SMPTE is joining forces with MESA to begin work on the first standard for metadata, which will be published as a SMPTE Public Committee Draft later this year.
SMPTE said the media industry’s first human- and machine-readable Language Metadata Table (LMT) is intended to give media companies, content owners, video service providers, and others a controlled vocabulary and standardised set of codes for accurately and consistently identifying spoken and written language, in turn supporting more efficient interchange of media worldwide.
LMT codes can support applications across audio, written and timed text (closed captions and subtitles), accessibility, licensing, content localisation, and international distribution.
“The Language Metadata Table was started at WarnerMedia in 2017 to normalise language codes within the organisation, and IETF BCP 47 was selected due to its flexibility,” said Yonah Levenson, LMT chair at MESA. “As interest in LMT as the M&E industry’s language code solution increased, SMPTE recognised the value of the LMT and came on board as the technical partner/advisor.”
The SMPTE Public CD is expected to be published in the first half of 2021.
“If you buy and sell media, you understand that a common vocabulary for language tagging is sorely needed,” said SMPTE standards vice president Bruce Devlin, who worked with MESA to develop the prototype LMT register and online interface currently being reviewed by SMPTE TCs. “The LMT register accounts for all languages as well as dialects and scripts. As we see the register through the Public CD process, our hope is that the LMT register will become a canonical resource that serves the needs of all media organisations and ecosystems. Accessing this data will be as simple as clicking on a link or using an API to grab required codes.”
“My hope as the SMPTE standards vice president is that ultimately we will have a structure document in SMPTE that defines the LMT, presents the data itself in both human- and machine-readable form, and provides a new administrative guideline that describes how we’ll manage controlled vocabularies and ontologies for third parties,” added Devlin. “As we undertake the Public CD process for the LMT register, I encourage any organisation or individual with a stake in the internationalisation of content to join the appropriate SMPTE TC and contribute their requirements and expertise.”