Our Products
Maintain, optimize and troubleshoot your NLE.
Cloud workflows and collaboration.
Simplified media management.

Pro Maintenance Tools 2.1.3 - Adobe CC 2015 support, clean After Effects disk cache

Earlier this week we released Pro Maintenance Tools 2.1.3, a minor update to our suite of maintenance, repair and troubleshooting tools for video professionals.

Adobe Creative Cloud 2015 support

Pro Maintenance Tools is now fully compatible with Adobe Creative Cloud 2015 and we have made Preference Manager more intelligent at detecting future versions of CC.

Clear After Effects disk cache

Have you noticed that you suddenly have very little free disk space available? The culprit is probably After Effects' disk cache, which is set by default to consume up to 10% of your drive space. While that might not sound like much, 10% of a 1 TB drive is 100 GB, which is a lot of space for a temporary file cache that is only useful while AE is open.

Now you can easily clear out this cache with Housekeeper, or even schedule a basic housekeeping clean periodically.


Trash Audition plugin cache

Housekeeper can also trash Adobe Audition plugin caches, which can help to solve launching issues.

Pro Maintenance Tools is an invaluable toolset to help working video professionals get up and running again quickly in the event of a problem. To find out more, see the feature list, read the user manual, watch the overview video or download the free 15-day trial.

Posted by Jon Chappell on Thursday June 25 2015 11:41 AM to DR News, Front Page News, Utilities
0 comments


Kollaborate Server 1.3.2 and Kollaborate Encoder 1.0.1 - Python scripting, simplified sharing

Kollaborate Server 1.3.2 was released late last week, offering some great new additions to our in-house cloud workflow platform for video professionals.

Save playback position

Kollaborate Server will automatically play back files where you left off, making it seamless to switch between home and office or desktop and mobile. This is also supported by the latest versions of CinePlay for Mac and CinePlay for iOS.

This setting can be disabled in Actions > Playback Settings in the player.

Simplified sharing

It's now easier than ever to share files with clients outside your project. We've reduced the number of clicks required to share a file and made it much easier to track links across the entire project.

Plus you can get additional statistics including when a recipient last viewed the link and the timecode position at which they stopped viewing.

You can also relink to a different file so that you can silently fix problems without needing to send the person another link.

Python scripting (beta)

The Python scripting beta has been incorporated into Kollaborate Server 1.3.2. It is considered beta so we welcome all feedback. You can find more about how to script Kollaborate Server in the Scripting Guide.

Other changes


  • Project alerts - Easily see the most recent changes to a project with the project alert dropdown at the top right of the screen
  • The Users section of the player now shows the last time a user viewed a file
  • Import markers via FCPX XML
  • Marker colors are now respected when importing from FCP 7 XML
  • Right-click the Files page to add a new folder or comment stream
  • You can now add up to 25 linked accounts to your subscription
  • Various UI improvements

Kollaborate Encoder 1.0.1

We've also released Kollaborate Encoder 1.0.1 which adds support for higher-resolution encoding (you need to activate this from Kollaborate Server itself by visiting yoursite.com/beta) and offers several encoding optimizations.

Kollaborate is a cloud workflow platform designed to help you work better with colleagues and clients. Upload files to the cloud, have them reviewed by others and then export their notes back to your editing application.

Kollaborate Server gives you all of those features in-house on your own servers and storage. To find out more, view the feature list or sign up for the free no-obligation 15-day cloud trial (no credit card needed). Trials of Kollaborate Server are available on request.

Posted by Jon Chappell on Tuesday June 23 2015 5:45 PM to DR News, Front Page News, Kollaborate
0 comments


5 Ways Apple Could Improve iOS 9

Next week is WWDC, where Apple will likely unveil a new version of iOS. Here’s what we’d like to see.

Improved text selection

I deliberately avoid using iOS devices in situations where I need to frequently copy and paste text because it’s extremely tedious.

