V. Program Distribution Medium (same metadata should appear on all program media)

  1. Content should be delivered on either DVDs or hard drives:

a)    Media < 4GB delivered on DVDs

b)    Media > 4GB delivered on PC-formatted (NTFS file system) 6-pin, Firewire + USB 2.0 drives

  1. When multiple drives are used, the same metadata should appear on each drive
  2. Video should be organized into folders according to frame numbers, typically with a maximum of 10,000 frames per folder
  3. Audio should be organized into folders according to frame rate (e.g., 25fps, 29.97fps, and 30fps folders), with sub-folders for stereo and x.x surround mixes
  4. Top level directories: “Frames”, “Audio”, “Extra”, etc.

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As technology progresses the favored delivery mechanism will change with it.  For example, sending a 4GB ZIP file through ftp or DropBox-like sites is fairly reasonable today.  In fact, up to around 20GB is perfectly okay to download through my 50Mbps connection.  Obviously as net connection speeds go up, the definition of "reasonable" will go up, too.

I guess I'm more concerned with standardizing the directory layout and file contents than I am in trying to standardize the delivery media.

A checksum should be made available for each program and a utility/batch file/script should be included with the distribution to verify file integrity.  

I agree with Ken that delivery media is immaterial to standards.  Also, why not standardize to exFAT instead of NTFS?  It has native read/write support for Mac & Windows, supports large file sizes.  For that matter, why mention drive connections at all?

Any serious customer of fulldome content should take the responsibility for having the ability to pull it off a drive.  We've had to buy eSATA cards, Firewire 8 to 6 pin converters, MacFUSE, etc., all just to read what others have sent in.  None of them are very expensive, and most are a one time up-front cost.

Not sure if this is something that folks feel should be standardized, but this seems the best place to ask it. In that "Extras" folder, I would love to see a standardized minimum promo/press kit that goes out with shows. A video trailer (both fulldome frames and audio at the same resolution/format as the show, and frames/audio for an 1080 flat-screen version), a folder with at least five 300ppi images suitable for print promotion, a press release, and a Teacher's/Educator's Guide (for educational content).

If a content producer wants to release more (and some already do), that's great, but it would be nice to get a base set of materials included with fulldome shows. Getting a show with no supporting materials is a big pain for us.

Good points about the transfer medium... The goal here is to make sure that producers and system integrators know what format(s) to support at a minimum.  I don't think this precludes use of other media or transfer means - it's more of a "least common denominator" goal.  Also keep in mind that we do not want to exclude legacy systems.  Can everyone read an exFAT formatted drive?  Does everyone have a 50 MBPS connection?

Mike's "Extras" folder content suggestions are great ideas.  This fall under the category of "Guidelines" which can accompany this spec.

Transfer medium is going to be an ever-evolving thing. exFat is much easier to work with between lots of systems than NTFS.

I *really* like the idea of a set of folders common to all deliveries via whatever transfer medium is used.

I think Ken's point from the Sec. II discussion is applicable here as well:  "the receiver makes it right."  Tell me what you're sending, I'll tell you what I've got, and we'll meet in the middle.  The diversity of production systems and playback systems means that establishing a "least common denominator" will end up with some people being frustrated.

If I send you ZipDisks or holographic storage cubes, yeah, maybe it's me being odd, but working for a time continuum of systems has to be a two way street.  We can't say, "we have to support people who still use Windows 98" and not say that we're going to support people who are using ReFS with their Windows 8 production pipeline.  


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