Digital Media

Berklee College of Music Plays New Tune with Digital Assets

The 4,200 students and 600-plus faculty at Berklee College of Music now have a new way to file their digital assets. The institution, which has campuses in Boston and Valencia, Spain, recently contracted with Widen for use of its Media Collective for cloud-based digital asset management. The Widen service will be used as a shared database to make contents — both audio and visual files — searchable, accessible and shareable.

The college went through an evaluation process that included attendance at a technology conference focused on digital asset management and discussions with other institutions about their implementations. Widen was chosen for its usability and the way it handled audio and video. Those types of files may now be streamed to users through course Web sites rather than requiring people to download the files.

"As a college of music, we have a lot of music audio, music notation PDF files, videos of artist interviews and performances that represent great teaching moments," said Jay Barnes, assistant vice president for the digital learning department. "We also have production mix files that are used for homework assignments that can be shared. We want to unlock the value of those learning assets by letting faculty reuse them in new ways. To do that, we needed a central repository with appropriate metadata attached to each file that would enable faculty to find interesting examples of diatonic harmony, for example, and use them in their course homework assignments and reading materials."

Widen's archiving software is also in use at Cornell University in New York, Ottawa University in Kansas and Maryville University in Missouri, among other schools.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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