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Is CatDV the right solution for what I need?

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Matthew Fisher
Is CatDV the right solution for what I need?
on Nov 12, 2015 at 7:34:12 pm

Hello collective wisdom,

I am currently working on a project for a large company's marketing department. I am inventorying and eventually outsourcing digitization of several hundred tapes (almost all SD, 3/4" through Digibeta) and will be storing JPEG2000 MXF masters on LTO.

I also will have ProRes copies live on our video editing group's DAS, and am looking for a solution to do descriptive clip cataloging. Some of the content on these tapes are edited :30 spots, while others are 30 minute b-roll shoots, so a simple "title" description isn't sufficient.

In my previous life I used AVID MediaLog, with the ALEs exported into a database for searching. However I'd like to have something with a visual component. Only a handful (less than 10) of people would need access to this catalog. There are a ton of rights restrictions involved and it would not make sense to open it up beyond that group; rather a request might come in and this group would vet what is available.

Our editors use Adobe CC, but I am really most concerned with having a catalog/search/preview tool that functions as we need, and less so with the integration.

Thoughts?


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bryson jones
Re: Is CatDV the right solution for what I need?
on Nov 13, 2015 at 12:48:39 am

It is exactly what you need.

The main reason that I love CatDV is that you can buy a small system or even one copy and catalog everything you need to.

If/when the company decides to scale up and make the project networked, meaning share those assets with more people, you can simply publish those catalogs into the CatDV Server (or Akomi) and dozens or hundreds of people can access your hard work.

bryson

bryson "at" northshoreautomation.com

northshoreautomation.com


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Don Alexander
Re: Is CatDV the right solution for what I need?
on Mar 15, 2016 at 2:22:46 pm

Bryson, will the old CatDV Pro 8.1 files migrate to a version 11? I haven't been able to get a direct answer from Squarebox about upgrading.

Regards,
Don


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bryson jones
Re: Is CatDV the right solution for what I need?
on Mar 16, 2016 at 1:48:06 am

Yes, they will. Also nice, is that even if the .cdv Catalog format changes, all the metadata is exportable as XML so you're never stuck.

A client recently paid their old DAM company a lot of money to export their data out of the old system and then paid us to format it for import into CatDV. Something to think about when choosing a system. Can I "pack up and go?"

bryson

bryson "at" northshoreautomation.com

northshoreautomation.com


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Robb Harriss
Re: Is CatDV the right solution for what I need?
on Nov 13, 2015 at 3:09:33 am

It's been my guiding hand for years. I have a copy open whenever I'm editing. It's much better than any editing applications when it comes to locating shots. The ability to add extensive descriptions is extremely valuable, along, of course, with all the user defined fields you can create. We have hundreds of hours of interviews and the transcripts are, for the most part, in CatDV's verbatim logger, making it easy to cue up bits right from the transcript. Even without all the the ways you can log using text, the visual scanning is better than any editing application. It's much easier to see what's in a clip without having to load them.

There are really only two of us accessing the footage. We use a workgroup server to keep all our notes in sync. And it allows us to scan all the catalogs at once rather than one at a time. A huge timesaver for us. We have one drive with proxies of EVERYTHING. That means we can search and edit even if the full rez footage isn't online but off on a near-line disk. We have piles of online storage, but not enough to hold everything at full rez at once. So that's another big help. And because we use the workgroup server we can ID and lock down things like interviewee names (spelling!), locations, dates, etc.

Moved back to Media Composer a few years ago and have been happy with the integration. Looking forward to moving up to Pegasus.

Non-linear: all the time and nothing but.


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Matthew Fisher
Re: Is CatDV the right solution for what I need?
on Nov 13, 2015 at 2:59:39 pm

Thank you both for the replies. I guess my follow up is, is CatDV overkill? I haven't yet inquired on how much the system costs, but for basic cataloging, searching and viewing, does CatDV give me more features that would never be utilized? The answer may be no, I'm just covering my bases here, and, as everything inevitably comes down to $$, seeing if there may be another alternative to consider.


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Robb Harriss
Re: Is CatDV the right solution for what I need?
on Nov 13, 2015 at 3:27:31 pm

As much as I depend on CatDV I still only use a small part of what it can do. But you can't take that as a knock against the software. If it does what you want and maybe even need, that should count.
Take it for a test drive. Get a single copy of Pro and try that. My catalogs are based on things like location shoots and finished projects. Using the non-server versions of CatDV you have to scan one catalog at a time. The server versions allow (among many other things) you to scan across all catalogs. We don't have need for multiple levels of permissions so the workgroup server is enough. Large facilities with clients who may compete with each other need to be able prevent one room seeing another room's assets. That makes the Enterprise server more appropriate.

Non-linear: all the time and nothing but.


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bryson jones
Re: Is CatDV the right solution for what I need?
on Nov 13, 2015 at 9:27:01 pm

As to overkill, there's not really much in the way of other software that does what you're looking to do in the same price range.

Also, speak to your bosses. You are about to do a project that needs to be done once. Never again. If you choose a solution that doesn't let you export the data easily or isn't scalable, then the company might have paid you for nothing.

People always forget that when looking at a DAM project budget, the software is cheap compared to the time. If a person makes even $40k a year and you have to re-do 6 months of work again, then that $500 saved might not have been a good deal. Right?

Focus on the company, and their needs, and engage on that level.

The second time is always more expensive and painful. How do I know? Because my company often gets called when the "cheap" way (cheap software, or an intern making the plan) failed.

bryson

bryson "at" northshoreautomation.com

northshoreautomation.com


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