The operation of Live Capture Plus is controlled by the options and preferences you select in the Settings dialog.
- Capture as
- Choose whether to capture movies to the CatDV preview directory (in the format used by CatDV), or as standalone movie files. This option also controls how the files are named. If you create standalone files you can choose how the files are named, though you can of course rename the files later as you wish (see below). If you create CatDV previews then the files are named and managed by CatDV.
- File naming
- Here you can choose how standalone files are named, for example Tape Name – Start Timecode or based on the time of recording. If you use iMovie you can capture DV streams using the special file naming scheme that iMovie08 uses.
- Self-contained archives
- When you capture CatDV Previews you will normally also create a CatDV catalog at the same time. This catalog contains logging information and a thumbnail index to the clips. You can choose whether to store catalogs separately from the previews, or create a self-contained archive containing both the preview movies and the catalog combined in one bundle.
- Capture to
- Click in this field to choose a directory for standalone files, or to select the base directory for CatDV previews.
- Choose one of the preset settings, or select one of the basic formats and press the Options button to customise it. You can either capture raw data (as a DV Stream or QuickTime DV Movie) or perform a temporary DV capture and then convert it to one of the following formats: as an arbitrary QuickTime movie, as an MPEG4 movie, as an AVI movie (certain codecs only), or as a 3GPP movie (for use on mobile phones). You can even choose a preset that creates movies that are compatible with both your computer and an iPod. When choosing a codec, bear in mind that H.264, followed by MPEG-4 and Sorenson Video 3, give the best quality to file size ratio but also take the longest time to compress.
- New clip for each scene
- Automatically start a new file for each shot or scene (as determined by when the start/stop record button on the camera was pressed at the time of recording).
- New clip when record date jumps
- Automatically start a new file when there’s a jump in the record date and time. (This option is useful when capturing HDV footage downconverted to DV as start/stop markers are not available in that case.)
- Max file size
- Independently of whether you check the ‘New clip for each scene’ option you can limit the size of each file before a new file is started. (When used with the ‘Minimise compression queue’ option this allows you to capture and compress an entire tape even when you have insufficient disk space for a copy of the whole tape at full DV quality.)
- Search blank portions of tape
- Once the end of the recorded portion of tape is reached, tells LIve Capture Plus to scan to the end of the tape looking for more material. Use this if your tape might contain blank portions in the middle, followed by further recorded material, otherwise capture will stop as soon as the blank portion is reached.
- Rewind tape after capture
- Automatically rewind a tape to the start after it is captured.
- Play audible alerts
- Speak error messages and other messages when capture completes out loud to better support unattended capture (Mac OS X only).
Error Handling tab
- Disable error handling (ignore timecode)
- Disable monitoring of the timecode and retrying if dropped frames or other errors occur. This option can be useful in special situations but should normally be left unchecked.
- Auto-compensate for single dropped frames
- If a single dropped frame is detected do not treat it as an error. Instead, the previous frame is automatically duplicated to ensure that the duration of the captured file is correct and cut points are still frame accurate.
- Read errors/dropped frames
- What to do if an unexpected frame is received, perhaps due to a tape error or a dropped frame. Live Capture Plus will normally rewind slightly and try again to capture the offending frame.
- If retry fails then
- If the frame still cannot be read correctly on a second or third try, you can abort the capture and stop the tape at that point, or log an error and continue capturing. “Ignore if consistent” continues if the error is recorded on the tape and is read back consistently, but aborts if there is a problem reading the tape.
- Timecode resets
- Normally every frame on your tape has a unique, continuous, incrementing timecode. Jumps, or timecode discontinuities, can occur if you fast forward past the end of recorded material and continue recording with a timecode of zero, or if you record over a previously used tape then stop and the old timecode “shows through from underneath”. If a timecode reset or other discontinuity is detected, Live Capture Plus will normally continue capturing but start a new virtual tape by appending “-1” or “-2” etc. to the tape name. This allows you to treat each segment (before and after the timecode reset) as if it were a separate tape with a unique name, for example when batch capturing in your video editing software. You can also abort the capture, or ignore timecode resets altogether (though unpredictable results may then occur if you have two different video clips with the same timecode value).
