Tony Brooke: Research

This portfolio collects examples of my research reports, articles, white papers, and technical guides. Subjects include information science, media asset management, and audiovisual metadata. Also see my resume and contact information. Thank you for your interest — Tony Brooke.

Published Master's research in the Journal of Digital Media Management, or available for download:

Descriptive Metadata in the Music Industry: Why It Is Broken And How to Fix It
(2014: 67 pages)

This significant report examines the problem of descriptive metadata and proposes clear solutions. Please visit this page for an abstract and download.


Brooke, Tony. 2014. “Descriptive Metadata in the Music Industry: Why It Is Broken and How to Fix it—Part One.” Journal of Digital Media Management 2 (3): 263–282.

Brooke, Tony. 2014. “Descriptive Metadata in the Music Industry: Why It Is Broken and How to Fix it—Part Two.” Journal of Digital Media Management 2 (4): 359–374.

Media Asset Management Systems Guide
(2013: relational database-driven website, screencasts, and 21 page report)

This website and accompanying report (available upon request) examines Media Asset Management (MAM) systems, a subsection of the larger market of Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems, as of 2013. The target audience for the Guide is decision-makers considering the adoption of a MAM, and the primary goal is matching user workflows to appropriate MAM systems. So far, this evolving website details 70 systems, 61 organizations, and 8 workflows. For a quick introduction to the website see this video tour.

DAM and MAM systems are used to ingest, store, organize, retrieve, control access to, manage versioning of, and/or distribute digital assets. Both of these types of systems serve medium to large organizations that need to manage many kinds of digital objects. They differ in that MAM systems specifically handle time-based media files (video and audio), so MAMs are used in entertainment industry production, broadcast facilities, and enterprise-level commercial advertising. [The MAM Guide was developed in Drupal using Views, CCK, and URL parameter filters.]

Unpublished Master's research:

Persistent Identifiers
(2014: 50 page report)


Today’s digital media environment has exploded into a vast universe of options. The array of formats, devices, and applications form a huge orbiting cloud of choices. There seems to be a new launch every day of a format to carry creative works, or a device to connect to them. At first glance, there seems to be little order. But behind the scenes, there are central anchors whose gravitational pull keeps everything in orbit. Persistent identifiers are the unsung heroes keeping the worlds of creative works and digital media from flying apart. Identifiers allow many complex systems to move in harmony. What are these mysterious entities, where did they come from, and how do they work?

This report examines persistent identifiers (PIDs). Part one is an introduction to concepts and terms. Part two examines identifiers in the bibliographic industry, including ISBN, ISNI, DOI, and ISTC. Part three brings focus to identifiers in the entertainment industry, including ISRC, ISWC, ISNI, EIDR, and MBID (MusicBrainz).

Unpublished Master's research:

An Evaluation of the DDEX Metadata Standards
(2013: 17 pages)


The DDEX Consortium has developed a comprehensive, open suite of seventeen metadata standards for the interchange of information about various stages of the digital music supply chain. Intended for communicating sales and royalty data between online retailers and intellectual property owners, the DDEX Standards are the result of a groundbreaking collaboration in the traditionally divergent music industry. These standards are gaining acceptance and proving to be very efficient and cost effective.

In order to examine the DDEX Standards, a fictional company and product scenario were simulated to serve as a test case. Questions asked include: How do the DDEX standards work? Do they solve the problem of music metadata exchange? Are they a better choice than proprietary solutions? What functionality gaps exist?

Unpublished Master's research:

A Media Asset Management System For A Heritage Organization
(2013: 23 pages)


This report examines the media asset management needs of a nationally prominent heritage organization with a very long history. Over recent decades, this organization's music festival has amassed a significant archive of unique audio, video, and other media that is in need of preservation, digitization, and organization. Their goals include using these assets for promotional purposes, preserving history, and engaging their audience. This report begins with an overview of the organization, then surveys their holdings, offers implementation recommendations to best serve users, and presents potential asset management solutions. [This report was based upon interviews with the organization staff and significant research. It was presented to the organization and is currently under consideration.]

