DrasticPreview - Audio/Video/Metadata Player

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.

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.

File Formats

Support is Windows + Mac unless otherwise indicated

Extension File Format Codec Read
ARC IFX Piranha Audio/Video (YCbCr/RGB 8 only) X
ARI Arri Raw 12 bit bayer X
AVC, AVCHD, MTS AVC-HD MPEG-2 camera media X
AVI Windows DVSD, DV25, DV50, DVHD, CineForm*, CineForm3D*, YCbCr 8 & 10 SD/HD, standard codecs X
CDX Codex ActionCam Raw bayer images X
CINE Phantom Phantom 10, 12 and 14 bit bayer X
DNG CinemaDNG 10, 12 and 16 bit bayer X
DPS DPS Compressed DPS files (Windows only) X
DPX Cineon RGB 8, RGB 10, YCbCr 4:2:2 X
DPX CineForm CineForm*, CineForm3D* X
DT3D DT3D XML 3D redirector X
DVS DVS Uncompressed YCbCr and RGB files X
FLM FLM Adobe FilmStrip X
FLV/SWV FLV/SWV Flash/Shockwave video X
GEN GEN 4:2:2 YCbCr (Avid DSHD) X
GV XML/N0/A/T/I Grass Valley disk record native (K2) X
HDR YUV DV25, DV50, DVHD, AVCi100*, RGB, Uncompressed YCbCr 8 & 10 SD/HD X
HDR YUV YCbCr10, YCbCr16, DPX RGB, DNxHD (licensable) X
HDV HDV MPEG-2 camera files X
ISMV MS SS Microsoft Smooth Streaming X
JS Jaleo/Mistika Sgo native 4:2:2 YCbCr X
KRW Kinefinity KineRAW Compressed Raw X
LXF Leitch/Harris DVSD, DV25, DV50, DVHD, AVCi50*, AVCi100*, MPEG-2, h.264 X
MKV MKV Matroska audio video X
MLV Magic Lantern Raw 14 bit bayer with PCM audio X
MOV QuickTime DV50, DVHD, AVCi100*, YCbCr 8 & 10 SD/HD, MPEG IMX X
M4V/A/MP4 f-MP4 Fragmented MP4 X
MP4 XAVC-S Sony XAVC-S HD/4K Cameras X
MP4 MPEG-2 Sony/Canon camera X
MPEG MPEG-2 4:2:0/4:2:2 SD/HD up to 80 mbits/sec X
MTS, M2TS M2TS AVC-HD camera files X
MXF AS-02 AVCi*, DNxHD*, DVHD, JPEG-2000 X
MXF AS-11 DPP UK AVCi100, IMX 50 X
MXF Avid DV25, DV50, DVHD, DNxHD*, Uncompressed X
MXF Canon MPEG-2 X
MXF JPEG-2000 DCP Encrypted (requires EasyDCP license) X
MXF JPEG-2000 Digital Cinema - DCI Unencrypted X
MXF EditCam DV25, DV50, DVHD, DNxHD* X
MXF Grass Valley Grass Valley iCR X
MXF Harmonic MPEG-2 X
MXF h.264/AVC MPEG-2 X
MXF IMF Interoperable Master Format X
MXF JPEG-2000* Grass Valley Infinity X
MXF OP1a AmberFin, EVS, MainConcept, MOG, OpenCube, Rovi X
MXF OP1a/Omneon DV25, DV50, DVHD, AVCi100*, Uncompressed X
MXF OP1b Panasonic AVCi 4K* X
MXF Panasonic-P2 DV25, DV50, DVHD, AVCi100/200* X
MXF Panasonic Varicam LT & 444, AVCi Ultra X
MXF Pinnacle MPEG-2 SD/HD X
MXF Snell & Wilcox MPEG-2, IMX X
MXF Sony XDCamHD, XDCamEX 4:2:0/4:2:2 X
MXF Sony HDCam SR 4:2:2 and 4:4:4 X
MXF Sony F65 raw bayer X
MXF Sony F5, F700 raw bayer X
OMF OMF DV25, JPEG, Meridien, AVBV, CamCutter (Windows) X
QNT Quantel Raw uncompressed YCbCr images X
R3D RED Red camera files X
RAW ML/IOI Magic Lantern RAW, IOIndustries RAW bayer X
RBG RED BLU GRN Uncompressed RGB X
RMF RMF Canon C500 raw 10 bit bayer files X
RTIN RTINDEX Real time replay of CBR and VBR records while still recording X
RTV RTV Uncompressed Video Toaster files (Windows only) X
Stills Series of stills BMP, SGI, PSD, RAW, YUV10, YUV16, VSR, RAS, RAW, JP2, JPG - Series of stills (many others) X
TREC Camtasia Screen capture (also avi/mov) X
V210 V210 4:2:2 10 bit YCbCr image sequence X
VOB VOB Unencrypted X
VPB/QTL Quantel Quantel uncompressed YCbCr images X
VRW Varicam Raw Panasonic Varicam Raw X
WEBM WEBM Youtube format X
WMV/ASF WMV/ASF Unencrypted/DRM Free only X
Y4M Y4M YCbCr raw stream X
YUV YUV 4:2:2 and 4:2:0 YCbCr image sequence X
Y U V YUV Multi file component YCbCr files X


* = may require optional license


Close Captions

DrasticPreview supports a wide range of embedded/internal closed caption formats as well as external closed caption formats and subtitle formats.  If any of these caption types are found in the same directory as the main file, with the same file name, they will automatically be loaded and displayed.

