Meta-data

Literally, “data about data.” Meta-data is used to describe the contents of digital files, with the goal of making the files easier to locate and work with. Meta-data about video content might include information such as the title of the work, the duration, and the format. Often, some meta-data is inserted into the video stream itself (in the VBI, for example) to allow automatic identification of the content of the video. An analogy for meta-data would be a label on the outside of a videotape cassette, which allows a person to find a specific piece of material without needing to view the actual content of each tape.