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Pro Media Tools 2.1 - M1 / Big Sur support, Video Check audio file scanning, lots of QT Edit improvements and more

Pro Media Tools 2.1 is an important new update to our suite of media management tools.

M1 Mac and Big Sur support

The suite natively supports Apple Silicon processors and works well on macOS 11 Big Sur.

Auto Transfer

Our camera offloading tool, Auto Transfer, has had a UI refresh with new icons that look better on Retina displays, as well as a lot of small tweaks to improve the intuitiveness and usability of the software.

Edit Detector

Edit Detector can now export each shot to a separate QuickTime reference movie, meaning that you can have applications see each shot as a separate file without taking up a lot of disk space.

QT Edit

QT Edit received a lot of bug fixes and polish in this release, particularly around metadata handling.

We also added a new "Use gamma value" option when specifying a Color attribute manually, which takes the transfer function directly from the Gamma attribute. In other words, if someone asks you for a movie tagged with 1-2-1 color, this is how to achieve that.

Video Check

Video Check can now open audio-only files and check them for peaks (previously only video files could be opened).

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

Posted by Jon Chappell on Apr 12 2021 to DR News, Front Page News, Pro Media Tools
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Kollaborate Server 3.5 - Security improvements, massive overhaul, extra admin tools

Kollaborate Server 3.5 was released last week - a major update to our self-hosted workflow platform.

As well as a massive under-the-hood overhaul, it introduces the following new features:

Security improvements

For improved security and privacy, we're now encrypting parts of the database. This happens automatically when running the upgrader for this release. Encryption keys are stored in config/keys.php and you will need to backup this file if you reinstall or move to a different server otherwise the database will be unreadable.

New admin tools

We've added new tools to the Admin Area to easily export a backup of the database, manage the number of days files remain in the trash and regenerate thumbnails if they are missing.

Project tags

You can now add tags to projects to categorize them, such as "in-progress" or tagging them with the name of the client. Clicking on a tag shows you other projects with that tag.

Multi-speed fast forward and rewind

Press J, K or L multiple times to increase or decrease rewind / fast forward speeds.

Edit custom department names

Department names can now be edited after they are created. Previously you would have to remove and re-add the department under a different name.

More export options

Captions can now be exported to CSV and comments can be exported to Reaper.

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 Apr 8 2021 to DR News, Front Page News, Kollaborate
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CinePlay 1.7 for Mac - M1 / Big Sur support, UI refresh and general polish

CinePlay 1.7 is a major update to our media player for video and audio professionals.

M1 and Big Sur support

CinePlay runs natively on M1 Macs and is compatible with macOS 11 Big Sur.

UI refresh

We've improved the icons and UI elements to look nicer, especially on Retina displays. In particular, we overhauled the Kollaborate file browser to be more user friendly and up to date with the icons currently used on the site.

General polish

We've made small bug fixes and tweaks to improve the software in a lot of areas, but especially Kollaborate integration. The whole workflow of authorizing your account, opening a cloud file and making comments / annotations on it is much smoother.

We're also now caching hoverscrub thumbnails, which should improve scrubbing performance for very large media files or slow storage drives.

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 Mar 12 2021 to DR News, Front Page News, CinePlay
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Kollaborate 3.5 - major under-the-hood overhaul, project tags and more

We recently released Kollaborate 3.5, a major update to our cloud workflow platform.

Major overhaul

While the site may look largely the same as before, under-the-hood it's actually a massive rewrite of large parts of the code, with a focus on improving performance and reliability.

There are over 4000 changes in this update, which amounts to about a two-thirds rewrite of the entire backend. The remaining third will be taken care of in future updates. This version improves performance, but we'll be able to take performance improvements even further once that final third is rewritten.

New features

While this version was primarily intended as an infrastructure update, not a feature update, there are a few small new features:

Project tags

You can now add tags to projects to categorize them, such as "in-progress" or tagging them with the name of the client. Clicking on a tag shows you other projects with that tag.

Multi-speed fast forward and rewind

Press J, K or L multiple times to increase or decrease rewind / fast forward speeds.

Edit custom department names

Department names can now be edited after they are created. Previously you would have to remove and re-add the department under a different name.

Auto-transcription for French

French-language audio can now be automatically transcribed from the Transcript tab of the player.

More export options

Captions can now be exported to CSV and comments can be exported to Reaper.

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 21 2021 to DR News, Front Page News, Kollaborate
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Our plans for 2021

2020 is over - and not a moment too soon. This was a grueling year that somehow managed to pass by both quickly and slowly at the same time.

