Friday, February 09, 2007

Here is the problem, as anyone following my work can attest - there's too much of it. I'll be at the Openport festival in Chicago the end of the month, doing a symposium, talk, two performances. So I'm attempting to organize files for the last, and it's difficult. I narrowed the video/audio work to 900 files - and these are edited from the mass of my video/audio work in general, running I think into the 1000s. I've placed the files in two folders, Performance 1 / 2. The names (titles) of the files convey nothing. I'm still naming from the film years when one produced "pieces" with such. So there are 900 names, and I forget what most of these things are. It's not even easy to tell by extension - there are sound files with .mp4 and the video files almost all end in .mov, even though some of them are modified .mp4 with H.264 compression that use up a lot of processor time.

Thumbnails won't do - they would be too difficult to manage, would clutter up the screen, wouldn't handle audio. I think of code - G for Geneva, D for dance, GG for Gruyere, GA for Aletsch glacier work - but then the individual pieces are still left behind. I've tried brief 2-3 word descriptions in the titles, but that doesn't seem to help. All of this has to be on the screen when I'm performing - that's the whole point of it - the ability to choose video/audio on the fly. I'm not sure where to take this, memorizing indices in my head, mnemonics ... The total number of still images that I work with (i.e. not family) is about 10000. The total audio, probably 1000; the total video, I imagine around 1500.

I swim in these. I need a directory structure for everything, coupled with a search engine; I need keywords and a way to delimit and present files during performance; I need a system which is easily understandable. I'm speaking of approximately 200 gigabytes of material here. Of course any suggestions greatly appreciated.

- Alan

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