Topic: Creating a searchable video library using Picasa
Inspired by Dartfish and its features of a portable video library, searchable by the use of keywords to find any video at any given moment. Together with its powerful analyzing capabilities, got me wishing to use something like that one day. Preferably sooner than later.
I started searching for a similar application with the same capabilities, but without the big license fee. Quickly I stumbled upon Kinovea, offering the same features for analyzing video. But without a feature to organise my unstructured and chaos-like video archive, there was no way for me to ever get to use the analyzing capabilities of Kinovea without structuring my archive first.
So the search went on. I’ve tried and experimented with many applications. From small movie catalogs to Adobe’s Lightroom. The latter came very close to what I was searching for, but it was too bloated and consumed way too much RAM. Video playback performance was dramatically slow on my computer.
Lightroom triggered me to download and install Picasa. I always thought Picasa was for photo’s and pictures, but it’s way more powerful than many might think. The power of Picasa is found in its tagging features, it can tag any kind of file photo or video. Tagging files is also very fast and simple with an easy interface dedicated to live or tagging single or even multiple files at once.
By making full use of Picasa’s wonderful tagging capabilities, you can easily create a library based on your personal interests. Search through your personal video archive on criteria that are important to you.
If you have a big unsorted archive with lots of video. It might take some time to tag and sort all of your video files. Once you’re ready and learned yourself a new more practical workflow when downloading new movies from your camera.
What I’ve tagged so far: Athletes, type of action they perform, weather conditions, locations, venues, etc. When I’m searching for similar situations or best practice movies, I can just select what kind of action I wish to view; in which conditions and even if I’m looking for one selected athlete.
I can finally go completely nuts and look for the most crazy things I could ever imagine. It’s all there and readily available within a few mouse-clicks. In the past it took me days or even weeks to produce the same results. Now I can do this instantly when needed.
I have extended my default Picasa installation with the following tools and applications, to achieve all my wishes.
Picasa starter - To make the Picasa database portable, it tricks Picasa in telling it has to look in a non-standard location for it’s database. This way you can put all your movies on an external hard drive and carry with you wherever you go.
Custom buttons - With the use of Picasa Starter I also added some custom buttons inside Picasa to open movies directly in VLC or Kinovea.
Picasa lacks some features other applications have, like playing a movie in slow-motion or analyzing it like Kinovea can. You can add custom buttons to Picasa to perform your own custom actions, like opening a selected movie in another executable.
Picasa Web Albums - Sharing movies has never been easier.
Uploading or synchronizing folders and files to the web is very simple too. With many options to secure your intellectual property. It’s easy to share movies with your athletes, staff or collegues, without having your secrets publicly available on the internet.
Google’s Upload policy is as marvelous as well. As long as each movies’ duration isn’t any longer than 15 minutes it doesn’t count towards your free 1GB of available web space. Currently I have my entire 300 GB library online in the cloud and 0 actual bytes used according to Google’s policy.
PicFolio Android app - Synchronize the web albums with my smartphone and tablet. I have the best movies always available in my pocket.
I have created my own portable and secure HD video archive. Easily searchable to quickly find how-to examples or make new analyses. Which I can also share with my athletes and assisting trainers.
I'm so stoked right now, I really wanted to share this with everyone that might be searching for the same.