GNARBOX Shows Us Why Feature-Rich Gear Is NOT Useful

GNARBOX Backup SSD
GNARBOX Backup SSDCredit: GNARBOX
GNARBOX, the creator of a popular SSD backup device, seems to be gone, even though you can still buy its products. But can you still use them? 

To start, we believe you should not buy any GNARBOX SSD products at this time.

According to PetaPixel, GNARBOX seems to be in limbo, with the original founding team no longer part of the company. In a statement to the blog, Tim Feess, the original founder and former CEO, explains that he and the “former management team is no longer with the company and hasn’t been since 11/5/2021.”

As of this time, the GNARBOX website is also gone. 

Whatever is left of the company is now in the hands of whoever invested in the company. Unfortunately, anyone able to shed light on the issue is unable, due to ongoing legal matters. If you’d like to dig deeper on what happened, read PetaPixel's breakdown on the timeline of events and speculation. 

While we wish the company the best, the most important thing for us is what current users of GNARBOX can do, or not do, as well as what this means for film gear in general. 

The Worst Part

Back in December 2021, the GNARBOX app was removed from the Apple App store, which stripped critical functionality from the SSD backup device. 

While users who still have the app on their smartphone may be able to still use their SSDs, any new purchases are just very expensive storage devices. You can get a similarly sized drive for a fraction of the cost, although without the added features. The Samsung SSD below costs less than a GNARBOX device and has almost eight times the capacity. 

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting flashbacks of iPhones on eBay with Flappy Bird still installed on them.

Samsung T5 SSD
Samsung T5 1TB SSD Credit: Erik Werlin

The Big Picture

Issues like these are far and few in between, but they shed light on bigger problems in the tech world. We as users are relying more and more on products with functionality we don’t entirely own. 

A company can go under or change its product stack, leaving the devices we rely on only partially usable. Worst-case scenario? Those devices become e-waste. 

Efficiency and usability are the cornerstones of any production, be it for big Hollywood productions or budget creatives. However, without reliability, these cornerstones quickly crumble, leaving productions scrambling for a solution or at a standstill. 

Whatever your approach to buying new gear, always think about how much you’re relying on the tech for your creative vision. 

Speaking of tech, if you’re looking to update your kit, check out the No Film School Gear Guides    

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Your Comment

5 Comments

TV Logic release a SUPERIOR version of the GNARBOX called the NEXTODI. It comes with built in card readers, can connect to external drives via USB-C and has a CheckSum feature well. But the part that makes it better than the GNARBOX is that allows users to use removable SSDs that they buy separately. Cutting down costs and allowing users to get the right size SSD drive for their needs and not locking them in to a built in SSD.Used it a shoot recently and it worked like a charm, even saved us a few times with the checksum feature.

January 14, 2022 at 11:20AM

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Nicholas Ortiz
Director/Writer/Stuntman
393

The NETXTo DI sounds nice, but everywhere I look on the web it is discontinued

https://www.aspectra.nl/brands-products/nextodi/nps-10-cfast

Is that correct or am I missing something ? Where can it be bought ?

January 18, 2022 at 10:16PM

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Man that sucks!!! Just bought mine in October 21, definitely is over priced but it’s still really helpful for SD cards. This is very disappointing though, I definitely only knew about it and bought it because it was being promoted so hard here on NFS the past few years

I basically only use it as an SD card reader so I dont have to get an adapter on my macbook

January 16, 2022 at 1:04AM

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Tim
1

Whatever you do DO NOT delete the app if you currently own it especially since the article says that its off of the App Store.

January 17, 2022 at 7:04AM

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Probably the worst article published on this site, ever. A tech company has gone belly up during the global pandemic. Somehow, Yaroslav has interpreted this as being the death knell of feature rich gear. Why ? Feature rich gear is the cornerstone of technological advancement in all aspects of image capture. Honestly this piece is a sad reflection on editorial standards at NFS.
I bought the GB2, have had it for about 2 years and love it. I am sad they have gone broke but will continue to use it regularly. It is tough, reliable and has served me well. I accept that I bought from a small company who didn't make it through the pandemic, as so many have failed to do. My bad luck, but certainly this experience does not in any way mean that I won't seek 'feature rich gear' in the future

January 18, 2022 at 2:47PM

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