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Kollaborate Server 3.0.2 pre-release available with improved Docker integration

We've now got a pre-release version of our self-hosted workflow platform, Kollaborate Server 3.0.2, with significant improvements to the Docker scripts. We've tested it internally but need some extra feedback on how the Docker scripts work in certain environments.

Docker changes

  • Environment variables have been moved to a separate config.env file to make future updates simpler
  • LetsEncrypt integration allows you to easily setup SSL encryption
  • A proxy is now used to route HTTP and Websocket data to the correct services, increasing the compatibility of Synced Sessions with certain firewalls / network configurations
  • Kollaborate Server now has a local mail server for sending emails directly from the server, although you'll still need to setup things like SPF, DMARC, reverse DNS records, etc, at the domain level in order for emails to get past spam filters.
  • Improved performance when macOS is the host OS
  • Fixed an issue where special characters may not display correctly
  • Fixed an issue where thumbnails may not display

Other changes

  • Deleted files and projects can now be restored for up to 30 days, up from 14
  • Deleted file events now appear on the History page for a project (only project admins can see this)
  • You can customize the port that the websocket server listens on and allow Kollaborate to connect to it over web ports (80 or 443) if it's running through a proxy. Connecting through standard web ports increases compatibility with firewall and network configurations. (Note: our apps currently assume the websocket port is always 8000; we will be releasing updated versions of our apps shortly that respect the new settings.)
  • Fixed an issue where folder link recipients couldn't view comments in certain situations
  • Various minor backend tweaks

See the release notes and setup guide for information on installing from scratch or upgrading from a previous version.

Kollaborate is an essential cloud workflow platform that allows you to share files with clients and team members while integrating with Digital Rebellion apps and services. Kollaborate Server allows you to host the platform in-house on your own servers and storage. To find out more, see the Kollaborate Server overview or register for the free cloud trial (Server trials are available on request).

Posted by Jon Chappell on Mar 23 2020 to Kollaborate, Front Page News, DR News
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Business continuity during coronavirus pandemic

Due to the ease of remote working in our industry, many of our customers are continuing working during the pandemic and so we wanted to make a statement about the continued availability of our services.

We have always been a remote and nimble company so the coronavirus pandemic does not change our business operations in any material way. Customers should therefore expect services and support to continue as normal.

If you're looking for a way to help in the fight against coronavirus, we recommend people with fast computers download Folding@Home to aid in scientific understanding of the virus. We'd also recommend people contribute to Mozilla's Common Voice project, as this pandemic will likely accelerate the need for non-touch machine interfaces like voice.

Posted by Jon Chappell on Mar 14 2020 to DR News, Front Page News
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Recent updates - March 2020

In case you missed it, here are some recent software updates for our products.

Pro Maintenance Tools 2.3.1 - Mar 3 2020

  • Improved compatibility with macOS 10.15 Catalina
  • Plugin Manager Installers - Improved compatibility with Apple's new notarization requirements
  • Plugin Manager Installers - Better handling of notarization errors, including the option to easily see the notarization log
  • Stability improvements
  • General bug fixes, tweaks and optimizations

CinePlay 1.6.4 - Feb 28 2020

  • Improved compatibility with macOS 10.15 Catalina
  • CinePlay no longer treats the "Elapsed Time" display as if it was just timecode with a different start point. This fixes an issue where CinePlay may have produced different time output compared to QuickTime Player X. This doesn't change the default display type, which is Timecode.
  • Fixed an issue with being unable to step frame-by-frame through extremely long movies
  • Fixed an issue where aspect ratio blanking could have incorrect dimensions on macOS 10.15
  • General bug fixes, tweaks and optimizations
Posted by Jon Chappell on Mar 7 2020 to DR News
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Recent updates - February 2020

In case you missed it, here are some recent software updates for our products.

Kollaborate Encoder 1.5 - Jan 15 2020

Compatibility notes:

  • Kollaborate Encoder can now be installed via Docker. The next update will be Linux-only so Docker will then be the only way to install on macOS / Windows. Existing installations on macOS / Windows can continue using this version but will need to switch to Docker for the next version.

    To switch your existing installation to Docker, follow the steps in the installation guide and then copy your old kollab_encoder.conf file to the new installation.

Changes in 1.5

  • Fixed an issue where the queue could stall
  • Fixed an issue where multiple encodes could occur at the same time
  • Fixed an issue where files could use the wrong URL when updating a failed job
  • Support for HQ encoding opt-in
  • Fixed an issue where soffice could be killed prematurely, preventing office docs being converted
  • You can now specify a UUID in your config file. This allows Kollaborate Server to identify the encoder in situations where it cannot from the IP address alone - e.g. if you have a complex network setup or you're running more than one encoder on a single IP. The UUID can be any value but it's best to create one with the uuidgen command-line tool. Remember to also add the UUID on the Servers page in the Admin Area on the webserver.

