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Photo Mechanic 2.0r8 adds card ingest  
Wednesday, August 16, 2000 | by
Dennis Walker continues to add must-have features to Photo Mechanic Lite and Pro for Mac; in v2.0r8, which Sam Wolfe notes was released yesterday, workflows that include lots of copying of files get a break with the new Ingest Disk function. That's because Ingest Disk is designed to streamline and accelerate the process of copying images and sound files from one or more mounted camera cards to an internal hard drive or server. While Ingest Disk is still a work in progress, it already includes the following capabilities:
  • Copy files from one or more mounted cards, optionally deleting the source files and optionally unmounting each card as the copying of files from that card completes.

  • Optionally flatten all images, sound files, QuickTime movies, etc., from a card into a single layer of folder or folders within the destination folder. This eliminates hunting through the layers of subfolders that digital cameras sometimes create to find photos.

  • Optionally open a Photo Mechanic Contact Sheet window for each destination folder once the copy is complete.

  • Copy all files to one or two destination locations. One can be a hard drive, the other a server, or any combination thereof.

  • Intelligent folder renaming options.

  • Optimized for use with Disk Shark (formerly Card Shark).

The section below will give you an idea of how Ingest Disk works.

Using Ingest Disk

First, mount cards that will serve as the source for the ingest operation. In the screenshot below, four different CompactFlash cards filled with a mix of Nikon D1 JPEG and RAW (.NEF) photos are set to go.


Four CompactFlash cards

Choose Ingest Disk from the File menu. The Ingest Disk window will open. The graphic below describes some of Ingest Disk's options.


Here, I've put Ingest Disk to the test by checking on every available option. Clicking OK gets the ingest process underway:


Ingest Disk underway

And the result: four different folders, each containing the contents of one of the Nikon D1 cards, housed within a destination folder named with the date the files were copied. An identical set of copied files, in the same folder structure, was simultaneously copied to a server called Backup (not shown).


The result

The latest release of Photo Mechanic only copies the files; it does not rename them, apply IPTC information or add a picture icon to each file. The next release of Photo Mechanic, expected before month's end, will switch these functions on. It will also be possible in a future release to merge ALL the photos from selected cards into one mega folder, with automatic file renaming in the event of a naming conflict.

Kodak/Canon pro camera users who record sound annotations should take care using the Ingest Disk function at the moment, as it does not yet keep the photos and its sounds linked in all cases. A future version of Photo Mechanic should fix this. Version 2.0r8 also speeds up the display of thumbnails, and appears to fix a bug, not related to the ingest function, in which sound files would sometimes lose track of the Kodak/Canon pro camera photos they accompany.

Two week demos of the US$150 Photo Mechanic Lite for Mac and the US$295 Photo Mechanic Pro for Mac are available from the Camera Bits website. Contact Dennis Walker for information on purchasing and quantity discounts. Windows versions of Photo Mechanic Lite and Pro are in development, and an earlier Photo Mechanic v1.3 for Windows is available.

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