SMPTE & MESA to co-develop a Language Metadata Table standard

The leading standards governing body of media engineering, Society of Motion and Television Engineers (SMPTE), has joined forces with the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA) to co-develop a Language Metadata Table (LMT) standard. This is the first project that SMPTE has undertaken to electronically publish machine-readable metadata as a standard that is expected to be in common use operationally.

As more metadata content emerges with the new waves of technologies, the LMT codes would provide the needed codes for 200-plus spoken and written languages such as audio, written and timed text like closed-captions and subtitles, accessibility for the visually and hearing impaired, licensing and localising international content, and distributing non-English content.

Conceived by WarnerMedia, MESA supports the LMT Working Group as one of its communities of practice. LMT, based on IETF BCP 47 (Internet Engineering Task Force Best Common Practices) guidelines, is the first list of language codes vetted and approved as an industry standard for media and entertainment.

It seeks to benefit media companies, content owners, video service providers, and others who need standardised distinctions between spoken and written language and consistent codes.Other international standards bodies have created controlled vocabularies; however, they are broadly used for many purposes. The constraints of the LMT provide a controlled vocabulary for what is needed in the professional media industry.

Therefore, it will significantly streamline media asset management around the globe.

“Having an authorised system of consistent codes reduces the Tower of Babel and simplifies development work by enabling all parties to work off the same table,” said Yonah Levenson, Manager, Metadata Strategy and Terminology Governance at WarnerMedia and founder of LMT.

“SMPTE’s publication of LMT will help everyone manage their media assets by removing cumbersome processes like maintaining mapping tables and having different payloads for different distributors.”

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