Playing the Video

When you play the project, the video plays in the Video tab in time with the audio in your project. You can also control playback using keyboard shortcuts.

To view the video, you can make the Video tab active or detach it and move it to another location onscreen. You can also view the video using an external video output device.

Figure. Video tab.

Controlling Video Playback Using Keyboard Shortcuts

There are a number of keyboard shortcuts you can use to control playback of the video in the Video tab. To use keyboard shortcuts, the pointer cannot be in a text field.

  • Space bar: Plays the video from the current playhead position. This is equivalent to clicking the Play button.
  • Return: Moves the playhead to the closest of the following items to the left of the playhead: the beginning of the last playback start, the beginning of the cycle region, or the beginning of the project. This is equivalent to clicking the Go to Beginning button in the transport controls.
  • Option–Left Arrow: Moves the playhead back (closer to the beginning) one video frame. This is equivalent to clicking the Previous Frame button.
  • Option–Right Arrow: Moves the playhead forward (closer to the end) one video frame. This is equivalent to clicking the Next Frame button.
  • J, K, and L keys: You can use the keyboard commands (the J, K, and L keys) to speed playback up to eight times normal speed. For complete information on using these keys, see Using the J, K, and L Keys for Shuttling.

For a complete list of keyboard shortcuts, see Soundtrack Pro Keyboard Shortcuts.

Resizing the Video Tab

You can detach the Video tab and resize it (to any size, up to filling your entire screen).

To resize the Video tab
  1. Detach (undock) the Video tab by clicking the tab at the top of the video frame and dragging it from its pane.

  2. Drag the resize control at the lower-right corner of the Video tab until the tab is the size you want.

    Figure. Video tab, detached.

Using Video Output Devices

You can connect an external video output device to your computer and play your project through the video output device. This can be especially useful in cases where you are using Soundtrack Pro as the final step in producing the overall project, or when you want to show the current version of the project to a client or other party while working on the project in Soundtrack Pro.

When you use an external video output device, the quality of the output is as high as the device can support. If you connect an output device capable of broadcast-quality output, the video is displayed with more accurate colors than on a computer display, with true interlacing, correct pixel sizes, the correct aspect ratio, and broadcast-quality refresh rates.

Some broadcast-quality video output devices receive both the video and audio from a project. When you use a video output device that supports both video and audio output, Soundtrack Pro automatically routes your audio output to this device to provide the best possible synchronization of the audio and video.

You can also play a project’s video externally using Digital Cinema Desktop. Using Digital Cinema Desktop, you can connect an Apple Cinema Display to your computer and play the video full-screen through the Cinema Display while using another monitor for editing.

To play the video through a video output device, you must configure Soundtrack Pro to use the device in Soundtrack Pro Video Out Preferences.

To configure Soundtrack Pro for a video output device
  1. Choose Soundtrack Pro > Preferences, then click the Video Out button.

  2. In the Video Out pane, choose the device you want to use from the Video Output Device pop-up menu.

    The menu lists only devices that are connected to your computer.

  3. Optionally, select the Use Quarter-size Frames checkbox to reduce the frames sent to the video output device. Sending quarter-size frames can result in better performance, especially for devices using FireWire DV output.

  4. Click the close button at the upper-left corner of the Preferences window to close the window.

You can switch the output to the video output device on or off when the project is not playing. The video appears in the Video tab whether output to the video output device is switched on or off.

To switch off output to an external video output device
  • Choose View > Show > Show External Video.

    If you have added the Video Out button to the Toolbar, you can also click the button to switch off the device.

To switch on output to an external video output device
  • Choose View > Show > Show External Video.

    If you have added the Video Out button to the Toolbar, you can also click the button to switch on output to the device.

A video output device can only be controlled by one application at a time. If you hide Soundtrack Pro or bring another application to the foreground while playing video through a video output device, Soundtrack Pro maintains control of the output device and continues playing. If you hide Soundtrack Pro or bring another application to the foreground when video is not playing through a video output device, Soundtrack Pro releases control of the output device.