ISAN can identify audiovisual Works and Versions of works. The relationship between works and versions is natively contained in the ISAN identifier (all versions of a work share the same first 16 digits of the work, only the last 8 digits of the ISAN differ from one version to another).
The ISAN Registry contains
- Work records: Series, Group, Episode and Single Works
- Version records : Variants, Manifestations, Related Content and Related Items.
All records (Series, Group, Episode, Single Works, Variants, Manifestations, Related Content, Related Items) are linked in the ISAN Registry to form a hierarchy of records that can easily be mapped with FRBR based models such as EN15907.
In the ISAN registry, works are organized in 4 record types: Series, Group, Episode, Single. Each ISAN work record type has its own metadata schema.
Series: Series are on the top of the Works hierarchy. Series Record are described with a full set of metadata (similar to episodes).
Group: Groups are in the middle of the Works hierarchy, between Series and Episodes. Episodes can optionally be grouped under a Group Record described with a full set of metadata (similar to episodes). A typical grouping of Episodes are Seasons, but other kind of groups are possible such as sets of alternate episode edits (e.g. the same series produced in different formats, sometimes with minor changes: 5 x 10 min / 8 x 6 min …) or groups of episode compilations (combination of 2 or more episodes).
Episode: Episodes are at the bottom of the Works hierarchy. Episodes can optionally be attached to a Group (e.g. a Seasons of fictional series) or be directly attached to the Series. When Episodes are regrouped under a group as a season then the season number of the Group is automatically inherited by all episodes of that group. Finally, an episode ca be attached to several groups (e.g. an original season, and alternate season with alternate episode numbering, etc..).
Single: Single are at the bottom of the Works hierarchy, they apply to non-episodic work such as Feature films, Shorts, single documentaries, etc...
In the ISAN registry, versions are organized in 4 record types: Variants, Manifestations, Related Contents, Related Items. Each ISAN version record type has its own metadata schema.
Variants are “cuts versions”, they identify changes in the edition of the work. Such changes can be:
- Creative cuts such as director’s cut, alternate ending, special editions, 2D/3D versions etc…
- Distribution edits such as localized versions, censored versions, home video/ broadcasting / airline… versions,
- Technical edits such as restored, remastered, B&W/colorized versions etc...
In principle Variants are versions of an audiovisual work (their parent), but a variant can also be a version of another variant
- example 1: the remastering of the original director’s cut version
- example 2: the censored version of the original broadcasting edit
Manifestations are “media versions”, they identify the fixation of the content on a medium and/or identify changes in languages:
- Fixation on mediums such as distribution masters (e.g. IMF), Blu-ray discs, files, DCP etc…
- The addition or substitution of subtitles, dubbing, closed captions, alterations of the soundtrack, etc….
In principle, Manifestations are versions of a Variant (their parent).
Example: for a Blu-ray distributed in Asia, the parent is a variant that identifies the Asian localized home video edition of the work.
Exceptionally, a manifestation can directly be a version or a Work.
A manifestation can link other ISAN that identify content or items that are also fixed on the medium as for example trailers and bonus content (registered as Related Content versions) and/or subtitle files (registered as Related Item versions) or other variants.
Related Content: these versions identify other content that is derived from or closely related to the audiovisual work and intended for mass distribution. Such related content can be:
- Promotional content such as trailers or a teaser.
- Supplemental content such as bonus, interviews, commented scenes, clips, …
- Related interactive content such as multimedia material, interactive web pages, games, etc…
In principle, Related Content are versions of an audiovisual work, but in some cases they can also be versions of a variant.
Related Items: ISO 15706-2 extends the ISAN version identification to items closely related to the audiovisual work and intended for mass distribution. Such related items can be:
- Audio resources related to the audiovisual content such as audio tracks or files (audio, sound, dubbing, subtitles, closed captions, etc…).
- A ring tone extracted from the audio track of an audiovisual work,
- A fingerprint of an extract or the full audiovisual work,
- A poster of the audiovisual work,
- A box set of films or television programs
In principle, Related Items are versions of an audiovisual work, but in some cases they can also be versions of a variant.