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Recent updates - April 2017

We've been busy - here are some recent software updates for our products that you may have missed.

Pro Media Tools 1.5 - Mar 30 2017

  • Auto Transfer - Offloading performance improvements
  • Auto Transfer - Added an "Open QuickTimes movies as CinePlay playlist" option to Actions
  • Auto Transfer - Reel number is now auto-detected if it’s in the volume name (certain volumes only)
  • Auto Transfer - Better support for detecting ARRI volumes
  • Auto Transfer - Support for detecting Tascam volumes
  • Auto Transfer - Improved the responsiveness of ejecting a volume
  • Auto Transfer - Fixed an issue where the day could increment more than once if the app is launched with more than one card mounted
  • Auto Transfer - Fixed an issue where ignoring a volume may not work correctly
  • Edit Detector - Exporting an FCPXML event now automatically imports it into FCPX
  • Edit Detector - Added the ability to suppress the deletion prompt when removing edit points
  • Edit Detector - Improved compatibility with FCPX
  • QT Edit - Support for setting Ultra HD and HDR color flags
  • QT Edit - Better error reporting when a movie can’t be opened
  • Video Check - Results are now cached when reloading a file
  • Video Check - Export errors as markers in an FCPX event
  • Video Check - Metadata errors are now tagged with timecode
  • Video Check - Default bit-depth is now 10-bit
  • Video Check - Settings are now saved correctly when a text box is still editing when you click submit
  • Video Check - Arrow keys now work correctly in text boxes
  • Video Check - Fixed an issue where timecode tracks may be detected incorrectly
  • Various other bug fixes, tweaks and improvements

Kollaborate Server 2.5 - Mar 23 2017

  • Workflows - Perform tasks like color coding or moving to a specific folder when a file is assigned a workflow. Create tiered approval levels and milestones.
  • File Requests - Allow users outside the project to upload files without being part of the team
  • Files can now be color coded
  • Status labels can now be added to files
  • Team page overhaul with simpler UI that makes it easier and quicker to add new team members
  • Positions have been replaced with Roles to make it simpler to set user permissions
  • Batch metadata editing
  • Projects can now be muted to stop receiving alerts
  • SRT subtitles can now be shown in the player by linking them to the video via the Relationship Editor
  • Added an admin Dashboard that shows statistics and error logging
  • Link recipients can now be tracked by their IP address for links not sent through the site
  • Files - Added new filters for showing unviewed files, files with/without comments, with revisions and new files since your last visit
  • Users can now switch off auto-pausing when typing a note from the Playback Settings window in the Actions menu of the player
  • Added Home and End shortcut keys to go to the beginning and end of a movie
  • Tasks - Added Project and Filename columns to CSV exports
  • [todo] and [done] tags now appear in exported marker lists
  • Overhauled email styles
  • Inviting a user now sends them an activation link instead of automatically generating a password
  • Profile - UI overhaul when viewing someone else's profile
  • Sharing - You can now view the link URL directly from the Share page when creating a new link
  • URLs are now parsed in comments and file descriptions
  • Custom user permissions can now be set back to the defaults
  • Overhauled task UI
  • Tags and descriptions are now matched when searching from the Files page
  • Videos now show an icon if they have an audio track
  • Fixed an issue where Kollaborate Server may create folders with incorrect permissions
  • Fixed an issue where custom site logos may not display correctly
  • Fixed an issue where markers may not export correctly for comments made by users without accounts
  • Fixed an issue where the hold timecode position may not appear
  • Fixed an issue where thumbnail paths could be incorrect
  • Installer - Fixed an issue where PHP paths could be blank
  • Fixed an issue where duplicate files could appear incorrectly when making revisions independent
  • The base file in a version stack can no longer be moved or deleted
  • Adobe panel no longer shows a dropdown if no markers exist for importing
  • API changes mean that only apps released within the past year are compatible
  • Flash fallback removed - a browser supporting H.264 playback natively is now required
  • Link recipients can no longer enter blank usernames
  • Profile - Fixed not being able to subscribe / unscubscribe from task notifications
  • Better full screen compatibility with unusually-shaped movies
  • Fixed an issue where non-admins couldn't see unassigned tasks
  • Fixed an issue where folder sizes may not be recalculated correctly when deleting a file
  • The digest frequency option no longer affects the frequency of instant email alerts
  • You can no longer upload revisions / replacements for an alias
  • Volume controls no longer appear for videos without audio (currently only works on Firefox)
  • Improved the display of files with long titles
  • Users can no longer rename a folder to the name of an existing folder from the Metadata page
  • Improved Synced Session reliability
  • Thumbnails are now cached more aggressively which boosts performance upon subsequent visits to the site
  • Major architecture overhaul
  • Security improvements
  • Many UI improvements
  • Various other bug fixes, tweaks and optimizations