Unpublished Master's research, available upon request:

Revenue Ideas for Moving Image Archives: A Bibliography
(2012: 12 pages)


The landscape is changing for moving image archives. Facing simultaneous threats from funding cuts and media deterioration, moving image archives must make hard budget choices. In response, some have taken innovative approaches that address these challenges while meeting the goals of the institution’s mission. These ideas capitalize upon the exclusive nature of archive holdings, open up collections and generate revenue.

This bibliography is geared towards spurring conversation among moving image archivists working in public, private and corporate archives. It describes case studies of various moving image archives that have tried on-demand DVDs, video on-demand, and more experiments. It includes theories on digital distribution, such as “long tail” economics, and niche marketing. But this is certainly not an easy recipe for success. Multiple viewpoints on these topics are provided which contain numerous cautionary tales and pitfalls to avoid.

Unpublished Master's research:

A Digital Preservation Policy For A Film Festival
(2013: 6 page policy, 10 page report)


A Digital Preservation Policy was created for an internationally-known film festival. Based on in-person interviews and research, a long-term vision was crafted for the festival organization to preserve their operational heritage, so that they may continue their mission. The deliverable consisted of the policy and an accompanying experience report. [This policy and report were based upon interviews with the organization staff and significant research. The policy was presented to the organization and is currently under consideration.]

Unpublished Master's research, available upon request:

Descriptive Metadata in Music: A Literature Review
(2013: 17 pages)


This literature review is a guide to resources about descriptive metadata used for music. The resources included here cover metadata from audio formats of all eras, including physical formats (cylinder, LP, cassette, Compact Disc) and file-based formats (MP3, AAC, WAV, AIFF). It also briefly covers professional audio formats. Further resources examine descriptive music metadata with respect to consumer music sales, music studios, libraries and archives. This review shows that the richness of audio metadata has followed a bell-curve trajectory. The first audio reproduction and distribution formats had minimal metadata. The LP from the second half of the twentieth century carried a lot of rich metadata to aid discovery. But current digital methods of delivery have returned to the approach of providing as little metadata as formats of the late 1800’s.

Audio Format Guide: A Pathfinder
(2012: 16 pages)


This pathfinder is an introduction to audio formats, with sources to learn more about the subject. It offers an overview of the various media that have contained audio over the past 135 years. The audience for this pathfinder is audio engineers and audiophiles. These readers may have an audio format in hand but do not know what it is. The pathfinder will help them to identify the format and prepare to play it. Or, they may be seeking an overview of the history of certain formats. So this pathfinder is more technical than the general public would need, but not as technical as an electrical engineer or professional archivist would require.

Sources are divided into two categories: A page with “The Basics” for novices, and a second page called “Digging Deeper” for more experienced users. Within these pages sources are grouped together by their form of access, either electronic (including web sites and library databases) or print.

The pathfinder described by this 16-page report is available online.

Published Master's research, available from SRJ:

Open Source Integrated Library Systems in Public Libraries
(2013: 21 pages)


One of the most fundamental decisions a library makes is choosing an integrated library system, or ILS. A public library can remove unwanted outside influence and save money by switching their ILS to free and open source software, or FOSS. This article is an examination of the progress made by FOSS ILSs to become not only contenders against proprietary systems, but also an appropriate choice for financial, functional, and philosophical reasons. Included is a timeline of published evaluations, the milestone of 14% adoption, a summary of the current landscape, and example implementation cases. A functional analysis shows why a public library can now safely make the switch. A philosophical analysis shows why they should do so. Finally, a proposal is made to “Buy Back America’s Libraries," and return ownership of the keystone of our public information infrastructure to the people.