Here’s an exercise to try: take a paragraph of text and try to select only one or two sentences inside it. After you select a certain quantity of text, iOS tries to help you by automatically selecting the entire paragraph. Selecting exactly the desired amount of text then becomes a battle between you and the operating system. A lot of times I just select the entire paragraph, paste it and then cut it down to what I need because it’s easier and quicker, but it’s still a step I wouldn’t have to do on the desktop.

It is also especially difficult to select the text of a link because if you tap on it, iOS assumes you either want to visit the link or copy its URL.

Proper multitasking

One big problem with iOS is that it does not have true multitasking. Some functions, such as audio playback, can take place in the background but most of the time when you switch to another app the previous app will either pause or terminate.

What this means in practice is that if an app takes a long time to do something, you cannot check email or do something else while it is processing or it will probably pause and then restart when you switch back. Consequently I spend a lot more time staring at progress bars on iOS than I do on OS X.

Dark mode

Dark mode would show system UI elements with a darker skin to stop the display appearing too bright or lighting up a dark room.

This could cause complications for third-party apps so I think it should be possible for apps to see which mode the user has selected and decide in what circumstances to honor it.

Don’t autocorrect proper grammar

I have no problem with iOS autocorrecting misspelled words but it sometimes corrects valid grammar and spelling into something that is incorrect, such as automatically correcting “were” to “we’re”.

Polish

There are rumors that iOS 9 will not have significant new features and will instead be a Snow Leopard-style polish and bug fix release. I’m less in favor of this for iOS than OS X because I find iOS 8 significantly more stable than iOS 7 and the aforementioned feature requests are problems that genuinely slow me down and turn me off the platform.

However, anything Apple can do to improve the speed of the OS is appreciated, especially on older devices.

Posted by Jon Chappell on Thursday June 4 2015 10:59 AM to Apple, Software, Analysis
0 comments


6 Ways Apple Could Improve OS X 10.11

With WWDC around the corner and a likely unveiling of a new version of OS X, here’s six improvements we’d like to see.

Finder tags

When Apple introduced OS X 10.9 they included Finder tags which allowed you to tag a file with additional metadata.

However, this is not particularly useful because the tags appear as color dots instead of text and they are very small and overlap each other. It also means you can no longer color code the entire filename, making it easy to miss color-coded files.

So my proposal is for two types of tags: color tags and text tags. Color tags affect the background color of the file in the list and can be easily spotted when scrolling. You can only assign one color to a file.

Text tags do not affect the background color of the file, even when colored, but appear in a bubble next to the filename. So you can tag it “VFX” and “Delivery" for example and anyone can see at a glance that it is a VFX deliverable. Any tags that can’t fit in can be expanded by clicking an ellipsis icon next to the filename.

Airplay video streaming

It should be possible to stream video from a Mac video player like QuickTime or CinePlay to an Apple TV. This is something that can already be done in iOS but still hasn’t made it to the Mac.

There are some solutions to this but they are very hacky and developers would benefit from an officially-sanctioned method.

Files in use

One of the most annoying things about OS X is how it frequently refuses to perform an action like moving a file or emptying the trash because the file is in use, even when you can’t figure out what’s using it and haven’t opened that file in months. This bug has existed for a very long time.

I have a theory that it may be related to QuickLook scanning the file to update its icon but I haven’t been able to exactly pinpoint it.

There are some workarounds such as copying a file instead of moving it or securely emptying the trash.

AV Foundation: Don’t treat remote files as second-class citizens

There are some very powerful tools in Apple’s AV Foundation media framework. Unfortunately many of the functions for scanning media files and extracting information are limited only to files that exist on the user’s local hard drive. This can limit the options you have for dealing with files on a remote web or FTP server.

There is no real reason for this because even though the data originates on a remote server, it still ends up in memory and/or cached to disk, depending on the situation. Because AV Foundation is built to be asynchronous, there is no reason why this data cannot be provided to an app as and when it is downloaded.

