Regardless if you are a veteran streamer or just starting out, a key to a successful live stream is forming a bond with your audience. You need to react, communicate and interact with them and never ever be boring. Having quick access to a video library for live streams lets you be more responsive, and, it will make your stream more interesting and less boring.
Fast video cataloger let you build a video catalog and then quickly search, browse and find the video clip you are looking for. With Fast video cataloger, you will have quick access to all your clips live while you are streaming.
Live Streaming setup
If you are streaming videos on youtube you probably know about OBS Studio?
OBS Studios is free and open software that let you set up a streaming studio. You can combine a number of video sources to a live stream or record it to a file. The sources can be for example one of your computers screen, a web camera, images or video clips.
A typical setup is to have one screen where you do your screen recording and one screen, that is not broadcast, where you have the OBS studio software window.
You will also run Fast video cataloger on that second screen. Or, an even better setup, the third screen with just Fast video cataloger. You can use it quickly to find a video for your live stream from your entire video library. Once you have found the video you want to broadcast you simply drag the videos from the video catalog window to the OBS window and it is live.
(Tip: If you can not drag the video from the video catalog window make sure the file organizer is present in the fast video cataloger layout. Click “view” and click “file organizer” ).
You do not need to do this all live. You can prepare before your broadcast. Drag over clips you think you will need for your broadcast. But, even if you prepare, being able to also change that programming is going to give you an edge over your competition.
Finding the video in Fast video cataloger is super quick and you will instantly have access to your entire video catalog. Having access to all your videos allows you to be more spontaneous and interactive with your audience.
Of course, you do not need to use the OBS studio software. The same technique to set up a video library for live streams will work with other streaming software as well.
You can download a free fully-functional trial version of Fast video cataloger from here.
Sometimes you need a video thumbnail for use outside of Fast video cataloger. You can easily just right click the thumbnail and select “save as”. This is fast and easy if its a single thumbnail you want to save but it will be very time consuming if you want to save all thubmnails for a video, or for several videos.
This is a good example of where the scripting support in Fast video cataloger can help, and it is really easy.
Exporting thumbnails from C# script
This example shows how to export out all thumbnails for the currently selected videos as files.
For each video we create a foder called thumbnails in the same folder as the video file. Then we get all the thumbnails for the selected video by calling GetThumbnailsForVideo(video_id, true );
we get all the thumbnails and only need to go through them all, generate a filename and call System.IO.File.WriteAllBytes(filename, image_data);
to write out the image to file.
static public void Run(IScripting scripting, string arguments)
var service = scripting.GetVideoCatalogService();
ISelection selection = scripting.GetSelection();
List selected = selection.GetSelectedVideos();
foreach (long video_id in selected)
var video_file_entry = service.GetVideoFileEntry(video_id);
string target_folder = video_file_entry.FilePath;
int path_end = target_folder.LastIndexOf('\\');
target_folder = target_folder.Substring(0, path_end+1);
target_folder += "Thumbnails\\";
DirectoryInfo info = Directory.CreateDirectory(target_folder);
catch (Exception ex)
scripting.GetConsole().WriteLine( ex.Message );
long image_no = 1;
Dictionary thumbnails = service.GetThumbnailsForVideo(video_id, true );
foreach (KeyValuePair thumbnail_entry in thumbnails )
byte image_data = thumbnail_entry.Value.Image;
string filename = target_folder + image_no.ToString() + ".jpg";
scripting.GetConsole().WriteLine("Saving image to : " + filename);
This text will tell you how to find similar videos but first let us take a look at how you can find completely identical videos.
Finding identical videos
Fast video cataloger is a great way to organize your video clip collection, download it from here.
If you have a large collection it easily happens that you have the same video in different locations, perhaps in different file formats or in different resolutions. Having all these versions of a video can take a lot of space. The first step in cleaning up your location is finding the duplicate videos so you can pick what to keep and what to remove.