Kollaborate Server 3.0.1 - Jan 15 2020

Compatibility notes:

  • Kollaborate Server can now be installed via Docker. The next update will be Linux-only so Docker will then be the only way to install on macOS / Windows. Existing installations on macOS / Windows can continue using this version but will need to switch to Docker for the next version. We recommend new installations on macOS / Windows use Docker.

    To switch an existing installation to Docker, use a database tool like phpMyAdmin or Sequel Pro to export your existing database. Follow the steps for Docker configuration in the installation guide, then use your database tool to delete all tables in the database and then restore the backup you created earlier. If the versions don't match, you may need to visit http://[your site].com/upgrade to upgrade the database afterwards.

    Note: the Docker scripts don't currently setup SSL or email sending - these still need to be manually configured. Please see the installation guide for more details on this.

Server-Specific Changes

  • You can now specify a UUID for a server from the Servers page in the Admin Area. This allows Kollaborate Server to identify the encoder in situations where it cannot from the IP address alone - e.g. if you have a complex network setup or you're running more than one encoder on a single IP. The UUID can be any value but it's best to create one with the uuidgen command-line tool. Remember to also add the UUID on in the encoder's config file.

Changes in 3.0.1 build 3011

  • Fixes several issues with the Docker scripts. To upgrade from build 3010, backup the html/config folder to a safe place, overwrite all files from version 3010 with the newer update, then copy the config folder back again. Now type docker-compose build followed by docker-compose up -d. Then visit [your URL]/upgrade to update the database version.
  • Moved the websocket server to its own separate Docker container for improved reliability
  • The installer now detects when it's running on Docker and disables steps that are unnecessary for Docker installations

Changes in 3.0.1

  • You can now choose to hide others' comments when creating a link or when editing permissions for a team member. This means the person can only view comments they made and replies to those comments.
  • File pinning - Pinning a file or folder makes sure it always displays at the top of the Files page, regardless of how files are sorted. This can be useful to highlight important files to your team.
  • You can now manually mark a file as viewed or unviewed by you.
  • Advanced Search now populates your current search when you go back to it, so it can be edited or tweaked.

    Additionally, we've added new criteria for you to search against: Tag Value, Is Pinned, Version Title, Status Text, File Workflow, Color, Is Alias, Viewed by Me.
  • SVG logos - You can now upload your company logo as an SVG. Vector SVGs are now our recommended logo format to ensure your logo always looks crisp regardless of screen size or DPI.
  • Tasks - Descriptions are now optional and tasks no longer have to have a due date.
  • HQ encoding beta - This allows you to deliver higher-quality proxies at a lower file size, at the expense of very old devices (>8 years). This is opt-in on a per-user basis by visiting http://[your site]/beta .
  • Various minor UI tweaks and other optimizations
Posted by Jon Chappell on Feb 7 2020 to DR News
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New tool: generate widescreen image mattes quickly and easily

We've got a new webapp on the site: Aspect Ratio Matte Generator. This allows you to generate a transparent PNG image with black bars at the top and bottom to mask video to a certain aspect ratio.

While there are image packs like this already on the internet, the creator of such a pack has to try to anticipate all the resolutions the end-user is likely to need in advance. This means you may need to resize such an image if the pack creator didn't create one for the specific resolution you're working at. The advantage of our tool is that you can create one on-the-fly at the exact image size you need. It also supports aspect ratios less than 1.0 (i.e. with black bars at the sides), if such a thing is desired.

This tool is completely free and works in modern web browsers.

If you like this tool, check out our other webapps, our numerous products for video professionals and our cloud workflow platform.

Posted by Jon Chappell on Feb 6 2020 to DR News, Front Page News, Utilities
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Kollaborate Server 3.0.1 - Docker integration, hide comments, file pinning and more

Last week we released Kollaborate Server 3.0.1 - a major update to our self-hosted workflow platform.

Docker integration

Both Kollaborate Server and Kollaborate Encoder are now integrated with Docker, allowing them to be run in a container. We know some of our customers in the past had difficulty getting everything setup, so integrating with Docker allows for considerably simpler and faster installation.

In the next update, we are planning to make the software Linux-only, so Docker will become the only way to run the software on a Mac or Windows computer. For now, customers on macOS/Windows can use the latest version on their existing installations but will need to switch over to Docker in order to use the next version. We recommend all new installations on macOS / Windows to be via Docker. (Linux users have the choice of installing manually or via Docker.)

For more information on the Docker integration and converting an existing installation to use Docker, see the installation guide.

Hide comments from certain users

You can now choose to hide others' comments when creating a link or when editing permissions for a team member. This means the person can only view comments they made and replies to those comments.

File pinning

Pinning a file or folder makes sure it always displays at the top of the Files page, regardless of how files are sorted. This can be useful to highlight important files to your team.

Mark as Viewed / Unviewed

You can now manually mark a file as viewed or unviewed by you.

Better searching

Advanced Search now populates your current search when you go back to it, so it can be edited or tweaked.

Additionally, we've added new criteria for you to search against: Tag Value, Is Pinned, Version Title, Status Text, File Workflow, Color, Is Alias, Viewed by Me.

