How to share a catalog over the internet

How to share a video catalog over the internet

In Fast video Cataloger 7 we have added the ability to share a video catalog across a windows network or over the internet. It is easy, and you follow the wizard.

web server for videos

When sharing over the internet, you first need to have a web server setup and configured. There are plenty of guides for how to set that up on the internet. If you don’t have a web server already we recommend iis that comes with Windows or the Apache server. We use the Apache version that is distributed with Bitnami. After you have installed the server, make sure it is working and connect to it. Start with localhost and then try from a remote computer. If you don’t have a working web server, the videos will not play, but you will be able to browse the catalog and search. All metadata is loaded using the Fast video cataloger server and not the webserver. The webserver is only used for loading videos and companion images (and if you are using the generated web pages).
Videos need to be at the root of the webserver. The catalog you share should only have videos that are in the root of the webserver. The catalog file you share should not be in the root of the webserver.

 

You share a catalog if you want other users to access it, perhaps at the same time as you are. This is how you create a shared video library for your entire company or a project.

You can stop the server and work on it again as a local catalog if no other user needs access.

When you share a catalog, other users can add videos or photos to the catalog. When they add videos, the video files are indexed locally and then uploaded over the Fast video cataloger service. Loading videos and images are done directly through a windows share while all metadata is accessed over the Fast video cataloger service.

Download the latest version of Fast video cataloger. If you have an older version, you will need to update to version 7 as that is the first version that has support for sharing a catalog over the internet.

Share a video catalog in a Windows network

How to share a video catalog in a Windows network

In Fast video Cataloger 7 we have added the ability to share a video catalog across a windows network. It is super easy, and you follow the wizard.

 

You share a catalog if you want other users to access it, perhaps at the same time as you are. This is how you create a shared video library for your entire company, one place where all the videos are easily accessible and searchable.

You can stop the server and work on it again as a local catalog if no other user needs access.

When you share a catalog, other users can add videos or photos to the catalog. When they add videos, the video files are indexed locally and then uploaded over the Fast video cataloger service. Loading videos and images are done directly through a windows share while all metadata is accessed over the Fast video cataloger service.

Media player classic as video player in Fast video cataloger

Media player classic

A really great and free video player is MPC-HC Media player classic home cinema. From their own site:

“MPC-HC is an extremely light-weight, open-source media player for Windows®. It supports all common video and audio file formats available for playback. We are 100% spyware free, there are no advertisements or toolbars.”

This post will show you how to use media player classic as a video player in Fast video cataloger? But first, what about the internal video player?

The integrated video player

Fast video cataloger has an integrated video player that can play your video straight from the selected thumbnail. There are a whole lot of ways to configure the video player to your liking. The integrated video player is really great for quickly browsing your video collection and finding what you are looking for. However, if you really want to watch a video from your collection you might want to use an external favorite video player.

Setting up media player classic

First download a stable 64-bit version version of MPC-HC from https://mpc-hc.org/downloads/ and unpack it to a folder (or run the installer). I unpacked the program to this folder:
D:\utils\MPC-HC.1.7.13.x64\ so the path to the video player is: “D:\utils\MPC-HC.1.7.13.x64\mpc-hc64.exe”

Just running mpc-hc64.exe will start it with the normal user interface.

You can also start the video player with command line arguments, if you run the program from the command line with the /? switch you get a list of command-line arguments. Here are the ones we are going to use:

/fullscreen : Start in full-screen mode
/play : Start playing the file as soon the player is launched
/close : Close the player after playback (only works when used with /play)
/startpos : start from a time in the video

So let us say we want to start playing a video c:\video files\sample.avi in fullscreen a minute into the video file. We can do that with the following command line:

“D:\utils\MPC-HC.1.7.13.x64\mpc-hc64.exe” “c:\video files\sample.avi” /startpos 00:01:00 /fullscreen

Notice the path to the video file is in quotes since there is a space in the path.

To use this from Fast video cataloger we need to create a command-line with the selected video and the time of the selected thumbnail. You can do this easily with an action.

Media player classic as an action

Actions are created from the preferences in Fast video cataloger.

In preferences go to the “Action” tab and click the “Add” button to create a new action.
1. Enter a good name for your new action and a tool tip. (Don’t name it Play as then it will collide with the normal play-action)

media player classic action name

Name of video player action

2. Click on the execute tab and browse for the mpc-hc64.exe file.

media player classic executable path

pick the media player classic executable

3. Click on the arguments tab and enter the following line as an argument:
“{video_file}” /startpos {thumb_time} /fullscreen /play
The arguments inside {} will be replaced when the action is executed.
Click “Ok” to create your action.

arguments to media player classic

media player classic arguments

Click OK again to close Preferences. Preferences and actions are stored in your local settings and not per catalog.

In Fast video cataloger click the view button and make sure the action window is visible (the button should be blue).

In the Action window, you can find your new command if you expand the custom actions.

Custom video player action

Find the new video player action in the custom actions section

If you click this button now it will play the currently selected video in fullscreen from the time of the selected thumbnail with the mpc video player.

Shortcut to the media player classic action

Now let’s assign a shortcut to the video player. Click the catalog button and then the shortcut button.

video player shortcut

shortcut for video player

In the shortcut dialog scroll to the bottom of the list and you will find your new “Play MPC” command there. Click on the Key column for the command and enter press your new shortcut. Then Click OK to close the shortcut dialog.

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.