Media Manager improvement ideas

PixelStuff wrote on 10/8/2011, 12:36 PM
I submitted this to the product suggestion form, but wanted to see what others thought also.

I would like to see a stand alone (and improved) version of the Vegas Pro Media Manager. It should also have a plugin (similar to Cinescore) that brings a portion of the application into Vegas, Sound Forge, and ACID, but eventually even include plugins for Photoshop, Premiere, After Effects, and Audition. Long term, maybe Avid and Final Cut plugins.

One critical improvement I would like to see is network friendliness so -- with a central repository of photo, video, and audio clips -- if one computer makes an organizational change or metadata update then everyone sees it automatically.

Include good IPTC/XMP support.

Then build in artificial intelligence scanning for identifying faces and other things in a shot like Google Picasa and Google Image Search recognizes colors and faces or the new Apple Final Cut X recognizes shot types. Would be nice if this information could also reside on the network so once a computer processed a folder of video clips everyone could benefit from the metadata.

Perhaps the new Media Manager should have two methods of install. One as a single computer installation with a self contained but share-able (exportable) database. Then a second installation option using a separate database server engine (MySQL?) which runs separately from the Media Manager interface.


Marc S wrote on 10/8/2011, 3:35 PM
One feature I've always wanted was "double click opens in trimmer". The way it works in the project media folder.
NickHope wrote on 10/8/2011, 4:06 PM

Improvements to the current Media Manager:

1. Add a context menu to the tags in the "Tags" pane (bottom right) that allows one to delete a tag, and/or a waste basket to drag it to.

2. When one chooses "remove tag" from an asset's context menu, show which tags the item actually has, not the ENTIRE list.

3. Enable the transport bar (pause, play etc.) for preview.

4. Fix the text spacing quirks in the "Search Results" pane.

5. Fix the permissions issues when moving libraries between different machines.

6. Display duration of .flac files, which currently show duration 00:00:00

7. Show the name of the tag(s) that you are about to delete in the confirmation box. It's easy to delete the wrong one, and there's no undo.

8. If multiple clips are dragged from MM to the timeline, they are placed in reverse alpha-numeric order. This should be fixed.

9. Right click > "Remove from library and delete file(s)" should send files to the recycle bin, not delete permanently.

10. Right click > "Remove from library and delete file(s)" does not delete files if they are in use on the timeline, but stays silent and gives the impression that they files are successfully deleted. It should warn that the files are not deleted.

11. Right click > "Remove from library and delete file(s)" should delete .sfk file as well as media file.

12. Timed backups. Very important since there is no undo function.

13. Fix incorrect error message "The media library failed to back up properly. The reason could not be determined. Make sure you have enough free disk space."

14. A way to show the total number of items by default in the search results, not just the first 1000.

The absence of both feature 1 or 2 makes removing tags cumbersome, especially if you have a lot of tags. I hate the radio buttons for "remove tag mode" and "apply tag mode". It's too many clicks and easy to forget to change back.

Bigger features for future Media Manager:

1. Undo, Redo

2. Implement more Boolean operator functionality (AND, OR, NOT), not just "Match All" or "Match Any". e.g. Have checkboxes for "INCLUDE" and "DON'T INCLUDE" next to each tag.

3. Show which projects an asset is used in, and an easy way to jump to that event.

4. Full integration with Vegas Explorer and Project Media and Timeline. Add "Select in Media Manager" to context menu (right click) of media or event.

5. Improved missing/offline file resolver.

6. Add ability to rename a file from within Media Manager and retain the relationships.

7. Allow Media Manager to run standalone.

8. Better visual feedback of whether one is applying a tag or removing a tag. e.g. A temporary colour change or temporary "tick" or "X" mark. It's so easy to think you're applying tags but you're actually removing them, or vice versa.

9. Ability to dismiss individual tags from the list at the top with an "x" (like a faceted search on shopping websites etc.)

10. Build Media Manager on up-to-date versions SQL and .NET Framework platforms, to improve compatibility and ease of installation on current computers, but maintain a migration path from the old version.

11. Copy the tags from one asset and be able to paste them to another asset or group of assets. Even better would be the ability to be selective about which tags get pasted.

12. Simplify the whole permissions issue. It's very easy to lock yourself out of your own database, especially if you're working with multiple devices and cloud sync.

