FITS (File Information Tool Set) is an application that extracts technical metadata from digital files.  It’s extremely important in WGBH’s digital preservation process because it makes use of several other metadata information tools and combines their output into a single xml document.

FITS combines the following tools:

ADL Tool
Apache Tika
File Utility (windows port)
National Library of New Zealand Metadata Extractor
OIS Audio Information
OIS File Information
OIS XML Information

We use FITS to generate a xml document for every file we preserve.  FITS even generates an MD5 value for each file it processes so if you’d normally be running a MD5 checksum on your files, you can generate a rich technical metadata document and it will take nearly the same amount of time.

You can get more information and download FITS on Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science project website.  The FITS Users Google Group is also a great place to ask questions, report bugs, or suggest improvements.

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