Kollaborate Transfer 1.4.5 - Mar 13 2017

  • Support for setting the new audio indicator icon on thumbnails
  • Better support for situations where the specs of a video exceed those of the H.264 profile level
  • Various speed and reliability improvements

Post Haste for Mac 2.6.1 - Mar 13 2017

  • Fixed an issue that could cause the Preferences menu to be disabled

Kollaborate Folder Watcher 1.2.1 - Mar 9 2017

  • Better support for situations where the specs of a video exceed those of the H.264 profile level
  • Various speed and reliability improvements

Kollaborate Transfer 1.4.4 - Mar 8 2017

  • Better support for situations where the specs of a video exceed those of the H.264 profile level
  • Various speed and reliability improvements
Posted by Jon Chappell on Apr 7 2017 to DR News
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Apple is over-thinking the Mac Pro

Today Apple announced they are rethinking the entire design of the Mac Pro after three years without an update.

The current Mac Pro is an extremely impressive piece of design and engineering. Unfortunately the design was too clever and  over-engineered and it neither met customers' needs nor allowed Apple to easily upgrade it.

Apple issued an apology, which is extremely rare, and it's great to see they have recognized and taken ownership of the issue. It's almost unprecedented for Apple to announce unfinished products without a ship date and they're timing this right before NAB, so I'm assuming this move is to do with damage control.

The only problem is that I'm spotting a pattern here. Apple abandoned the old (pre-2013) Mac Pro and barely updated it, then after a customer outcry they released a completely redesigned model, which they then abandoned again. Now they are completely redesigning it again but it won't ship for at least a year and we don't know much about it except that it will be modular to some degree.

It sounds like Apple may be about to fall into the same trap again: over-thinking the problem in panic mode with an over-engineered solution. Apple behaves like this is a really difficult problem to solve but it's actually extremely simple. We want to use Macs, so all Apple has to do is not get in the way.

What Apple fails to grasp is that the design factors that made the iPhone successful have little relevance to the pro desktop market. Sure, design is important to creative people, but it's not #1 on the priority list - it's maybe #7 or #8. Our #1 priority is being able to do our jobs quickly with as few restrictions or workarounds as possible. I'm sure a sizable number of pro users would be happy enough with 2017 specs in the 2012 case.

If Apple wants to impress their professional customers they need to do two things: design their pro products backwards by thinking about what their capabilities should be first and then thinking about their physical design, and do a better job of maintaining a dialogue with pro customers (hint: dialogues are in both directions). There are a lot more options now and Apple should be competing for our business instead of assuming we'll just stick around like we have so far.

Posted by Jon Chappell on Apr 4 2017 to Analysis, Apple, Hardware
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Kollaborate Server 2.5 - Workflows, File Requests, Subtitles, Color Coding and more

We've just released a major new update to our Kollaborate Server self-hosted workflow platform for video professionals, with a lot of new features and important changes. This follows on from the update we recently released on the cloud.

Workflows

Workflows are an extremely powerful new feature that tells Kollaborate to perform certain tasks on a file when it is assigned a specific workflow. The tasks can range from labelling or marking the file to moving it to a specific folder. It's an easy way of quickly sorting files so they are easier for your team to access.

They are also the new way of getting file approvals from other people on your team. This is considerably more powerful than before and allows you to target specific people or departments as being able to approve files, rather than everyone with approval rights. You can also specify that every single marked person must approve the file before it is considered approved, as opposed to the old system where it was approved simply by the first person to approve it.

Each approval workflow has options for running another workflow when it is approved or rejected, so you could for example run another workflow to automatically highlight approved files and move them to an Approved folder. It also means you can chain approvals together so that an approval on one workflow triggers another approval workflow, allowing a file to filter up to higher members of your team for a decision before it is finally approved.

Another way you could use this is to implement milestones. So Milestone 1 would move the file to a particular project or department, someone works on the file and they then assign it Milestone 2, which moves it onto someone else to work on. Then they assign it Milestone 3 which asks a manager to approve it and then if it is approved it is automatically assigned an Approved status which moves the file to an Approved Files folder.

That's just an example - you can set it up however you like and it's extremely flexible.

We have lots of plans for this in future and are keen to know how customers plan to incorporate this feature into their workflows.