13. Allow more terms in the query. The current maximum allowable is 256, and I occasionally exceed this.

14. Built-in database repair function (like MS Access).

Edit: Also see Douglas Clark's wishlist here:

farss wrote on 10/8/2011, 4:22 PM
"One critical improvement I would like to see is network friendliness so -- with a central repository of photo, video, and audio clips -- if one computer makes an organizational change or metadata update then everyone sees it automatically."

That alone is going to be complex to implement and require a lot of hooking into the guts of the NLE itself.

I assume you want all this just to be thrown into the some new version of Vegas for free? Given what it costs to roll out and maintain an Avid Unity system I really think you're being optimistic hoping to see something like this from SCS or at a price point that more than 0.01% of Vegas users can afford.


dougs wrote on 10/8/2011, 8:18 PM
I very much second the ability to "double click" to add to trimmer inclusion would be a huge bonus Surely that wouldn't be to difficult. The thumbnail redraw and resize capability is so much better in media manager than project media, and an option to add media or clip to trimmer would be of great use.
Byron K wrote on 10/8/2011, 9:50 PM
It would be nice to be able to see thumbnails of my media in media manager. Currently I Alt + Tab between Windows Explorer.
PixelStuff wrote on 10/8/2011, 10:45 PM
"3. Show which projects an asset is used in, and an easy way to jump to that event."

Yes. You need to bold that one. That would be awesome.


I don't think a stand alone media manager should require any hooks into an NLE. The plugins probably would if you started linking to projects and other things like Nick was suggesting.

Also I envision a separate product which could be purchased separately or maybe as part of a Sony Professional Creation Suite. As a separate product, I wouldn't mind paying $150 for a Media Manager upgrade every couple of years if it worked well and played well with other brands. On the other hand, if it is only a Sony compatible utility, then that price might be a little steep and it probably should be included as a benefit to buying any of the Pro apps.
Grazie wrote on 10/9/2011, 12:07 AM
@ Byron_K " It would be nice to be able to see thumbnails of my media in media manager."

Eh? That's one of the main reasons I DO use MM? What media are you using?


NickHope wrote on 10/9/2011, 3:00 AM
Byron, there's a grid/list/thumbnail chooser right there at the top of the Search Results pane.

I have read on previous MM threads that the thumbnails can cause crashes (memory leaks or something). Haven't found that myself yet though.
Grazie wrote on 10/9/2011, 3:06 AM
Nick, thanks for "mopping-up".


amendegw wrote on 10/9/2011, 6:14 AM
I, too, would love to see a vastly improved Media Manager. In lieu of this I've taken to setting up my Vegas Projects with the following directory structure.

You can throw darts at this, but I've found that Vegas on my computer(s) is CPU bound rather than I/O bound, so I see little noticeable hit to performance. And I rarely have problems remembering where a my source media is.

What happens when I need a to share a capture from from one Vegas project to another? I merely copy it to the new project. Hard disk space is cheap (although I will occasionally delete intermediate DNxHD renders).


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i am erikd wrote on 10/9/2011, 6:35 AM
Double-click to add to trimmer.

I actually assumed this was an option. For a long time I tried to figure out where the setting was to allow this before finally giving up. Seems like a no-brainer.

Also, it has been said many times before but why not sub-clip usage inside Media Manager.

Another vote undo-redo also.

Search is currently limited to searching file names only. I want to be able to search my tags because I have so many it can be hard to find what I need.
Randy Brown wrote on 10/9/2011, 9:50 AM
@ Byron_K " It would be nice to be able to see thumbnails of my media in media manager."

Maybe he meant the Vegas which I would agree, that would be a big help!
eightyeightkeys wrote on 10/9/2011, 10:15 AM
+1 on the very much needed improvements to MM and/or preferably the Project Media window.

Personally, I'm for an integrated Media Manager rather than the separate app as it is now. This is why I would prefer a Project Media overhaul :
(my needs are very modest compared with most here...)
a) thumbnails option - with ALL thumbnails pre-loaded into RAM for instant scrolling. Not the constant "re-freshing" of thumbnails which are out of view as it is now.
b) instant visual feedback on assets used on the timeline. A "check-mark" or something indicating an asset was already used.
c) an "Undo" on the timeline should not close all Bins in the Project Media...why is this implemented like this ?
d) similarly, when switching from Bin to Bin, the app should remember where you were in the previous Bin rather than defaulting to the first asset in the it is now. Couple this behaviour with item "c" and you've got a huge waste of time...
I've bailed on the Project Media Window altogether...I'm not a professional power user either, so, it must be very frustrating for pros.
TeetimeNC wrote on 10/9/2011, 6:24 PM
Another +1 for needed improvements to Media Manager and Project Media.