- Create CatDV catalog
- Create a thumbnail catalog of all the clips it captured, containing the timecode of each scene and any log notes that you typed in, in a form suitable for use with the CatDV or CatDV Pro application.
- Save automatically (one per tape)
- With this option selected a catalog is saved whenever you start a new tape or when you quit the application, otherwise clip records accumulate in memory until you save the catalog manually.
- Auto-append to an existing catalog
- If you use CatDV 7 or later you can tell Live Capture Plus to append clips to a specific existing catalog. (This feature works by writing clips to a special temporary catalog which are automatically appended to the main catalog when you open CatDV. Press the “Send to CatDV” button to save the clips and then open the catalog in CatDV.)
- Launch CatDV after saving
- If this option is checked the catalog file will automatically be opened in CatDV (or CatDV Pro) after it is saved, allowing you to review the catalog, add further log notes, print it out, or publish it to the workgroup server database.
- Location for catalogs
- Click here to choose the folder where catalogs are saved (or the specific catalog to append clips to).
- Create extra thumbnails
- If this option is checked the catalog will contain additional thumbnails for a clip (such as in the middle and end of the clip as well as the beginning). This results in larger catalogs but gives a better representation of the clip within CatDV if you use a film strip view.
- New event threshold
- One of the logging fields you can type text into is “Event”. This is used to group several related clips together, eg. different shots taken at the same occasion. To help automate logging a new subject is assigned automatically whenever there is a gap of more than the specified period between the time of recording of two clips.
- Compress clips during capture
- If checked, files are compressed in the background as soon as they are captured. Meanwhile, capturing the raw DV data from tape continues. This is the normal behaviour but you might want to disable this option on a slower computer if you get a lot of dropped frames, in which case the files are compressed at the end once capture is complete.
- Minimise compression queue
- Although compression and capturing can continue in parallel, if you are using a slow codec you might reach the end of the tape and have a long queue of files that still remain to be compressed. If you check this option the tape is paused automatically to wait for the previous clip to finish. (This is useful if you are short of disk space and don’t have room to store an entire tape in uncompressed form.)
- Monitor video while capturing
- Check this to display the picture currently being recorded. (Note that the live signal from tape will be unavailable if the Logging panel is showing an earlier clip than the current one being captured as in that case the Camera panel shows the thumbnail for the selected clip instead).
- Don’t delete DV stream
- Check this option to keep the intermediate raw DV stream files that Live Capture Plus creates. Normally they are discarded once the clip has been compressed to the desired final form.
- Capture via local temporary directory
- When checked, temporary DV files are first written to a local directory (such as the /tmp directory on the startup disk) before being compressed to the final destination. You should normally check this option if you are capturing to an external FireWire drive (to avoid potentially overloading the FireWire bus, which might increase the risk of dropped frames), though you may need to uncheck the option if your startup disk is very full.
The settings dialog described above contains capture preferences that you will normally set up once and then rarely change, whereas the Capture panel contains those settings that you are likely to need on a day by day basis:
- Tape Name
- You must enter a short unique identifier for each tape that you capture. This determines the file/directory name when creating CatDV catalogs and previews. The tape identifier is also stored in the timecode track of any QuickTime movies you generate, for use by software such as Final Cut Pro.
- Whether to rewind and capture the whole tape from the beginning, capture from the current tape position onward, or capture between two specified In and Out timecode values (you can type in these values or use the Set In and Set Out buttons in the Camera pane). If a capture was aborted, you can resume from the end of the last clip, which will butt the files up exactly with no missing or duplicated frames.
- You can also choose “Live stream” if you are capturing a live signal via a DV converter or direct from the camera rather than from tape. When you do this the timecode from the camera is ignored (as the tape may not be playing) and a “time of day” timecode (as per the computer’s clock) is used instead. In this mode, if you press Record on the camera, Live Capture will automatically start capturing to disk, under slave control from the camera.
- Format & Destination
- A summary of the capture format and destination disk (including the amount of recording time available) is displayed in the Capture panel. Press the Settings button to change either of these.