Review: Kyno Asset Management

In our quest to find the perfect – or as near to perfect as possible – clip manager to catalogue and tag the thousands of video files, stills and images we have created, shot or otherwise obtained over the years, our journey took us to Kyno, available for both the Mac and the PC.

At AUD$229 to buy with one year of updates and licences for three computers (for one person), it is not a deal breaker for the individual by a long shot; a “premium” version for the corporate types is still only AUD$509 (again for one year). Updates after this period are at your discretion and are AUD$115 and AUD$245 respectively per annum.

The Interface

The main interface is like the usual File Manager / Finder style work area with a Devices section showing all of your internal hard drives, external USB drives, plugged in SD cards and the like plus an extra section for Jobs.

The Workspace area is automatically set up – under Windows it is your username but can be any folder you also wish to drag in to that section.

Jobs contains all the current background tasks Kyno is running.

When you select a folder in devices, you can display files by either thumbnail, list or detail. Thumbnail is the default, List displays all the details of all files in a list mode and Detail shows a single file inside Kyno’s own video player. A filter button lets you select exactly which files are to be displayed.

A nice touch is to filter by file modification, useful for those who don’t remove files from SD cards or you are not one of those who clean up files very often.

A second button lets you sort by different criteria, and we found that the list view is the best way to use this option, letting you see the sorting options much more clearly, such as clip length for example.

Detail mode is the most – well – detailed, with not only the ability to play clips, but display all of the metadata attached to a file. You can also transcode or export a file from Detail view and perform various other options from a drop-down menu.

On the right-hand side of the clip player, there is a separate tabbed section. The Metadata tab lets you add your own metadata such as a description, date shot, take number, angle, camera used and any tags you’d like to apply to the clip. The Content tab shows a visual multiple thumbnail overview of the clip’s content. The SubClip tab shows any subclips you have created from this clip and the Tracks tab contains metadata from the tracks in the file.  Finally, the Histogram tab shows the clip’s Histogram in real time as the clip is played.

Note that subclips are only shown AFTER they are defined in Kyno, not ones you have created in your NLE. Bummer but there you go. (But I understand the limitation subclips in NLEs offer making this option almost impossible)

One nice touch is that when an SD card is inserted, it is automatically detected and when opened, is in a “drill down” mode meaning that all files on the card are displayed, not just the ones in the root directory. For those unfamiliar with folder hierarchies on SD cards, this saves a whole lot of clicking around to find the files you are after.

The “drill down” mode can actually be added to any device or folder listed in Devices if you wish, which is a major bonus.

Files can be renamed either individually or in a batch mode using presets, and the destination of renamed files changed to a folder you designate. This alone I reckon is worth the price of Kyno!

The Player

The clip player in Kyno is pretty straightforward with a few extra features. In and out points can be set, and you can enable looping between these when playing back in the player. You can also zoom into a clip using the mouse or trackpad to check the quality of your footage.

If shooting slo–mo footage, the player can be set to play back the footage at your final project settings. Eg if you have shot footage at 120p, you can play it back at 24fps to see exactly how it will look.

You also have a zebra and wide screen filter available to check footage. Markers can be set with titles and descriptive text and then used as navigated points, mark issues, still points to export and much more.

Transcoding

Transcoding (converting) couldn’t be easier. Simply select a file or files, right click and choose convert form the drop down menu and select a preset. Presets are listed in different categories making it nice and easy to choose the one you want. Transcoding works in the background.

Once you have chosen to transcode a file or files, these will then appear in the jobs section of the workspace. If you have set in and out points in a clip, these will be honoured during the transcoding process and the file trimmed accordingly.

I found this useful for GoPro recordings especially, where there is a lot of “head and tail” footage you don’t want.

Output folders and filenames sent for transcoding can all be individually specified.

Other Functionality

Just the basics alone mean Kyno is super powerful, but there is other stuff too. You can create export lists of files with timecodes, marker points and subclip info included directly from Kyno into Excel format so that another editor can quickly go through the clip to quickly find the points referenced, and there is a client reporting section built right in for example.

A BIG feature in my book is the ability to select a clip, whether it be image or video, complete with any meta tags, and send it straight to either Photoshop for editing or into the media pool of Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve. You can also play back clips in Kyno that have been encoded with Blackmagic RAW.

This feature alone is a damn fine reason to switch to DaVinci Resolve or of course, Adobe Creative Cloud if your prefer that workflow style.

 If you are an AVID Media Composer user with Kyno 1.8 Premium Edition, Avid Media Composer workflows are supported through ALE export as well as copy and paste for markers between Kyno and Media Composer.

Conclusion

As always, we recommend that you download and have a play with the trial version of Kyno and see how it fits in with your workflow.

For the social media / videoblog folk, I suspect the freebie MYNC is more than is necessary, but if you need a bit more – or a lot more – grunt that this offers, Kyno is a well-constructed, easy to learn and use and extremely powerful piece of software for clip management with a very affordable price tag.

You can get the trial version at www.lesspain.software.com.

 

 

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