CatDV is subject to continuous improvement. CatDV 11.1 featured many improvements over 11.0, including:

New features in CatDV 11.1

  • Support for DPX and EXR image sequences (Pegasus only)
  • Support transcoding from any player to any codec, eg. from raw RED or AVCHD files straight to QuickTime, by decoding the source movie to an intermediate image sequence. Support for playing back sequences containing such a mix of formats. (RED support is Pegasus only)
  • Support for transcoding multi-channel audio
  • Raw camera card volumes (such as P2, XDCAM, XAVC, Canon XF, and AVCHD) are not intended to be accessed directly. If you break the folder structure files might still play in CatDV but not work in your NLE editing software so when you import such a volume CatDV now creates a camera card manifest metaclip to describe all the other files and empty directories that make up a valid camera card. A new ‘CameraCardID’ metadata field links all the clips from one camera card volume and when you copy or archive a raw camera clip you are prompted to include all the files from that volume.
  • Improved support for copying, moving, and deleting multiple files in one go, including preserving the relative folder hierarchy and making sure no empty directories are left behind
  • New import option to create placeholder clips for empty directories
  • The Windows installer is now bundled with its own embedded Java Runtime Environment
  • Ability to export and load exporter presets (Pegasus only)
  • Improvements to the Scan For New Files command
  • New Audio Channels command in the Tools menu to adjust audio channel configuration (for exporting to Final Cut and Premiere)
  • Add proper support for multiple audio channels when exporting clips to Final Cut Pro X
  • Changes to support exporting FCP XML files to Sony Vegas, and to Premiere CC 2015
  • New <Any built-in field> and <Any user field> search terms when querying CatDV Server 7
  • The Bulk Edit command can now use variables and regular expressions
  • Support for importing and exporting the new CatDV v2 XML file format (this feature is primarily designed with the needs of system integrators in mind, and is documented further in the CatDV Worker Node manual)
  • Use of star ratings from 1 to 5 (or 0) instead of the old “good”/”no good” indicator
  • Improved automatic scene detection (using visual image analysis)
  • Improvements to the built in log file viewer
  • Many other fixes and improvements.
  • As of CatDV 11.1.6 it is possible to use CatDV on machines without QuickTime being installed, although some features may be missing.

These are in addition to the following significant changes that were previously introduced in CatDV 11.0:

New player technology

One of the main changes in CatDV 11 is that it no longer relies on QuickTime for Java (as Apple have discontinued this technology). Instead, CatDV uses a brand new native player technology that can work with a variety of playback engines. This has a number of consequences:

  • CatDV will now run with 64-bit Java 7 for increased performance and memory handling when handling large data sets, and support for Macs with high resolution “retina” displays
  • A brand new native player is used for playing media. This replaces and improves on the old protected player. The native player supports playback using different player engines: QuickTime 7 (indicated by a cyan ‘Q’), FFMPEG/libavcodec (indicated by an ‘F’), AVFoundation (Mac only, indicated by an ‘A’), Windows Media Foundation (Windows only, indicated by a ‘W’), and native RED .r3d playback (indicated by an ‘R’). Note that RED playback requires a CatDV Pegasus license.
  • Together these provide native playback without transcoding of almost all common media files, including QuickTime, MPEG2, H.264, AVCHD, DPX, XDCAM EX, XAVC, R3D, WMV, and many others.
  • Additionally, a new JavaFX player (indicated by a ‘J’) is provided as an alternative player for playing MP4 files if the native player is unavailable.
  • The built-in Java image player that can display still images has been extended so it now supports PSD, TIFF, PICT, BMP, ICNS (in addition to JPG, PNG and GIF and many digital camera RAW formats) without requiring QuickTime or the native player
  • There is a new preferences setting to configure which of the available players is used for different types of file, based on filename extension or video codec (this is intended for diagnostic purposes only, as in normal use the most appropriate player will be chosen automatically)
  • There is a new built-in parser for directly importing .MOV and .MP4 files (in addition to existing importers for MXF files, MPEG files, etc.), allowing most common media files to be imported without requiring QuickTime
  • There is a new native QuickTime exporter with additional formatting options for burnt in timecode and text overlays and the ability to preview the overlay
  • A new FFmpeg-based exporter is provided for exporting movies and building proxies from formats that QuickTime doesn’t support

User interface and functional improvements

As well as new player technology, CatDV 11 includes a number of additional user interface and functional enhancements:

