AVP Select

AVP 2019 Holiday Card

10 December 2019

Did you receive an AVP holiday scratch off card this year? If so, what scene is beneath your scratch off? If it’s a fireside scene and the clock reads 12 then you won the grand prize. If it’s a fireside scene and the clock reads 6 then you won the runner-up prize. If it’s a snowman scene it means you have won our appreciation and admiration. All of you are AVPeeps and we treasure you.

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AVP’s Bertram Lyons Joins Colleagues In Prague For Digital Preservation Seminar

27 November 2019

At AVP we have a dedicated team of globetrotters with a mission to solve problems around data management. We strive to be good global citizens and share our experiences whenever we can. One of the last efforts of the year will come from AVP Partner and Senior Consultant Bertram Lyons. Bert has an extensive history of engagement in the global cultural heritage community through years of participating in trainings, presentations, and conferences in addition to his varied day-to-day work with AVP.

The National Museum of the Czech Republic

This week Bert is headed to Prague, Czech Republic for an event in conjunction with the National Museum of the Czech Republic. This will be the second year in a row that he has visited. Last year, he spent two days learning about their projects and workflows at the National Museum. Bert in conjunction with Michal Konečný and Bohus Získal, will be facilitating a day-long seminar on digital preservation. The seminar is attached to a national yearly gathering of archives, libraries, and museums.

Bert was invited by Filip Šír. Filip has been a tireless advocate behind the New Phonograph project which is a comprehensive effort to create universal audio preservation procedures for the Czech Republic. Bert and Filip first met in 2013 at a conference for the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA). Bert is a very active member of IASA, serving on the executive board and as the editor of the IASA journal. Filip says Bert’s experience in digital preservation, software, and audiovisual formats is unique. He knew that Bert was the right person to dialog and share with the greater cultural heritage community serving the entire nation.

Filip Šír

Filip feels that this seminar is different from ones in the past because it’s broadening the audience beyond curators and technical staff to managers, executives, and other key people working to preserve cultural heritage. The goal is to present primary digital preservation concepts together with practical examples of preservation practice worldwide with a focus on related organizational prerequisites. But it is not intended to be a lecture, rather it is a time to share, discuss and inspire collaboration. Filip says lots of progress has been made but overall there is a need for well formulated strategies that aren’t fragmented by departments and institutions. He thinks that very few organizations have made it to a satisfactory level of long-term digital preservation. He hopes that the conference and the seminar will bolster these efforts and give renewed energy to the people working on this every day.

For Bert, trips like this are extremely valuable to the project work he does with AVP. It’s a chance for him to step out of his normal routine and learn from colleagues working in very different institutional and political environments. He says that overall, despite what resources organizations do or don’t have, it comes down to having passionate people in place to champion for progress. While some people may have anxiety about what they are doing right with digital preservation, the truth is most everyone is in the same boat—just trying to learn as they go and build a network of support that talks about how to keep raising the bar. Ultimately it does take financial and programmatic support for long-term digital preservation to be effective, but not as much as some may think if good planning is in place.

This seminar is a huge step in that direction, with more than 150 people participating. Bert says that the more bridges that can be built between collections and information technology, the faster the potential progress.

Learn more about the seminar, the National Museum and on-going preservation projects at these links:

Digital Preservation Seminar with Bertram Lyons, Michal Konečný and Bohus Získal


National Museum


New Phonograph


20th Conference Archives, Libraries, Museums in the Digital World 2019


AVP’s Bertram Lyons Joins Colleagues in Prague for Digital Preservation Seminar

27 November 2019

At AVP we have a dedicated team of globetrotters with a mission to solve problems around data management. We strive to be good global citizens and share our experiences whenever we can. One of the last efforts of the year will come from AVP Partner and Senior Consultant Bertram Lyons. Bert has an extensive history of engagement in the global cultural heritage community through years of participating in trainings, presentations, and conferences in addition to his varied day-to-day work with AVP. 

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A basic introduction to digital preservation storage. Part 1.

17 November 2019

digital blur



Let’s talk about storage. I know, I know. Not the sexiest topic in the world. But, when it comes to your digital assets, thinking about storage and the various digital preservation actions that go along with it are core to the implementation, development, or enhancement of your digital preservation program. In this series of three blog posts, my goal is to communicate the value and need of digital preservation storage, the requirements to adhere to best practices, and provide some information and links to organizations that create and administer digital preservation storage standards.

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Upcoming Free Aviary Webinars

24 October 2019

We are continuing to grow our Aviary community with new adopting organizations and platform capabilities. Learn about specific ways Aviary works for different systems, metadata, and organizations in these upcoming free webinars. 

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How to: Succeed in an AV Digitization Project Without Really Trying

10 September 2019

How To: Succeed In An AV Digitization Project Without Really Trying1

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Handy tools for remote user research

29 August 2019

In recent months at AVP, we’ve been engaged in a variety of projects that find us facilitating and organizing remote user tests, interviews, and workshops that help our clients improve user experience for their internal systems and workflows. We thought it might be useful to share some of the tools and techniques we rely on when conducting remote user experience work.

