UK-based Square Box Systems announced today that they’ll release CatDV Pro later this year. CatDV Pro is the multi-user version of their flagship media cataloging and video logging utility. And it will be Mac OS 9.x and Mac OS X compatible.
Targeted to editors and producers, CatDV Pro is designed for capturing and logging material at the end of a day’s shoot, as well as adding comments and annotations to the log. What’s more, archived material from all previous projects is stored in a shared database where it can be searched by any member of the team.
The CatDV Pro user interface is based on a thumbnail catalog of clips. Each clip corresponds to a scene or other segment of a captured movie file, and is annotated with a collection of both technical metadata and comments entered by the user.
CatDV Pro also creates and manages low-resolution preview versions of movies to use when the original material is offline. One hour of tape needs only a few 100 MB at preview quality, according to the folks at Square Box. From an EDL or batch list imported from another application, or a simple sequence of clips assembled in CatDV itself, a cuts-only preview of that program can be created and presented from within the application. Alternatively, once clips of interest for a project have been selected, a batch capture log of that material can be exported. This allows it to be recaptured and worked on in an external NLE application.
To simplify logging, footage is automatically scanned and split into its original separate scenes. Using Live Capture, DV footage is scanned, clips are created from each scene, and low-resolution previews are captured directly from a camcorder or deck in one operation.
CatDV Pro 3.0 is based on the existing CatDV 2.5 standalone application. It uses a client-server architecture, with a central shared database of clips and logging information, and a file server holding preview movies. Clip details are normally stored in the shared database. However, users executing a query bring back a result set of clips to their local machine, so that they can work offline and update the shared database later.
Other new features in CatDV Pro include an enhanced search dialog, a live HTML publisher, support for QuickTime text tracks, and ownership and permissions to control access to the clip library. The CatDV Pro Server runs under Mac OS X Server or Windows NT 2000, while clients can run on any version of Mac OS 9, Mac OS X, or Windows 98/NT/2000/XP.
CatDV Pro 3.0 is currently under development and is due in the third quarter. As well as announcing CatDV Pro 3.0, the folks at Square Box are demonstrating CatDV 2.5 (Personal Edition), the current single user shipping version of CatDV, this week at the NAB 2002 convention in Las Vegas, Nev. The cost is US$80 for electronic download and comes in Mac OS 9 and native Mac OS X versions.