The OATC Metadata Feed Recommended Practice document serves as a recommendation for content providers ("Providers") and content distributors ("Distributors") who have a need to exchange data to describe their content and detail how it can be used and further distributed. Adherence to these practices allows implementation of a single data package and could eliminate the need to code provider-specific (or distributor-specific) interfaces. This, in turn, simplifies the content exchange and helps to ensure that metadata is of a consistent quality and delivered in a timely manner.
The Metadata Feed Recommended Practice recommends a method for exchange of content metadata between providers and distributors. It is not intended, not is it likely appropriate, to provide a data source for use directly by the end consumer of the content
The delivery of subscription content metadata normally occurs in one of two ways. Method 1 involves the static delivery of a metadata "sidecar" file alongside the audio/video content. Method 2 entails the provision of metadata via an XML document delivered by a web service, generally referred to as a "Metadata Feed". Under this feed concept a distributor would be expected to call the web service periodically to learn of newly available content or changes to existing content. The refresh rate is subject to agreement between the content provider and the distributor, but it is encouraged that the data be refreshed on a two to four hour basis in order to facilitate quick and effective content takedowns when such a need arises.
A Metadata Feed describes all of the distributable content available to a distributor at the time of the request, and for a pre-determined window afterwards. For example, a provider may stipulate that the feed includes all content scheduled to be (or to become) available at any time during the following eight hours. The actual time at which the content becomes visible to consumers is driven by data within the feed itself.
The Metadata Feed specifies the provider that is offering the content data along with a collection of "TVE Items". Each TVE Item contains all relevant data for a particular program or content item.
Data for a given TVE Item may change from one update to the next, so distributors are expected to parse the entire feed and apply changes to their own data stores as such changes occur. To assist with this process, each Metadata Feed contains a time stamp that indicates when the data was sent. This time stamp is an ever increasing value useful for comparison.