What does the job of an ingest operator involve?

Malta Audio Visual Memories is a project that depends on the skills and talents of many individuals who work in specific roles within the digitisation process. In the following article, we take a closer look at the job of ingest operators: what it involves and how it ensures the smooth flowing of the project.

An ingest operator handles the first step of the digitisation process, effectively kick-starting the entire chain of operation which begins with taking analogue media from physical storage, and ends with an edited digital clip. Ingest operators must have knowledge of the different media formats available in the archives, and how to properly load each medium onto a specialised playback machine which converts the contents to a digital file.

Ingest operators also make sure that archival footage is kept in optimal conditions to safeguard the integrity of the original material and ensure the digitisation process proceeds smoothly. This may involve physically cleaning the artefacts to remove dust and other debris, checking that the equipment is being used correctly, and re-organising media onto their respective shelving.

The role of an ingest operator, therefore, involves both technical and administrative skills, which help keep the project operating at high technical standards.

This article is part of a four-piece series which introduces the key roles found in the MAVM team. Now that you’ve read about the job of the ingest operators, find out how their colleagues: video editors, audio editors, and metadata editors, contribute to the same project with their particular skills.