SVG logos

You can now upload your company logo as an SVG. Vector SVGs are now our recommended logo format to ensure your logo always looks crisp regardless of screen size or DPI.

Task improvements

Task descriptions are now optional and tasks no longer have to have a due date.

Higher quality encoding beta

We're testing new encoding settings that both improve quality and lower file size, at the expense of compatibility with very old devices (>8 years old). Higher quality encoding can be enabled on a per-user basis by visiting http://[your site]/beta .

Kollaborate is an essential cloud workflow platform that allows you to share files with clients and team members while integrating with Digital Rebellion apps and services. Kollaborate Server allows you to host the platform in-house on your own servers and storage. To find out more, see the Kollaborate Server overview or register for the free cloud trial (Server trials are available on request).

Posted by Jon Chappell on Jan 20 2020 to Kollaborate, DR News, Front Page News
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Recent updates - January 2020

In case you missed it, here are some recent software updates for our products.

Kollaborate Folder Watcher 1.3.5 - Dec 24 2019

  • Fixed an issue that could cause Kollaborate Folder Watcher to not be able to read file information in certain situations

Kollaborate Transfer 1.5.5 - Dec 24 2019

  • Fixed an issue that could cause Kollaborate Transfer to not be able to read file information in certain situations
Posted by Jon Chappell on Jan 7 2020 to DR News
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Recent updates - December 2019

In case you missed it, here are some recent software updates for our products.

Cut Notes for iPad 2.5.6 - Nov 28 2019

  • Fixed a crash that could occur when switching to Notes view on iOS 12 or below

Cut Notes for iPad 2.5.5 - Nov 11 2019

  • Improved support for Dark Mode
  • Fixed some iOS 13 UI issues

Cut Notes for iPad 2.5.4 - Nov 7 2019

  • Fixed a crash when authorizing with Dropbox

Pro Maintenance Tools 2.3 - Nov 6 2019

  • macOS 10.15 Catalina compatibility
  • Dark Mode support
  • Migrated away from QuickTime to AV Foundation - this means that older/third-party codecs are no longer supported by Corrupt Clip Finder and Media Salvage
  • Plugin Manager - Support for notarizing installers for macOS 10.15 Catalina - please recreate your existing installers
  • Various bug fixes and code modernizations
Posted by Jon Chappell on Dec 7 2019 to DR News
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Kollaborate 3.0.1 - Hide comments from certain users, file pinning, higher quality encoding and more

Kollaborate 3.0.1 is now live on the cloud. Here's what's new:

Hide comments from certain users

You can now choose to hide others' comments when creating a link or when editing permissions for a team member. This means the person can only view comments they made and replies to those comments.

File pinning

Pinning a file or folder makes sure it always displays at the top of the Files page, regardless of how files are sorted. This can be useful to highlight important files to your team.

Mark as Viewed / Unviewed

You can now manually mark a file as viewed or unviewed by you.

Better searching

Advanced Search now populates your current search when you go back to it, so it can be edited or tweaked.

Additionally, we've added new criteria for you to search against: Tag Value, Is Pinned, Version Title, Status Text, File Workflow, Color, Is Alias, Viewed by Me.

SVG logos

You can now upload your company logo as an SVG. Vector SVGs are now our recommended logo format to ensure your logo always looks crisp regardless of screen size or DPI.

Task improvements

Task descriptions are now optional and tasks no longer have to have a due date.

Higher quality encoding beta

When we first launched the site in 2013, the biggest factor affecting viewing experience was CPU processing power - even on desktop computers - so our proxies are optimized to decode quickly and not cause the CPU to spike too much.

However, since then devices and browsers have become much more optimized at playing video. If we sacrifice some compatibility with very old devices (such as the iPad 2 from 2011) we can produce better quality video at lower file sizes.

Because it only affects devices that are 8 or so years old, we're not expecting it to have a big compatibility impact, but we're running it as a beta just in case. You can opt in to the beta here.

Better technical data gathering

A feature that's not visible to users is much better logging of technical data at our end. This allows us to respond better to usage spikes, errors and fine-tune the site to ensure everything stays fast. We have plans to optimize things even further over the next few months.

Kollaborate is an essential cloud workflow platform that allows you to share files with clients and team members while integrating with Digital Rebellion apps and services. To find out more, see the overview or register for the free trial.

Posted by Jon Chappell on Dec 5 2019 to DR News, Front Page News, Kollaborate
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Black Friday Sale 2019 - Discounts on Kollaborate Server and desktop products

This year we're discounting the following products from November 27th through December 6th 2019:

Pro Maintenance Tools - $129 $99

Pro Media Tools - $99 $79

CinePlay for Mac - $29 $19

Kollaborate Server Small Business - $599 $479

Kollaborate Server Business - $999 $799

Kollaborate Server Unlimited - $1499 $1199

Kollaborate Encoder - $199 $159

Posted by Jon Chappell on Nov 27 2019 to DR News, Front Page News
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