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/.

How to create a searchable video catalog – with thumbnails

My name if Fredrik Lönn and I am the author of the Fast video cataloger program.

I want to share how I go about setting up a new video catalog from scratch. I’ll also share some tips that will lead to you having a searchable and fast video thumbnail catalog of your own.

Create Catalog dialogue - let the thumbnails begin!

Create Catalog dialogue

Let’s get started.

Create a brand new catalog in Fast video cataloger by selecting Catalog / New.

First, you need to decide where to store your video catalog file. Click the pick catalog folder button.

You can store your catalog anywhere – it does not have to be together with your video clips and the catalog file can be moved to another location at any time.

The size of your catalog depends on a bunch of factors but expect your catalog to grow by approximately 1GB per 1000 videos you add. The catalog is not kept in memory, so you can have a catalog much larger than your computer’s memory.

I try to store my catalog on my fastest disk drive if possible an SSD disk or a local hard drive. Storing the catalog on a secondary device or a NAS drive is possible, but it will slow down the software. If you store it on a NAS drive, make sure to turn off automatic backups on the folder with the catalog file.

Then go and pick you catalog folder, name your catalog file and create the catalog.

Now you have an empty catalog. From this point onward, there is no need to save the catalog. Everything will be saved automatically whenever changes are made.

For your catalog to be interesting you obviously need videos. But before adding any, let us have a look at some important settings you should check before adding videos.

Open the Preferences dialog from the File menu and go to the Video indexer tab.

In the preferences you can decide how large thumbnails you want to capture from your videos, “Resize video-frame to be”.

I recommend you to keep the same size of all video thumbnails in your catalog.

And note that larger thumbs will take longer to create, load and they will make your catalog file larger.

I use 320×200 as the resolution for all my catalogs. 320 is half the size of a standard definition TV frame which I find to be a good compromise between size and the details you can see in the thumb.

Selecting a higher resolution than the video resolution is pointless; it’s better to use the built-in scaling instead.

Next, select the default interval you want between each captured video frames, “Capture video-frame after” and “Then capture every“.  These values you can and probably should change per video batch you add to your catalog.

Too many thumbnails for a video file make it hard to get an “at a glance” overview while too far between thumbnails risk that you miss important events in the video.

I usually set this to 60s for the first frame and 30s between frames. I then add specific frames with key moments per video using the “Camera” button in the video player and the “Burst capture mode” (Right click on a video thumbnail frame).

Now we are done with the default preferences, click OK to close the dialog and let’s add videos to the catalog.

Click on the “Add videos” tab to start adding videos.

I recommend that you keep your video files on a slower USB or NAS drive, I have and use both.

The program will work at full speed regardless of where your video files are and personally I can find a better use for my main hard drive than storing large video files.

It is also good to have a place where I can store my videos with enough space so I don’t have to move them around later when I run out of space. If you happen to have your videos on an internal disk, don’t worry for now, we can sort that later.

When you add videos, you can just add your root video folder and the program will find all videos there. However, I recommend that you don’t do that, there is a better way.

You probably already have your videos ordered in some type of subfolder structure, based on genre, actors, date of videos or something else (do let me know).

Add videos from one subfolder at a time. Select a subfolder and when you have added that subfolder also set relevant keywords for all videos in that folder before clicking “start” to begin indexing.

Doing it this way takes a bit longer. You can prepare the next video folder as the previous ones are being added to the catalog. But, by doing it this way you also get basic searchable tags for your entire catalog, which is a great start to have a great searchable video catalog.

Now, go ahead and create your own catalog and if you have any feedback or tips to make this guide better, please let me know.

The best organized video clips

organized filmIf you are not as organized as you would like to be and you feel like you are sorting through a mine field, don’t worry about it because your search has just gotten a lot easier with the filter tool. Once your video collection gets to be so large that it becomes hard to find particular clips you will still be able to find them easily by using the filter option. You can filter by content, keyword, cast, or archive. If you have been naming and categorizing as you go this will be a breeze. If you are not sure what you named a video don’t worry about it because you can use the other filters or do a more detailed filter to find your video.

In your Video Catalog window you will see a filter dropdown menu or a filter button, which looks like the filter you use to put oil in your car. By clicking on the dropdown menu you can choose what you want to filter by and it will pop up the “filter” window. If you chose the wrong specifications don’t worry you can pick from the tabs at the top of the window which way you would like to filter your videos. If you click on the filter picture button the same window will appear for you to choose your preference. Use whichever way works best for you.
When you are filtering on content you have the option to filter by title, description, links, file paths, genre, and/or rating. This is very convenient for you because you have so many options to choose from in filtering a video if you are not sure of the name. The next tab to the right would be your keyword filter. You can add and remove keywords for your filter here. If you have created a cast you can also filter by cast and actors. You can also filter your archived videos by clicking on the archive tab or in the dropdown menu select “Filter on Archive”
You have several filters available for you to sort through your videos easily. The filters makes this process very smooth and Fast Video Cataloger understands that when you are working with videos or clips of videos and images that the more time you save the more time you can be putting into something productive. We are here to help you save time and energy and the filtering option does just that.