What is Digital Media Management?

Carol Francois

Digital media management is a combination of the hardware, software, and infrastructure required to allow users to save, manage, and access a wide range of digital files. Since the mid 1990s, almost all media is broadcast and available in a digital format. There is a wide range of software products that allows users to access these files. As the medium has grown in usage and acceptance, management tools are required to keep track of and safely access these tools.

A portable media player containing copyrighted files.
A portable media player containing copyrighted files.

Anyone who has a digital music player or camera has used a digital media management software program. The primary purpose of this type of software is to provide an easy to use tool to download or upload media files, change the file name, save to a specific location, and update the media player. From a software perspective, this is a simple file directory service, with additional protocols surrounding the number of devices that can download the same files and drivers for each file type.

Digital video recorders allow people to download, sort, store, and view their favorite television shows.
Digital video recorders allow people to download, sort, store, and view their favorite television shows.

Over time, many firms expand their product to include other digital media files, such as movies, television shows, or sporting events. This industry is forecast to experience a huge expansion in the next five to eight years. The current trend is for customers to move away from traditional media outlets and look to the Internet as their primary source of media and entertainment.

The hardware required to set up a digital media management system includes a computer with significant processing power and memory, a media storage device, and an Internet router. Although not specifically required, it is wise to invest in a backup storage device for all your digital media. The amount of time and effort required to create a digital media library is significant, and the ability to restore all the files after a catastrophic system failure is a huge benefit. Make sure you test the ability to restore the files at least twice a year, to be sure the system works as anticipated.

There is a wide range of both commercial and free digital media management software products available. Both types of products usually require access to the Internet to update the title track name, images, or license. When selecting this type of software, think about the way you currently access your digital media and then think about how you would like to access these files. Wireless connectivity for homes and businesses has expanded greatly, and the network speed and signal strength is now available to stream digital media wirelessly across large spaces.

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