The goal of the Interoperable Master Format (IMF) project is to develop a voluntary specification for an interoperable set of master files (and associated metadata) to enable standard interchange and automated creation of downstream distribution packages. We hope to create a voluntary specification that will be handed to SMPTE in the Fall of 2010 to kick off a formal standards-setting process.
Some of the benefits of the IMF should be:
* Single, interchangeable master file format
* Automated packaging & delivery
* Minimize storage
* Simplify post production transcodes
The IMF will store one master set of file based elements to be assembled for any downstream distribution using multiple Composition Play Lists (Recipes), similar to what is used in present day Digital Cinema Packaging (DCP). The broad concept of a high quality, uniform IMF should lower costs, improve time-to-market, and increase interoperability of existing production processes and needs. Of course, a IMF file-based workflow could be implemented and customized by any content creator, service provider, or distribution partner.
Specification Development Process The Entertainment Technology Center is hosting regular discussions related to the IMF among the majority of the major studios — the epicenter for the issues the IMF is trying to solve. The specification process is designed to solicit additional input and commentary from outside companies and individuals. For example, other ETC member companies get regular briefings and opportunities to provide input. In addition, companies and individuals who are not members of ETC but who are in the industries who may use or may be affected by the IMF will be briefed periodically and will have an opportunity to provide feedback via email reflector on an ongoing basis. How to get Involved The ETC and the IMF Tech Committee briefs the industry and seeks input from outside companies.