How to choose a video database solution

How to choose a video database solution

When considering to choose a video database solution there are a number of questions you need to consider. Here is a number of questions to help you evaluate any video database based on your requirements.

Disclosure: We, VideoStorm Sweden AB, are the developer of Fast video cataloger one of the possible solutions for any company video database solution. You can download a free trial version of the software from this url: http://videocataloger.com/download/

Do you need a company solution?

Is the video database for personal use or for a company? If it is for personal use you might have a look at vidine, a great solution for personal videos.

Personal or professional video database?

Are you using it for movies or custom videos clips?

If you are looking for a personal media center to watch movies there are cheap software designed just for that. Consider Plex (https://www.plex.tv/) or Kodi (https://kodi.tv/), both great software that also let you automatically scrape data from known movie databases. There is a huge difference between software designed for movies and for custom video clips. Media centers are great for known movies and where the focus is more on watching the movie than searching between and inside movies. Select a video database solution that is designed for the types of videos you are primary going to keep in your database.

Do you need to search individual video scenes?

Do you need to assign keywords to individual video scenes and search for them? Do you need to quickly browse scenes inside videos? Do you need mark new points in a video as a scene?

Do you care about speed?

Slow software is frustrating to use and it will take you longer to get your job done. Desktop software will always be faster than any a cloud solution. Desktop software that can make use of multiple CPU cores and the GPU will be faster than software that cannot.

Are you using Windows? Or a mix of systems?

Select a video database solution that is designed for Windows if you are a Windows user. Cross platform solutions is not going to take advantage of the hardware you have and be less ideal than a solution build directly for the operating system you are using.

Speed is important for a software to work in practice.

Do you care about security?

If you care about security you will want to pick a solution that allow protection. Protection of the video database as well as the video clips and can play encrypted video clips without first having to decrypt them. Even if not all videos need to be protected it might be good to have that option for videos you do not want to spread outside of your company.
Do you need to add extra meta data with your videos?
Do you have extra data to store with your videos like pictures and notes?

How many people need to access the database simultaneous?

Do many people need to write to the video database at the same time. Do many people need to read from the catalog at the same time. Considering how the video database will be used will not determine the software to use but also the setup of that software and the guidelines for your users.

Do you need to make adjustments or a custom solution?

Off the shelf software will always be the cheaper option compared to a custom video database. A custom solution can actually be extremely expensive and will likley result in a worse solution than an off the shelf software adjusted to your needs. Make sure the software you decide on can be customized the way you need it to. Can it be scripted? Can you add custom meta data? Can you assign custom keywords? Can it use all your screens?

Why considering Fast video cataloger as a video database solution?

Fast video cataloger is a fast custom video database solution for Windows that allow you to index and search videos as well as individual scenes. It is easy to setup and evaluate. Download a free trial version and feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need a longer evaluation period.

Searching a shared video database over network

Are you looking for software to allow for multiple computers to search a video database over your network?

Fast video cataloger is the perfect solution if you are using Windows as operating system. You can download a free trial version of the software from this address: http://videocataloger.com/download/.

First make sure the software suits your need by testing it as a local program. The software works exactly the same in a network setup but testing a local installation is easier. If you are doing an evaluation I highly recommend doing the first step of that evaluation on a local setup as is gets you up and running in minutes.

Do you need to search a shared video database over a network?

Do you need multiple people writing to the catalog?

If you want multiple people writing to the database you need a server setup. Fast video cataloger is available both as a server version as well as a client only solution. Please contact us at support[at]videocataloger.com if you are interested in evaluating the server version. It is pretty easy to setup and we are happy to help you get started. Today we only provide the server version on direct request to make sure we can help everyone get it setup correctly. We do expect to open it up later as a public download once we have enough training material available.

Do you only need multiple people reading your video database?

We have written a whitepaper on how you can easily do this with the normal version of fast video cataloger. Download the whitepaper as well as the free evaluation software from http://videocataloger.com/download/

video scripting support

Fast Video Cataloger 5 gets extensive video scripting and automation support

The release of Fast video cataloger 5 is getting closer. Today I want to talk about perhaps the biggest and most powerful feature we have ever added to the program. This is not for everyone but if you are an advanced user this it can be a true game changer.

We added true support for scripting to Fast Video cataloger.

Enter video scripts in the scripting console window.

I decided to use C# as a scripting language after careful evaluation. C# is a very powerful language and one of the language we have used to write Fast video cataloger (We use C, C# and C++). With the new scripting support you can extend the program to optimize workflows for your users and enable new workflows by integrating Fast video cataloger with other programs. Since the scripting language is c# you can also build on everything that is available in the .net library including building a graphical user interface for the extended functionality.
Scripting is introduced in 5 and you will have full direct access to the video catalog. In other words you can do everything with the catalog that Fast Video Cataloger does. We also provide access through script to part of the user interface. For example, you can easily check what video is currently selected and get data from that selected video.

We have no idea how this is going to be used but we do expect to continue to develop the scripting interface based on your feedback.

To run scripts we have added a new window where you can enter scripts and also print output from scripts to help debugging. The script window is obviously not the best place to develop scripts. We recommend one of the dedicated development environment like for example visual studio code where you get syntax highlights and so much more. However, the script window allow you to tweak scripts and to play around with the sample scripts we will release together with version 5.

We also made it possible to create new actions that launch scripts. That way you can your favorite custom scripts always one click away.

