I made this discovery by accident while searching for a way to travel without a laptop. While I’ll cover laptop-less travel in a different post, one thing that came from my search was the WD My Passport Wireless Pro, and more importantly auto-import.
How does Auto Import Work?
You just pop an SD card into the hard drive, and it automatically pulls the files into a predefined folder on the hard drive. What’s nice about it is that its incremental, so it doesn’t just mindlessly re-import all the files on the SD card, it only pulls the new files index the last import.
There’s no selecting a destination, there’s no selecting files, it just works, automatically.
Why is it useful?
I found it to be a really fast way to backup the video and photos that I was shooting while out in the field. It required less thought than having a laptop and having to focus long enough to organize your ingestion of files.
I also found that it saved time when I got back to my laptop, so that I ddidn’t have to mess with all the different SD cards, i could just pull them from the hard drive, where they were all in one place.
What if I don’t have a WD My Passport?
To be honest, I’m not really using my WD My passport all that often, but I do like the convenience and time savings that came from auto import.
I’ve been looking to find a way to get this auto import feature on my MacBook Pro, but it wasn’t all that straight forward.
The closest I’ve found is Photo Mechanic 5, which will auto-ingest an entire SD card to a specific folder. As of yet, I have not figured out how to get it to do incremental imports, so its just bringing the entire SD card each time.
Another option which might be coming in the future is Hedge. They have a media management app that helps creators ingest / import their content from SD cards. They have a lot of cool features like importing to multiple destinations, but auto import is not yet part of the solution. In an email exchange with the company they mentioned that they’ve received this request quite a few times and plan to build it into future versions.