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  • Best program for cataloging home movies

  • David Horne

    June 22, 2011 at 2:21 am

    Please excuse me if I’m in the wrong forum. I have a large number of home movies I shot on Hi8 and some mini dv tapes. I’ve been using Final Cut to ingest the videos and while doing so have been compiling metadata in an excel spreadsheet. Data consists of Reel number, year, from – to date, timecode, subject/comments. So that’s how I have been cataloging. What I would like to do with my data is search for things like baby’s first steps or learning to ride a bike or what have you. Does anyone know of a database program that will allow me to catalog these family films with specific search criterion. Or possibly a program that was created for this purpose. I know the type of search I desire requires a relational database and not a flat one like excel but I don’t have the database expertise to create a relational database. I’ve looked at Filemaker with it’s templates and most if not all are set up for “business” purposes like invoicing, inventory control etc. If you can help I would greatly appreciate it.


  • André Engelhardt

    June 26, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Hi David,

    I’m not sure this will help you since it’s Mac only but I think you can achieve what you are trying to do with the little brother of Filemaker which is Bento.

    For more info:

    Bento has a very active template sharing community which might be able to help you out.

    Good luck,


    Audio Engineer, Sound Designer
    Video- and Photographer

  • Chip Thome

    June 26, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    David you can accomplish this is Excel, just create more columns. I have been doing the “categorizing” for my boss’ client. What you are talking about sounds almost what we do in “categorizing”.

    You add three columns, or more if you like, and use “categories” to attach to each movie. An example would be:

    Category 1 – Child’s name
    Category 2 – Age range
    Category 3 – Content

    The key to making this work is reusing “categories” or attributes. Such as Child’s name is always the same not a mix of given and then nicknames. The ages or age range are all from a set list. Category 3 is where you can make it about anything you wish. Then when all your movies are “categorized” all you need to do is “sort” Excel using a custom sort and pick the category you wish to sort on. If you sorted on Category 1, all of Johnny’s movies would be grouped together. If you sorted on Category 2, all the kids movies would be grouped by age. Once the sort is done you just scroll down to the grouping you are looking for. Or if you prefer to use the “Filter” option you can group them that way too.

    The pile of stuff I am working on now for my boss is 19,000 items and 4500 variations of Categories 1,2 and 3. It’s all being done in Excel and then used from within Excel too.

  • David Horne

    June 29, 2011 at 3:17 am

    Thanks for the great suggestions. I really like the idea of creating categories. I certainly don’t have 19,000 pieces of material like you are doing for your boss, but I do have a large number of Hi8 and miniDV tapes to go through and catalog. I’ve only ingested about 10 2-hour reels so far. Only drawback to that is the ingest is real time. Thanks again for your input. I think since I already have Excel it will give put your ideas to the test.

    All the best,

  • David Horne

    June 29, 2011 at 3:20 am


    Thanks for your response. I am a Mac guy and I will take a look at Bento. The template group sounds interesting. I’ll take a look. Thanks again for your response. Gotta love the Cow. Put a question up and you get a lot of great input.



  • Brent Dunn

    June 29, 2011 at 4:48 am

    File Maker Pro is also an option

    Brent Dunn
    Owner / Director / Editor
    DunnRight Films
    Video Marketing

    Sony EX-1,
    Canon 5D Mark II
    Canon 7D
    Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
    with Final Cut Studio

    HP i7 Quad laptop
    Adobe CS-5 Production Suite

  • Martin Curtis

    July 28, 2011 at 6:12 am

    It’s been a long day and I’m tired, but would it be silly to suggest iPhoto? It can catalog movies and has fields for key words and other information, as well as smart albums for grouping stuff together dynamically based on search criteria.

    iTunes can do pretty much the same.

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