Upload Requests

Need some files from a vendor but don't want to add the person to the project? Send them an upload link. Upload links work just like sharing links but show a file upload page instead of a video player.

Team overhaul

The Team page has been completely overhauled. Each department now has a text box at the bottom that allows you to type in an email address to invite a team member. This is a considerably quicker and simpler way of setting up your team than the previous version.

Positions have been replaced by Roles, which apply a set of default permissions to a user. In a future update you will be able to add your own roles.

Inviting new users to the service is easier than before. Rather than assigning the user a default password, they now receive an activation link. Upon clicking the link they will be asked to choose a password for their account. We feel this is a more user-friendly way of doing things that should result in fewer forgotten passwords. You can also choose to manually send a user the activation link rather than having Kollaborate send it if you want to add a personal message.

Another change is that departments are no longer required to have users inside them. This is useful if you just want a private storage area for Admins, as they are not required to be part of a department to see inside it.

Project muting

Don't want to receive alerts from a specific project but still receive alerts from others? You can now mute it. Hover over the project on the Projects page and click the bell icon next to its name.

Subtitle support

You can now view SRT subtitles in the video player. Here's how to do it:

  1. Upload both the video and SRT caption file to your project.
  2. Right-click on the video file on the Files page and click Relationship Editor or go to Actions > Related Files > Relationship Editor.
  3. Click New Relationship.
  4. Browse to the SRT file and choose Subtitles as the relationship type.
  5. Save and go back to the video. You'll now see a green icon at the bottom of the player that will allow you to toggle the captions on and off.

We plan to support additional caption formats in future.

Admin Dashboard

The Admin Dashboard shows you statistics about your installation including software versions and configuration information. It can also alert you to problems that have occurred.

A full list of changes is available here after logging in.

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 2017 to Kollaborate, DR News, Front Page News
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Kollaborate 2.5 - Workflows, File Requests, Subtitles, Color Coding and more

We've just released a major new update to our Kollaborate cloud workflow platform for video professionals, with a lot of new features and important changes.

Workflows

Workflows are an extremely powerful new feature that tells Kollaborate to perform certain tasks on a file when it is assigned a specific workflow. The tasks can range from labelling or marking the file to moving it to a specific folder. It's an easy way of quickly sorting files so they are easier for your team to access.

They are also the new way of getting file approvals from other people on your team. This is considerably more powerful than before and allows you to target specific people or departments as being able to approve files, rather than everyone with approval rights. You can also specify that every single marked person must approve the file before it is considered approved, as opposed to the old system where it was approved simply by the first person to approve it.

Each approval workflow has options for running another workflow when it is approved or rejected, so you could for example run another workflow to automatically highlight approved files and move them to an Approved folder. It also means you can chain approvals together so that an approval on one workflow triggers another approval workflow, allowing a file to filter up to higher members of your team for a decision before it is finally approved.

Another way you could use this is to implement milestones. So Milestone 1 would move the file to a particular project or department, someone works on the file and they then assign it Milestone 2, which moves it onto someone else to work on. Then they assign it Milestone 3 which asks a manager to approve it and then if it is approved it is automatically assigned an Approved status which moves the file to an Approved Files folder.

That's just an example - you can set it up however you like and it's extremely flexible.

We have lots of plans for this in future and are keen to know how customers plan to incorporate this feature into their workflows.

Upload Requests

Need some files from a vendor but don't want to add the person to the project? Send them an upload link. Upload links work just like sharing links but show a file upload page instead of a video player.

Team overhaul

The Team page has been completely overhauled. Each department now has a text box at the bottom that allows you to type in an email address to invite a team member. This is a considerably quicker and simpler way of setting up your team than the previous version.

Positions have been replaced by Roles, which apply a set of default permissions to a user. In a future update you will be able to add your own roles.

Inviting new users to the service is easier than before. Rather than assigning the user a default password, they now receive an activation link. Upon clicking the link they will be asked to choose a password for their account. We feel this is a more user-friendly way of doing things that should result in fewer forgotten passwords. You can also choose to manually send a user the activation link rather than having our system send it if you want to add a personal message.

Another change is that departments are no longer required to have users inside them. This is useful if you just want a private storage area for Admins, as they are not required to be part of a department to see inside it.

Project muting

Don't want to receive alerts from a specific project but still receive alerts from others? You can now mute it. Hover over the project on the Projects page and click the bell icon next to its name.

