Square Box Systems, a UK based software house, announced
CatDV 2.5, a new version of their media cataloging and video logging utility, today at the QuickTime Live! conference in Beverly Hills, CA.
The latest version of the cross-platform media asset management system boasts user interface improvements and capture capability, according to Square Box Systems spokesperson Rolf Howarth. It requires a Power Mac G3 or G4 with at least 128 MB of Ram and Mac OS 8.6 or later (Mac OS 9.1 is recommended), QuickTime 5.0 or later, and MRJ 2.2 or later (2.2.5 is preferred). There’s also a Mac OS X version.
CatDV lets you detect scenes in captured footage to build up a clip library, and can be used to create and manage preview versions of an entire tape library to use when the original capture files are offline. Version 2.5 rolls in such performance enhancing features as: bulk edit; online help; support for Exif, ID3 and QuickTime metadata tags; export of compact still image archives suitable for e-mailing; exporting movies as AVIs and other QuickTime-supported formats; additional user defined fields and view customization options; plus the ability to search for clips across multiple catalogs.
On a Mac, CatDV 2.5 also provides Live Capture, the ability to scan a tape and build previews directly from a DV tape without needing to capture first. You’ll need a Mac with a FireWire port to take advantage of Live Capture. Also, according to Howarth, this feature depends on pre-release QuickTime 5.1 software and should be considered a technology preview until a QuickTime production release is available. A free update to CatDV 2.5 will be provided at that point if any compatibility changes are required, he said.
You can use CatDV 2.5 to create a thumbnail catalog of any QuickTime supported media files, including still images, audio files, and movies. It provides searching and indexing functionality, and can present slide shows of selected material and export them as QuickTime movies or HTML pages.
To speed up the process of logging tapes, CatDV will automatically split movie files into separate shots or scenes, and allow these to be reviewed and selections made within them. Clips can be assembled in sequence using a thumbnail storyboard view, for presentation on screen as a rough cut movie or exporting as a batch capture list to form the basis of a new project.
CatDV can generate low resolution preview versions of movies and use them if the original movie is off-line. To save disk space, it splits large files into smaller movies per clip and trims unwanted material from them. CatDV integrates with other applications by importing and exporting QuickTime movies, EDLs, and batch lists in many formats.
“CatDV is of particular interest to users of applications such as Final Cut Pro, ditDV/Cinestream, Adobe Premiere or iMovie2 — anyone (amateur or professional alike) who already uses a computer for video editing but needs help to keep track a large library of video tape and other media assets,” Howarth
is now available for download as a free, time-limited demo. The cost is US$79.95, though Square Box is running a $59.95 special through Feb. 16. Upgrades for registered users of earlier versions are available for $29.95 ($22.50 until Feb 16). These prices are for electronic downloads; a deluxe boxed CD version will be available soon.