run across more than 1 Vegas system AND there's no way I'm going to use Vegas everytime I want to log / tag an incoming asset or to find an asset. I use this PC to layout DVD slicks and labels, I need to find Company XYZs logo that I used in their video last week. Great I logged it in MM, but guess what, no Vegas installed on this machine and even if there was I'm in PS, am I going to start Vegas just to use MM?

I've now got heaps of DJ assets, client assets, sound FXs, SFPro assets and soon Cinescore assets. Something to track all of them I'd pay good money for, more so if I only need a simple widget to find them, one that runs standalone.

That right, I 'd pay good money for this. I don't expect something of that level of usefullness to come for free with the next upgrade. Not everyone will need it, they might need it in the future as their business expands. So it should be another product. Perhaps whoever wrote MM could step up to the plate and sell it through SMS?
mdopp wrote on 1/6/2007, 1:26 AM
I am not using the Media Manager at all and I would like to see it as an optionally downloadable feature (for those who use it).
BrianStanding wrote on 1/6/2007, 3:51 AM
I think there's a couple reasons many do not favor MM. In fact, I avoided it for a while myself.

1. In its earlier flavors, it was horrifically buggy and caused any number of crashes and slowdowns. (I know you know what I'm talking about, Grazie!)

2. It's a fairly radical departure from traditional database search functions. It's got a steep learning curve -- not so much to use, but to wrap your head around the concepts of things like "tags."

3. Finally, I get the sense that most of the other Vegas users are working on either relatively short projects with a script (like a commercial or web video) or are working on longer event projects with an inherently linear timeframe (like a wedding or a music event). I probably wouldn't bother with Media Manager if I were doing projects like this.

Grazie, you and I, and I know some others on this forum usually work on long-form, unscripted documentary. We spend most of the editing process wading through 23-60 hours of tape, whacking through the underbrush trying to find the gems that we can piece together to make a coherent story out of it all. For folks like us, anything that helps us quickly search through that mound of material is a godsend.

For other folks, perhaps, not so much. I remember some similar comments about "Why do you need media bins or subclips?" when they were introduced in V4 or V5.

I do agree, however, that it should be a standalone application, like Adobe Bridge. Not because I don't want to use it, but because I'd like to use it with other software as well, and I shouldn't have to fire up Vegas just to get to the Media Manager.
farss wrote on 1/6/2007, 4:57 AM
Seeing as how I might have the ear of the two most knowledgable MM users around here's a question:
I too am looking at a project 'sometime this year' that'll be exactly that, an unscripted doco with some hideous shooting ratio.
Now as this will be shot in HDV forget scene detection, I find it problematic enough with DV but that's another story!

So as I wizz through all this footage, think say 60 x I hour clips, can I log them into MM as tape number or file name, in /out point and attach tags or do they have to be split into clips?
If I happen to be double heading the audio will MM log the matching audio file and in/out points as well?
Can I do this say from the trimmer?

BrianStanding wrote on 1/6/2007, 6:18 AM
Hey, Bob

Between MM, subclips, the "region" view in the explorer window, the trimmer, save with trimmed files, nested veggies and media bins, the pieces are all there for a super-streamlined logging/trimming workflow. However, I'm still wrestling with the best way to integrate these functions as efficiently as possible. See the linked thread in my note above for the best I've managed to do so far. If anyone has any ideas for improving this workflow, I'd be glad to hear it!

In answer to your question, I'd say start with Media Manager to do some gross categorization with tags that are based on the inherent qualities of the clips themselves. (i.e., handheld, static, master, cutaway, needs trimming, etc.). Then go to the trimmer to create regions and subclips of the files you tagged as "needs trimming." Name the regions with descriptive names that describe what the subject is talking about. You can do this in the timeline, too, but there are a couple of advantages of the trimmer:
1. You can save regions to the media file itself, so they will be visible on the timeline and in the "regions" pane of the Vegas Explorer Window, if you import the media file into another timeline.

2. Its only one additional keystroke ("C") to create a subclip of each region. Also, any subclip you create in the trimmer automatically gets named with the region name by default. If you do this on the timeline, Vegas will name it "xxxx.avi (subclip 1) instead.

From there, you can sort subclips into Media Bins, based on whatever criteria you want. Or, you can grab them into a new timeline to create a small sequence, and then grab either the entire or portions of a nested veggie to compile into your master project.

The only frustrating thing about this is having to switch between the Media Manager window, the Explorer "Regions" pane and the Project Media window. It would be so much easier if Media Manager recognized subclips! Then you could drag just drag the file from MM to the Trimmer, make your subclips, and then just tag the subclips with however many tags you needed to sort all the information. An alternative would be to have a "regions" view in MM itself, or at least a "highlight in Vegas Explorer window" option on the right-click menu.

Then you could also rely on Media Manager to find whatever clips you wanted, which would be faster than the Media Bins. I know Excalibur has an "extract good clips" function that automates some of this process... I will be experimenting to see if I can use that in this workflow to speed some parts of it up a bit.

Again, I don't consider myself an expert with Media Manager; I'm still figuring this out as I go. Others may have some other ideas.... ummmm... Grazie?