Kollaborate

The pandemic meant our users relied on our Kollaborate cloud service even more, so much of the year was spent on infrastructure and making sure we could accommodate the spike in usage. We did however deliver major new features such as folder downloading, heatmaps and transcription improvements.

Our self-hosted version of Kollaborate received Docker integration, which greatly simplifies installation and management for customers.

We embarked on a mission to rewrite Kollaborate in its entirety, which we designed in such a way that the new components could be slotted into the existing site so that we could roll it out in stages.

Some of the new parts are already live on the site and we're just about to roll out a new release in which the vast majority of the site is running under the newer backend. There are still a small number of features using the old system that we plan to address in a future update. The new version provides speed and reliability improvements, and once all features are running on the new system in future we'll have even more options to improve speed further.

We are planning to do the same for the frontend next, which will also be done in stages.

In addition, we plan to focus on the Kollaborate helper apps over the next year, including new workflow plugins for Final Cut Pro X and DaVinci Resolve.

And of course, we have lots of new ideas for features that we want to keep under wraps for now...

Digital Rebellion apps

We've been wanting to create cross-platform apps for a while now and the big barrier to that was one of tooling (it was difficult to find tools that met all of our needs and were also reasonably pleasant to use). This is an issue that is almost fixed now and so we plan to look more seriously at Windows support in 2021.

Since this would require products to be rewritten from scratch, we will do so on a priority/ease-of-development basis and so not every product will therefore be cross-platform by the end of 2021.

We also plan Big Sur / Apple Silicon compatible versions of our apps after the upcoming Kollaborate release.

This is intended as a list of our major goals / priorities and we are planning many more things not listed here. Thanks to all of our customers for their support and we hope Digital Rebellion products continue to improve your projects in 2021.

Posted by Jon Chappell on Jan 4 2021 to DR News, Front Page News
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Kollaborate Server 3.1 - Modify default roles, folder downloading, heatmaps, task tags and more

Last week we released Kollaborate Server 3.1, a major update to our self-hosted workflow platform for creatives.

Edit default roles

You can now modify the default roles for projects server-wide from the Tools page of the Admin Area.

Installer passwords

The installer and upgrader are now password protected for added security on Docker installations by default. You can find the password inside the config.env file.

Non-Docker manual installations do not have the password set by default but it can be set through the environment variable KOLLAB_INSTALLER_PASSWORD.

Folder downloading

The contents of folders, departments or entire projects can now be downloaded all at once as a single zip file.

Heatmaps

Heatmaps show how a video has been viewed - where people skipped ahead and where they watched more than once. Click the Heatmap button in the player for all results combined, or go to the Users tab to view heatmaps for individual users.

Currently heatmaps are recorded only for team members but we plan to record them for link recipients in future.

Quick Share

Clicking the Share button on the player or Files page now generates a link that you can copy and paste immediately, which can dramatically speed up the process if you need to generate lots of links at once. You can edit the link options in the dialog and they will be remembered for future links.

If you clicked the button by mistake, you can also delete the link from that dialog.

Task tags

You can now add tags to tasks. Some uses for this could be:

  • To segment tasks into categories such as "sound" and "VFX"
  • To tag tasks with milestones such as "v3.0"
  • To convey a task's status - e.g. "Needs verification" or "Successfully reproduced"
  • To add additional context or information to a task - such as "5.1 mix" if the issue only appears in a particular mix

Keyboard shortcut overhaul

While Kollaborate has supported keyboard shortcuts for a long time, these weren't easily discoverable. Now whenever a page has available shortcuts, a keyboard icon will appear at the bottom of the screen that will show you shortcuts available for that page. This update also added lots of new shortcuts for things like image zooming and PDF page navigation.

Other changes

  • Import / export metadata to CSV files
  • Pin important tasks to the top of the Tasks view
  • Improved icons
  • You can now add captions in languages other than English
  • Language can now be specified when creating a project - this controls which caption language displays by default
  • Lots of bug fixes and improvements

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 Sep 30 2020 to DR News, Front Page News, Kollaborate
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Kollaborate transcription improvements

We've made big improvements to the automatic transcription feature of our Kollaborate cloud workflow platform.

English transcription is now more accurate and we're offering support for Russian, Chinese and German too. We expect to add additional languages in future as speech models become available.

Automatic transcription is free and unlimited for all Team accounts.

