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Video Building Block: Metadata

| Published October 30, 2020

Does your brain hurt from color theory last week? Good news; this week we take a break from some of the heavy math to look at the metadata of video.

What is metadata?

Metadata is text information about your video, hidden behind all those colorful pixels. This means someone can learn a lot about your video without even watching it. Some of the information stored within the metadata of most videos are:

  • Exact time and date
  • Device type used to record
  • General geographic location (if enabled on your device)

However, if you’re editing a video or uploading to the internet, you can edit, add, or remove metadata depending on what software or service you’re using. Here are some examples of that data:

  • Title
  • Description
  • Tags
  • Category
  • Record date
  • Thumbnail Image

Why is metadata important?

This hidden text information is often used for archival and organizational purposes so viewers and editors can examine the video without actually opening it to watch it. Online services like YouTube also use metadata to run their entire search engine. Whenever you upload a video and fill out the form with it, you’re adding metadata to it so YouTube can make it searchable on their platform. Let’s say you tagged your video “orange tabby kitten,” now people who search something close to orange tabby kitten can find your video.

Bottom Line: Metadata not only helps you stay organized, but also helps you get discovered online!

A simple week, eh? Next week, we’ll ease you into the discussion on video compression.

Sources & Further Reading:


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