Fast Video Cataloger 6.40

A new Fast video cataloger is now available for download. Lots of small but pretty important improvements in this update. Get it from https://videocataloger.com/download/

User interface improvements

  • The Scale of thumbnails is now stored per layout.
  • If you right-click on the thumbnails scale slider there is a context menu to select 50%, 100%, and 200% scale.
  • If “Extended properties” and “Extended thumbnail properties” are opened or not in the detail view is now stored with each layout.
  • When you add an actor it is now put first in the list and is selected. This should make it easier to spot if you want to drag it as a cast member right away.
  • When you have one of the top menus opened you used to have to first click outside to close it. Then you could click on other user interface elements. This is now fixed.

Video player

  • Using MadVR returning from fullscreen mode should now work correctly.
  • In fullscreen mode, click on the screen to pause/unpause.

Performance

  • Optimized thread pool usage a bit to fix general slowdown issues.
  • If using “Write metadata in video files” this should no longer block the keywording user interface.
  • Optimized keyword entry so it should be more responsive.

Bug fixes

  • Fixed issue with videos sometimes getting a 0 length when indexed.

Scripting

  • Error messages when compiling scripts should be a bit more clear, and we always scroll to the end of the message automatically.
  • ConsoleWrite could continue to the next line before the text was visible on the screen, this is fixed.

Fast video cataloger 6.39

Today Fast video cataloger 6.39 is available for download. This is a bug fix release without any new major features, thanks to everyone who has reported issues.

New .Net framework

We have updated to use the 4.62 version of the .net framework. If you have the latest version of Windows 10 this is already included with your operating system. If you are on an older version the installer will check if you have the framework and prompt you to install it as part of the installation process. The updated .net framework includes a whole range of general bug fixes and performance improvements in .net. More info on the official .net page.

Usability improvements

  • If you hold ctrl when entering a keyword in the keyword search field it will direct that keyword to the exclude keyword box instead.
  • We limited the height keywords can take in the keywording box to prevent the input field to scroll down if a catalog has lots of keywords and/or the panel is thin.
  • You can now click on the video player screen area to play/pause the video.

Bug fixes

  • Fixed crash after capturing a screenshot to file.
  • Fixed issue with aspect ratio when using MadVR renderer.
  • Fixed issues that it was not possible to drag the seek bar in the videoplayer.
  • Fixed issue with bins not showing up in the dropdown in some cases.

Video web search in Fast video cataloger

I will show you how to access the web browser in Fast video cataloger to easily integrate a web search with your video catalog. In Fast video cataloger 6.31 we opened up the integrated web browser in Fast video cataloger for scripting. If you are on an older version please update to the latest version from our download page or click the upgrade button in the program.

Web browser window

The web browser is what you see when you click on the view button and Help.

Click the help button to open the web browser.

Here is how it looks with just the script console and the web browser open in Fast video cataloger.

Script console and web browser open.

Scripting the browser

IScripting has a new member function GetBrowser(); that will get you the top-level interface to the integrated chromium web browser. The complete interface is documented on the cef GitHub site. To load a web page to the browser window you simply need to call Load() and give your URL as argument.

To get the underlying browser object and access the dom model you can call GetBrowser() to get and IBrowser object. The IBrowser interface has a MainFrame property of type IFrame and from here you can get access to execute javascript. That is outside the scope of this text, let me know if you are interested in more example on how to use that functionality.

Google search

You can do google searches by giving the right arguments to the google URL. http://www.google.com/search is the root URL. Search arguments are passed as q=[search terms]. Search terms need to be separated by a + sign. There are plenty of extra arguments to customize your search, for example, as_filetype=[file extension] to search for a specific filetype or as_sitesearch=[site URL] to search only at a specific site. In this example, I will only use the basic search query but you can easily expand on it to fit your needs. Remember to use & between arguments if you want to send more than the q argument y.

The search sample

We start by getting your current video selection. Then we fetch the VideoFileEntry for that selection using the VideoCatalogService interface. This is very similar to most other samples. Then we do a bit of string manipulation. Spaces in the Google query should be separated by + so we replace all spaces and also all _ as they are probably meant as spaces in the title. Last we check if the title has a “.” in there somewhere and get rid of everything after the . as that is probably a file extension. Now we have the string we want to search for. We need to pass this to google as q= so we put that in the query string.
Next, we get the browser with GetBrowser() and then call Load() with the Google base URL and the search query.

Script Code

Copy-paste the following into the script console to use the selected video title as a search term on google. Click Run to execute the script.

using System.Runtime;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using VideoCataloger;
using VideoCataloger.RemoteCatalogService;
class Script
{
  static public async System.Threading.Tasks.Task Run ( IScripting scripting, string arguments ) { 
  var selection = scripting.GetSelection();
  List selected_videos = selection.GetSelectedVideos();
  if (selected_videos.Count>0) {
    var cataloger = scripting.GetVideoCatalogService();
    var video_entry = cataloger.GetVideoFileEntry( selected_videos[0] );
    string title = video_entry.Title;
    title = title.Replace(' ', '+');
    title = title.Replace('_', '+');
    int extension = title.LastIndexOf(".");
    if (extension!=-1)
      title = title.Substring(0,extension);

    string query = "q=" + title;
    var browser = scripting.GetBrowser();
    browser.Load("http://www.google.com/search?" + query);
    }
  }
}

Serve videos from a web server

With Fast video cataloger, you can serve videos you have in your catalog over a web server. This will let you share a video catalog with someone and give them super fast search and access while keeping all the large videos on your web server.

