When we release Fast video cataloger 5 (soon) it will be a 64 bit video program.

But, what is a 64 bit video program? What is the difference between a 64 bit and a 32 bit program and why are we making this change?

In short, a 64 bit program is better equipped to handle large amount of memory and that is why the next major update of Fast video cataloger will be 64 bit.

Fast Video Cataloger goes 64 bit

Here is first a bit of a simplified technical background…

On Intel CPUs software can run in either 32 bit or 64 mode.

In 32 bit mode programs are limited to use 4GB of address space. 32 Bit programs and can be run in a 32 bit or 64 bit version of windows.

The 64 bit desktop version of Microsoft Windows has been available since Windows Vista. Today just about everyone is running on 64 bit windows.

To check you’re your operating system:
1. Open System by clicking the Start button, right-clicking Computer, and then clicking Properties.
2. Under System, you can view the system type.

In Windows some of the address space is reserved. By default a 32 bit windows program only has access to 2 GB. With some tricks a 32 bit program Windows program can at most get access to 3 GB of memory. However, there is nothing preventing multiple 32 bit programs running in parallel each using 3 GB of memory.

In practice, most applications never really needs more than 2GB of address space.

So the big advantage of a 64 bit program is that the program can use more than 3 GB of memory but what are the downsides compared to a 32 bit program?
• It can only run on a 64 bit version of Windows.
• A 64 bit program can also only use other 64 bit components. For example, A 64 bit video player using direct show filters can only use the 64 bit versions of the filters.

I have been a bit reluctant to move Fast Video cataloger from 32 bit to 64 bit because;
• A 64 bit program use more memory than a 32 bit program (since each pointer is twice the size).
• Support for 32 bit directshow codecs used to be rare and of lower quality because they were not as well tested.
• Anyone running a 32 bit operating system would not be able to run the software.
• It was not really needed.
• It hides memory leaks that the 3 GB limit forces us to address.

Well, times has changed…

Today, just about everyone is running a 64 bit operating system. Driver developers are planning to drop 32 bit support: nVidia announced they will stop supporting 32 bit operating systems. Directshow filters are common and well tested and last but certainly not least we start to actually need more than 3 GB of memory.

The main reason for the need for more memory is the higher and higher resolution of videos. Just playing a 4k videos with the exceptional filtering provided by MadVR consumes a lot of memory. If you also capture high res thumbnails in the program it all adds up. This year we are actually starting to see rare cases of crashes just because we are running out of memory. When a 32 bit program reaches 3GB of memory it will simply crash or stop working as expected even if there is free memory on the computer.

So, to sum it all up, the next version of Fast video cataloger will be 64 bit video program. This is a huge change for us internally but you will hopefully not see a difference other than a more stable program when working with large catalogs of high resolution videos. As usuall you can download the latest version of Fast video cataloger and try it for free.