Embedded Caption Formats

  • MXF SMPTE 436 and Avid embedded
  • CEA 608, CEA 708, OP-47/RDD-08
  • MPEG-2, h.264, MPEG-4, AVC1 user space
  • TS/MTS CC in separate PID
  • GXF SMPTE 360
  • LXF Leitch/Harris
  • MOV CC Tracks

External Broadcast Caption Formats

  • SCC Scenarist SD Captions
  • MCC MacCaption Format 708 Captions
  • AAF Avid Format 708 Captions
  • STL EBU Broadcast Captions

Subtitle Caption Formats

  • Avid Caption - txt
  • Belle Nuit - stp
  • Comma Separated - csv
  • Digital Cinema 2007/2010 - xml
  • EBU Sub Titles - stl
  • Final Cut Pro - xml
  • Final Cut Pro X - xml
  • Flash - xml
  • iTunes Timed Text - txt
  • JSON (various) - json
  • QuickTime Text - txt
  • SAMI - smi
  • SoftNI - sub
  • Sony DVD Architect - sub
  • Sony DVD - txt
  • SubRip - srt
  • Sub Station Alpha - ssa
  • Swift - sif
  • Timed Text - dxfp, ttml, xml
  • WebVVT - vvt
  • YouTube Annotations - xml
  • YouTube - sbv
  • YouTube Transcript - txt


AUDIO specs:

8000Hz..96000Hz, 8/16/20/24/32 Bits, 2 Channels

VIDEO Frame Rates:

      • VariCam(1~240)
      • 14.98
      • 15
      • 23.98/23.97
      • 24
      • 25
      • 29.97
      • 30
      • 48
      • 50
      • 59.94
      • 60 or greater

VIDEO Frame Sizes:

      • Variable (60x40~4096/3112)
        - VGA/DVI/OpenGL
      • 720/704x480/486/508/512
      • 720x576/596/608
      • 1280x720
      • 1920x1080/1035
      • 2048x1080/1112/1536/1556
      • 3840x2160
      • 4096x2160/3112
      • Most Standard Video Sizes

SDK and APIs

DrasticPreview is based on two Drastic APIs that are available to third party developers:

DrasticPreview Pro - HD-SDI media preview player 

      • DrasticPreview SDK - A full preview engine from reading the file to playing out to audio devices, memory planes or OpenGL surfaces. More information is available here.
      • DTMediaRead SDK - Integrate all the file types we read into your own application.  Read uncompressed audio and compressed or uncompressed YCbCr 10, YCbCr 10, RGBA or RGB 10 frames.  More information is available here.

MXF Player

With the huge variety of MXF formats and sub formats, DrasticPreview makes an excellent general player due to its wide compatibility with all MXF types, standard and non standard

Closed Caption Check

DrasticPreview can display CC1, CC2, CC3 and CC4 closed captions from a wide variety of sources (a list is available here) directly over the video, providing an easy way to check closed captions in files before they go to the server

On Set File Check

Because DrasticPreview supports capture formats like RMF (Canon/Gemini/Codex), DNG (BlackMagic/OneCam), ARI (Arri/Codex), CINE (Phantom/Miro/Flex), MXF Raw F65 (Sony), MXF XAVC (Sony), MXF HDCam/XDCam (Sony), MXF P2 (Panasonic), MXF Avid (Avid/Ikegami), AVCHD (Canon/JVC/Panasonic/Sony) it makes an inexpensive add on for checking file metadata, audio, video and consistency from copy.

Pre Air Confidence Check

With support for all major server file formats (including LXF), DrasticPreview can be used to check files before they are actually copied to the server.  This can avoid expensive and time consuming server crashes and bad or incorrect files from going to air

Production Assistant Data Collection

DrasticPreview is the most cost effective way for files to be catalogued and checked on laptops or other low end machines by production assistants, which save the expensive systems for editing and finishing 

Selected Customers

Deluxe, Technicolor, Corus Entertainment, NBC/Universal, NetFlix, PBS, Rogers Communication, Bell Media, A&E, Discovery, Avid, Adobe, SGI, Telestream, TF1, NASA,  Scenic Labs, Haivision and many broadcasters and post houses.


Please note: DrasticPreview version 5 has been superseded by videoQC version 7. Please download that for the most recent player

End User License Agreement:  International  Canadian


Contact Drastic to Download DrasticPreview 5


rasticPreview installs in demo mode, with limited functionality. The full feature set of the software can be made available with a license. To obtain a license, please generate a site code and send it to us at: authorization@drastictech.com. We will send back a site key which will remove the demo limitations. Prior to purchase, the key will be temporary. There is more information on the licensing process here: http://license.drastictech.com


DrasticPreview Documention:  DrasticPreview Manual PDF

Contour Designs Shuttle Window:  Shuttle Pro, Pro2, Xpress 

Contour Designs Shuttle Pro2 OS-X:  Shuttle Pro2

How To Purchase videoQC

videoQC is available as a full featured temporary demo, which allows you to confirm your workflow is supported. Once you are happy with videoQC, relicensing provides delivery of the permanent key.

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