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Content storage management (CSM) is a technique for the evolution of traditional media archive technology used by media companies and content owners to store and protect valuable file-based media assets. CSM solutions focus on active management of content and media assets regardless of format, type and source, interfaces between proprietary content source/destination devices and any format and type of commodity IT centric storage technology. These digital media files (or assets) most often contain video but in rarer cases may be still pictures or sound. A CSM system may be directed manually but is more often directed by upper level systems, which may include media asset management (MAM), automation, or traffic.

Typically, CSM systems are server-based software applications that reside between the media network, which connects the various broadcast or manipulation devices, and the storage network, which connects the nearline and archive storage tiers. The most basic function of CSM is the automated retrieval of high-resolution digital content (or essence) either from a data tape library (with the aid of a robot), or from a data server, and the delivery of that content either to a workstation, playout or editing device. CSM also performs this process in reverse – moving content back to storage. In a given media operation, CSM may be used to facilitate content manipulation and repurposing; systems interoperability through high and low bit rate content transcoding; and/or site-to-site content replication for disaster recovery.