I have to say that when the task of reviewing software to offload camera media came across my desk, I had pretty much figured it would be a standard, uneventful review, but I really have to say that Shotput Pro 6 (SP6) really turned my opinion right around and quick.
If you work in a production company that does a lot of shooting, this handy little piece of software will get your footage exactly where it needs it to go once it has been brought back to the office, or wherever it’s going to be edited. It will verify the copy as well, so you can sleep easy knowing your footage has been checked via the Checksum feature, and is waiting for an editor to start cutting.
Let’s get the cost out of the way right off the bat…. I normally expect software like this to run in the high $200s to low $300s in price, so I have to say that I was very impressed at the $129 USD price tag, with a very reasonable $49 upgrade price. Another great plus is that there is a free demo of SP6, which will give you ten offloads within a 30-day period (make sure you have web access, because it’s required).
I also want to point out that Imagine Products has made SP6 available for both Mac, with the Windows version expected to ship in the next few weeks. Keep in mind that Shotput Pro6 works with any media, it doesn’t matter the format. It also works with DDR’s, SSD’s or regular hard drives.
When I downloaded SP6, it was a fairly small 35MB, so I had it on my system, and up and running in a matter of a couple of minutes. Once launched, it’s important to keep in mind that there are basically two ways to work: Preset Mode and Destination Mode.
What’s the difference, you ask? Preset Mode is designed for you to take cards of media, and have them copied into specific folders and locations that you set up, via Presets, in SP6. Destination Mode is designed for you to go in the long way, find clips and folders that you want to move to specific folders on your local machine, and copy them that way. I think that most of the work that you will do in Shotput Pro 6 will be in Preset Mode, as that’s where the app really shines.
Let’s set up a preset to work with:
In the Preset Window (lower left corner), you can press the “+” button to create a new preset. In the preset window you can name your preset, choose the color of the preset, naming scheme and convention, as well as added Prefix and Suffix Text and, most importantly, define an output destination where you want the files to be copied to.
What’s important to keep in mind is that in this mode, SP6 will keep the file hierarchy that current exists, it will create that in a new folder on the output destination. You can create as many presets as you like, and to make them active or inactive, simply make sure the checkbox is either checked or no. Once you’ve added your camera card or folders into the queue in the middle, you can simply hit the “Process” button to have SP6 start doing its thing.
Now for me, this is where things really shine… Once you hit process, Shotput Pro 6’s status bar will begin to move, and you’ll know how things are going based on the color of the status bars. Green is good, while Red means there will be errors. Depending on how you have your reports set up (whether to include them or not), once the processing is done, all your clips will appear with their correct hierarchy in one folder.
What SP6 will also do is a Checksum test (of which you have five different Checksum settings), to make sure that your media gets to where it needs to, and is 100% good to go with no problems.
All this is very cool, but what really blew me away was the reports that were generated by Shotput Pro 6. You get a complete breakdown of all the shots that were transferred, thumbnails, and information about the clips including duration, codec and so much more. I have to say that I was truly blown away by the amount of depth you could have out of, what would seem to be, a very simple program.
In the end, Shotput Pro 6 is a fantastic little application, that if you do any card-based shooting, should be an absolute must have tool to move and verify your media. I’ll be honest, I could go on for hours about all the parameters you can set, and the detail you can go into for moving your footage, but you really should check it out for yourself.
For more information, or to download the free trial, check it out at www.imagineproducts.com .