DR News Category

How to protect your video content

Sometimes it is necessary to protect video content against unauthorized redistribution. Here's an overview of the main ways of doing this.

Visible Watermarking

This involves placing text or a logo over the video to show the name of the company owning the content.

Pros

  • Simple and free
  • Doesn't require specialist software to create or view
  • Its obvious visibility provides a deterrent
  • Difficult to remove if placed in an area that cannot be cropped out

Cons

  • Disrupts the movie
  • Does not provide any physical protection mechanisms
  • No feasible way to tie a movie to a particular person
  • May increase movie encoding times

Invisible Watermarking

Some companies offer invisible watermarking by tagging content with a fingerprint. One such example would be Digimarc Guardian.

You would tag the movie and give it to the end user, then if it appears on a file-sharing website you can download it and read the tag to find out which user shared it.

Pros

  • Quick to apply to an existing movie without re-encoding
  • Can be tied to a specific user
  • Does not disrupt the movie

Cons

  • Requires specialist software to create and view
  • Does not provide any physical protection mechanisms

Content Protection Plugins

Browser plugins like Flash and Silverlight offer their own Digital Rights Management (DRM) protection systems.

Pros

  • A lot of control over exactly what the user can and cannot do. For example, you can make a movie unplayable after a certain time period.
  • Offers a physical protection mechanism

Cons

  • Requires a plugin, which may cause problems with less tech-savvy users
  • May not be playable on mobile devices
  • May be too expensive for smaller publishers (Adobe does not publish Adobe Access pricing)

HTML5 Content Protection (Encrypted Media Extensions)

This uses web technologies to allow content protection without the need for a plugin. It is frequently misunderstood as a protection mechanism in itself, but in actuality it is just a means of linking HTML5 web video with existing third-party protection systems, so a lot of the pros and cons of plugins still apply.

Pros

  • No plugins needed
  • A lot of control over exactly what the user can and cannot do. For example, you can make a movie unplayable after a certain time period.
  • Offers a physical protection mechanism

Cons

  • Currently very little browser support
  • Needs to be integrated with an existing DRM system
  • Expensive

Streaming

Streaming a file can make it difficult for users to download it, and for someone people this is all that is needed. This can be achieved with proprietary technologies like Adobe Media Server or HTML5 technologies like HTTP Live Streaming.

Pros

  • Difficult to download files
  • Fast playback times
  • Additional features can be added like automatically changing playback quality to match the user's connection

Cons

  • Requires preparation of the files in advance
  • Can still be downloaded by tech-savvy users with specific software
  • Some technologies require a streaming server

So which is best? That entirely depends on the content you are trying to protect.

  • If you are trying to prevent a paying viewer from sharing a movie, DRM is the best way to go.
  • If you are trying to prevent clients from using work in progress media without paying you, visible watermarking and/or streaming may be best.
  • If you are trying to prevent a movie being leaked before its release, a combination of physical preventions, user tracking and deterrents may be required.

Posted by Jon Chappell on Monday November 24 2014 9:35 AM to DR News, Analysis, Tutorials
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CinePlay 1.1.4 released - new navigation controls plus UI tweaks

Yesterday we released CinePlay 1.1.4 for Mac, a minor update to our professional video player.

Many of the changes in this version are the result of customer feedback including:

New navigation controls

Fast-forwarding / rewinding can now go up to 16x speed, pressing Shift+Left/Right Arrow moves 1 second forward or back and Cmd+Left/Right Arrow switches between files in a playlist. If no playlist is currently open it goes to either the start or end of the movie.

Type to navigate to timecode position

Instead of having to click on the timecode to enter a new timecode position to navigate to, you can now simply start typing the numbers over the video and the timecode position dialog will automatically appear.

UI changes

The Info dialog now shows the timecode start position for each timecode track in the movie and improves the way audio codecs are displayed.

Dragging the playhead now shows a popup with the current timecode. We've also enlarged the video timecode overlay based on user feedback.

This is a small subset; there are several additional changes listed in the changelog.

CinePlay for Mac is an essential professional replacement for QuickTime Player X. It's free for cloud use and there is also an iOS version available.

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 Friday November 21 2014 1:00 PM to DR News, Front Page News, Utilities
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Pro Maintenance Tools 2.0.27 released - improved Premiere project repair

Pro Maintenance Tools 2.0.27 is a minor update to our suite of tools to maintain, optimize and troubleshoot your editing system.

Improved Premiere project repair

Project Repair now analyzes the structure of an Adobe Premiere project before repairing to try to predict the likelihood of success. If it knows the project is unsalvageable it will be able to provide a more helpful error message. It's especially useful at letting you know when the project file was truncated in the middle of saving so only half of the data is there (yes, this can happen - we recommend Pro Versioner as a way of rescuing your data).

