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CatDV Crashing - Trial version or actual stability problem?

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Michael Hutchinson
CatDV Crashing - Trial version or actual stability problem?
on Feb 21, 2010 at 9:35:10 pm

Hi all,

So I've downloaded the trial version of CatDV Pro, have been reading the manual to familiarize myself with it and am pretty sure it's exactly the software I need to handle the various catalogs of video I'm working with.

Only one problem...it keeps crashing. Yesterday I lost three hours of logging info when it decided it had done enough for one day. Of course this begs the question "why didn't you just save every 15 or so minutes you idiot". Good question, but I actually do have an answer...when I go to save a catalog, it brings up a warning that I am only using a trial version meant to demo the features of CatDV and the program will likely quit momentarily.

I sort of understand why the creators of CatDV would do this and I'm sure people abuse the trial version by various means. However, given that the program has crashed on me several times now, costing me a decent amount of my time, it's not much of a "trial" as, at this point, I'd much rather use something sturdy and reliable like a numbers spreadsheet than something I'm not sure I can count on, and before I shell out $340, I need to know that this is going to be the miracle product that others have claimed and it's not going to flat-line in the middle of a logging session.

Can anyone let me know if they're experiencing the same problem in Snow Leopard and what their experience has been?


Many thanks,
Michael


Here are my current system specs:
Computer: MacBook Pro
Model Identifier: MacBookPro5,1
Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
Processor Speed: 2.66 GHz
Number Of Processors: 1
Total Number Of Cores: 2
L2 Cache: 6 MB
Memory: 4 GB
Operating System: Snow Leopard 10.6.2

Applications:

Final Cut Studio 3 (Final Cut Pro 7.0.1)
CatDV Pro 8.08
XDCAM EX Clip Browser V2.6 2.06.00
XDCAM Transfer 2.11

Michael David Hutchinson
"That most limited of all specialists, the well-rounded man."--F. Scott Fitzgerald 'The Great Gatsby'


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Dennis Kutchera
Re: CatDV Crashing - Trial version or actual stability problem?
on Feb 22, 2010 at 3:35:08 am

Your scenario sounds familiar. Do you have another application running? I find that running Gridiron Flow will cause CatDV to crash after a while. If I turn Flow off, CatDV is very stable.

I would try repairing permissions too. I found that when I installed it for the first time, it crashed even more with or without Flow. Java permissions were bad and repairing them helped.

Dennis


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Michael Hutchinson
Re: CatDV Crashing - Trial version or actual stability problem?
on Feb 22, 2010 at 3:50:14 am

I definitely run other applications at the same time as CatDV. I don't have Gridiron Flow (though a cursory glance at the app seems like it's something I'd very much like to have), but I'm a multi-tasker and find it difficult to run just one application at a time.
If CatDV can't handle running multiple applications, then I'm not sure it's right for me. It's definitely the best media asset manager I've found out there, but if I'm not ready to cough up $340 + $80 for the Calibrated Software for something that is so unreliable and doesn't seem to have an auto-save function so that I don't have to worry about losing a bunch of logging info if I don't remember to save as I go.

I'm beginning to think that a customized Bento template or even a basic numbers spreadsheet is a better way to go if CatDV is so unstable.

Many thanks for your help Dennis!

-mdh

Michael David Hutchinson
"That most limited of all specialists, the well-rounded man."--F. Scott Fitzgerald 'The Great Gatsby'


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Dennis Kutchera
Re: CatDV Crashing - Trial version or actual stability problem?
on Feb 22, 2010 at 4:35:49 am

I am not suggesting that it won't run with any other apps open, but definitely not with Flow. I have numerous apps open and it works fine. But you may have something open that bothers it. It is fine with FInal Cut Pro running; in fact that is recommended because you can drop clips into FInal Cut via CatDV and retain your markers and metadata. It is the missing link for FInal Cut Pro; its just unfortunate that it won't play with Flow, which I find incredibly useful.

Try running it with nothing else open, then open your apps one at a time until you find the offender. However, there may be other reasons for the crash. It could be an issue with quicktime for example. But we need to hear from someone at CatDV in this thread. I am sure we will by tomorrow. Hang in there and don't give it up yet. This program is far more useful than Bento would be. You are likely just scratching the surface of what is in fact a very deep program with a lot of uses. I have used other similar products and was left underwhelmed. CatDV is amazing.

