MediaCAST's core functionality is the digital repository or digital library feature. The digital repository allows a fully cross-referenced library of on-demand resources to be cataloged and managed through the web-interface. The system allows a learner, instructor or other user to search for content by several criteria, including keywords, subject, author, publisher, grade range, ISBN, call number, bar code, Dewey decimal reference and the type of media. Results can be limited to 10, 20, 50 or all results shown on a page; the results can be quickly filtered by keyword or type of resource to find appropriate materials as the library grows. The user can click on found resources and view that material on-demand. The resources are cross-referenced so, for example, if some one searches and locates a video from National Geographic, they can quickly locate all the other resources by the same publisher or about the same subject.
The content for the digital media library can be built in multiple ways. First is the easy-to-use four-step wizard that allows you to upload new media resources directly through the web-interface. You can enter the appropriate metadata like title, description, publisher, etc., as well as set the digital rights settings for copyright and Fair Use compliance. The final step is to select the file by browsing your computer, the network, CD or DVD and upload the file. The naming convention, permissions and other critical items are taken care of behind the scenes to allow nontechnical people to populate the media library.
The second method for populating the library is to use the built-in import function. This allows a tab-delimited file to be imported using standard MARC record identifiers for the metadata and even supports XML formatted import. The import allows the administrator to preview the file, as well as import multiple files. The import routine checks to see if a record already exists for a title and updates the record with current information or creates a new record if one does not exist.
The third method of building an on-demand digital library is to purchase content from third-party content providers. Inventive Technology has relationships with digital content providers and can supply the content you may require. Thousands of titles can be individually selected or chosen in bundles from our Plug&Play Digital Content library. The Plug&Play library eliminates the need to convert VHS tapes or to create database records manually. All of these titles are already in digital format and licensed in various ways to allow for things like multiple simultaneous users. The power of MediaCAST is that all types of 3rd party content in addition to content from our publisher partners can be added and managed within the system. Many companies offer libraries of content which can easily be incorporated with the tools provided within MediaCAST. An important aspect of using third-party content of any sort is to ensure you are complying with the copyright and Fair Use guidelines. As explained earlier, MediaCAST can help you take the necessary steps towards compliance.