Offloading app Hedge 18.1 adds more flexibility, remains simple and speedy

Hedge for Mac/Windows, the fast offloading app, has been updated – or rather, upgraded – to version 18.1. Hedge now offers Fast Lane on Windows machines as well, but far more interesting for anyone using Macs instead, is the ability of Hedge to offload anything to anything. It’s what the company calls a car wash concept.

Hedge 1.0 was limited in its abilities in the sense that it addressed a specific workflow. That meant you would set up a fixed set of Destinations once and import new media throughout the day without having to change either destination or source.

But that’s not how most people work. As Hedge is also used by photographers, editors and colourists, more flexibility was needed. For these user types, a source can change from one recording media to the next, depending on the project they’re working on. The same applies to destinations – those can change from project to project.

To cater for those users’ workflow needs, Imagine Products designed ShotPut Pro 6 in such a way that you can create an indefinite number of preset workflows, each one accommodating a different type of project. Having some experience with ShotPut Pro 6, most users will agree that this is not the most convenient way of working, unless you can define each and every type of workflow – and therefore, each and every source/destination tandem – in advance. And if you can, you’ll end up with a long list of presets, which is unwieldy at best.

Photographers, for example, will find that hard, especially if they have many different customers. But now, Hedge has come up with an alternative that fits its initial concept, which was to deliver the fastest offloading experience you can think of, combined with simplicity. The original Hedge freed you from having to think hard about the offloading process. The new version succeeds in keeping that freedom.

As a result, Hedge now accommodates multiple sources on the same drive. This caters for a flexible post-production workflow, but it also allows you to use virtual file systems like Codex, which “mounts” several drives as if they’re folders on a single volume as separate drives. Or, to put it differently, there’s no need to think about sources. You just drag, select and start offloading.

Multiple destinations on the same drive also works; you can set up any combination of folders and drives.

Now, if you would have to do this over and over again, for every offloading job that has the same source/destination combination, Hedge would not achieve its first initial goal, which is to deliver the speediest offloading process. Instead, the app builds a shortlist of source settings and destination settings on a per-drive basis and lets you quickly select the appropriate one from the drive icon. This feature has been available from quite some time now, but it’s only now that it really comes into its own.

The new feature also allows you to duplicate data anywhere on a drive, enhanced with Hedge’s verification process. The new functionality does bring its own risk, which is that you could copy data onto itself. Hedge will warn you when you’re inadvertently trying to do that.

If you followed through the explanation of the new feature, you will surely have concluded that Hedge cannot be delivering faster offload processing, because, by itself, the ability to choose folders from drives without offering a way to start a new offload process on a different folder residing on the same drive, would mean you’d have to wait until the active offload has finished.

So, the key to all of this is that you can now reset Sources and Destinations while transfers are still running. To speed that up even more, Hedge has two new shortcuts:

  • Reset all…: ⌘-R on the Mac, Ctrl-R on Windows
  • Add Transfers: ⌘-Return & Ctrl-Return.

I already tried the new version and I must say it works great. In terms of speed, when you offload from different “locations” on the same locally connected drive, you do suffer a speed penalty as everything has to pass through the same bus, but that’s not due to Hedge and such concerns no longer come into play when you’re dealing with network-attached drives – for example.

Of course, if you absolutely don’t want to use this more flexible workflow, Hedge will happily support your old working habits.