  • Support for tabbed browsing: instead of overriding the contents of the main window with temporary clips (or opening new windows) the main window can now display different tabs, with new commands in the View menu to dock or undock tabs.
  • The ability to define different workspaces (different toolbar buttons, view layouts, and other options) optimised for different workflows and to switch between them easily with buttons in the toolbar or via the View menu. (If you are missing your familiar toolbar and tree layout from CatDV 10, choose the ‘Advanced’ workspace and then configure it later as required.)
  • A reorganised tree navigator to make it more intuitive and easier to use. The Server section has been split into two, one for browsing the entire contents of the server and the other for performing various kinds of search, and the Catalog and Filter sections have been combined to emphasise that they are used to refine the view on the current catalog or search results. At the same time the tree has been made more configurable and new action shortcuts have been added.
  • In Pegasus you can define custom actions to automate elements of your workflow
  • A new popup clip details panel when you hold down the Ctrl key on Mac, or Alt key on Windows, and hover the mouse over a clip in grid view, including the ability to scrub the movie without selecting it and clicking to jump to that point in the movie. You can also click on the info icon in the corner of the clip to bring up the popup panel.
  • Support for Retina displays, providing clearer, sharper display of text and thumbnails on compatible Macintosh computers
  • A new Event Markers summary mode that makes each marker appear as its own clip in the main window, making it easy to highlight search results for example
  • Hold down the Ctrl key (Alt on Windows) while viewing a still image to zoom and pan around the image
  • Simplification of the user interface by removing separate Thumbnail, Movie and Proxy tabs in the details panel. Instead, you can use the Media menu and right click on the thumbnail if you need to delete thumbnails or select a new poster thumbnail, or if you want to switch between proxy and original movie.
  • Ability to define smart labels and display coloured labels based on any clip field
  • New commands in the Mark submenu to save and load clip marks to any user-defined checkbox field, providing an easy way to mark clips of interest and manage different sets of marked clips
  • Improvements to Export As Still command (options to control what to do if destination exists, to set timestamp, and to place files into subfolders, and whether to copy any movies or export still frames from them), allowing it to be used to organise photos for display on an iOS device for example. It is also possible to add burnt-in text when exporting stills, which can include clip fields such as ${NM1} for the name, and these settings are now remembered between launches.
  • New auto-suggest combo and preformatted HTML user-defined field types
  • Clips now remember their last play head position
  • A new PlaybackRate metadata field and preference option to support slow motion playback of 120 fps movies (such as produced by the iPhone 5S). Also, the ‘H’ key can be used to play back movies at half or quarter their normal rate.
  • Improvements to the Disk Space Tool, which now uses a three pane layout (hierarchically browse folders by the size of that folder and everything in it using the top left panel, view a flattened list of all the files in the selected folder in the bottom panel, and filter by file type using the top right panel if required)
  • A new ‘Disk Speed Test’ command in the Tools menu for performing a simple disk read and write test
  • Ability to import and view the contents of a ZIP file via the tree (controlled by options in ‘Import’ Preferences)
  • Scene detection accuracy improvements, including ability to specify a minimum clip duration
  • Support for exporting clips and sequences to Autodesk Smoke (using FCP X XML)
  • Change toolbar icons so that a magnifying glass on its own indicates refining the view by filtering the current catalog, whereas a magnifying glass with a question mark means perform a query to bring back more clips from the server
  • The tape library management feature for legacy tape-based workflows is now disabled by default unless you enable it via the Server tab of Preferences. Instead, the Cmd/Ctrl-T keyboard shortcut is used to toggle display of the tree navigator, and Cmd/Ctrl-D is used to toggle the clip details panel.
  • Other legacy features that are disabled by default but can be re-enabled if required include the Manage Proxy Movies command and marking clips as good or not (replaced by star ratings).
  • Label printing is no longer a Pegasus-only feature and is also available in CatDV Pro
  • Improved import and display of PSD, TIFF, PICT and other still image formats on both Mac and Windows

These are in addition to the improvements provided in CatDV 10.1 and earlier releases, and those available in Pegasus. For detailed list of changes in each version, see the Version History in the Release Notes.

Legacy 32-bit version

CatDV 11 is available in both 64-bit and 32-bit versions. Some older and less commonly used features which depend on legacy QuickTime libraries are only available in the 32-bit version. These include the ‘Adjust Frame Size’ command, adding voice over tracks to a sequence, tape-based proxies, legacy DV-based scene detection, and adding QuickTime metadata annotations when exporting movies. If you need access to any of the above functionality then please use the optional 32-bit version of CatDV 11.

A number of features which were unavailable in earlier releases have since been migrated to the 64-bit version, including: transcoding using QuickTime codecs, the media/file information command, the ability to add a timecode track (when exporting movies and to an existing movie file), visual scene detection, the audio channel popup, rotated movie playback, audio waveform display, preserving Exif metadata when exporting stills, and the ability to play and transcode image sequences.