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

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/.

Fast Video Cataloger 3.82 released

I have just uploaded version 3.82 of Fast video cataloger.

You can download this version from the download page at http://videocataloger.com/download/

If you are a customer you should have already gotten an email earlier this week about the new version, a free update for all customers as usuall.

This upgrade, from the previous 3.64 release, contains a whole lot of changes behind the scenes. We have refactored the whole backend of the video catalog system in preparation for future planned features. We have also done an extensive pass on performance so more of the program is executed in parallell on multiple threads. If you have a good computer you should notice that the program is more responsive now, most systems should now be limited by disk I/O speed.

On to the details…

We have added a “connect” dialog that will allow you to connect to a Fast video cataloger server. Please note that this server is stil in beta testing and only available upon request.

We have fixed screen alignment issues in fullscreen mode on Windows 8.1 machines with high dpi screens.

We have added an option to let the program recognized any type as a video or photo files as specified in the preferences. Note that you obviously need to have the correct codecs installed that supports the file extension.

We have added a few more new recognized video file types; ts, tr, trp

Finally we made some small tweaks to the user interface. If you adjust the zoom factor it will snap to make sure you can easily use the full width of the window. I also added a subtle fade to the thumbnails and rewrote population of the thumbnail window image by image so we can display them quicker than before.

Fast video cataloger 3.64 released

To celebreate the new year, here is a new version of Fast video cataloger.

Thumbnail auto selection is a feature in Fast video cataloger that select thumbnails as a video is playing. This feature is really helpful and makes keywording scenes really efficient, just play the video and enter keywords for the current scene. This thumbnail autoselect feature has been in the program for quite some time now and I am pretty happy with it but there is one problem with it…

So if you are playing a video and want to do other things that keywording say select a few thumbnails to delete, and video is playing, once it reach the next thumbnail your selection will be changed!

So not what you want, or expect and… it is pretty annoying!

Ofcource you could just pause the video, but, that is easy to forget… so I have implemented what I think is a better solution.

In the 3.64 version I have tried to make the auto select feature abit more intelligent. The function is turned on by default when you select a new video. But it is turned off automatically if you manually select a video frame and it will not be turned on again until you select a different video.

I added a message flash at the programs title bar to let you know when the program switch mode. My hope is that this function will just work as you hope it will and remove some frustrations with this feautre without crippling the usefulness for scene thumbnailing.

Another small fix was a change to the selection colour in the video list to make it clearer.

Finally, I fixed so that the program now just remembers the last select video when the program is restarted but also scrolls to the item in the list.

So, all in all no large changes but a few small improvements that should make fast video cataloger yet another tiny bit more pleasant to use. Download the lastest version from the download page.

Happy new year!

Fast video cataloger 3.6 supports Windows 8 with High dpi screens

Today I am proud to announce that version 3.61 of Fast video cataloger is available for download from our download page.

As usual this is a free update for all current customers.

The 3.6 version has greatly improved support for computers running Windows 8.1 with high dpi/resolution screens. In previous version some elements, like the tutorial windows and the video player, did not scale properly. This made them look really tiny when you ran Fast video cataloger on a high resolution screen and used Windows 8.1s new scaling support. This is now fixed and the program looks great on these computers.

We took the opportunity to introduce a new animation effect for mouseovers on thumbnails, this might seem like a small change but give it a try! I think it makes all the difference, the whole user interface feels much clearer and more responsive. However, if you for some reason don’t like this it can be turned off from the Preferences.

Talking about responsiveness, this version include lots of performance optimization. You will notice that keywording is much faster as well as working with the program while it is still indexing new video files.

Download the new version from the download page and let me know what you think about the improvements.

Better video file management

We just released the 3.5 version of our video file management software, Fast video cataloger.

The last couple of days I have been writing about the main new features in this version. First the new tool that helps you to eliminate duplicate video files in your video collection.

Then I wrote about the new attract windows that  let you enjoy your video collection in a unique way.

However, most of the development time invested in version 3.5 went into many small improvements. Little things that together makes a huge difference in your everyday use of the program. THAT is the topic I write about today.

Improved performance

The first thing we added to fast video cataloger was the new attract windows. Since these windows need to rotate content they need to load and decode images. One of the slowest operations you can do with a computer is to read or write from a mechanical disk drive.

When I had implemented the new attract windows I knew we had to do a pass on performance to make sure the new functions didn’t slow down the program. I did a full pass on performance optimization. We ended up not only optimizing the overhead from the new windows but actually made the whole program more responsive. The most important change is probably that we now run more background worker threads than we did in earlier versions.

The end result is a user interface much more fluent than before, provided you have a multicore CPU in your computer.

New way to rate videos

We added the rating as a column in the video details list, this way it is much faster to rate videos. We use stars that you simply click to light up similar to ratings in Amazon. This saves one click every time you want to rate a video as you don’t need to open up the dropdown menu like in previous versions.

Multiple keywords

When setting keywords to multiple videos you now simply select, mark and add. For multiple keywords you enter a comma (,) separated list of keywords right away. This makes it a lot easier to set multiple keywords to multiple videos.

Extended file operations

When you browse a video collection it is pretty common that you find video files you don’t want to keep for one reason or another. I added the option to delete the file and remove it straight from Fast Video Cataloger.

I have been pretty reluctant to add any file operations to the program opting to have most operations work on the video catalog instead of the actual file system. And the file operations we do support I tried to keep them to the File organizer window. The one exception to this was the renaming of a video title, renaming a title will also rename the video file. However, cleaning out files is such a common use case and has been requested by several users so I decided to add it Fast Video Cataloger 3.5

Since before we have the option to sync the organizer window automatically with the selected video.  In the file organizer window you can do any file operations on your video files. In this version we added the option to force sync the file organizer window with the selected video.

New video file operations

New video file operations

All in all these are pretty small changes in functionality when working with video files but I think they will make a huge difference. I for one use these new functions all the time when cleaning up my catalogs.

The dynamic layout

Fast video cataloger has a very dynamic user interface. You set it up as you like and you can do it across several computer screens. In the 3.2 version we added multiple layouts that you can switch between with the function keys. It can be a big efficiency boost to have specific layouts for different types of work. For example to have one layout used for adding videos, one for keywording and one for viewing videos.

However, before 3.5 it was pretty hard to keep track of which layout you selected. Now when you switch layouts the name of the layout you switch to is displayed for a short moment. You can set the name of each layout in preferences.

I also fixed a bunch of windows bugs, in some cases it was impossible to open windows that had been closed unless you reset the layout. This is now fixed and the handling of layout windows in general should be much more stable and layout switching easier to understand.

Video player

Fast video cataloger comes with an internal video player. We did not add any new features to the player but we did some minor changes to how the volume control works. First of all you can set the volume when a video is not playing, that was not possible before. We also changed the scale of the volume control so that you can set volume with better precision.

More video detail columns

I mentioned earlier that we added ratings as a video details column. I also added a file size and the last modified time of the video file as sortable columns. The file size size and time was also added to the “add videos” list, this is really useful if you only want to add new video files or just the large files.

New videodetail columns

New videodetail columns

Summary

We manage to get a fair number of small improvements into Fast video cataloger 3.5. All in all I am really happy with the new version and hope you are, or will be. You can download fast video cataloger from http://videocataloger.com/download