When it comes to quickly reviewing a video of interest, help is at hand thanks to Amped’s latest software.
Drag and drop probably has to be one of the simplest and powerful user interfaces on a digital device. Originally called ‘Click and Drag’, and designed by the early Macintosh developers at Apple, it is now found in most technologies to aid in the moving or joining of two digital entities’.
For everyday computer users, just try and imagine what life would be like without it.
Its purpose is clear – to makes things easier, quicker, and minimize user interaction.
Amped Software, the Forensic Image Processing Company, have recently released a new application that uses this drag and drop philosophy and then takes it to a whole new level.
For a number of years, Forensic Video Units have benefited from Amped FIVE, the flagship product for the restoration and enhancement of images and video in a forensic environment. This powerful application includes an inbuilt video processing engine that is able to analyse, contain, convert or transcode many different types of standard and proprietary video. This is obviously fantastic, and ensures that all processing, analysis, restoration, enhancement and presentation is retained within a single package.
The analysis of video evidence does not start within these units though. It starts with the beat cop, the detective, the neighborhood policing unit or the PCSO (Police Community Support Officer).
How do they view the video evidence? Unnecessary delays can hinder an investigation and as a result, opportunities to obtain further evidence could be lost.
Now, at this point it’s worth understanding why it might be difficult for them to view a video exported from a surveillance device.
Many, and I really do mean many, surveillance companies forget that the purpose of retaining video is for it to be reviewed at a later time, and then used if required. If there was no requirement for this, then no storage device would be required within the surveillance system. It’s this ‘usage’ part that causes confusion as every single company does it differently. There are some that are very good. They retain open standards and encode the video material with these formats. They export these directly in the same format which ensures full analysis and external, independent validation. At the other end of the scale are those that use proprietary encoding where the analysis usually results in many unknown variables as the data cannot be validated. The majority though sit somewhere in the middle.
The result of all of this is that we have a huge community of people that have video files that can’t just be opened in a standard video player. They have not got the time, knowledge or infrastructure to download and install separate players. It’s hugely frustrating for them, and this causes extra burden on the Forensic Video Units.
This is where DVRConv steps in… and it could not be simpler.
Built using the same powerful technology embedded within FIVE, DVRConv is a small standalone application for the processing of digital video files within a Law Enforcement and Forensic environment.
A user can either drag a single or many video files into a ‘watch’ folder, or drag them straight into the interface window itself. Immediately, they will be analysed, the processing options for that format will be chosen automatically, and the converted file will be placed into another user defined folder.
You enter something that’s unplayable, and get something that’s playable!
It really is as simple as Drag, Drop – Done!
There are many other little tricks up its sleeve; like network access to the watch folders, and the ability to fine tune some of the format settings. It also includes the ability to upload a file that was not convertible. Yes – some files will not be convertible. These could be from old proprietary formats used in early generation DVR’s. They could also be files encoded and stored in a format where the manufacturer has denied independent analysis and decoding.
The software is also designed to make the IT departments life easier. It doesn’t install codec packs within the DirectShow framework. It doesn’t fill a PC up with hundreds of proprietary players. You can use the player of your choice and one that fits the IT infrastructure.
There are many surveillance systems that export footage along with a player. Some of these need to be installed, requiring admin rights to the PC. Some have limited functionality for navigating through a video. Many do not give the user any ability to export images. The player may even apply filters to the video without you realizing it.
DVRConv gives you the ability to view the video data quickly, without the requirement of proprietary players or codecs.
Over the next few weeks there will be a lot of information over at the Amped Blog regarding DVRConv and a YouTube tutorial on its usage…. Head over there, subscribe, and when new info drops – you will be the first to know!
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