The process for the creation of MediaConch started in the summer of 2014, when MediaArea began drafting a proposal to develop a new conformance checker for audiovisual tools. Fortunately, we were selected to develop this validation software for Matroska-wrapped FFV1 files with LPCM audio. The first phase was a “design” phase, lasting from November 2014 to March 2015, where we would develop the initial prototype for the project. These legacy documents can still be found in the initial Github repository under DesignPhase. Here, we asserted our strategy for Matroska and FFV1 standardization through IETF, emphasized how and where this software could fit into an OAIS-compliant workflow, and planned the structures and features that users enjoy in MediaConch today.
Following the design phase were several prototyping phases in which MediaArea produced functional software with updates on a monthly cadence (although daily builds were available for cutting-edge testing). Requirements of this phase included making software available 1. for every major operating system 2. that will work with the other PREFORMA software, veraPDF and DPF Manager and 3. exists in three formats: graphical user interface, command line interface, and web interface.
Here are the “final” numbers, although many are increasing all the time!
3000 downloads total for this past year. That breaks down to 3100 Windows, 2000 macOS, and 800 Linux downloads. This does not include packages downloaded and compiled from the source code, nor does it include downloads from third-party repositories such as the Linux distributions official repositories/websites.
MediaArea released a new version of the software every month from the first “official” release in May 2015 until present. Every month for almost three years!
There were over 7200 commits specifically for MediaConch in MediaArea-based repositories, and many hundreds more across a variety of open source repositories.
The Matroska specification page hosted by Matroska-Org in GitHub and now contains 352 commits by 13 code contributors. The foundational format of Matroska, EBML, has additionally received 374 commits from 10 contributors and support from the working group members. The FFV1 lossless video codec specification, also available on Github, contains 219 commits from 8 contributors.
And please note, squashing commits were highly encouraged!
Across MediaConch repositories there have been 108 open and 201 closed issues, coming to 309 total (and counting).
MediaArea hosts a place for users to upload and publicly share their institution’s MediaConch policies. They are available here: https://mediaarea.net/MediaConchOnline/publicPolicies
There have been a total of 1365 posts made to the CELLAR listserv, created for the purpose of standardizing Matroska, FFV1, and FLAC.
MediaArea initiated the No Time To Wait! conference in Berlin alongside the IETF conference in 2016 to celebrate and support the integration of open formats and standards by cultural heritage institutions, with a goal of bringing together preservationists, specification authors, and developers together. A second conference was held in Vienna of this year.
These are in addition to the number of conferences and workshops hosted by the PREFORMA project with participation from MediaArea and the other suppliers.
Eleven MediaConch users across nine institutions were interviewed about their usage of MediaConch in production.
Bonus: sometimes we were interviewed, too. Here’s an interview by Kate Murray for the Library of Congress’s Signal blog.
MediaArea produced ten newsletters highlighting recent/upcoming events and noting new features. A roundup of all of the newsletters can be found here.
This includes 334 tweets from the primary MediaConch account and 78 from No Time To Wait, used for the second No Time To Wait conference. This does not include personal tweets or tweets from MediaArea.
These are just some of the numbers that shaped our project over the past three and a half years. This data doesn’t begin to cover the an uncountable number of emails, video calls, new colleagues, and new friends as a result of this project.
MediaConch will continue to be updated as progress is made on the Matroska, EBML, and FFV1 standardization efforts and MediaArea will provide support for bugs in the program and general repository support and release-building. Meanwhile, MediaArea is again able to take on new projects and will be seeking out new problems to solve. If you’d like to work together, get in touch.
MediaConch has been part of PREFORMA project co-funded by the European Commission under its FP7-ICT Programme. It has been an honor! Thank you to everyone within the PREFORMA initiative, sister projects veraPDF and DPF Manager, cultural heritage partners, Artefactual, our contributors, and all of our software testers.