|A Creative COW Product Review |
| ||Aanarav Sareen |
New Jersey, USA
©2006 Aanarav Sareen and Creativecow.net. All rights reserved.
|Article Focus: |
MediaFiler 2.0 is a professional database software designed for the video production industry. It's an easy way to catalog, track, label, and organize your whole library of tapes and disks. In this article, Creative Cow Leader Aanarav Sareen takes a look at the software for use in his own production environment and determines that it is everything they say it is.
As the number of productions that I produce, increase over the years, it becomes extremely critical to file all production related media, such as tapes, CDs and a variety of other materials Recently, a colleague of mine recommended MediaFiler from Vortex Media. After looking at the product page, I was interested to see how this application would fare in my production needs.
MediaFiler ships with 2 CDs, one of which contains the application itself and the other CD which contains the product manual in PDF format. The installation process is extremely easy and the application only takes a few megabytes of storage space. Before launching MediaFiler it is recommended that you take a look at the manual, so that you are familiar with how the application works. Another recommendation is to launch the sample file first, as it provides you with the ability of testing the application before launching the main database.
Once you are familiar with the interface, launch MediaFiler. The first time you launch MediaFiler, you will be presented with the following screen:
If you are using MediaFiler for the first time, then you would select the 'Express Data Entry' button to add or to file your media. Selecting this button, presents you with the following screen:
The launched form permits you to enter in information specific to the type of media being cataloged. Various fields in the form also permit you to select your information from a drop down list. The format, type, standard and status section has a drop down list that is already populated with some of the more common formats. However, if your particular item is not listed, the application permits you to enter in your own option.
Apart from entering in data and working like a simple database, MediaFiler has a few more options that set it apart from other similar applications. One such feature is its ability to print ID labels, face labels or spine labels. While this can be easily achieved from a word processor, MediaFiler eliminates that need entirely.
Another feature that sets MediaFiler apart is the 'checkmarks' feature. Although, it may sound confusing at first, this is an extremely unique and a great feature.
Scenario: You have been working with a specific client for a number of years and want to generate a report that only lists the media associated with this client.
Although, this may take an extremely long time to do in many programs, that isn't the case in MediaFiler. In MediaFiler, first ensure that you 'erase all checkmarks' and then select 'add checkmarks'
Selecting the add checkmarks option will launch the following window, where you have the ability to add checkmarks not only based on the client, but on many other variables.
After entering in the criteria, simply select 'mark matching records' and a checkmark will be added based on your criteria.
When you return to the control panel, simply select 'marked records' under the reports section and a report will be generated only for the criteria specified above.
Often, a database requires extreme stability and since MediaFiler is a run-time of Microsoft Access, it is extremely reliable. Although, MediaFiler doesn't include a backup function, the data file can easily be backed up, considering its small file size. If that isn't enough and your database gets corrupted, MediaFiler offers the ability to repair any corrupt database.
After testing this application over a period of few weeks, I can confidently say that this is a good application for anyone that deals with a large variety of media. This application has a very small footprint and barely uses any system resources. MediaFiler can also be used over a network, for an additional fee. Due to its extensive features and at a price point below most database systems, this is a must have for any production studio. MediaFiler is certainly a 5 COW product.
MediaFiler can be purchased for $150 from VortexMedia.com
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