How to host video from a web server

Hosting your videos from a web server can be a practical solution if you need to share a catalog without having to distribute your videos files. A video catalog is usually relatively small (on the order of a few gigabytes) and easy to distribute while the video files can easily take up terabytes of space. If a user has the catalog local it can be searched and browsed quickly. Then when the user finds a video and wants to play it, only the relevant part of the video is served over your web server.

Web server

To set up this workflow you will need to have a web server installed. Windows come preinstalled with IIS but it will need to be enabled. You can enable it through the “Turn Windows features on and off” that you can reach via clicking Windows key + R key and type appwiz.cpl in the run window and press enter. Now you see the Program and Features part of Control Panel and on the left-hand side click on the “Turn Windows features on or off” link and you will see a long list of features. Locate Internet Information Services(IIS) and check that checkbox. Once you click OK windows will take a while to set your IIS server up. When it is done you can navigate to localhost from your web browser and access your IIS webserver.
Another great free web server is the Apache webserver.
In general, we have to refer to the developer of the software on how to install and configure their web server. There is more than plenty of information about it available online.

www root

Once you have your web server setup and configured you need to find the root from where files are served. If you are using IIS this will normally be “C:\inetpub\wwwroot\” and on Apache it will be something like “C:\wamp\apache2\htdocs\” (using the highly recommended Bitnami wamp distribution ). All videos you want to access over the webserver must be below this root folder.

Please note: Not all video formats can be read from an HTTP server, especially old formats that can be problematic. We recommend that the videos you place on your webserver is in mp4 format.
That was the preparation. You should now hopefully have a working web server and videos in the www root of your webserver.

Configure Fast video cataloger for serving videos over http server

The next step is to go to Fast video cataloger and on the info screen click the “Use hosted videos” button.

Where you find the option to configure hosting through a web server

This brings up the configuration wizard and is an easy step by step guidance. In the first dialog, you enter the www root of your web server. Remember that if you are using IIS it might be “C:\inetpub\wwwroot\” and on Apache it might be something like “C:\wamp\apache2\htdocs\”.

In the second field enter the URL of the server as seen when you access it through a web server. When you are running on a local server this would be http://localhost/ or http://127.0.0.1/. You have now configured Fast video cataloger to recognize your web server. The open button is a good way to test it is set up and running.

play video through web server.

Adding videos

Next, you add the videos from your www-root to your catalog. Do this the same way as usual from the add videos window. When you click on one of your added videos you will notice that the path to the video will be something like: [WebServer]\video_indexer.mp4

When you play this video the path will be converted to your www root and played. This is very similar to how special folder work.

To load the video over the webserver you will need to go into the “Use hosted videos” dialog again and check the “Enable loading over http” checkbox.
If you play the video after that it will be loaded through requests to your webserver. This specific setting is saved in the catalog so if you share your catalog with someone else the [WebServer]\video_indexer.mp4 will resolve to the same URL for them as well.

Note: Fast video cataloger works most efficiently when you have your videos and images locally. Only host through a web server if you don’t have direct access to the files.

Fast Video Cataloger 6.33 – Exclude videos with keyword

A new version of Fast video cataloger is now available from the download page

Search – Exclude keywords

You can now exclude videos matching keywords from the search result. You find this option in the search window below the keywords. This excludes filter works on the set of filtered videos. For example, when you search for all videos matching an actor you can exclude videos that have specific keywords. If you search for a keyword and exclude that keyword, the exclusion will take priority.

Search – Actors

The actor search now supports search on Actor Bio and Actor Link.

The Actor window now only load visible portraits to save memory for catalogs with lots of actors. And, we extended the script API with a new SearchActor() function. Make sure to check out our previous blog post on how to write a script to import actors from an external movie database.

Scripting

Talking about scripting. we updated Console writing so it can be done from any thread in a script, for example from a browser callback. I also added some more documentation on the exposed browser. We will write a more detailed post on how you can use it later but it is all working in the current build if you want to try it. Running scripts from an action button always gave an error message, this is fixed.

Meta data in files is faster

Writing metadata to video files (enable from the metadata preference page) is now done in a background thread and is faster.

Video player

We fixed an issue when you clicking on the seek bar while a video was playing and that click was ignored. There were scaling issues when using the vmr9 video player could happen if there was a big difference between the video aspect ratio and the window aspect ratio. Changed order of vmr7 and vmr9 in the preferences ( The recommendation is still to prefer the direct option )