The powerful video player in Fast video cataloger

The internal video player

Fast video cataloger has a build in video player that quickly lets you play videos from the time of the thumbnails. The internal video player is part of your layout, and can be configured to your needs. The video player can be configured in the preferences under the “video player” tab. When you change the selected type of video player, that change will happen for the next video you play.

The preference page for the integrated video player in fast video cataloger

Video player to use

“Best” option

The “Best” option is the safest bet for playing your videos. It tries a list of options one by one starting with the build in video player through the MadVR or vmr9 renderer. If that fails it tries the installed DirectShow filters and so on. (The actual internal order is Direct + MadVR, Direct + vmr9, directshow smartconnect + vmr9, directshow smartconnect + vmr7, directshow smartconnect + evr, asf).
Since this option also tries locally installed Directshow codecs there is a small risk of running into issues with badly configured codecs on your computer. This may cause Fast Video Cataloger player to become unstable and freeze. To resolve this you either need to fix the installed codecs or switch to one of the other video player options.

“SmartConnect VMR9” option

The “SmartConnect VMR9” option uses directshow smartconnect to find locally installed codecs and render the video with video mixing renderer 9. Use this option if you want the program to use directshow codecs you have installed and configured yourself or through a codec pack.

“SmartConnect VMR7” option

The “SmartConnect VMR7” option uses directshow smartconnect to find locally installed codecs and render the video with video mixing renderer 7. This option is legacy and would very rarely be the best or recommended choice.

“SmartConnect EVR” option

The “SmartConnect EVR” option uses directshow smartconnect to find locally installed codecs and render the video with enhanced video renderer. This option should give a bit better performance and video quality compared to VMR9 but there is a known windows issue with the video rendering on top and outside of windows.

“Direct” option

“Direct” is the most stable option and will only use the bundled codecs. Rendering is done through VMR9. This option will not consider local directshow filters.

“Direct + MadVR” option

“Direct + MadVR” is the same as “Direct” with improved rendering quality. It uses the hardware accelerated MadVR renderer if it is installed on the computer. Since MadVR is dependent on the gpu and graphics drivers there is a risk this will cause stability issues as well on some computers. If this is the case, try updating to the latest MadVR, update your graphics drivers and if it still fails you simply switch to another video player option.

“Direct, No Sound” option

“Direct, No Sound” is the same as the “direct” but without any sound, i.e. it will NOT even attempt to render any audio. This is the most stable option and the fastest. Select this option if you don’t need sound or are having issues with a video in “Direct” mode.

The other video player settings

There are a few other useful and interesting settings that come in handy in some cases.

Video Start offset will start the video this many seconds in the video and not from the very start. This is useful if you want to skip banner screens at the start of videos.
Stretch will stretch videos to fill the video player window.
Restart from thumbplay will stop and then start at the time of thumbnails instead of seeking directly to the time. This is a bit slower bit might be needed for some rare video files, try it if nothing happens when you click on a thumbnail.
For each video in this folder and Also try playing from here allow you to let the player try another root folder without changing the catalog. This is useful for example when you have videos in your catalog from an external harddrive h:. At one time you inserted a usb stick and Windows has therefor changed the drive letter of your external harddrive to g:. If you fill in h: and g: in these two fields it will allow the videos to play even though the catalog reference paths are not valid. There are other fixes to this problem. You can use the Repair tool to update your catalog or use windows device manager to ensure the drive letters are always the same. But we want to provide this quick and handy temporary solution. Sometimes you simply want to move on and not fix problems with paths.

External video player

You can also configure Fast video cataloger to play your videos in any external video player on your computer. You can do this either by entering the path to your preferred video player on the “general” preference tab. The advanced option if you have a player you prefer is to create a custom action. The custom action let you pass extra arguments to the external video player.

Fast Video Cataloger 4.3x adds MadVR support

New Fast video cataloger version

Fast Video Cataloger 4.3 is now ready for download from http://videocataloger.com/download/
This is a free upgrade for all Fast video cataloger customers, use the same key as in previous versions.

Improvements to the integrated video player

In this version we have made several improvements to the integrated video player.

We have added support for MadVR, a GPU based video renderer that basically uses your graphics card to improve video quality. MadVR will be used if the video player preferences in Fast Video Cataloger is set to “Best” or “Direct with MadVR”. MadVR is not included with the installer but you can download it for free from their web site

We have fixed issues with videos that failed to play with sound. We have also added an option to force video to ignore the sound track. If you don’t want/need sound it will make starting the video a bit quicker. Another advantage is that issues with the sound stream will not cause video playback or seek problems.

