Data management for Video editors and digital professionals. Catalog/Archive/Clone

Projectile Objects
Sep 11 · 5 min read

This is for: DITs, Post houses, production companies, freelancers, photographers, video editors and multimedia professionals of all types. I’m not being paid by any of these companies, nor am I affiliated with them in any way. I like and use their software, and maybe you will too.

boxes of hard drives

I’ve amassed a collection of external hard drives, computers, server — backups of backups, estranged versions for various projects from Final Cut Pro 7, Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X, and AVID Media Composer. It this article I’m going to share some apps that have eliminated a lot of headaches over the years.

NeoFinder (for Mac) and abeMedia (for Win) ($39)

Simply put, plug in a drive, and NeoFinder catalogs it (metadata, thumbnails, previews). It will create a database that can be searched when the drive is offline. I store my database on Google Drive, so it can be searched from anywhere. Buy a label maker, number the drives, and it takes seconds to find the files you’re looking for. (Note: it can take time to catalog large hard drives 8TB+, but the limiting factor is the drive speed, not the software, so plugin 8 at a time and walk away. NeoFinder will automatically detect if the hard drive has been cataloged or modified since it was last plugged in). abeMedia is identical for Windows.

DeltaWalker ($39.99)

DeltaWalker will give you a profound comparison of folders, drives, you name it. It’s saved me a number of times. Say you have a hard drive that you are editing too, and a backup. Maybe some new assets are on one drive, or not the other. Maybe even an outside editor updated the project on the backup, but not on the main drive. With DeltaWalker you can select both drives, hit “Deltawalk” and it will compare both destinations in a matter of seconds giving you a comprehensive breakdown of what is different, same, and modified. From there you can use the app to shuffle files and keep everything properly managed.

Gemini ($9.95)

Gemini is one of the easiest ways to find duplicates files on a single or multiple hard drives. It’s simple, drag and drop, then compare. I’ll also say that you can find duplicates with NeoFinder and DeltaWalker, but Gemini is a standalone duplicate finder that works for $10.

A better Finder Rename ($19.95)

This app has changed its name over the years, but it has worked great. Want to batch rename anything? All files, folders, photos, or even mass manipulate its attributes such as metadata, date/ time, etc. PublicSpace developed some awesome tools to do such without ever touching the command line. (Mac/Win)

Hidden Cleaner (free) or BlueHarvest ($14.95)

If you are a Mac User! * These two apps do the same thing by automatically removing DS_Store files, ._ AppleDouble files and hidden folders such as .Trashes from your USB keys, SD cards, file servers. It may not seem like a big deal, but I’ve seen these files “confuse” digital media players and can make your drive look like a mess when connected to other operating systems. Hidden Cleaner is free, but it takes some permissions changes to work on 10.13+, Blue Harvest can be downloaded from the MacApp store or their website.

CopyQueue ($6.99)

Apple doesn’t give you a way to “queue” your drive transfers, instead of bogging down the transfer speed of your drive, you can have CopyQueue make recursive or timed transfers. I’ve found this the most helpful for large format drives (6TB+ to keep the disks a bit more organized. Its timed transfer is nice for setting up a large data shuffle overnight.

ShowHiddenFiles (free)

There are many ways to this, but “ShowHiddenFiles” is a free app that un-hides the hidden folders on your mac.

Disk Inventory X (Mac) WinDirStat (Win) (Free)

Running low on space? Run Disk Inventory X and see if your mac is holding on to old media caches. WinDirStat is the windows equivalent.

Bonus

  • Paragon makes NTFS, HFS+, AFPS, and extFS cross-compatibility applications. Want to read/write Linux file systems on your PC? Need NTFS support on Mac? Alternatives such as MacDrive and Tuxera NTFS are worth looking into as well.
  • Digitizing those old VHS or tape media? Look into Debut by NCH software (good H.264 capture) and LifeFlix Pro (for HDV and DV tape-based transfers).
  • Digital Rebellion's Pro Maintenance tools can be a lifesaver for recovering corrupted project files, optimizing editing systems, and managing plugins. I hope they support Davinci Resolve next.

Leave a comment with any apps that you recommend.

Projectile Objects

Written by

ProjectileObjects, is a VJ, projection mapper, and creative technologist. More can be found at ProjectileObjects.com

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