AVPreserve Releases Fixity And MDQC, Digital Preservation Tools

October 28, 2013

AVPreserve is pleased to announce the release of Fixity and MDQC, two new digital preservation tools available for free download on our Tools page.

Fixity is a free open source utility for the documentation and regular review of stored files. Fixity scans a folder or directory, creating a manifest of the files including their file paths and their checksums, against which a regular comparative analysis can be run.fixity_folderFixity monitors file integrity through generation and validation of checksums, and file attendance through monitoring and reporting on new, missing, moved and renamed files.fixity_resultsAVPreserve created Fixity after coming to the realization that:

1. Checksum generation and validation are universally recognized as a primary mechanism for fulfilling the goal of fixity.

2. Generating checksums without systematically and routinely validating them is of little or no use.

3. Most organizations that “use checksums” only generate checksums but don’t validate them routinely, if at all.

4. The primary reason organizations don’t systematically and routinely verify checksums is because there is no tool that allows scheduling and reporting of validation.

5. Organizations that do routinely verify checksums do not typically monitor and report on file attendance types of information.

6. Overcoming the lack of resources and/or access to IT expertise is a critical factor in enabling organizations to fulfill the goal of fixity. Organizations need a simple, low cost tool.

There are many free and open source checksum utilities out on the market but they do not offer the feature set or simplicity necessary to fulfill the need that organizations have. Fixity was created with the sole focus of fulfilling the requirements of those concerned with monitoring fixity of a collection over the long term. It is intended for use in monitoring collections of files that are “final state”, or ready for deposit into an archive or preservation oriented repository.

MDQC stands for Metadata Quality Control. It is a free open source utility that reads the embedded metadata of a file or directory and compares it against a set of rules defined by the user.mdqc_rulesAVPreserve created MDQC after doing a great deal of wrangling data using a combination of scripts, ExifTool, MediaInfo, spreadsheets and formulas. The most common use to date has been to automate and minimize the time needed to QC large batches of digitized or reformatted assets. For instance, organizations have used MDQC on files being returned from a vendor or in-house lab to verify technical parameters, such as bit depth, sample rate, codec and aspect ratio, as well as non-technical parameters such as copyright statements, title information, identifiers and more.mdqc_results

Although this has been the primary use so far MDQC can be used in any workflow where comparing actual metadata to expected metadata is useful. MDQC can be used on any file type supported by ExifTool and MediaInfo.

Direct downloads and User Guides of these (and other tools!) are available on our Tools page, or via the Fixity and MDQC GitHub pages.

Both of these applications are in beta. Please help refine them further by reporting all bugs to or User feedback is always welcome directed to info{@}avpreserve{dot}com.