One of the main tools in my P2 workflow is ShotPut Pro (v 2.1.7), which lets you copy P2 cards — as well as other removable media — to your hard drive.
Why use an $89 piece of software to copy a P2 card, when you can use the Mac’s Finder (or Windows’ file manager) to do the copy yourself? A few reasons:
First of all, there’s the safety issue. I’m a Mac user, and in rare, rare cases, the Mac’s operating system has been known to botch a P2 copy. Again, it’s rare, but over the years, a few unlucky souls have seen their Mac report a successful copy, only to learn later that not all of the cards’ files transferred properly. ShotPut Pro, on the other hand, is bullet-proof, and uses a couple of methods to make sure that every bit of P2 data moves over properly. (Note: I hear the Windows OS is also ultra-reliable, but I’m not a Windows user).
Besides giving you peace of mind, ShotPut has some other handy features. It can start copying cards as soon as you insert them. It can assign custom and incrementing names to your hard drive-bound P2 copies (for instance, you can name a P2 folder “NASABROLL”). After copying, ShotPut can automatically format cards and eject them, saving you a bit of time. It also makes it easy to copy P2 cards to multiple hard drives (for instant backups), and if you’ve got a 5-card reader, it lets you copy multiple cards in one fell swoop, simply by checking a box next to each card. Finally, ShotPut creates a save-able log for every card you copy, listing all the files and how long the copy took. I’ve never had to go back to a log file before, but it’s good to know it’s there in case I ever have a problem copying a card.
And now ShotPut 3.0 is in the thick of beta-testing, due out sometime around April’s NAB tradeshow. I’m enjoying the improvements so far, including a more streamlined and logical interface, which makes it quicker to make your selections and then start copying. Another nice tweak is that Shotput can now retain the custom names you’ve given each of your P2 cards (instead of NO NAME, I’ve named my cards ONE, TWO, THREE, etc., and ShotPut now copies the cards with their given names). ShotPut can also automatically save its log files within each corresponding P2 folder, or in a common folder you set up. It’s nice to not have to save those log files manually anymore, one card after another….
There’s more — including speed increases for certain computers — which I’ll cover when ShotPut Pro 3 launches….