To the list of excellent suggestions here I'll add:

1. Extend the concept of "Project Media" to show the hierarchy of master/nested vegs, and show in a tree view each of the vegs and their respective media without having to open each nested veg in a separate instance of Vegas. I'm fine with opening another instance for editing the nested veg, but would like the ability to explore the entire hierachy from the parent veg's Project Media.

2. To Project Media, add the ability to archive everything associated with the entire project (e.g., main and nested vegs and media, optionally include other system resources that were used such as fonts).

3. In Media Manager, let me easily open multiple libraries so I can have both my standard reusable resources (e.g., royalty free music, client logos, template vegs, etc.), and my project-specific media easily available to me as I build a project.

EDIT: I just looked back at some of my earlier posts on MM and I forgot to add this:

4. With sufficient integration of MM into Vegas, MM could automatically tag a piece of media (or subclip if that was implemented) with the project name whenever it was used in a project. Then, I could easily see a list of all projects that make use of a selected media. This would especially be useful for my library of reusable resources.

crocdoc wrote on 10/9/2011, 9:24 PM
I'd be happy with two improvements:

1. (As many have already mentioned) - right click to add media to Trimmer
2. (As Nick has mentioned) - improved missing/offline file resolver. The technology to do this is already built into Vegas itself, for when opening a project and searching for offline files (for example, if the original project media have been moved into another folder), it will recognise that there are other files in the same folder that belong to the same project and offer to bring them back online at the same time. In MM the search has to be done over and over again, one file at a time.
TeetimeNC wrote on 10/9/2011, 10:00 PM
crocdoc, here is how to resolve offline media in MM, courtesy of Grazie a while back:

1] Group OFF line media in MM

NickHope wrote on 10/10/2011, 12:40 AM
I would like to be able to enter a rename pattern when searching for offline files. Say, for example, a species is renamed by scientists and so I change 100 of my file names. Then I would want to be able to tell Vegas to replace *name1* with *name2* when searching for replacement files. This goes for project opening as well as MM.
Grazie wrote on 10/10/2011, 3:35 AM
MM has powerful search features.


crocdoc wrote on 10/10/2011, 5:01 PM
Thanks, TeeTime and Grazie! Just tried it and it works.

The only disappointing thing is watching the search process and noticing that, even though all of the files I am searching for are in the very same folder, the search engine starts the search for each individual file from scratch - i.e. goes to the root drive and sequentially goes through all of the folders until it finds the correct folder and file, then starts all over again for the next file. It definitely saves me a lot of effort in not having to start the search for each file manually, but could save a lot of time if it had the same capabilities as the offline file search performed when one opens a project.

edit: Just had a "d'oh" moment after posting this. If I direct the smartsearch to the folder it finds them all very quickly.

Nick, I agree, being able to either rename files or instruct MM to search for a different name (but same sequence code) would be fantastic.
Alex_Madrid wrote on 11/21/2011, 8:18 AM
I did a scan here in these post, but did not see any mention of "tagging" subclips. I archive many sports video clips, many of them long soccer shots. If a parent approaches me with a request for a highlight video of their son or daughter, tagging "subbies" would be huge in being able to search for these, instead of having to view a 4 min. clip to pull out a section. I could then simply go through my media one time and "TAG" my clips the one time. FCP X has the ability to "TAG" a section of a video which is very nice. But I prefer to work in Vegas. Short clip videos like football or track work very nice, along with individual sports like wrestling.

Is there any way to add this? Or, is something like this in the works?
wetrock wrote on 12/6/2011, 1:17 AM
make it more like PMB its a Sony product it cant be that hard.
NickHope wrote on 2/21/2012, 5:48 AM
.flac files are giving me a duration of 00:00:00:00 in Media Manager. Anyone else? There are an increasing number of .flac files around so I'd like to add that as an improvement suggestion (or bug fix).