Troubleshooting Web Client Proxies


I can’t get my proxy movies to show up in the Web Client


Here are some things to watch out for and diagnostic techniques you can use if the proxies don’t appear as expected in the web interface:

· Web client proxies are controlled by the Proxy Path mappings you set up in the CatDV Server Control Panel. These map from the Media Path, as stored against the clip, to the location of the corresponding proxy file, as seen by the Tomcat web server.

· After changing the proxy path settings you need to stop and restart Tomcat for the changes to take effect

· Look at the “Media Path” field (on the Media tab in the web client) and see what that says, and check whether there’s a corresponding path mapping. These may use different path separators, for example if you originally imported a file on a Mac and Media Path says /Volumes/Media/Project/File1.mov but your Tomcat server is running under Windows and the corresponding proxy is \MediaServerProxiesProjectFile1.mp4 then you’d have a mapping /Volumes/Media => \MediaServerProxies

· The CatDV web server will look for files either matching the original filename and extension or with one of the file extensions .mov, .mp4 and .jpg.

· The Tomcat web server needs read access to the proxy files. Be aware that if Tomcat is set to start automatically, it may run as system user with lower privileges than if it is run by a user who is logged in on the desktop. Also, if the proxy files are on a network share then that volume may not be mounted in time or be visible to the Tomcat process.

· Under Windows it is usually better to use UNC paths for network shares rather than drive letters because drive letters are per-process shortcuts so mappings you set up might not be visible in the web server

· If the CatDV web server managed to successfully locate a proxy movie for the clip you are viewing then you will see a white triangular play icon superimposed over the thumbnail in the web client. Click on this to play the video.

· The web interface supports both the QuickTime plugin and HTML 5 <video> tag. Some browsers only support one or the other playback mechanism, so if you have problems playing the video try toggling the setting in the web client browser settings (accessible via the cog wheel icon).

· Click on the blue CatDV logo in the web client to view diagnostic information, including a summary of the proxy path mapping that’s in use and whether Tomcat can read the proxy directory.

· View the Tomcat log files (in /Library/Tomcat/Logs or C:Program FilesApache TomcatLogs, or similar location) to diagnose path problems. Sort the files by date to see the latest logs. There are normally two types of log file here: access_logXXX.txt shows what requests the Tomcat server received, what http response was sent, and how many bytes were transferred, while catalina.out shows where it looked for and located the proxy file for a clip.

· Once a movie is playing in the web client, shift click on the red timecode display for additional timing-related diagnostic information.

· Not all file formats or codecs are suitable for web playback. You should normally use Internet Fast Start .MOV or .MP4 files using either H.264, MPEG-4 or possibly Photo JPEG compression, and choose a frame size and compression settings to keep the bit rate down to reasonable levels.

· You can create proxies using the CatDV Worker Node, using the Build Proxy Movies command in CatDV, or using any third party media transcoding product, as long as the file and folder names match what CatDV is expecting.

· The Web Client only supports modern path-based proxies. If you are still using tape-based preview files with names such as 2997,135,1242,64x.mov then you are restricted to using the older Live HTML Publisher product to play the video, or need to use the Attach Media command on your clips so they have a media path.

Last updated – December 2011