Dennis


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Michael Hutchinson
Re: CatDV Crashing - Trial version or actual stability problem?
on Feb 22, 2010 at 5:09:51 am

Thanks for clearing up the confusion about certain incompatible apps vs. apps in general, and I will hang in there. I'm definitely just scratching the surface of CatDV and based on the general consensus, it seems to receive an overwhelmingly positive response (much more so than any other media asset management tool out there).
I guess I just need to know that it will work and I won't be losing what could amount to hours upon hours of tedious logging because the program isn't stable. My problem is that a trial version should actually allow you to actually try the program. But when I go to save a catalog, I'm reminded that this is only a trial version and that I should expect the program to shut down in a few minutes (so basically, I can't save a catalog and continue because it will shut down, and I can't just continue to log numerous files because it will (and has) crashed in the middle of logging files, losing a solid 3 hours I had spent logging.

Hopefully someone from CatDV will help explain what might be going on because I think this program is amazing and I would really love to add it to my workflow, but if I have to worry about random crashes that cost me hours of work, I just can't afford the loss of time and more importantly, the incredible frustration that comes from having to re-do an already tedious process.

Thanks again Dennis!

-mdh

Michael David Hutchinson
"That most limited of all specialists, the well-rounded man."--F. Scott Fitzgerald 'The Great Gatsby'


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bryson jones
Re: CatDV Crashing - Trial version or actual stability problem?
on Feb 22, 2010 at 5:13:48 pm

I'll offer this, as a long-timer.

If you are scanning your FCP projects, as a way of importing them, I'll say that any project problems can cause you trouble. Just like a bad sequence can in FCP.

I had a client that could not get CatDV to work, until we actually brought in clean media, as in, just try dragging in a few clips, (or a few hundred) from the finder. We found that his assistant editors had never heard of this thing called "unix" and had used all sorts of incompatible characters in their filenames and sequence names. (remember, a / in unix means go to the next directory level)

People tend to scrape out the muddy bottoms of their hard drives and throw it into CatDV to clean it up. (not saying you're doing this) but most times I've found that this is the problem.

Second idea, have you read the bits on here about java and 10.6.x? Snow Leopard is a pretty buggy little deal right now, so make sure you've set your java prefs to prefer 32 bit. (look in your utilities folder)

I maintain that CatDV is a powerful program, as such, I try to manage expectations that you're gonna open it and go to work. Although it's offered in standalone for the mass market, remember that it's as powerful as FCP or any other pro app, yet costs a fraction of the price. That difference is made up in a little setup time. Also, it's sensitive to how media is laid out, as well as corrupt clips and sequences, just like an edit app.

Try dropping some simple jpegs or .mov's in and working with them a bit, if those work cleanly, then start looking at your video media. If they don't work cleanly, check your java versions.

All that said, I personally know hundreds of seats of CatDV working in the field managing Petabytes of media, successfully. (yes, note I said hundreds, not hundreds of thousands, this is a Ferrari, not a VW.) This app does things that nothing on earth does so a little setup will pay huge dividends.


Finally, email me or squarebox directly and we'll get you a fully working timed demo of CatDV. I say this too often, (I know, I know) but a good installer will save you heartache and headache. Ask the crew from Squarebox and they'll say the same.

(they've been at a tradeshow so response times have been a bit slow this past week.)



bryson

bryson "at" hidefcowboy.com

hidefcowboy.com


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Michael Hutchinson
Re: CatDV Crashing - Trial version or actual stability problem?
on Feb 22, 2010 at 9:33:11 pm

Hi Bryson,

A huge thank you for the excellent input. You were right on with your two main troubleshooting ideas: 1. The last time it crashed was when I decided to import and cut up a DV file I created some two years ago on my Powerbook G4 and has since bounced around from hard drive to hard drive. 2. My Java preferences were set to prefer 64 bit over 32 ... when it comes to the under the hood operations of my Mac, I'm hopelessly ignorant (side question: should I also change my web browser preferences from 64 to 32...or better yet, what would you suggest as the optimum Java preferences ... I don't dare mess with any of the Network or Advanced settings without knowing what I'm doing.

