There’s no shortage of Mac software that can move your footage around and make copies. Hell, even Finder has that functionality. So why would anyone care about a new app on the market?
Well, for starters, let’s talk about the problem that these software solutions are trying to solve. Quite simply, it’s the idea that your footage is very, very valuable, either because you’re working for a client who’s got money on the line, or because it’s part of a project that you care deeply about.
Either way, it’s a best practice to make sure all of your footage is backed up to multiple discrete drives and that those backups are verified. The verification part is often overlooked, but nothing is worse than thinking you’ve got multiple backups only to go back to find that they’re corrupted and unusable. I’ve been there, and it feels kind of like getting kicked in the face.
So, we turn to data management software to help us out. There are plenty on the market, and some of them are even free and can be used for far more than just making verified backups (looking at you DaVinci Resolve). However, a good portion of those apps are either slow, outdated, more complex than they need to be, just plain hard on the eyes, or some combination thereof. Basically, there’s not a simple, elegant, and extremely fast solution that solves this one particular problem better than anything else.
That’s where Hedge for Mac comes in.
Hedge is a deceptively simple tool that does backups and verification very well, and with an interface that could be completely mastered in about 30 seconds. It really is that easy to use. Here’s how it works:
Hedge will automatically detect any drives you have mounted to your computer, and they’ll all show up right in the middle of the interface. Once you have all of your drives connected, you drag the original media to the panel on the left, and your backup drives to the panel on the right. Hit the “Start Transfers” button and Hedge goes right to work.
On the verification front, Hedge works like most programs. It looks at the original media from your camera and uses it as a reference. Then, when you’re copying, Hedge continuously checks the data being copied against the reference to make sure that the copy is bit-for-bit perfect. The transfer progress bar will show up in green once it’s been verified.
With the 1.3 update that was just announced, Hedge is also now among the fastest data transfer utilities around, even rivaling Finder (which doesn’t verify your data). That said, the option for what they’re calling “Fast Lane” transfers is only available in the premium version of Hedge.
Though it was originally offered on a subscription basis, the developers have shifted gears and now offer the software for outright purchase after feedback from filmmakers and media professionals. So, if you’re interested in the full version of Hedge for Mac, you can buy a license for $99. If you just want to try it out or don’t need any of the premium features, you can use the free version for as long as you want.
The main differences between free and premium are that the free version is limited to two simultaneous transfers (which might be plenty for you depending on your needs) and it doesn’t do it as quickly. With premium you get Fast Lane, unlimited simultaneous transfers, plus NAS and RAID support. It’s also worth mentioning that if you’re an Apple Script wizard, you can configure Hedge to do all sorts of additional tasks like transcoding, tagging, renaming, etc.
Lastly, while $99 is a relatively hefty price for a piece of software that basically does one thing, keep in mind that the one thing Hedge does is an extremely important, often overlooked part of the production process. Add to that the simplicity of using the software and the peace of mind you get from having verified backups, and it’s safe to say that Hedge will be an invaluable filmmaking utility for years to come.
You can learn more about Hedge on their website, where you can also save 10% off if you’re interested in the premium version.