DrasticPreview - Audio/Video/Metadata Player

DrasticPreview audio video metadata player logo

Please note: DrasticPreview version 5 has been superseded by videoQC version 6.  DrasticPreview is a media player for most major production, intermediate and scientific files on your VGA/DVI screen. Browse or drag and drop to play production file formats like ARI, DPX, RMF, DNG, 16 bit TIFF, SGI, YUV, and VPB, intermediate formats like uncompressed CINE, MOV, AVI, WMV, MPG, MTS, TS, MXF, MP4, and GEN, and scientific formats like .Y.U.V, Luma/Rmy/Bmy, Hdr/Raw/Yuv, Y4M, 4224 and DVS with full audio, time code and more. Confirm real time and static metadata, display closed captions, zoom and center to see fine details.  For direct SDI output, please try our videoQC Version 6.

DrasticPreview Professional Media Player

DrasticPreview is a professional media player for formats used in the broadcast and production industries. DrasticPreview supports today's most important file types, and includes a number of others we've added over the years. This innovative software allows the user to view their files on a VGA/DVI monitor without tying up the native, or even compatible (typically in high demand) production or broadcast device or application. Play media for collaborative and review applications, scene marking and EDL construction. Play media stranded by failed or unavailable legacy devices or applications. Play all your files from one station, using one application.


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DrasticPreview Screenshots



90 Seconds with DrasticPreview


The main GUI offers a full range of transport controls for forward and reverse playing and cueing, displays time code and audio levels, playback mode, and file name, and shows a slider to indicate the current position within the clip. The on-screen viewer window may be scaled to effectively accommodate varying viewing requirements, including a full-screen mode.

Media can be selected through a standard browse approach, or dragged and dropped onto the display window. Once loaded, the clips may be played or viewed in various playback modes, including normal, looping, and palindromic. DrasticPreview provides a full range of keyboard/number pad commands for transport control and other settings, and window resizing including zoom and pan controls.  Cut, copy and paste (CTRL+X/C/V) or timecode is also available for moving timecodes to text documents, spreadsheets or TCCalc.  Pasting timecode will automatically seek the file to that point.


Transport Controls and Displays

dp4 transplay 2

The Transport Controls and Displays offer the following functionality:

  • Time Code display  - shows the current time code location. Clicking in the time code field, and entering a time code location then pressing enter will cue to that location if it exists.
  • Video Standard display - shows the file's video standard
  • Time Code Source display - shows the current time code source, and allows the user to click to cycle through available time code sources
  • File Name display - shows the name of the current file
  • Playback Mode display - shows the current playback mode
  • Playback Speed display - shows the current playback speed - reverse playback speeds are preceded by a minus symbol
  • Audio Levels display - shows relative audio levels during playback
  • Position Bar and Slider - Click on any point on the slider to instantly cue that relative point in the file, or 'grab' the pointer and drag it to quickly scrub through to find a particular scene
  • Fast Reverse - Play the file in reverse at the fastest possible speed
  • 5 Seconds Back - Cue the frame 5 seconds before the current location (or the beginning if less than 5 seconds from the first frame)
  • 1 Frame Back - Cue the frame immediately before the current frame, useful for finding a specific location
  • Reverse Play - Play at -100%, or normal speed in reverse
  • Pause - Stop playback and display the frame at the current location
  • Stop - Stop playback and cue the first frame
  • Play - Play at 100%, or normal speed
  • 1 Frame Forward - Cue the frame immediately after the current frame, useful for finding a specific location
  • 5 Seconds Forward - Cue the frame 5 seconds after the current location (or the end if less than 5 seconds from the last frame)
  • Fast Forward - Play the file (forward) at the fastest possible speed
  • Open - press to open a standard browser, which allows the user to select a file for playback
  • Mode - click to cycle through available playback modes
  • Unlock - click to toggle between locked (controls and displays are always on top of the GUI) and unlocked (controls and displays disappear when the mouse is not over the GUI) display
  • Full - click to toggle between fullscreen or non-fullscreen display
  • CC - click to select between available closed caption settings
  • Audio - click to select which audio pair will be monitored

