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26.04.2016

Add optimised video previews to P5 Archive

Use FFmpeg to generate full-length archive previews

There are so many ways to work with Archiware P5 Archive.

Some of us have a full-featured MAM like nachtblau's medialoopster in place and use P5 Archive for pure archiving purposes, where metadata and preview files solely reside on the MAM side of things.

Others use the OS X Finder or the Windows Explorer to manage online files and P5 Archive to manage their offline files. Combine that with Archiware's P5 Archive App, and you can manage both online and offline files in the OS X Finder.

While this is great, in any case where you don't use a MAM with custom previews linked to P5 Archive, you need decent preview files and metadata inside P5 Archive. You can add metadata to your items by either using the P5 Archive web UI or by adding them inside the P5 Archive App when archiving files or at any later stage:

You can then preview metadata and the video itself using the P5 Archive App by double-clicking on a .p5a file:

If you click on the "play" button, a video preview opens in your default web browser.

While this is a a very comfortable way to identify your offline files from within the Finder, P5 Archive can only extract HiRes parts of your video files, meaning it uses the full resolution of your original files and extracts some fragments from the file, e.g. the first 20 seconds. This can occupy lots of space on your disk if you want to create previews for complete video clips. In addition, the preview files are QuickTime files and don't easily play in most modern browsers.

Therefore in the following we are going to create custom mp4 files using the proxy width of your choice.

This is how we do it:

The great thing about this is that you can use the full-length proxy files with Archiware's P5 Archive App, so that you can open preview files and read metadata from within the OS X Finder.

Works without the P5 Archive App, too, of course.

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