OpenGL ES / Metal

OpenGL ES is a cut-down version of OpenGL that is intended for mobile devices. Metal is a low-level iOS API by Apple intended to improve performance of graphical apps.

Because neither of these are supported on OS X, it means porting graphical apps between platforms requires a lot of work. With some parts of OpenGL ES it’s easy because all you have to do is slightly modify the name of a function, but in other cases it’s trickier because there are no direct equivalents for certain commands.

Polish

One rumor making the rounds is that Apple will forego major new features in favor of polishing and optimizing its codebase.

I feel that Apple’s software quality has slipped in the past five years and the annual release cycle means that Apple is often introducing new features (and therefore new bugs) before it has finished fixing the bugs introduced in the previous version.

The last time Apple did this was for OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and I have spoken to many people who consider it to be the best release of OS X. In fact, more of our customers are on 10.6 than 10.7 or 10.8.

I would therefore be willing to sacrifice all of the above feature requests in favor of a massive codebase polish from top to bottom.

Posted by Jon Chappell on Wednesday June 3 2015 11:43 AM to DR News, Apple, Analysis
1 comment


Rewrapping MP4 to MOV with CinePlay

I recently had a need to rewrap an MP4 to MOV without transcoding the existing H.264 video when it occurred to me that CinePlay for Mac makes an excellent rewrapping tool, despite this purpose not actually occurring to us during development.

Here's how to do it:

1. Open up the MP4 you wish to convert in CinePlay.

2. Go to File > Export.

3. Under both Video and Audio, select Don't Transcode (pass-through) and click Save.

The movie will be rewrapped to a separate MOV extremely quickly. Depending on how much video data needs to be copied over to the new file, it could be as short as a few seconds.

Posted by Jon Chappell on Tuesday May 26 2015 11:24 PM to Software, Tutorials
0 comments


Pro Media Tools 1.3.7 - batch rotate and flip QuickTime movies

Earlier this week we released Pro Media Tools 1.3.7, a minor update to our suite of Mac media management tools.

Batch rotate and flip QuickTime movies

QT Edit can now rotate, flip and flop QuickTime movies, either individually or in a batch. This is useful if videos were shot in landscape on a phone but are incorrectly rotated to portrait. It can also be helpful in situations where a lens adapter or other camera accessory is causing video to be recorded upside down.

Other changes


  • QT Edit - Videos can now be batch rotated, flipped and flopped
  • QT Edit - Conform improvements
  • QT Edit - Improved detection of non-HFS file systems
  • QT Edit - Added an option to disable non-HFS file system check
  • Various other bug fixes, tweaks and improvements

Pro Media Tools is an essential toolkit for media professionals. To find out more, view the feature list, read the user manual, watch the overview video or download the free 15-day trial.

Posted by Jon Chappell on Wednesday May 20 2015 9:57 PM to DR News, Front Page News, Utilities
0 comments


Kollaborate 1.3.2 - restore playback position, simplified sharing and project alerts

Kollaborate 1.3.2 is now live on the cloud, offering some great new additions to our cloud workflow platform for video professionals.

Save playback position

Kollaborate will automatically play back files where you left off, making it seamless to switch between home and office or desktop and mobile. A corresponding update for our Mac / iOS player apps will be released soon.

This setting can be disabled in Actions > Playback Settings in the player.

Simplified sharing

It's now easier than ever to share files with clients outside your project. We've reduced the number of clicks required to share a file and made it much easier to track links across the entire project.

Plus you can get additional statistics including when a recipient last viewed the link and the timecode position at which they stopped viewing.

You can also relink to a different file so that you can silently fix problems without needing to send the person another link.

Project alerts

Easily see the most recent changes to a project with the project alert dropdown at the top right of the screen.