Track Info Data

Media file track info including size, frame rate, bit rate, audio sample frequency and rate, codec/fourcc and channels

The Track Info data window may be selected by pressing the Track Info button on the GUI - this section displays:

  • Duration - both in current time code type (HH:MM:SS:FF) and as a total number of frames
  • FPS - frames per second to two decimal places
  • Width - in pixels
  • Height - in lines (for both fields if interlaced)
  • Bit Depth - per pixel or per component
  • FourCC - video codec information
  • Bit Rate - overall rate of the file in bits
  • Video Channels - video channels bit array
  • Audio Codec - audio fourcc descriptor
  • Audio Channels - audio channels bit array
  • Audio Frequency - samples per second
  • Audio Bits/Sample - how many bits in an audio sample

Time Code Data

Time code display showing frame value, absolute (zero based) time code, VITC, LTC/SMPTE, User Bits and extended data

The Time Code data window may be selected by pressing the Time Code button on the GUI - this section displays:

  • TC (time code) - Absolute position
  • LTC Frame - Longitudinal (SMPTE) time code
  • LTC Ub - Longitudinal (SMPTE) user bits
  • VITC Frame - Vertical interval time code
  • VITC Ub - Vertical interval user bits
  • DATA 0 - user data or size (4 bytes)
  • DATA 1 - user data or pointer (4 bytes or greater) Basic Elements

Time code type is specified by the last separator:

  • : (colon) = Non drop frame
  • ; (semicolon) = Drop frame
  • - (dash) = 24 FPS (FILM)
  • . (period) = 25 FPS (PAL)


Metadata display, showing the media files internal metadata (comments, descriptions, camera, gps coordinates, serial, device, edit data, url, etc)

The Metadata window may be selected by pressing the Metadata button on the GUI - this section displays over a hundred metadata elements with information addressing the many facets of each media file's existence, and in some cases the attributes of a selected track, or stream. For a complete list of metadata fields, see the Drastic Metadata page.

Play List

Play list containing all the tracks to be played in order, or random access by double clicking on entries

The Play List window may be selected by pressing the Play List button on the GUI - this section allows the user to set up a list of files, or clips. Each file that is opened is added to the Play List, and files can also be added by a drag and drop operation. Once in the Play List all of the clips may be played in sequence, starting with the clip the user double clicks on.

Zoom and Pan

Video playback on in the application fully supports zooming and panning the video in still or playback.  Using the scroll wheel of the mouse the image can be zoomed out to cover a small part of the screen, or zoom in to closely check individual pixels.  Left clicking and dragging will move the image to view different parts while zoomed in.  Clicking the right mouse button will fill the application with video, and clicking the middle button will set the image to pixel for pixel (where every image pixel is exactly one screen pixel).  Zoom is available in windowed or full screen mode.

Time Code Display

A dedicated time code field not only displays the current time code location but allows the user to enter a known time code location within a selected clip, and press Enter to cue that frame. In Full Screen mode, an optional time code display may be overlaid. The user may select between available time code sources by clicking on the time code source field.  Copy and pasting of timecode is also available by using <ctrl>-c and <ctrl>-v

Closed Captioning

DrasticPreview supports 608/708 Closed Captions. The closed caption information will be displayed over the video frame when enabled.  Supported sources include SMPTE 436, CEA-708, OP-47/RDD-08, CEA-608, MCC, AAF, SCC, STL, EBU, embedded and many other formats. See the caption section below for more details.

Please note:  The CC feature is only available when running under a temporary or permanent license.  Please contact Drastic if you want to test this feature.

Audio Channel Selection

DrasticPreview generally supports stereo audio output, however any channel pair of up to 16 available in the file can be selected for playback.  For up to 16 channel simultaneous playback, please see DrasticPreview Pro.


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