Subtitle support

You can now view SRT subtitles in the video player. Here's how to do it:

  1. Upload both the video and SRT caption file to your project.
  2. Right-click on the video file on the Files page and click Relationship Editor or go to Actions > Related Files > Relationship Editor.
  3. Click New Relationship.
  4. Browse to the SRT file and choose Subtitles as the relationship type.
  5. Save and go back to the video. You'll now see a green icon at the bottom of the player that will allow you to toggle the captions on and off.

We plan to support additional caption formats in future.

Other Changes

  • File color coding
  • Batch metadata editing
  • New filters on the Files page - show unviewed, with comments, without comments, with revisions and since my last visit
  • Metadata tags are now matched when searching from the Files page (previously you could only do this from the Advanced Search page)
  • Previously if you wanted to see detailed viewing statistics about a link, you would need to send it via the site so it could match the stats to the user's email address. Now in cases where the link is emailed manually and Kollaborate doesn't know who clicked it, the site will show viewing statistics by IP address instead.
  • If you're not viewing a playable file, the comment box is now selected by default to make note-taking easier
  • Many UI changes plus an overhaul of the email skin

The site has also had a complete architecture overhaul where every single page was modified and optimized. We're also running on faster servers and cache data more aggressively which should result in the site being faster than before.

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 Feb 15 2017 to DR News, Front Page News, Kollaborate
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Recent updates - February 2017

We've been busy - here are some recent software updates for our products that you may have missed.

Kollaborate Encoder 1.1.3 - Feb 7 2017

  • Improved compatibility with newer versions of Node.js
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when submitting a job

Pro Maintenance Tools 2.2.1 - Jan 19 2017

  • Media Salvage - Support for salvaging ProRes 4444 XQ
  • Plugin Manager - VST2 and VST3 plugin support
  • Crash Analyzer - Improved support for Avid
  • QT Repair - Stability improvements
  • Plugin Manager - Stability improvements when verifying Audio Units
  • Updated Crash Analyzer definitions
  • Various other bug fixes, tweaks and optimizations

CinePlay for iOS 1.6.5 - Jan 19 2017

  • New Kollaborate SDK with more aggressive caching improves cloud performance
  • Fixed an issue where the Download option may not always appear when long pressing a Kollaborate file
  • Improved compatibility with video output over an HDMI cable
  • Editmote support removed
  • Various UI improvements
  • General bug fixes, tweaks and optimizations

Cut Notes for iPad 2.4.6 - Jan 19 2017

  • New Kollaborate SDK with more aggressive caching improves cloud performance
  • Long button titles no longer go all the way to the edge
  • Improved reliability when exporting button presets
  • Various bug fixes, tweaks and improvements

Marker Import 2.1.4 - Jan 16 2017

  • Improved compatibility with FCPX 10.3.1
  • Improved support for 59.94 interlaced media in FCPX events
  • Various other bug fixes, tweaks and improvements

Kollaborate Folder Watcher 1.2 - Jan 16 2017

  • Added progress bars in Finder to show encoding / upload progress
  • Improved support for network drives
  • Various bug fixes, tweaks and optimizations

CinePlay 1.4.4 - Jan 12 2017

  • Flip / rotation is now taken into account when exporting movies
  • Hover thumbnails now take into account the default rotation of the movie
  • Flip / rotation settings are now stored on a per-movie basis
  • Fixed an issue where movies could resize incorrectly when viewing a playlist in full screen
  • The name of the current file is now shown when playing a playlist in full screen
  • If you choose Fit to Screen (Cmd+3) during playback of a playlist, all files in the playlist will fit to the screen regardless of their intrinsic size
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when closing a file
  • Various other bug fixes, tweaks and improvements

CinePlay for Apple TV 1.0.2 - Jan 9 2017

  • Improved compatibility with tvOS 10.1
  • Improved playback stability
  • Tapping the remote now hides the UI if it's showing
  • Fixed an issue where you may not have been able to change playback speed while the scrubber was showing
  • Fixed an issue where folder names may not appear in the title bar
  • Various bug fixes for the Kollaborate authorization screen
  • General bug fixes, tweaks and improvements
Posted by Jon Chappell on Feb 7 2017 to DR News
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Pro Maintenance Tools 2.2.1 - salvage ProRes 4444 XQ and manage VST2 and VST3 plugins

Last week we released Pro Maintenance Tools 2.2.1, a minor update to our suite of maintenance, troubleshooting and repair tools for your editing application.

Salvage ProRes 4444 XQ

Media Salvage can now repair files encoded with the ProRes 4444 XQ codec.

Manage VST2 and VST3 plugins

Plugin Manager can now install, remove, enable and disable VST2 and VST3 audio plugins used by popular DAWs.