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 Sep 2 2020 to Kollaborate, Front Page News, DR News
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Kollaborate 3.1 - Heatmaps, folder downloading, task tags and more

We recently released Kollaborate 3.1, a major update to our cloud workflow platform for film and TV.

Massive under-the-hood overhaul

Kollaborate has had a complete under-the-hood overhaul to improve scalability and provide a secure base on which we can quickly develop new features. All new features are being delivered on the new foundation and we plan to convert existing features to the new system over time.

Folder downloading

The contents of folders, departments or entire projects can now be downloaded all at once as a single zip file.

Heatmaps

Heatmaps show how a video has been viewed - where people skipped ahead and where they watched more than once. Click the Heatmap button in the player for all results combined, or go to the Users tab to view heatmaps for individual users.

Currently heatmaps are recorded only for team members but we plan to record them for link recipients in future.

Quick Share

Clicking the Share button on the player or Files page now generates a link that you can copy and paste immediately, which can dramatically speed up the process if you need to generate lots of links at once. You can edit the link options in the dialog and they will be remembered for future links.

If you clicked the button by mistake, you can also delete the link from that dialog.

Task tags

You can now add tags to tasks. Some uses for this could be:

  • To segment tasks into categories such as "sound" and "VFX"
  • To tag tasks with milestones such as "v3.0"
  • To convey a task's status - e.g. "Needs verification" or "Successfully reproduced"
  • To add additional context or information to a task - such as "5.1 mix" if the issue only appears in a particular mix

Custom Roles

Roles on the Team page can now be customized. Project admins can click the Manage Roles option in the dropdown next to a user to add, edit or remove custom roles.

Keyboard shortcut overhaul

While Kollaborate has supported keyboard shortcuts for a long time, these weren't easily discoverable. Now whenever a page has available shortcuts, a keyboard icon will appear at the bottom of the screen that will show you shortcuts available for that page. This update also added lots of new shortcuts for things like image zooming and PDF page navigation.

Other changes

  • Import / export metadata to CSV files
  • Pin important tasks to the top of the Tasks view
  • Improved icons
  • You can now add captions in languages other than English (although automatic transcription is still English-only)
  • Lots of bug fixes and improvements

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 Aug 20 2020 to DR News, Front Page News, Kollaborate
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Pro Media Tools 1.9 - Catalina support, Dark Mode and Edit Detector accuracy improvements

We recently released a major new update to Pro Media Tools, our suite of media management tools for video professionals.

macOS 10.15 Catalina compatibility

The main change in this version is long-awaited compatibility with macOS 10.15 for all apps in the suite, with the exception of QT Edit, where a Catalina-compatible version is still in development and will be released in a future update.

Additionally, as previously announced, Gamma Shift Detector has been removed from the suite, but can be downloaded free of charge here.

Some apps required few or no changes in order to be Catalina compatible, but the two apps that required the most work were Edit Detector and Video Check. The QuickTime foundations of these apps were stripped out and replaced with AV Foundation equivalents, resulting in faster processing speeds as well as the aforementioned compatibility.

Other changes

The apps in the suite now support Dark Mode on macOS 10.14 and higher.

Additionally,  we managed to optimize and improve Edit Detector’s detection accuracy as a nice side-effect of the rewriting work we did.

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

Posted by Jon Chappell on May 26 2020 to Front Page News, DR News, Pro Media Tools
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Kollaborate Server 3.0.3 - improved Docker integration and bug fixes

Kollaborate Server 3.0.3 is now out, which is a minor update to our self-hosted workflow platform.

Docker changes

  • Fixed an issue where the container may not be able to communicate with LetsEncrypt's servers
  • Setting USE_LETS_ENCRYPT to false now removes existing certificates, which is useful for troubleshooting
  • Fixed an issue where Postfix may not start automatically
  • When LetsEncrypt is switched on, http requests are now automatically forwarded to https

Other changes

  • Support for showing image files in the Adobe Panel
  • Comments - Replies are still listed under their respective parent comments when ordering comments by date
  • Comments - Fixed an issue where comment replies may not be threaded correctly
  • Player - Fixed an issue where pressing Play on Cut Notes wouldn't stop rewinding/fast forwarding when synced to the web UI
  • Users - Fixed an issue where admins could be unable to add users in some instances
  • Various minor tweaks and bug fixes

Upgrading from a previous version

Please see the Upgrading section of the installation guide for instructions on how to upgrade your existing installation.

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 May 20 2020 to DR News, Front Page News, Kollaborate
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