Fast video cataloger has a great way to find duplicate videos in your collection. From the Repair dialog you can use the “Check duplicate videos” tab to search the entire collection for duplicate videos. At the end, you will get a list of videos and can select which one to keep. The check for duplicate video function uses checksums to ensure the files are identically the same. I have written a step by step text about how to use this tool earlier
However, if a video has a different format or different resoluton this tool will not detect them as duplicate.
An easy way to find similar but not identical videos
Here is a simple manual process you can use to find videos that are similar but not exactly the same.
Start with an empty catalog and set it to index videos with just a few images per video. You can use your normal settings but, we only need a few thumbnails per video, so changing the settings can save you some time.
Then index the videos.
Once done go to the video catalog in detail view (the default one) and click on the “Length” column to sort all videos based on the length of the file.
Click the length column to sort on length to help you find similar videos.
Next just scan through the thumbnail images in the video catalog list to find pairs of thumbnails that look the same. Since you sorted on the length of the video they will be close together, as most videos will not have the exact same length.
If the thumbnails look the same click on the videos and make sure all of the thumbnails look the same, pick the video you want to keep and continue.
Even if the videos have different codecs or are of different resolutions this manual process makes it really quick and easy to find similar videos after you have cleared out the exact duplicates.
All My Movies by Boildesoft ( https://www.bolidesoft.com/allmymovies.html ) is a software that lets you manage your collection of bought movies. It downloads movie data from the imdb database and many other services (http://imdb.com). It also let you track and rate movies you have watched.
If you compare to Fast video cataloger the focus of All my movies is toward collecting movies while Fast video cataloger is geared toward organizing any type of video clips you have on your computer or in your organisation.
Importing videos from All my movies
This sample script shows how to use the scripting support in Fast video cataloger to import data from an All my movies database. The full script is included at the end, simply load the script into the script window in Fast video cataloger and run it.
All my movies uses an Access database with the extension set as .amm. If you rename the file extension to .mdb you can load it straight into Access and have a closer look at the data. To be able to read the Access database in a program you need to install the Access database engine. Download it from here. Since Fast video cataloger is a 64 bit program make sure you install the 64 bit version of the database engine.
Import videos script
The script to import videos is pretty straight forward. To make it easy to follow I have put it all in the entry function. If you want to expand on this script you should split it up into a number of functions and you should add error handling.
First we show a dialog to let the user pick the All my movies database file to read from:
Microsoft.Win32.OpenFileDialog dlg = new Microsoft.Win32.OpenFileDialog();
dlg.FileName = "access"; // Default file name
dlg.DefaultExt = ".mdb"; // Default file extension
dlg.Filter = "mdb file (.mdb)|*.mdb|AllMyMovies file (.amm)|*.amm|All files (.*)|*.*"; // Filter files by extension
Nullable result = dlg.ShowDialog();
We then open the database file and runs a simple SQL query to get everything from the movies table in the database.
OleDbConnection connection = new OleDbConnection(@"Provider=Microsoft.ACE.OLEDB.12.0;Data Source=" + dlg.FileName + @";User Id=admin;Password =;");
OleDbDataReader reader = null;
OleDbCommand command = new OleDbCommand("SELECT * from movies", connection);
reader = command.ExecuteReader();
Next we create some new extended properties for the catalog. Some of the properties in All my movies are not in the list of default video properties. But, since you can add your own properties in Fast video cataloger we will also do that for these properties.
It is pretty easy to import data from All my movies into Fast video cataloger. You can use the same techniques to import data from other software, or, your custom solutions into Fast video cataloger. If you have imported a file to the video you can select “reindex” on the videos. Then the program will scan the video file for thumbnails and extended properties.
The basic idea I show you here is how to write a script in C# that determines if a video matches your search criteria or not and put the matching videos in a custom Bin.
You will learn by a simple step by step example how to write a script that goes through all videos in you catalog and puts all short videos(the critera we have as an example) in a bin.
After you have this skill you can expand your skill and continue to experiment.
About the native video search
Fast video cataloger has a very powerful, fast and simple search engine. The text below show how easy you can extend it even more with advanced custom video search in C#.
Our simple user interface make searching in Fast video cataloger straight forward for everyone. However, we do not provide a SQL interface for search so there are searches you can simply not express given our user interface. With the scripting interface you can do basically anything.
AI For example… What if you want to search with facial recognition or object detection or the next big thing in AI and video?
You an do all this and more by leveraging the scripting capabilities in Fast video cataloger
step by step breakdown on the Video search script in c#
Run(…) in the code below, is the entry function where the execution of the script starts.
static public void Run(IScripting scripting, string argument)
FilterToBin instance = new FilterToBin(scripting);
I have encapsulated all functionality in a class called “FilterToBin” that has two functions.
SetBinTarget() let you set the name of the Bin that will be used for search results. Please note that this Bin will be cleared every time you run the search.
Filter() does the actual filtering of videos.
private void Filter()
var catalog = m_Scripting.GetVideoCatalogService();
VideoQuery query = new VideoQuery();
VideoFileEntry videos = catalog.SearchVideos(query);
long bin_id = CreateBin();
foreach (VideoFileEntry entry in videos)
The Filter() function first does a search to get all videos. In this example we pass in en empty VideoQuery object. That will give us all videos in the catalog. You can of course leverage the search here and first do a high level search to get a subset of your videos and then apply a more advanced search on that subset.
We then call CreateBin() to ensure we have a bin to put our results in. If we look closer in the FilterToBin class the CreateBin member function has some logic to create a Bin if its not already created and clear it from videos if it already exists.
Finally we iterate over all videos and call the IsVideoPassingFilter() function on each video. Videos that pass the test are put in the result Bin.
Fast video cataloger lets you manage any type of photos together with your video files.
In Fast video cataloger, everything starts with a video. Fast video catalog is far from a traditional photo viewer program.
For photos, this means that you link photos to videos and that photos are filtered for the video.
We call photos stored in Fast video cataloger for companion images.
Companion images can be any type of digital image in jpeg or png file format.
What companion images you want in your catalog depend on the application. If you have a catalog of normal play films, like a movie you would find at imdb. Then, typical companion images are probably cover images, posters, pictures from the release party.
If you use Fast video cataloger for your company. Then, the companion images could be images shot at meetings and presentations, photos of a whiteboard, people in the meeting and so on. For these applications remember that you can also add extended video properties. In that way, it is possible to link other file types to your videos.
Type of images that fast video cataloger can handle
A companion image is any type of image set to a video. A companion image can be set as cover a front or back cover for a video. We also have the concept of Actor portrait image and Actor companion image.
How to add photos to your catalog
The easiest way to add images to a catalog is to add them automatically when you add a video to your catalog. You can control if and how companion images are added from the preferences. The program can automatically add companion images that are stored in the same folder or subfolder relative to the video file.
The companion image browser has a button to rescan a folder structure. Use this if to add companion images to a video that was scanned without images.
You can also go into the repair function and do a scan to find companion images in a subfolder to videos that are not in the catalog.
Add companion images by dragging the image files to the companion image window.
Browsing photos for a videos
The “companion image browser” window displays thumbnails of the companion images for the selected video. The “preview image” window shows the selected image (and you can zoom with the mouse wheel).
The “Cover” window only shows the front and back cover image for the video.
The “Companion & Cover image” is a more compact window that combines the above three windows into one. It shows a scrollable list of thumbnails. When you move the cursor to the bottom of the window it lists all companion images. The currently selected image is displayed in the same window.
In the “Attract cover images” window you can see a slideshow of random cover images for all videos in your collection. There is also a setting in the preferences, “Include Companion images”. When this is checked you will get all companion images for all videos, not just covers.
Nice things with companion images
If you have companion images setup for a video you can move it in the file organizer and the companion images will move with the video files.
Right-click in the “companion …” window you can select to use a cover image as the image to represent a video in the video catalog (for example a cover).
Fast video cataloger is the best way to manage large local video collections. Metadata allow you to quickly search and find what you are looking for. This text will help you work smart and save time with video folders in Fast video cataloger.
Video metadata and the catalog
In Fast video cataloger, all metadata is stored in a video database called a video catalog. The metadata allows you to tag videos for searching, add descriptions to videos and quickly preview thumbnails from videos.
There are several reasons why keeping the metadata catalog separate from the actual video files is a very good idea.
Making a backup of the metadata is easy as the size of it is small.
Search is quicker as the metadata is separate and in one place.
You can still access videos using external programs as the original video file exists and is not bundled inside a database.
Issues with storing absolute paths
In Fast video cataloger, the videos in the catalog are references through paths.
But… there are some issues with storing links to videos as paths that all boil down to the link can become invalid.
If the device where the videos are stored changes name the path breaks for all videos on that device. This is very common if you, for example, have videos on external drives that are mounted in different orders.
If you want to move your catalog to another computer, all links need to be updated.
If you share videos through dropbox but the dropbox folder is on a different location on different computers.
Fast video cataloger has a repair function that you can use to scan the catalog for broken paths and update them.
Using special video folders
Recently we added a new feature in Fast video cataloger called special folders. They help you solve this problem much easier and quicker than before.
Special folders are variables (symbolic paths) at the start of a video path. Special folders are only resolved to real absolute paths when the video is actually accessed. Real paths are converted to special folders when a video is added to the catalog.
There are a few native special folders. And, you can define your own special folders from the “special folder” tab in preferences.
Local special folder
The first native special folder is [LOCAL]. Video paths starting with [LOCAL] are basically paths relative from your video catalog file. [LOCAL] resolves to the folder where your video catalog is stored. When you add a video to a folder that is stored in a subfolder relative to where your catalog file is, it will automatically be converted to a [LOCAL] path. This allows you to create a folder structure with your catalog in the root and all videos in subfolders. You can then move the whole folder structure to other folders or devices and all paths in your catalog will still work.
Cloud storage special folders
The second type of native special folders is cloud storage locations like [DROPBOX] and [ONEDRIVE]. They will automatically be used whenever you add videos from your dropbox folder if you have dropbox installed. The path for cloud storage is read from the Windows registry.
Custom special folders
You can also create your own special folders. You can for example create a mapping called [EXTERNAL] to an external USB drive. After you have set that mapping up and you add video from that external drive it will be stored as [EXTERNAL]/path to video file. If you then at a later point need to move that drive to another drive letter you can simply update the mapping in preferences and everything will work as before.
Using just a few keyboard shortcuts can get you a lot more efficient with Fast video cataloger. Here are the shortcuts I use regularly in Fast video cataloger.
Use the interactive smart search
Press CTRL – I to bring up the interactive smart search input field in the top bar. Type your search terms, and press “Enter” to search, then CTRL-I again to hide the window and go back to shortcut use. If you know your catalog this is by far the fastest way to filter a video collection. You can use the smart search to search keyword as well as other properties like for example the path. You can also use several search terms to quickly narrow down your search. If you for example type: c:\tmp\ 2019 you would find any videos in the c:\tmp folder or subfolders tagged with 2019.
Look in the documentation for how the smart interactive search works, if you are not using it you are missing out on one of the most powerful features in the software.
Iteractive video search lets you quickly drill down in huge video collections
Jump through the filtered video list
The ALT – o/l shortcut will let you go to the previous or next video in the current filtered list. It will work regardless of the video catalog window is visible or not.
Scrub through the selected video
Use ALT – j/l to jump to the next thumbnail in the currently selected video. This will let you quickly scrub through a video.
Use CTRL – “+” / “-“ to change the size of video thumbnails quickly. This can be very useful if you have lots of screens from a video and to see more of the video without using the mouse for scrolling.
And find the preferences
Press CTRL – p to instantly bring up the preferences.
Layouts are important
Setup a few ones and quickly switch between them with F1-F8. Layouts let you use the screen estate efficiently for your current tasks. Take the time to configure your own layouts.
Actions can have shortcuts
Did you know that you can assign custom shortcuts to actions and that actions can run external programs or fast video cataloger scripts?
All the shortcuts mentioned in this text are the default ones. You can reassign them if you would like to.
Check when you can use the Shift key. Some of the functions in the program have different meanings if the shift key is held down when the menu is selected. For example, the “Add to playlist” will work differently when the shift key is pressed.
The Videowall is meant to provide a massive preview of your entire catalog at once. It loops through all your video scenes in all your videos from start to end, all in the same window if it fits.
The Videowall is a great tool for quick overviews and can be used to get a first grasp of the content of the catalog holds for content or if you are looking for something special among lots of videos. For example if you have over hundred of long surveillance videos you might want to look at them all at once just to figure which ones to really look into.
Once you find something interesting simply double click to get all the video scenes(Video scenes or thumbnails are shortcuts to a time in a video) for that video. From the Video Scenes window you can start playing directly from each scene that you find interesting, just by clicking them.
This article will show you how to get the high-quality video playback on your Windows PC. I will show you how to use madVR, a very popular high-quality DirectShow video renderer that uses the power of your graphics card to provide fast and very high-quality video playback.
DirectShow is a software component system from Microsoft. With DirectShow, a developer can create a video player that supports all video formats on the market. This is possible without having to implement all the video formats. Players can also support new video formats without doing any update to the video player software. So pretty awesome, let’s dig more into how DirectShow works.
How DirectShow works
A DirectShow filter is a piece of software packaged in a file with the .ax extension. Filters are registered in the windows registry. Video players then query the Windows registry for filters. The application can then build a filter graph to transform frames from a video into pixels on the screen.
Let us break down the simplest type of DirectShow filter in an application.
First, the application uses an input filter to read the video file. The input filter sends the data to a decoder filter. The decoder filter decodes the video stream and sends it to a render filter. The render filer puts the pixels on the screen.
The reader filters are typically installed by default in Windows. Some older decoder filters are installed with Windows and you download more yourself and install them. These type of video decoder filters are often called codecs. Then there are standard render filters installed with Windows, you can also download and install your own render filters. These custom render filters usually do different types of filtering to reduce artifacts caused by the compression in the video files.
The naïve way to build a filter graph is to let directshow automatically connect the pins. Unfortunately, this simple approach often does not work very well due to filter incompatibilities. More advanced video software has lots of code to reliably manually construct the filter graph.
High quality video rendering
madVR is a very popular high-quality DirectShow video renderer that uses the power of your graphics card to provide fast and very high-quality video output.
Key madVR Features according to their homepage:
MadVR does High bitdepth processing (32bit per component)
It has high quality algorithms for scaling, sharpening, debanding, dithering etc.
It does Smooth motion playback without 3:2 pulldown judder even at 60Hz
Using forced film mode it turns 60i movies into perfect 24p
It has a very reliable playback using automatic fullscreen exclusive mode
To summarize, you will get better video playback quality with madVR. The improved quality is especially evident when you play older low-quality videos. To do its magic MadVR needs several decoded video frames. Because of this, it will take a few more moments until you see the first rendered image compared to using more basic renderers. If you are after high-quality video output madVR is the way to go.
How to install MadVR
Download the madVR zip file from their homepage and unpack it. Make sure to unpack to a folder where you can keep the files. Since madVR does not come with a normal windows installer the software will be installed to where you unpack the zip file.
Go to the unpacked folder, right-click on the install.bat file and select “Run as administrator”. This will register the madVR Directshow filter (madVR.ax) in your computer’s registry so that programs can find it.
Selecting to use MadVR for high-quality video playback
The integrated video player in Fast video cataloger, https://videocataloger.com/download natively supports MadVR. However, it is but it is not selected by default.
Start Fast video cataloger, open the preferences and go to the “Video Player” tab.
From the “Video player to use” dropdown menu select “Direct + madVR”. This will tell Fast video cataloger to use special code to build a filter graph using the madVR high-quality renderer.