Other changes

 

  • Crash Analyzer - Improved support for Avid
  • QT Repair - Stability improvements
  • Plugin Manager - Stability improvements when verifying Audio Units
  • Updated Crash Analyzer definitions
  • Various other bug fixes, tweaks and optimizations

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 overview, read the user manual, watch the overview video or download the free 15-day trial.

 

Posted by Jon Chappell on Jan 24 2017 to DR News, Front Page News, Pro Maintenance Tools
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Kollaborate Folder Watcher 1.2 - Finder progress bars and improved network drive support

Kollaborate Folder Watcher 1.2 is a significant update to our automatic file uploader for our Kollaborate cloud platform.

Finder progress bars

Based on your feedback, encoding and uploading now displays progress bars directly in Finder, allowing you to see at a glance the progress of any file.

Improved network drive support

Kollaborate Folder Watcher works by listening for messages from macOS that tell it when changes to a folder have occurred. These messages do not get sent on network drives so before now the app didn't work with such drives. Now it manually scans for changes too so it will detect changes on these drives, albeit with a delay compared to a local drive.

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 Jan 17 2017 to DR News, Front Page News, Kollaborate
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CinePlay 1.4.4 for Mac with improved playlist support

Last week we released CinePlay 1.4.4, a minor update to our Mac media player for video professionals.

Flip/rotation improvements

Flip / rotation settings are now stored on a per-movie basis instead of being a global setting. This allows you to rotate movies and have the setting remembered when the file is reopened.

Additionally, flip/rotation is now taken into account when exporting movies and showing hover thumbnails.

Improved playlist support

Playlists are easier to use in full screen with a bug fix that prevents a sizing issue, as well as a new feature to show you the name of the clip when a new clip loads.

You can read the full list of changes here.

 CinePlay is a powerful playback and note-taking tool for video professionals. To find out more, see the feature list, read the user manual, watch the overview video or download the free 15-day trial. Kollaborate customers get cloud functionality in CinePlay free of charge.

Posted by Jon Chappell on Jan 16 2017 to DR News, Front Page News, CinePlay
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Massive storage boost for Kollaborate subscribers

We've given Kollaborate subscribers a massive free storage space boost. Kollaborate was already one of the best-value review platforms on the market due to the fact you get 5 team members and all features on the base plan, in addition to free access to several of our products, and this increases the value even more.

Additionally, our higher-level plans now come with unlimited team members.

Plan Old Storage New Storage
Freelance 25 GB 30 GB
Small Business 50 GB 60 GB
Business 75 GB 100 GB
Production 140 GB 200 GB
Studio 225 GB 250 GB
Studio Plus 400 GB 500 GB
Network 1 TB 1.5 TB
Network Plus 2 TB 3 TB

You can view the full list of package benefits, including pricing, here.

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 Jan 10 2017 to DR News, Front Page News, Kollaborate
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2016 - Year in Review

Another year is over so let’s look back on the past 12 months.

Notable updates

We launched a new online store.

Kollaborate 2.0 - We significantly enhanced our cloud workflow platform with hoverscrub thumbnails, folder peeking, to-do comments, an Adobe Premiere panel, Web Hooks and numerous other improvements. 

Pro Maintenance Tools 2.2 - Our suite of maintenance and repair tools gained improved support for Avid and the ability to manage Quartz Composer plugins for FCPX.

Pro Media Tools 1.4.5 - Our suite of media management tools received support for importing timecode from BWF files plus many improvements to QT Edit’s conform mode.

CinePlay 1.4.2 for Mac - Our professional media player gained thumbnail hover previews plus various improvements to timecode accuracy.

Cut Notes 2.4.4 - Our iPad note-taking tool received multi-line and dynamically-sized button labels plus various cloud improvements.

In total we released over 60 updates for our products.

Stats

Our most-downloaded app was Preference Manager but our most-used app was Post Haste. Our most popular paid tool was Pro Maintenance Tools. Our most popular iOS app was Video Space Calculator. The number of daily Kollaborate users doubled.

The most popular blog posts in 2016 were:

What’s next

This year we are planning to release at least one new product alongside major updates to Kollaborate coming in the next few weeks. We are planning significant overhauls of our desktop and mobile products to not only add new features but also make them cross-platform, and we will try to release as many of these major updates as we have time for in a year. You can keep up to date with new products, features and tips by subscribing to this blog, following us on Twitter or Facebook or by subscribing to our mailing list.

Posted by Jon Chappell on Jan 2 2017 to DR News, Front Page News
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