Duplicate copies of files on a single drive do nothing but waste space.
Perhaps you want multiple copies of your source media. You only want a certain number—usually three copies—and it's a bummer to waste space (and money; hard drives aren't free) accidentally making more duplicates than you intended. Be careful: with the hectic nature of a film set, and the multilayer file structure, you might copy over media multiple times, wasting storage.
The most common scenario that creates multiple copies of the same file is when the camera crew hasn't reformatted a card. You get the card back but don't have the time to check the files one at a time, and so, not wanting to risk it, you download the entire card again, even if 80% of it is duplicated from a previous transfer.
By outsourcing the task of doubling checking to software, you tremendously cut down data duplication, saving you download time and storage money.
Hedge, a popular download software, now offers the ability to automatically prevent unnecessary duplication. It does this by checking several variables of the file to ensure that a copy was already made.
It doesn't just look at file name and file structure—filenames can duplicate, of course—but also file size, creation, and modification dates. Only if those are determined identical does Hedge choose to not make an extra copy.
You may still want duplicates of your data, preferring them on separate drives. Hedge is designed as an ideal tool for that, with its primary purpose being to manage multiple backups of your footage to multiple drives simultaneously. If one drive fails, the others are there for you.
It will be interesting to see if this new functionality changes on-set habits. Previously, even if you download a card that was only half-full, you had to reformat after downloading to avoid having multiple copies of your downloaded file. If Hedge is preventing the data pile-up, perhaps filmmakers will decide to format their cards less often (only after downloading a full card), so they can put off that fear-inducing moment of formating their source media.
For more information, check out the Hedge website. Hedge has a 10-day free trial, and after that, runs $129.
- OSX or Windows
- Hedge Connect for iOs will notify you when transfers are done
- Connect with AppleScript
- Checksum Verified backup copies from multiple copies and to multiple destinations