One of the biggest issues facing the videographer, especially those that shoot LOTS of video and have folder after folder full of clips, stills, graphics and other assets, is storing, cataloging and then being able to find just the clips or imagery you need quickly and easily.
But there is a an elegant – and free – solution to clip cataloging.
I know I was always struggling to find a decent system, but then when doing a totally unrelated Google search I came across an application called Mync (pronounced “mink” apparently).
Mync is from the same folk that make the EDIUS video editing software, and a version called “Standard” is bundled with that application when you buy it. But for the rest of us, there is a basic version of Mync that – at the time of writing anyway – is a freebie and can be downloaded for both Windows and MacOS from www.myncworld.com.
You can buy the Standard version if you find you need more functionality and it is $49. A comparison datasheet of the two is at https://myncworld.com/updater/1.11/GVB-1-0632E-EN-DS_Mync.pdf
So, what do you get for nothing? Well, quite a lot actually. After installation which is dead straightforward, and running the program, you are first presented with a pop-up window detailing any updates and a list of 9 quick tutorials you can access online giving you the basics of using Mync. These cover everything from an overview to importing and organizing, sharing and management of clips and Mync’s direct interaction with EDIUS. I strongly recommend running through these tutorials as you very quickly get up to speed.
The main interface window is split into 3 main parts; the current library, a list of folders on your computer (think WIndows Explorer) and a clip details window on the right. Filters can be applied to show only those clips you want to see, such as Video, Still or Audio for example and a slider lets you increase or decrease the thumbnail size if you chose that option. You can also display clips by filename, timeline or one I like, in a calendar format based on the shooting date embedded as meta data.
Clicking on the Settings menu bar option opens up a new window letting you fine tune Mync to your specific tastes. Options include the type of timecode displayed, which hardware decoder to use, a theme type and much more.
Clips need to be registered to the Mync library, and once registered, the clip will show a green square at the bottom right of the thumbnail.
The actual files are not moved somewhere else, just their positions and details are stored in the Mync database. You can set specific clips as “favourites” and a yellow star will appear in the top left corner.
You can also directly import clips to the Mync database if you wish. This is useful if you have clips on external or removable drives for example. Clips that are imported these are automatically registered and a catalogue created, initially names as the device they came from. You can rename later of course.
The real power of Mync is when you create a Catalogue. Note that a catalogue is different from the Library. A catalogue is a group registered clips that exist in the Mync library, For example, I have a catalogue based on all the clips I have created on trips to Augusta in the South West of Western Australia. These clips include standard MP4 footage from my Panasonic camcorders (PV100 and WFX1), 360°, degree clips from GoPro, Samsung and Ricoh VUZE cameras, stills from a Panasonic GH5S. audio and titles and images I have created. These clips have all been previously registered to the Mync library.
To create a catalogue, simply click the catalogue icon on the left-hand side in the Library section, and a new one is automatically created you can rename. Single or multiple clips can then be dragged from the Mync library the required catalogue. It is impossible to duplicated clips in a catalogue by the way as again, only a reference to the clip is created in the catalogue.
Once in a catalogue, a variety of functions can be performed on clips. Tags can be applied so in the case of my Augusta catalogue say, I can tag our location (Wrenwood Chalets) shots, fishing videos, scenery stills, wildlife imagery and so on.
Another of these is to create favourites, much as you can with clips from the Mync database. But a neat trick is that you can then create a new catalogue based on these favourites and export them to a new folder on your hard drive or to an external drive. In this way, clips can be shared, or are all in one spot for using in a specific project.
A storyboard function in Mync lets you build basic storyboards which aidis in planning your projects. Rough in and out points can be set for videos in the storyboard, or stills can be set for a specific time. You can also change the order of clips or stills in the storyboard. The storyboard function is very useful if your video editing package of choice has no storyboard option of its own.
If you use Mync that has come with EDIUS, the Catalogue and Storyboard functions can be displayed on the source browser of EDIUS or registered to the bin of EDIUS.
There is a lot more to Mync than covered here, especially the Standard version. You can check out the online manual at https://myncworld.com/en/manual/ and there is a 189Mb downloadable ZIP file that contains training videos available at www.myncworld.com.