Installing the Trackops Video Processing App
Before getting started you'll first need to download and install the Trackops Video Processing application, available for both Windows and Mac.
Launching the App for the First Time
When you first launch the Trackops video processing application, you will be prompted to sign in to your Trackops account with your username and password. Once you have successfully authenticated with the application, it will create a profile for that account on your computer. If you opt to "Remember Me" when logging in, your credentials will be securely stored in your computer's keychain for easier authentication.
Creating a New Bundle
Once you've logged in, the first step in processing video is to create a new "Bundle". A bundle is essentially a folder or directory that allows you to organize your videos, files, and other documents by case and/or day of activity.
- Activity Date - The date of the activity that is to be processed. If the bundle consists of multiple days of activity, choosing today's date is appropriate.
- Title - Enter a title that will help you differentiate this bundle from other bundles in a list.
- Case - Select the case from your Trackops system to be linked to this bundle. Please note, you must have access to the case via your Case List inside the web application in order to use that case when generating a bundle.
Once you have confirmed your selections, click Create Bundle. At this point you will have an empty bundle and you can begin adding your video files.
To add new videos into your bundle, you can either drag and drop them or click the Add Files button to select them from your file system. Once you have added files into the bundle, the application will immediately begin processing them.
Video Processing Workflow
When a video is added to a bundle, the system will automatically analyze the video and then begin normalizing the video through a normalizing action that includes the following adjustments:
- The video is converted into an optimized streamable mpeg (MP4) file.
- The video is resized to your preferred video dimensions (1280x720 by default).
- The audio track is automatically removed (optional).
- The date and time stamp associated with the video is automatically overlaid on the video (optional). If there is no date/time stamp metadata associated with the video, the app will utilize your default time zone which can be configured in the application preferences.
Once a video is finished normalizing, it will move to the processed status. Videos that have been fully processed are considered "Original", and will be indicated as such by a gray label on the video. At this point, if no more changes are necessary, the video is fully streamable and ready to upload into Trackops (see below).
Creating Video Clips and Still Images
Often times your videos require clipping and/or merging in order to produce a proper video. Trackops offers an easy-to-use clipping tool that allows you to capture clips of a video and optionally merge those clips into a new merged video.
To create a video clip, click on the video in question to open it in a preview window. Next, click Create Clips in the upper right. Next, scrub your video to find the start of your clip, and then click the clock icon under the Clip Start box. At this point, the start time (in seconds) will be auto-populated into the box. Next, scrub your video to find the end of your clip and then click the clock next to the Clip End box. Again, the end time (in seconds) will be auto-populated into the box. Once you have both a start and end time, click the Create Clip button to generated the clip.
You can also take still images from your video by scrubbing the video to the image you wish to take and clicking the camera icon in the bottom right of the screen.
When you are done creating clips close the clipping tool, and you will return to the bundle. You will notice that clips appear nested underneath the original video they were cut from, and they are indicated with a blue Clip tag for easy recognition.
Merging Video Clips
If you have multiple videos or video clips, you can easily merge these videos back together using the Trackops merge tool.
To start a merge, make sure you're inside a bundle that has at least two videos inside. Next, click the Merge button above the file list. From here, check the boxes next to the videos you wish to merge and click Continue.
On the next screen, you will have the option to reorder the videos that will be merged. By default Trackops will arrange the videos in chronological order, meaning the earliest timestamp will be first and the latest timestamp will be last. Once you've confirmed the order of the merge, click the Confirm button to finalize the process. At this point, a new video will be generated with the selected videos.
Note: Merged videos have a green merge tag associated with them for easy recognition.
Uploading Files into Trackops
Once you have finished processing your videos and images, you can easily upload them into the Files tab of the connected case. To do this, click the Upload button above the file list. From here, check the boxes next to the files you wish to upload. Once you've selected the appropriate files, click the Confirm button at the top of the screen.
Once a file has been uploaded to Trackops, the file will be marked with a blue uploaded status.
Inside Trackops, your newly uploaded files will be available inside the Files tab on the connected case, and can then be shared either by generating secure shareable links to the file(s) or by adding them as attachments when creating a new case update for that case.
Adding Videos from Related Bundles
If you have multiple bundles on the same case, it is possible to import files from other related bundles into your current bundle. To do so, click the dropdown arrow next to the Add Files button and then click the From Existing Bundles option. At this point, you will see a list of files in other bundles that are associated with the same case as the current bundle. Simply select the files you wish to import, and click Confirm.
Automating Your Workflow
If you typically do not clip videos before uploading them into the system, Trackops offers settings that will automatically concatenate original videos and/or upload them to the associated case inside Trackops for you. To manage these settings, click the down arrow next to your name in the upper right corner of the application, and then click the pencil icon next to your profile. From here, click Bundle Settings and toggle the Merge and/or Upload to Trackops setting to make these processes automated.
Video Processing and/or Uploading Videos is Slow or Fails
On average, the time it takes to process a video and maintain a high quality output is roughly about the time it would take to watch it in real time, however video processing speed is largely dependent on your computer's CPU power.
Similarly, the time it takes to upload a processed video into Trackops is largely dependent on your internet connection.
If you are experiencing issues where the video takes longer than usual to process, and/or it fails to upload to Trackops properly, please make sure your computer's power management settings are configured to never go to sleep when the computer is idle. If your computer goes into sleep or energy saving mode while video is processing or uploading, performance can be significantly decreased or can fail altogether.
Timestamps on Processed Videos are Incorrect
If you are processing videos through the Trackops video app and the timestamps appear to be incorrect, the cause is usually one of three things.
First, make sure that the time and date stamp on the camera itself are correct. Some video cameras do not automatically configure the time and/or timezone on the camera, so making sure this setting is correct will solve the issue in most circumstances.
Second, make sure the daylight savings time (DST) configuration on the camera is correct. If you work in a place that observes daylight savings time, chances are your camera does not automatically enable or disable this setting and it must be configured manually.
Third, it is possible that in some situations the device that captures the video does not properly store video metadata in the video file itself. For these situations, the app will fallback to the date and time the video was created. Under this circumstance it is important to add the file directly from the storage source (e.g. the SD card, camera storage, etc...), otherwise the creation time may change when the file is copied or transmitted to secondary storage.
Finally, in all of these situations it is important to remember that changing camera settings after the video is taken will not alter metadata on the video itself. Metadata is specific to the video files themselves, so making changes to your video camera will only affect future videos.