I'm pretty careful with my file naming so I don't think that was the problem...the vast majority of files I work with come from my Sony PMW-EX1 and because of the tapeless workflow, I don't change any of the actual file names (most look something like this " GF1_0001-1 ". Underscores and hyphens are safe, right?

Hopefully the Java prefs (combined with a little more selectivity of the files I choose to import) will lead to the app performing as it should.

Lastly, I'll take you up on that incredibly kind offer to get me a fully working timed demo and will email this to you in just a minute. I have little doubt that I'll purchase the full pro application, but as an independent filmmaker with a very limited budget (especially at the moment) I really want to make sure CatDV performs as hoped.

Truly grateful,
mdh

Michael David Hutchinson
"That most limited of all specialists, the well-rounded man."--F. Scott Fitzgerald 'The Great Gatsby'


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Kevin Duggan
Re: CatDV Crashing - Trial version or actual stability problem?
on Feb 23, 2010 at 9:30:51 am

HI Michael
as soon as we get your details we can get a trial licence to you. Also thanks to Bryson and jumping in with some very astute advice..Hard won at that. We have indeed been at a Trade show all last week which means catching up with a weeks work that we missed,gradually emerging now.


Kevin Duggan
CatDv



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Michael Hutchinson
Re: CatDV Crashing - Trial version or actual stability problem?
on Feb 24, 2010 at 3:28:19 pm

You guys are great! Based on the help I've received here alone, I'm confident I'll purchase the product ... still want to give it a proper try though. How do I get you my details?
--mdh

Michael David Hutchinson
"That most limited of all specialists, the well-rounded man."--F. Scott Fitzgerald 'The Great Gatsby'


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bryson jones
Re: CatDV Crashing - Trial version or actual stability problem?
on Feb 24, 2010 at 4:34:46 pm

I sent them in for you yesterday, you should be getting something soon.

Email and name will get you all set up.

bryson

bryson "at" hidefcowboy.com

hidefcowboy.com


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Michael Hutchinson
Re: CatDV Crashing - Trial version or actual stability problem?
on Feb 24, 2010 at 4:37:53 pm

Forgive the 2001 cliche, but you are indeed the man.
--mdh

Michael David Hutchinson
"That most limited of all specialists, the well-rounded man."--F. Scott Fitzgerald 'The Great Gatsby'


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Allan White
Re: CatDV Crashing - Trial version or actual stability problem?
on Mar 2, 2010 at 11:57:48 pm

Having just made the jump to Snow Leopard, I'd recommend running pretty much everything in 32-bit mode for the time being. There's no real advantage to 64 bit unless you're running more than say, 10GB of RAM anyway.

I forget how to set it permanently (you can hold down 3 and 2 when booting) but you could google that.

- Allan White, Video Producer, Luis Palau Assoc.

Quad 3Ghz Mac Pro, 10GB RAM, X1900 GPU, XSAN, CatDV Server


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Allan White
Re: CatDV Crashing - Trial version or actual stability problem?
on Mar 2, 2010 at 11:59:37 pm

I'd second the recommendation to find an experienced integrator (bryson is one) to help figure out your workflow. CatDV is powerful and enormously flexible, and all those choices can make finding the right blend kind of overwhelming.

- Allan White, Video Producer, Luis Palau Assoc.

Quad 3Ghz Mac Pro, 10GB RAM, X1900 GPU, XSAN, CatDV Server


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Michael Hutchinson
Re: CatDV Crashing - Trial version or actual stability problem?
on Mar 3, 2010 at 8:09:29 am

Switched to 32-bit and with Bryson's help got a fully functioning trial version. Problem solved as it seems to be running beautifully! Now I'm just reading the manuals to see all the different features CatDV offers and how best to integrate it into my workflow ... just happened to receive an unexpected check for $300 and take a wild guess where I'm going to invest that money ;)

Awesome product! Many, many thanks for the advice and help.

--mdh

Michael David Hutchinson
"That most limited of all specialists, the well-rounded man."--F. Scott Fitzgerald 'The Great Gatsby'


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