Other changes


  • System Toolkit - Added the ability to reset Adobe plugin blacklists
  • Plugin Manager - Improved Adobe CC 2014.1 compatibility
  • Preference Manager - Improved Adobe CC 2014.1 compatibility
  • Crash Analyzer - Fixed an issue that may cause it to erroneously say a newer update is available when submitting a log
  • Updated Crash Analyzer definitions
  • Various other bug fixes, tweaks and improvements

Pro Maintenance Tools is an essential toolkit for media professionals that is used by freelancers and major studios alike. 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 Tuesday November 11 2014 8:01 AM to DR News, Front Page News, Utilities
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Pro Media Tools 1.3.3 released with improved flash frame and gamma shift detection

We've just released Pro Media Tools 1.3.3, a minor update to our suite of media management and processing tools.

Improved flash frame detection

We've updated Video Check to more reliably detect subtle flash frames (e.g. a partial frame or a second frame that is almost identical to the first), as well as increasing the default flash frame sensitivity for first-time users of the app.

Improved Gamma Shift detection

We've overhauled Gamma Shift Detector to use a different detection method which can more reliably detect pixel-based gamma shifts.

Video Check speed improvements

We temporarily disabled the Instances feature in the last Video Check update to make the app more reliable while we were waiting for our new architecture to be implemented. Now that this is in place we've re-enabled the feature which has resulted in a significant performance boost.

This is a small highlight of the changes; you can read the full list here.

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 Thursday November 6 2014 10:53 AM to DR News, Front Page News, Utilities
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Kollaborate Server 1.2 released with Kollaborate Encoder 1.0 Beta

We've just launched a major new version of Kollaborate Server, our in-house cloud workflow platform.

Server Encoding

Kollaborate Encoder is an add-on that encodes incompatible videos uploaded via the web interface on a separate server. Encoding is fast because the encoder runs on your internal network and has direct access to your Kollaborate Server storage location.

Your Kollaborate Server license includes one Kollaborate Encoder license, although an unlimited number are supported and Kollaborate Server will automatically send jobs to the server with the lowest number of items in its queue. Currently there is no way to purchase additional licenses but this will be coming soon.

Kollaborate Encoder is considered beta so we recommend exercising caution when using it in a production environment and we welcome all feedback.

Kollaborate Server 1.2 also features the changes from Kollaborate 1.2, including:

Favorites

Favorite a file or comment to refer back to later. This is useful for creating to-do lists.

Custom Departments and Positions

Custom departments and positions can be added on a per-project basis, allowing you to create private storage areas only a few users can see.

Alias overhaul

Aliases have been redesigned and can now be linked to all past and future revisions of a file or just a particular revision.

Other changes


  • Non-admins can now approve files in their departments if the Approval permission is set (for some user types including Client and Agency Rep, this is set by default). To change this, click the dropdown next to a user on the Team page and click Permissions.
  • Navigate between files directly from the player and click a file's thumbnail in the Files page to preview it
  • Replace a file - upload a new copy while keeping all comments and links intact
  • Hide download button option when creating a link (note: this does not prevent users from downloading but makes it less obvious)
  • Right-click menus - instead of clicking the dropdown next to each user, file, project, task or comment, right-click to show the same menu
  • New comment export options - CSV and EdiCue
  • Many bug fixes and tweaks

Kollaborate Server is an in-house cloud workflow platform that connects with Digital Rebellion products to allow you to share files and collaborate with colleagues and clients on your project. For those who prefer a simpler setup, a cloud version is also available.

To find out more, read the feature list and FAQ, watch the overview video or register for the free 15-day trial (no credit card needed).

Posted by Jon Chappell on Tuesday November 4 2014 11:11 AM to DR News, Front Page News, Kollaborate
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Introducing Kollaborate Plugin Pack - upload directly from your NLE

Yesterday we launched Kollaborate Plugin Pack. This is a group of NLE plugins that allow for direct uploading to our Kollaborate cloud workflow platform from your editing application, saving both time and effort. We currently have plugins for Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Premiere Pro for Mac.

The installer places Send to Kollaborate functions in the File > Export menu in Premiere and the File > Share menu in FCPX.

The user manual provides a full tutorial but the basic workflow is as follows:

1. Go to File > Export > Send to Kollaborate (Premiere) or File > Share > Send to Kollaborate (FCPX).

2. At this point FCPX users should enter a title and other basic details for the project. Premiere users should skip to step 3.

3. Assuming you're logged into Kollaborate, select the project and provide basic details such as the title, description and where to store the file.

4. Click Export Sequence and the NLE will take over the rendering of the file. Once that is complete, the Kollaborate plugin will upload the video in the background and alert you with a Notification Center alert when it's done.

Note: due to limitations in the Adobe Premiere API, any in and out points in your timeline will be ignored when exporting through the plugin. To export a section of your timeline, please nest the sequence.

System requirements are OS X 10.8+ and FCPX 10.1+ or Adobe Premiere Pro CC or higher.

Kollaborate is the only professional workflow platform that integrates in this way with your editing application. To find out more, register for the free 15-day trial (no credit card needed).