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How to Aviary: Lesson 4

16 July 2019

How to Add a Single Resource to Aviary

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How to Aviary: Lesson 3

17 June 2019

How to Create and Configure a Collection

Lesson3, Part 1: How to Create a Collection


Lesson 3, Part 2: How to Configure a Collection

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Bird is the Word: The Closed Loop Problem

11 June 2019

Bird is the Word Logo 2

Welcome back to the…. newly renamed Bird is the Word series (formerly named 99 Problems)! This series focuses on how our new streaming platform Aviary is changing the game. Want to start at the beginning? Read here. Otherwise, if you are ready to get back to it, let’s go!


In my last post, I looked at the Lack of Democracy Problem. This reflected on the reality that features like in-audio search and in-video search have been available to very few. Aviary changes all that by offering these features and a whole lot more to anyone and everyone. In this post I am shifting the focus from who has access to what is being published.

Using text-based search as a reference, users wouldn’t expect to use one search engine for newspapers, another for websites, another for scholarly publications, and so on. We shouldn’t have this division when it comes to audio and video search either! When the what that is being published with in-audio and in-video search and navigation is restricted it creates a closed loop. The problem comes into play when we realize that in most use-cases users don’t want to search, find, and navigate content in closed loops. Users want their search results to show them a world of possibilities relating to their interests. The results should be presented so they can facet and prioritize quickly and decide what is useful and meaningful to them. So why does the closed loop problem happen?

Assume makes an…

There are implicit assumptions demonstrated by applications and platforms that utilize in-audio and in-video search which create the closed loop problem. What assumptions and which applications and platforms? Read on:

Assumption 1: Only one source of content is relevant. An example of this is TedTalks which publishes only TedTalks. This makes sense in terms of creating a brand but it isolates the content too – creating a closed loop. One of the major benefits of Aviary for consumers is that they can search across a broad array of content sources. One of the perks for publishers is that they can be discovered by audiences that hadn’t previously known of them.

Assumption 2: Only one type of content is relevant. For this example we can look to CastBox who has gotten a great deal of press over recent months about their in-audio search for podcasts. The loop is widened compared to the single source, but we’re still only playing within one type of content. Only publishers and consumers of podcasts benefit. Aviary doesn’t discriminate based on content type or favor one type of content over another. Publishers can publish broadly and consumers don’t have to go to 5 different applications to search for 5 different types of content.

Assumption 3:  Only one media type is relevant. YouTube is a good example here. People that want to publish audio have to create a video out of their audio in order to publish it. On the flip side, CastBox only allows access to audio content. At best, these divisions create poor user experience. Aviary handles publishing and consumption of both audio and video with the nuance that each of these media types requires for publishers to offer compelling experiences and get consumers to engage fully.

Assumption 4: Everything is public. We can return to YouTube as an example here. YouTube assumes that everyone that uploads wants to publish publicly. For organizations with more complex permissions and access policies this won’t work. Aviary offers the public facing benefits of YouTube while bringing a robust set of permissions and access controls to meet the most demanding requirements. And not only do we offer this for the audio and video, but also for the transcripts and index text. If you can think up a permissions scenario, Aviary can do it.

Assumption 5: Everything is private. Players like Panopto and their Smart Search application are internal facing. Most organizations have complex permissions and access policies that require robust support for both public and private use-cases. Aviary responds to this reality by offering a sophisticated set of controls that allows publishers to define exactly when, where, and how their content is accessed while offering the same great user experience to both public and private users.

Assumption 6: Showing up in Google search results doesn’t matter. If you look at a platform like Kaltura, which features transcript creation, you’ll see that you won’t find those transcripts showing up in Google search results. In fact, most applications and platforms keep their metadata to themselves. It’s a form of keeping you and your users in their system. When publishers choose to make their content and transcripts public, Aviary exposes this metadata to Google so that search and discoverability is maximized.

Assumption 7: Everyone will come to them. Portals – systems that are built on the premise that users should come to them instead of them going to users – are a thing of the 90s and oughts, and that is where they should remain. Content and audience engagement requires fluidity in publishing and consumption. People need the ability to simultaneously centralize content and discovery while also being able to publish dynamically and broadly. On this front, every example application and platform given so far fails. Aviary implements a multi-faceted approach. We start by giving publishers the option to publish audio and video in Aviary from other streaming platforms. In other words, you can publish content that lives in YouTube, Vimeo, Soundcloud, and other places through Aviary, leverage the robust suite of Aviary features, and leave your content right where it lives. The benefits of breaking down silos without the need to migrate data.  In addition to Aviary’s open-arms approach to other streaming platforms, publishers can use embed codes that allow for embedding the entire Aviary experience wherever you like. How sweet is that?!


Publishers no longer have to circumnavigate unnecessary walls. Consumers no longer have to deal with frustrating pointless divisions that only impede their ability to get to the information they want. Aviary breaks open the closed loop, turning it into a fluid and dynamic network and modernizing the publishing and search experience for audio and video content.

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