BBC Motion Gallery is British Broadcasting Corp.’s (BBC’s) collection of motion imagery, available for licensing and royalty-free use worldwide by media professionals and others. The organization recently migrated its collection to Apple’s QuickTime 7 technology.
The service provides video and movie clips and short form programs for license to filmmakers, videographers, TV producers and others who need them. The service boasts more than half a billion feet of film and 600,000 hours of video in every genre imaginable — natural history, wildlife, news, locations, art, music, celebrities, culture, performing arts and more.
Previously, BBC Motion Gallery offered the footage in QuickTime 6.5 format, but they’ve transitioned to QuickTime 7, leveraging H.264 video encoding to provide higher-quality clips at lower bandwidth rates.
“We did a lot of testing,” explained Michael Albright, BBC Motion Gallery’s creative director. “Once we determined the very best specifications possible, it was a seamless process [to migrate to QuickTime 7], and pretty automated as well.”
Lots of Mac users have been attracted to the BBC Motion Gallery from the start, said Albright, and it’s little wonder, given the ubiquity of Macs in professional video and film editing.
“Apple users were going to be at the very top of our priority list, partly with Apple’s help, guidance and consultation,” he said.
Albright said that BBC Motion Gallery worked closely with Apple to make sure the footage was properly converted to QuickTime 7. QuickTime 7 provides what Albright calls “an unparalleled viewing experience.”
“All the while we’ve done this from a user’ perspective, to make it easy to incorporate into a workflow,” said Albright.
“A user can go to our site and use very sophisticated search tools to find the shot they need, save it to a personalized storage area, then preview a high-res clip for free,” said Kristy Manning, BBC Motion Gallery’s director of West Coast sales.
BBC Motion Gallery has also released a Dashboard widget that enables users to search through the online archives for specific clips.
“We’ve embedded every one of the clips with metadata that includes common colloquial terms as well as scientific and research terms,” explained Albright. That makes it easier to find content that’s well suited for a specific user’s needs.