Podcast Tagging and Metadata

Last week I wrote a piece on Podcast Metadata: http://www.drsavi.com/metadata-for-podcasting-and-elearning/

Interestingly, the following article: http://web.mit.edu/ist/podcasts/podcasting_user_guide.pdf
focuses more on tagging.
In the opening paragraph it states:

Many websites contain links to audio and video, but mere links do not a podcast make. Podcasts require metadata that describes and organizes the audio and video files. Librarians or other information professionals often supply this metadata for large-scale podcasting projects. But podcasts are not only for projects with massive resources. Individuals can podcast and are encouraged to do so. Individuals can and must become familiar with the idea of producing their own metadata, a process often called “tagging.” Fortunately, tagging is easy to do. Tags are user-supplied labels that record certain pieces of information about the audio and video files—(librarians call these pieces of information “properties”). Librarians call the sum of all the tags about a video or audio file its metadata, since the file is a piece of data and its tags are data about it. Metadata means “data about data.

The suggestion is that tagging is related to Metadata. To a certain extent this is true as metadata is defined as information about information. In my article I suggested that metadata as related to podcasting has to include the attributes of the content in question rather than by subject.

Tagging in my view is concerned with labelling rather than detailed archiving. From a social booking marking perspective, tagging is fine.

However, feed tags look a lot more like what I call metadata, for example:

  • Identifier = <id>
  • Copyright = <rights>
  • Title = <title>
  • Link = <link>
  • Contributor = <author>
  • Description = <subtitle>
  • Subject = <category>
  • Language = <dc:language>
  • Date = <updated>

Media RSS, is a new variety of RSS 2.0 that was developed by Yahoo and Google for use in their audio and video podcast search services – it has defined it’s own tag to capture contributor information. In Media RSS, multiple tags are allowed, one for each contributor. Also in Media RSS, you are required to be more specific in defining the nature of each individual’s contribution. An interesting example is the media:credit tag, it requires you to specify a role for the contributor. Now that is even more detail.


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