Brooke, Tony (2013) "Open Source Integrated Library Systems in Public Libraries," SLIS Student Research Journal: Vol. 3: Iss. 2, Article 3.
Available for download at:

The Master's e-Portfolio of Tony Brooke

The e-Portfolio is the culmination of my work toward a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the School of Library and Information Science at San José State University. It contains evidence that I have achieved mastery and practical application of the core competencies required for the degree. The e-Portfolio also details my concentration in the Information Science areas of media asset management and audiovisual metadata.

The e-Portfolio consists of an Introduction, a Statement of Professional Philosophy, fourteen Competency Statements, a Conclusion, and an affirmation of originality and privacy. Together these show that I am able to...

From 2004-2011, I self-published many articles in my Silent Way Forum. This served as my blog, but with a more open dialogue than the traditional blog format.

12/2007 video appearance on's Think Tank: "What will the music industry look like in a decade?" (no longer online)

The Definitive Users Guide for the Tascam DA-88 and DTRS Recorders

An 11,000+ word manual for the DTRS family of digital audio multitrack recorders. A replacement user's manual, in real-world English.

Recording Equipment Users' Guides, Tips and Tricks

Dozens of guides to using audio recording equipment, explaining hidden functions, secret modes and practical how-to tips.

Electrology 101: A DIY Guide to Learning About DJs, Electronic Music, and Hip Hop (as featured in SF Weekly's "ListenUp 2003" music supplement, 3/2003.)

A DIY introduction to resources that help you listen and learn about the latest genres of music. All have audio to complement the text, for useful context. In the end, it's up to your ears, so open them up and don't let anyone tell you what to like.

DIY FYI: A Step-By-Step Guide for Musicians (as featured in SF Weekly's "ListenUp 2002" music supplement, 3/2002)

A comprehensive guide detailing the steps to get gigs, record and promote a CD. All of these ideas are free, so save your cash for guitar strings and a real engineer.

Album Reviews (as featured in SF Weekly's "ListenUp 2003" music supplement, 3/2003)

Capsule reviews of releases by Ing, Kriya (Michael Smolens Jazz Sextet), Babatunde Lea, The Phenomenauts, Realistic, Virgil Shaw, 20 Minute Loop and Attaboy & Burke.

The Mac Tips Newsletter

Dozens of articles with Mac and PC tricks, e-published e-sporadically since early 2001.

On the Future of the Music Industry

A 1999 essay on the music business, predicting the changes that followed and are still coming true...

On the Future of Recording Studios and Radio

Covering the unstoppable march of technological progress, dispelling the "classic gear" myth, and how to survive in the industry. All in one big fat long essay...

On the Commercialization of the Arts and the Loss of American Individualism

An essay from 1992 ranting against the corporate culture barons who dictate taste, and the loss of our individuality. Little did I know how bad it would get in the years that followed...

If I Won the Lottery: The Free Library of Music

A daydream from the early 1990's. Blank checks welcome. Twenty years later I transitioned into this field by earning a masters degree in library and information science, and landing a job at Pandora.

Silent Way presents MP3 Stream Picks

A concept under development... For about ten years this site was where I maintained my picks of the best of streaming radio.

The Bay Area Net Music Company Directory

This is a map to ground zero of the new Internet music world. Over sixty net-music companies in San Francisco's Audio Alley and in the Bay Area, with links to their "jobs available" pages, the lowdown on what they do and who owns them.

A brainstorm from 1992 - JamNet

I called it JamNet, and it was a remarkably forward-thinking Internet and music-related invention. But it never left the drawing board. No, I didn't invent the Internet. But apparently I did invent Rocket Network...

An article from 1991

About the Oakland Hills fire, the death of Bill Graham and the tribute concert that followed. A few crazy weeks that affected the Bay Area as much as the '89 earthquake, from the perspective of a wide-eyed San Francisco newbie.

Articles written for The Vid

Co-founder, editor and author for an alternative publication from Lafayette College, circa 1990-1991.

If any of these are thought-provoking, let me know what you think.

Also see my resume.