Avid is self-aware. And while not in the Skynet sort of way, Avid is aware of it’s own.  Commonly this is found in a shared user environment (Unity, ISIS).  However, it can also be found in terms of raw media. A little known feature within Avid is the concept of a Fast Import.  This complicated term does exactly what is says – it imports media into your Avid faster than a traditional import.  However, lately I've been frequently asked, “well, why not use AMA?  No importing is needed!” Let's address this before we jump into Fast Importing.
I was going to dazzle you all with a post about the exiting realm of Digital Asset Management (Oooh!  Ahhh!), but I thought I would stick with the encoding kick I've been on recently. Encoding solutions are much like interns: you have no idea what they are fully capable of, you have no idea how well they can multi-task, and there sure as hell there are a lot of ‘em. Thus, we need to develop some baselines with which to judge perspective candidates.  There are several yardsticks with which to measure these by.  But which ones?  Features?  Speed?  Cost?
The post industry lives and dies around the concept of deliverables.  What specifications have to met to appease the viewer, server, or engineer on the other end.  Many times, just getting the deliverable out is a chore in itself.  The last encoding format sheet I read from a leading encoding manufacturer had 5 pages of supported input / output formats. Being able to decipher these often cryptic encoding acronyms and numeric values appears to need a degree in engineering.
Off and on for several years, I was involved with a post facility that had what they referred to as “The Money Room” Quite apropos, not only for the greenish hue to the walls, but what they *did* in that room. Unbeknownst to them (but now beknownst to me) the so-called castoff activities and backroom chores which took place in that space are now the new(er) ways to make money at your post facility…and even be a marketable service.