Large thumbnails

We've enlarged the size of thumbnails to make it easier to locate and tell the difference between clips. This affects all uploads from now on but if you want to apply it to existing files, you can go to Actions > Set Thumb to Current Frame in the player.

A new Kollaborate Transfer 1.3 beta has been released with support for the larger thumbnail size. Our other uploading apps will be updated later this week.

Other changes


  • The Users section of the player now shows the last time a user viewed a file
  • Import markers via FCPX XML
  • Marker colors are now respected when importing from FCP 7 XML
  • Right-click the Files page to add a new folder or comment stream
  • You can now add up to 25 linked accounts to your subscription
  • Various UI improvements

Kollaborate is a cloud workflow platform designed to help you work better with colleagues and clients. Upload files to the cloud, have them reviewed by others and then export their notes back to your editing application. To find out more, view the feature list or sign up for the free no-obligation 15-day trial (no credit card needed).

Posted by Jon Chappell on Wednesday May 13 2015 7:47 AM to DR News, Front Page News, Kollaborate
0 comments


Kollaborate Server Scripting Beta 1 - integrate with in-house databases through Python

We've just released Kollaborate Server Scripting Beta 1, which allows you to integrate our cloud workflow platform with in-house databases and tools through the Python scripting language.

Usage examples include integrating tasks with an in-house calendar or work-order system, automatically backing up uploaded files, sending custom shared link emails, logging employee performance and sending files to a playout server when they are approved.

The scripting functionality works by calling functions in a custom Python script based on certain events, such as when a file is uploaded or a comment is added to a file. Contextual information is passed on such as the text of the comment, the timecode position, who added it and the file it was added to. The current implementation is passive - events can be responded to but not triggered - and in future versions we plan to integrate it with our REST API when it is made public.

We're releasing this early version to start a dialogue with our customers about exactly what information and events their in-house scripts need access to, so please feel free to contact us with any comments or suggestions.

The beta is open to any Kollaborate Server customers with valid maintenance or a trial and can be downloaded from the Kollaborate Server site after logging in.

(If Python is not your language of choice or your in-house scripts use another language, you can run other languages from the command-line within Python. More details are available in the Scripting Guide.)

Posted by Jon Chappell on Wednesday May 6 2015 12:37 PM to DR News, Front Page News, Kollaborate
0 comments


CinePlay 1.2.1 for Mac released

We've just released CinePlay 1.2.1, a minor update to our professional Mac media player.

In addition to many bug fixes, optimizations and UI tweaks, we've listened to your feedback and added the option to burn a matte directly into frame grabs taken within CinePlay.

CinePlay is a professional Mac media player complete with timecode and safe area overlays, markers, annotations and full cloud playback, note-taking and real-time integration with our Kollaborate cloud workflow platform.

To find out more, view the feature list, watch the overview video, read the user manual or download the free 15-day trial.

Posted by Jon Chappell on Tuesday April 21 2015 11:41 PM to DR News, Front Page News, Utilities
0 comments


Fixing offline files in media managed XML

When you media manage a project in Final Cut Pro 7 and then export to XML for importing into a third-party application like Davinci Resolve*, you may get an error message from that application saying it cannot reconnect to the files.

The reason for this is that when FCP 7 creates a new media file (which it does if it trims unused content) it gets created without a .mov extension which can confuse other applications into thinking it is not a media file.

Here's how to fix it:

1. Use a batch renaming tool to find and replace -v with -v.mov (note the dash at the beginning) for the files in your media managed folder.

2. Open up the XML file in a text editor like TextWrangler and find and replace

-v</pathurl>
with
-v.mov</pathurl>
.

3. Save the XML file then try the import again.


* The "ignore file extensions" option in Davinci Resolve is supposed to prevent issues like this but this problem still occurs when that box is checked.

Posted by Jon Chappell on Monday April 20 2015 8:54 PM to Color Grading, Final Cut Studio, Tutorials
0 comments


Older posts