And we have improved the stability of the video player and managed to get rid of a few cases of videos that could cause the program to freeze.

Other improvements and features

When indexing videos the program will now look for nfo xml files and if one is found it will take tags (keywords), plot (description) and title from the nfo xml file for each video and add that automatically to your catalog.

Some reported issues where the layout was not saved correctly have been fixed.

Fixed rare out of memory issue due to fragmentation, for some reason this seemed to be more common in Asian versions of Windows.

And… lots and lots of other fixes and improvements.

We have already started work on the next version, stay tuned. As always we welcome feedback or ideas on how to improve the software.

Improved video keyword search

Today we released Fast Video Cataloger 3.95, as usual the update is free for current customers.

New video indexing engine
This new version contains a new video indexing engine. The new engine uses a more direct approach to configuring the filters that should be able to index more videos even if DirectShow filters on the computer are misconfigured. This new way of indexing videos is now the default. If you have issues indexing a videos with the new version you can switch back to the old engine from the “Video Indexer” tab in the Preferences, check the “Use windows filters” checkbox. You might also want to switch back if you have rare or custom codecs. A tip, if a video fails to index you can switch index method and retry the failed videos, some might work with the alternative method.

The integrated video player still uses the default Windows filters so it is possible that videos can be indexed but not played back correctly if filters are misconfigured on the computer.

I might write a more detailed post about how the new engine works later. Anyway, the net result of the update is that most people should have less codec issues and an easier time indexing videos.

Updated components
Every now and then Microsoft releases a new compiler, they did that last year. A new compiler means, in theory, faster and better running code and fixed bug in the base libraries. For this version I took the time to recompile all components of the program with the latest visual studio and the latest c-runtime. In theory this should be an improvement, in practice, you probably wont notice any difference.

New video keyword search
Keyword search now support “ALL” and “ANY” searches. In the “Advanced filter dialog” on the keyword tab you will now find a “match” radio button. We have wanted to update the whole search interface for a while but instead of waiting to do a whole rewrite I decided to get this important improvement in as soon as possible.

Download the latest version from the download page

Auto layouts and companion images from video folders

Today we released a new updated version of Fast video cataloger (3.94) and it is available to download from http://videocataloger.com/download/

We added a new function to automatically select a layout when you either play a video or select a new video. This is pretty useful if you have limited screenspace. When you play a video you typically want to use as much as possible of the screen for the video window and when you pick videos you probably want to see as much as possible of the video list and thumbnails. This new feature is turned off by default so you will need to turn it on from the preferences and select which of your layouts to use for the different cases. Remember that you can create your own layouts really easy in the program, even if you don’t use the auto layouts I recommend that you play around with the layout feature.

Select layout automatically when playing a video

Select layout automatically when playing a video

If you have old catalogs with companion images some of these would not show in the previous versions. This has now been fixed and you should be able to see images regardless of if they were added with an old version or a new one.

You can now multiselect files for delete right from the video catalog. In general it is recommended you use the file browser for cleaning up files in your catalogs but this can still be useful if you stumble upon a bunch of videos you want to clean up quickly.

Finally we added an advanced feature for adding companion images. You can now select to only add videos from subfolders with the same name as the video. For example if you have a video in a folder called test_video.avi you can ask the program to search for companion images in a folder called test_video/.

You can now add companion files from subfolders with the same name as the video file.

You can now add companion files from subfolders with the same name as the video file.

Hope you like the update and as usual, all feedback is very welcome.

New improved video import function in Fast video cataloger

Today we released a new updated version (3.92 ) of Fast video cataloger with new video import functionality and much more.

The most important new feature is a big update to the previous import functionality. In the 3.92 version you can now import an entire video catalog into your current catalog. Videos that has been imported before will be automatically skipped to prevent your catalog to end up with duplicates of all videos.

We also added support to import keywords from another catalog and you still have the option to import actors.

All import functions are accessible from the File menu.

Another less visible improvement the faster video searches. The improvements are probably only noticeable in collections of more than a thousand videos but if you are working with large collections this should hopefully be a welcomed improvement.

The video indexing engine has also been updated to handle yet more cases of broken video files, i.e. the program will gracefully skip the failed videos now instead of crashing. The updated engine also handles some cases of mpeg files that it failed to index in previous versions.

Finally we have a done a bunch of minor fixes and improvements that I won’t mention here. Most should be listed in the documentation.

This updates is a free update for all customers. Download the latest version of Fast video cataloger from http://videocataloger.com/download/.