There are several web client settings that can be configured in the Server Control Panel, by pressing the Server Config button.

Creating web proxies

To play videos through the web interface you need to create low datarate web versions of your media and make sure these files are accessible on the web server machine. (For testing purposes it is possible to configure the web server to use the original full resolution versions of your movies by setting both the “Full-res root dir” and “Proxy root dir” fields to ‘/’, but this is not recommended for normal use as the format and size of most files designed for video editing is not suitable for use on the web).

Using the CatDV Pro client, the Worker Node, or an external conversion tool, you should create movies with a lower data rate and/or smaller frame size. H264 wrapped in an MPEG4 or QuickTime .mov wrapper with Internet Fast Start enabled is usually the best format. It is also possible to use JPEG proxies for other types of file such as audio only clips or Office documents.

The Web Client uses CatDV “path-based previews”, so you should configure the name and path of the proxy movies you create to match that of the original files, relative to a particular root directory. For example, if an original full-res file is


and the corresponding low-res proxy is in


then you would configure “Full-res root dir” to “/Volumes/XSAN” and “Proxy root dir” to “/Volumes/Proxy”. The proxy file should either have the same extension as the original file or .mp4 or .mov.

Leave “Alternative URL” blank to use the built-in CatDV media server within the web server to serve up media files over HTTP. Alternatively, it is possible to use a separate dedicated web server or even an external content delivery network, by entering the corresponding root URL that corresponds to the proxy root dir.

The older tape-based proxies (“Tape preview dir” and “Tape preview URL” fields) are used by Live HTML Publisher but are not supported by the Web Client.

Movie player

By default, the QuickTime browser plug-in is used to play videos, as this is available on older browsers and provides flexible control of playback via JavaScript, including support for subclips. As an alternative, by pressing the Preferences button you can choose to use the new HTML5 video tag. This is supported on additional platforms, including Linux and Mobile Safari (iPhone and iPad), though subclips are not the supported (the whole file will be played) and you will need to choose a proxy format that is supported on your target platform.

Creating and using smart folders

As well as browsing the database by production group and catalog and performing specific queries, a very convenient way to navigate to clips of interest is to define smart folders. These are pre-defined queries which are stored on the server and appear as folders in the tree. Clicking on the smart folder will display the matching clips.

Smart folders can be defined by an administrator using the CatDV Pro client application (by right clicking on the “Shared smart folder” node) or from within the Web Client by clicking on the Settings tool bar button. Use the client application if the slightly simpler interface provided by the web client doesn’t provide access to all the fields you require. Smart folders are given a name and are organized by production group for the benefit of users who are members of more than one group. You can also arrange them in your own subfolders by separating components of the name with a ‘/’ character.

Customising the web client

If you have purchased the web client customisation option then  you can set up the web client so it automatically displays tab layouts and user fields to match the client. If you have different user fields and different tab layouts in different production groups the layout will automatically change to match the group that the current clip belongs to. Use the Customise Details Panel function when editing group settings from within the CatDV Pro client application to customise the tab layouts.

If you want to show different tabs in the CatDV Pro client and the Web Client you can do so using the Tabs To Show: Include and Exclude fields in the server control panel. When editing the details panel layouts in CatDV Pro you can choose whether to make these tabs visible or not in the CatDV Pro client. The same tabs will be visible in the Web Client unless you override them here by specifying a comma-separated list of names of tabs you always want to show (even though they’re not shown in the CatDV client) or want to hide (even though they are shown in the CatDV client).

Additionally, you can also customise the title and icon that are shown in the Web Client. The logo should be provided as a PNG, JPEG or GIF image, ideally at a size of about 50×35 pixels or less, though slightly larger sizes are ok also and the layout will adjust accordingly. You need to stop and restart Tomcat after making any changes.

If you don’t have the customisation option then you can still customise the names of user defined fields so they are displayed correctly by creating a named field definition set (when editing the group settings in CatDV Pro) and then entering the name of the field set here. Note that only a single field set name can be specified, even if you have multiple production groups with different fields.

Note that the although similar functionality is provided, the web client doesn’t provde exactly the same layout capabilities as the CatDV Pro client. For example, multi grouping and hierarchical fields and the Rating field appear differently, the event marker table appears on a tab on its own, two column layouts aren’t supported, and so on.

Unlike the CatDV Pro client, it isn’t possible to scroll if too many details tabs are shown so by default the tabs are truncated so only eight tabs are shown. If a group has more tabs than this all the remaining fields are added to a tab called “…”

You can also choose whether to show a list of catalogs or a list of shared smart folders in the tree navigator. If both of these options are unchecked the tree is not shown and the only way to display clips is to perform a query.

Review and approval

The Web Client supports basic “review and approval” functionality through the Clip Status field. The clip status field can take values such as “Awaiting approval”, “Approved”, “Rejected” etc. The available values are defined automatically based on values stored within the database (for example by editing clip statuses with the CatDV Pro client application and saving the clips to the server).

You can easily configure a smart folder to show all clips on the server whose status is “Awaiting approval” for example. A reviewer can click on this folder then review each clip in turn that needs their attention. When editing the clip, the clip status drop down in the tool bar can be used to update the clip status. The reviewer will automatically be prompted for a comment describing the status change and an entry in the clip status history field will be made for auditing purposes, recording who changed the clip status and when.

If the reviewer needs to mark particular portions of the video as requiring further attention this can be done by creating event markers on the clip.

Triggering Worker actions

For complex automated workflows you can configure the CatDV Worker Node to implement automatic actions as a result of a clip status change made through the web interface. For example, the user could change the clip status to “Approved” and a few moments later the worker could upload the original media file to an FTP server and send an email to say a new clip is ready. Consult the Worker release notes for further details on how to configure the worker.


Click on the blue CatDV logo to the left of the header panel to view basic diagnostic information such as the version of server software that is being used.

Click on the refresh button to reload the tree (and other data such as the values in the clip status drop down) after new catalogs etc. have been saved to the server.

You can control how much information is shown (for example, advanced clip details panels, or whether the clip status is shown in the header panel) by clicking on the preferences button. Preferences are saved in a cookie on the local machine so they persist between sessions.

If you want to change the window layout you can drag the dividers between the tree, the clip details panel and the main clip list (for example, you may want to adjust the size of the movie player).

Click on the padlock icon shown after your user name to log off from the server.

When to use the CatDV Pro application

Although the web interface allows you to browse the server, perform complex queries, and view and edit clips, all from within a standard web browser without having to install special software, it is not designed to fully replace the CatDV Pro client application.

If you need to perform any of the following operations you should normally use the regular client application:

  • Create new catalogs
  • Import clips
  • Create subclips
  • Edit sequences
  • Transcode movies
  • Export clips to an edit application (eg. as Final Cut Pro XML)
  • Administer production groups and users
  • Delete clips and catalogs
  • Automatic scene detection
  • Verbatim logger
  • Customise user-defined fields, picklists, and view layouts
  • Keyboard shortcuts such as jog-shuttle controls and logging shortcuts
  • Print reports
  • Copy or move media files (including archiving operations)
  • Use advanced grouping, filtering and sorting
  • Change the poster frame for a clip