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.
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. Update: Fast video cataloger 5 is now available for download.
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.
When we release Fast video cataloger 5 (soon) it will be a 64 bit video program. Fast video cataloger 5 has now been released and is available for download from here
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 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.
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 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
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” 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.
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.
We just released version 4.1x of Fast video cataloger with the usual bug fixes and minor improvements.
However, in this update we managed to get in quite a few important, and we think, really exciting new features.
Export to csv files
If you for some reason want to do something in excel or some other external tool we now have the option to export videos and actors as csv files. The export function takes the currently filtered video collection so if you want to export your entire collection make sure you do not have any active filters.
Save video as a jpeg contact sheet image
Contact sheet images are great for overviews of a videos. It’s really the fundamental idea fast video cataloger is based around. In this version we added a new wizard to export the selected video as a jpeg contact sheet image. There are a lot of options and actually pretty entertaining to create the images so give it a try. The tool works with the already extracted images in your catalog so if you need more thumbnails add them to your catalog by re-indexing the video or add them with the “camera” icon or burst capture.
Import actors from a folder structure
If you store your videos in a folder structure based on key actors or if you have a folder structure with just actor data, this new tool should be really useful. The “import actors from folder wizard” scans a root folder that you pick for subfolders named as actors. In each subfolder it picks the first image as portrait. It also matches videos in the subfolders with videos in your catalog and set the actor as cast in these videos. We originally developed this tool to be able to help users that had problems with very large actor galleries and halfway through we noticed it was a really useful tool, we put in a wizard for usability and here it is. Do let us know what you think about it and if you miss anything, we always listen.
Backup is easy to forget, now it’s a bit easier to remember. We added a menu item to enable easy backup of your catalog. The backup is taken to the same device so I highly recommend that you make backups to other devices as well from time to time. Disk crashes do happen and from time to time we have people reporting that their database has been corrupted (if that is the case and you do not have a backup please contact support, we might be able to help reconstruct your catalog)
Improvements to the indexing engine
Some users have reported issues indexing some videos, issues we have had a hard time reproducing. The problem was rare but for the people who had the issues it was a big problem, probably because they had lots of videos created in the way that caused the problem.
With the assistance of helpful users that provided us with problematic videos we have finally been able to track down this problem and made some improvement to the indexing engine. The videos failed indexing in the program regardless of the codecs installed. Hopefully this problem has now been fixed in 4.1x. If you have trouble getting videos indexed, give this version a try, it should work.
A big and special Thank You! to everyone who send us problematic video files and helped us track down this issue.
More space for video content
Some people have complained that the title bar etc. are taking too much space from videos. We have done a pass on the user interface to get rid of unneeded elements and make more space for your videos. You will immediately notice that the title bar has disappeared. Other changes are that the filters in the actors can now be hidden (and there are more subtle tweaks).
We have added a new option to optimize your catalog and make it faster. You can access it from the repair menu. You probably won’t see a noticeable change on small catalogs with less than a 1000 videos. Before running the optimization do make a backup and be prepared for the process to take a pretty long time (hours for very large catalogs). Do not interrupt the process when it is running.
Preparation for Windows 10 anniversary update
Windows 10 anniversary update is just about to be released. We have tested this version on the preview of the update to make sure it works. We have also updated the program to use the latest version of the .net runtime. (For whoever interested, we use C# and .net for the GUI and C++ for the indexing and video player ).
And, we have a bunch of minor improvements and fixes too numerous to mention but here are a selected few. The companion images now has a right click file menu and you can select to view companions in an external image viewer, more info in the video detail window, filtering now works as expected when filtering with many actor tags, sound volume in the player is saved between runs, scene search filters works better with more keywords, delete key now works as shortcut to remove a thumbnail, title of the catalog and actor window now shows the number of displayed items and much more (check the detailed version history in the documentation for a complete list ).
We hope you will enjoy this version and get even more value from your videos.
Today we released Fast Video Cataloger 4, as usual the update is free for customers.
Download it today and test out the new Auto indexing feature
We have been hard at work to bring new features to you as well as improving a few old ones.
Some customers have reported challenges that we track back to video codecs. To address this in an easy way for you as a user, we have included a set of video codecs inside the Fast Video Cataloger software. This means there is always a working set of video codes for playing and indexing files as a fallback, if the ones on your PC does not work properly. It should give an even more stable experience when playing and indexing lots of video files. You find how to switch between different codecs under preferences/Video player.
Password protection and Auto indexing
Sometimes you need that simple password protection on catalogs so they are safe from curios eyes. I used this recently when I needed to turn my computer in for service. You find the password feature either at the creation of a new catalog or in the File menu in an old one
One of the most anticipated features has been the Auto indexing setting. Point to any folder on your disks to be watched by the program. When Fast Video Cataloger run it will identify new video files inside the folder to add to the catalog. This means you can have a Dropbox folder shared with others where you keep your videos.
Security by 256 bit aes encryption
When you need really tight security you can use the masking feature of Fast Video Cataloger 4. This heavy encryption is done on a video file level so even the video files and filenames on your hard disk is encrypted.
Be careful though. This is a full strength encryption 256 bit aes encryption and we do not have any backdoors. I.e. if you lose the encryption keys there is no way for us to help you get the video back, please use this feature with care!
With this feature comes the capability for Fast Video Cataloger to play video files downloaded with Videodownlodhelper. This is a popular Video download helper add-in for Chrome.
We are very pleased with the way Fast Video Cataloger 4 has turned out and hope that all of you great customers continue giving us feedback and support.
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.
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