StaffGuide: CONTENTdm Cookbook

Recipes for Metadata Entry for the University of Arkansas Libraries

Tips for Compound Objects with Audio and Video


Local best practice for formatting objects comprised of both text transcriptions and audio or video material is to use the “hasMedia” script developed by Grand Valley State University. (See  Instead of having to create actual compound objects in CONTENTdm, the script generates the display of transcript and associated media “on the fly.” It does so by crawling the Web display page for the object as it is building, and based on certain elements in the metadata, it embeds the audio or video player and serves the media file. For the script to work, the following conditions must be met.

Technical Requirements

  • Because of security restrictions on the CONTENTdm server, the audio or video files must be stored on the main library web server. During the project planning phase, the project manager should meet with Web Services personnel, who will create the folder(s) where the media files are to be stored. Separate folders are required for audio and video. (The path name will normally be \\[server name]\digitalcollections\[collection alias]\Audio or \\[server name]\digitalcollections\[collection alias]\Video.)

The project manager may wish to consult Web Services about choosing an appropriate collection alias (the unique identifier for the collection, limited to 12 characters), because these are difficult to change later.

  • Web Services will also add the required script to the Web configuration for the collection.
  • File Naming. The text and audio/video files for each object must be given the same root name. For example, a text transcription and its corresponding video file could be assigned folkprojectr317t6.pdf and folkprojectr317t6.mp3, respectively.

Avoid capital letters and spaces in file names; for readability, elements may be separated with hyphens (now preferred to underscores).

Metadata Requirements

  • The metadata record should generally describe the text transcription. Include information about the audio or video aspects as appropriate.
  • The Type element must include either “Sound” or “Moving Image,” in addition to “Text.”  This element must not be hidden in CONTENTdm. For example:

Text; Sound

  • The Digital Format element must include the appropriate designation for the audio or video file format, in addition to that for the text. This element must not be hidden in CONTENTdm. For example:

application/pdf; audio/mp3

  • The Identifier element must contain the root file name only—that is, the file name minus the .pdf, .mp3, etc. extension. This means that when loading objects from a spreadsheet, you will need to add a separate “Identifier” column, rather than using the template option to insert the file name. This element must not be hidden in CONTENTdm.

Embedded Media Player and Text Transcript

Required Metadata Fields

Website Configuration

Customized hasMedia Script

(Original file is stored at \\\wwwroot\webdev\hasMedia.js.)