Offloading videoclips should be the simplest of tasks for video producers and editors, but it isn’t. Red Giant introduced BulletProof several years ago, only to quietly remove it from their product range a while back. They now have you use Offload, a simplified version of BulletProof that offloads one volume at a time to an original media disk and a backup. ShotPut Pro is the industry’s current standard for offloading. Its version 5 can offload multiple folders and volumes to multiple disks, but its interface is a bit out of tune with the latest version of OS X. Enter a new player in this field: Hedge for Mac.
A small Dutch company of TV professionals were fed up with the problems surrounding offloading and backing up of media. They developed an app that started as a custom solution. Ultimately the group decided to make their solution available for anyone to use. That’s how Hedge for Mac came into being. The app was given a modern, minimalist interface and a licence comes as a monthly or yearly subscription. Hedge determines how many offload processes will be allowed to start simultaneously taken into account the number of connected disks. The offload processes waiting to be executed are also queued automatically, so you don’t lose time.
The interface has three panels. Left is a sidebar holding your media volumes, the centre lists your connected disks at startup and turns into a progress display area when offloading. The right will accept disks to offload to. The app supports drag and drop, so you can drag volumes, media and disks to any of the two slots and they’ll automatically be used as a source or target, depending on where you drop them. One feature that isn’t available yet — clip preview — will be added very soon.
Offloading multiple media simultaneously
As soon as you click on the start button in the centre panel, all of the source volumes you dropped onto the left panel will start offloading to the target disks simultaneously. The centre panel will show progress bars and a nice little graphic that pops up when offloading has successfully ended. On my iMac mid-2011, offloading from two USB 3 units (via Elgato’s Thunderbolt 2 Dock) to the built-in SATA disk and a Thunderbolt disk connected via the RocketStor 5212 dock took less time than when I tested the same configuration with Red Giant’s Offload (which only offloads in a serial fashion, one disk after another). Nevertheless, Hedge for Mac performed verification checks just as Offload does. If you need more processing after the offload finishes, the app can be extended through AppleScript, but you’ll need to program the scripts yourself.
The volumes/disks have a context menu that lets you designate them as source, destination, or ignored volume. Other options allow you to set a source/destination folder. Source disks like memory cards also have a bright green Eject button added to the disk icon so you can eject them from within Hedge for Mac. Alternatively, you can allow the app to automatically eject offloaded disks when the process has finished.
I used option “Ignore” on my system disk to ensure I wouldn’t set it as destination volume by accident. As soon as you have set a disk to be a destination, its context menu changes and offers to set a folder to save the files in. The context menu also lets you switch volumes from place, i.e. you can quickly set a destination volume to be a source volume and vice versa. Of course you can do that by drag and drop as well.
While a transfer is in process, you can click on a magnifying glass next to the progress bar to reveal the destination folder in the Finder. When the transfer has finished, you can eject the source volumes that have been released by the app as being in a finished state. One feature I would like to see added is a switchable option to format the source volume before ejecting it.
Last but not least, you can open a log window while offloading and see the script messages scroll by — after offloading you’ll get an idea of what went wrong, if anything did.
In its current state of development, I found Hedge for Mac at the very least worth a try. In my opinion, the app is set for a great future if its developers succeed in designing new features with the same, almost natural approach as they used for this first version. The parallel processing of multiple source volumes alone won’t turn Hedge for Mac into an overnight success, but together with an interface that is unobtrusive as much as it’s beautiful, it just might.
Hedge for Mac costs €15.00 for a monthly subscription or € 150.00 for a year. IT Enquirer readers are offered a 33% discount, courtesy The Sync Factory, the developers of Hedge for Mac. The trial is fully functional, but limited to two concurrent transfers. You can buy a subscription from within the app. Subscribers get unlimited concurrent transfers.