Posted by Jon Chappell on Tuesday October 28 2014 11:24 AM to DR News, Front Page News, Kollaborate
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Pro Maintenance Tools 2.0.26 released with OS X 10.10 support

Last week we released Pro Maintenance Tools 2.0.26, a minor update to our suite of maintenance and troubleshooting tools for your editing application.

OS X 10.10 compatibility

Pro Maintenance Tools 2.0.26 is compatible with OS X 10.10 Yosemite. This means that every product we make is now certified as Yosemite compatible.

Various System Toolkit improvements

Lots of changes have been made to System Toolkit, including an overhaul of the Cleanup Tasks pane to provide descriptions of each task and the type of problems it is likely to fix. We've also added new tasks to clean QuickLook and Help caches, the former of which can help fix the inability to preview certain types of files or issues where file previews are corrupted.

Other changes

  • System Toolkit - Added an option to turn off App Nap globally
  • System Toolkit - Various UI improvements
  • Corrupt Clip Finder - Fixed a hang when color coding large numbers of files at once
  • Project Repair - Fixed a crash that could occur when closing the window in the middle of a Premiere project repair
  • Updated Crash Analyzer definitions
  • Various other bug fixes, tweaks and improvements

Pro Maintenance Tools is an essential toolkit for media professionals that is used by freelancers and major studios alike. 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 October 22 2014 1:19 PM to DR News, Front Page News, Utilities
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Kollaborate 1.2 released - favorites, custom depts, server encoding and more

We've just launched a major new version of Kollaborate on the cloud. With Kollaborate 1.2 we decided to address almost all of your top feature requests at once, including:

Favorites

Favorite a file or comment to refer back to later. This is useful for creating to-do lists.

Custom Departments and Positions

Custom departments and positions can be added on a per-project basis, allowing you to create private storage areas only a few users can see.

Alias overhaul

Aliases have been redesigned and can now be linked to all past and future revisions of a file or just a particular revision.

Custom logos

You can specify a custom site logo that will appear at the top of the page when others view your project.

Linked accounts

Link other accounts to your subscription to allow team-members to also create projects.

Server-side encoding (beta)

Incompatible files under 20 mins can now be converted to H.264 on our server. This will take place by default for non-H.264 video files or files that are not in an MP4 container.

For power users we still recommend Kollaborate Transfer for uploading due to its faster speeds and greater customization.

Server-side encoding is currently considered beta so please let us know of any bugs, issues or incompatibilities you encounter.

Other changes


  • Non-admins can now approve files in their departments if the Approval permission is set (for some user types including Client and Agency Rep, this is set by default). To change this, click the dropdown next to a user on the Team page and click Permissions.
  • Navigate between files directly from the player and click a file's thumbnail in the Files page to preview it
  • Replace a file - upload a new copy while keeping all comments and links intact
  • Hide download button option when creating a link (note: this does not prevent users from downloading but makes it less obvious)
  • Right-click menus - instead of clicking the dropdown next to each user, file, project, task or comment, right-click to show the same menu
  • New comment export options - CSV and EdiCue
  • Many bug fixes and tweaks

Kollaborate is a cloud workflow platform that connects with Digital Rebellion products to allow you to share files and collaborate with colleagues and clients on your project. To find out more, read the feature list and FAQ, watch the overview video or register for the free 15-day trial (no credit card needed).

Posted by Jon Chappell on Tuesday October 14 2014 9:22 AM to DR News, Front Page News, Kollaborate
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Pro Media Tools 1.3.2 - OS X 10.10 support and flash frame detection improvements

We've just released Pro Media Tools 1.3.2, a minor update to our suite of media management and processing tools.

Video Check flash frame improvements

We've improved the accuracy of flash frame detection in Video Check and added a sensitivity slider to help detect more subtle flashes.

OS X 10.10 Yosemite compatibility

Pro Media Tools is now compatible with the upcoming OS X 10.10 Yosemite release, which should be out within the next few weeks.

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 Monday September 29 2014 8:59 AM to DR News, Front Page News, Utilities
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Introducing the Kollaborate Folder Watcher for Mac Beta

Today we are introducing a new tool for Kollaborate users. With Kollaborate Folder Watcher you can now setup watch folders that will automatically upload files to the cloud when you copy them to that folder.

To start, launch the app and login to your Kollaborate account in Preferences. If you have installed Kollaborate Transfer or signed into Kollaborate from one of our other apps, you won't need to do this because it will automatically detect your settings.

Click the + button and browse for a folder. Note that upon adding a folder all files inside it will be uploaded.

Next choose the project, department and folder to upload to. You can have different folders uploading to different projects.

Now drag some files or folders into the folder. After a few seconds or minutes (depending on the size) you should see them appear in the project from your web browser.

Please note that this is a pre-release version that has some issues a limitations, so caution should be exercised when using it in a production environment. The current version does not encode videos so we recommend that you encode them using our encoding presets prior to copying to the folder. There are also likely to be bugs so please report any you find to us.

Posted by Jon Chappell on Monday September 8 2014 8:53 AM to DR News, Front Page News, Kollaborate
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