We would love to come in contact with users who wants to use the scripting support to make sure the API supports what you need. This is the initial release and we expect to expand this in future updates of the program based on yours and other feedback.

Custom video properties

Fast Video Cataloger 5 will get new extended video properties

The release of Fast video cataloger 5 is getting closer and today I want to share one of our more frequently requested feature. One that we have added to the next release of program, extended video properties.

But first a lile detour. From time to time people request that we add new video genres to the program. I always tell them to skip genres and instead use the keyword function instead. Keywords is way more powerful and flexible and there is really no reason to use the genre.

We have added editable genres. Just right click on them in the video details window. Even if you can now change the genres I still hold to my old advice to prefer keywords.

But, we have also added something even more powerful to Fast Video Cataloger 5. You will be able to edit your own user video properties. We understand that there are people and companies that use the program for things we have not even considered. So we have made it possible for you to define your own video properties.

On the video details window there is now a new section with “Extended video properties” for your catalog.

custom video properties from the video details window

Click the edit button to add your own custom properties to your catalog. If people use this I am sure we are going to extend this feature even more in the future based on your and others feedback.

To go with this new feature we have also extended the search function. There is a new search block for extended video properties that can be combined with other search criterias.

Please give it a try and let us know if this is helpful or if there is something we could do to make this even more useful.

Colorful video keyword improvements

Video cataloger 5 will let you do video keywording in color.

Fast video cataloger 5 is not far from being released and it has lots of small and big improvements. Today I will share a bit about what we have inproved with keywords, search and color.

Improvement to video keywording


Over the years we have had several requests where users want to remove keywords from their catalog.

Previous the only way to remove a keywords was to remove it from everwhere it was used. Only then was it removed from the catalog and not listed in the suggested keywords.

In Fast Video Cataloger 5.0 we introduce a new keyword management dialog.

In the keyword management dialog you will be able to see statistics on how each of your keywords are used. You can rename a keyword in one place and the change will be propagated to everywhere that keyword is used. This has been a common request from users who has discoverd a misspelled keyword thats been used on alot of videos. Hopefully this new feature will save time.

Another new feature in the keyword dialog will let you quickly remove a keyword from all videos where it is used. Just click a button and the keyword will be removed from the entire database (as always… don’t forget to make regular backups of your catalog from time to time… there is no way to get back keywords once they are deleted).

Finally, we added colors to keywords!

You can set the color yourself from the keyword dialog. Colors are available for all types of keywords; video keywords, scene keywords and actor keywords. The default colour for new keywors is “white” but as mentioned you can easily change that.

Coloring keywords give you one more dimension of organizing and with some clever use you should be able to quickly find the keywords you are using the most. Hopefully this addition will allow you to work even faster with your video collection.

Fast Video Cataloger will soon to be a 64 bit video program

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.

Video search layouts improved

Video search layouts and video companion images gets improvements

A new version of fast video cataloger is available today to download from videocataloger.com/download.

Fast video cataloger is the program that makes it easy for any small busniess to regain control and leverage their video content. Find what you are looking for faster and improve your video workflows.

In Version 4.42 we included the state of the search boxes in the layout. You can now setup exactly how you want them for each layout (Do not forget to save the layout once you have it configured). We have learned that there is two fundamental different ways of using the program. Some almost always use the scene search while other users mainly focus on the video search. Hopefully this new improvements to video layouts will make it even easier to customize the program to your prefered workflow.

Some customers have reported that the companion image function does not work as expected. We think we can trace this to corrupt meta data in jpeg files. In 4.42 we have better error handling to ignore this bad data and still load the image. Hopefully, this will sort your issues if you this you have had issues loading images in the
previous versions. If you are still having issues please contact support so we can get it sorted.

This update is free for all customers and if you have not tried to program yet you can get downlaod a free trial version from here.

Fast video cataloger 4.4 makes it easy for companies to manage video clip assets

A new version of fast video cataloger is available today to download from videocataloger.com/download. Fast video cataloger 4.4 is a program that makes it easy to create a local video clip database. Small to medium sized companies no longer have to manage and configure servers or signup to expensive monthly cloud solutions to leverage their video clip assets.

The 4.4 update of fast video cataloger is free for all customers.

A free trial is available to download.

This version does not have a lot of new big features. However, it has improvements to make it easier on new users and it has a number of fixes to reported issues.

In the past many new Fast video cataloger users think the program is intimidating at first. This has a lot to do with the focus we have in the software on workflows and efficiency. We want to keep the program as user configurable as possible and we always try to save on screen space. That does mean that the program can be a bit intimidating to first time users.

New start window and tutorial

In the fast video cataloguer 4.4 we have tried to ease in new users with a new start dialog and a reworked tutorial. The start window clearly let you create a new catalog file or load a catalog. You can still let the program automatically load the last catalog with an option on the general tab in the preference dialog. When a new catalog is created you will get a “tutorial” to help you get started.

Among the other improvements…

  • We have added shortcuts so among other things it is now possible to quickly jump to the next video and the next thumbnail from the keyboard.
  • The attract windows has got file context menus just like the normal video catalog window.
  • Fixes to the video autotagging feature.

Cloud drive support

In 4.35 we added support for Dropbox and OneDrive. The program will recognize video paths on these cloud drives and keep them correct if you move a catalog to another computer that share the same cloud account. We do not recommend you to put the catalog file on a cloud drive as the cloud syncing will risk overwriting changes.

We hope you enjoy this update and as usual do let us know what you think about the program and if there is any new features you would like to see in future versions.

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.