Hedge for Mac Review, a New Transfer Management App

Hedge for Mac, a new transfer management software was released today. I had a chance to review it and also compare to existing other solutions on the market. 

Let’s be frank, dealing with data isn’t the sexiest thing to talk about, and most people do drag-and-drop transfers of their footage in the Finder (or Windows Explorer) and assume everything is safe when it’s done.

Hedge for Max version 1.0

Well, let’s put it this way – first of all, you should never rely on one copy of your data, be it on a normal hard drive or RAID, three is the standard to ensure a proper level of safety backup if things go wrong. Secondly, I am aware that this can be a huge effort simply because of the fact that you have to drag-and-drop one by one and wait until one transfer is done before you can start copying onto the second and then the third drive, because if you did it simultaneously from the same source, it can stall completely and introduce errors into the whole process. Last but not least, you never know if every bit of your data is correctly transferred when using the normal Finder / