Video library for live streams

Video clips for live streams

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.

video library for live streams using obs studio and fast video cataloger

(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.

Easy way to find similar videos

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.

c# for all the really advanced video searches

Extending the video search

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);
        instance.SetBinTarget("short videos");
        instance.Filter();
        scripting.GetGUI().Refresh("");
    }

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)
        {
            if (IsVideoPassingFilter(entry))
                catalog.AddVideoToBin(entry.ID, bin_id);
        }
    }

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.

    private bool IsVideoPassingFilter( VideoFileEntry entry )
    {
        if ( entry.LengthSeconds < 60)
            return true;
        return false;
    }

If you want to change the filter criteria this is the only function you need to edit. In this example we only check if the video length property is smaller than 60s.

To run this script you copy paste it or type it (or load it) into the script window and then click the Run button.

Go the Bin window and select the "short videos" to see the result (if the bin is not there go into the edit bin to refresh the window, this is needed on older versions of Fast video cataloger).

Edit button in bin window

Edit button in bin window

Full source code in C#

using VideoCataloger;
using VideoCataloger.RemoteCatalogService;

public class FilterToBin
{
    IScripting m_Scripting;
    string m_BinLabel;

    FilterToBin(IScripting scripting)
    {
        m_Scripting = scripting;
    }

    private void SetBinTarget(string bin_label)
    {
        m_BinLabel = bin_label;
    }

    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)
        {
            if (IsVideoPassingFilter(entry))
                catalog.AddVideoToBin(entry.ID, bin_id);
        }
    }

    private bool IsVideoPassingFilter( VideoFileEntry entry )
    {
        if ( entry.LengthSeconds < 60)
            return true;
        return false;
    }

    private long CreateBin()
    {
        var catalog = m_Scripting.GetVideoCatalogService();
        Bin[] all_bins = catalog.GetAllBins();
        foreach (Bin bin in all_bins)
        {
            if (bin.Label == m_BinLabel)
            {
                VideoFileEntry[] videos = catalog.GetVideosInBin(bin.BinID);
                foreach (VideoFileEntry entry in videos)
                {
                    catalog.RemoveVideoFromBin( bin.BinID, entry.ID );
                }

                return bin.BinID;
            }
        }

        Bin target_bin = catalog.CreateBin(m_BinLabel, -1, 0xffffff);
        return target_bin.BinID;
    }

    static public void Run(IScripting scripting, string argument)
    {
        FilterToBin instance = new FilterToBin(scripting);
        instance.SetBinTarget("short videos");
        instance.Filter();
        scripting.GetGUI().Refresh("");
    }
}

Managing photos and video images for your video files

Images and video files

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.

Video companion images

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.

Attract window

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).

How to work faster with videos in Fast video cataloger

Work faster with keyboard shortcuts

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.

yse the interactive video search

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?

And last….

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.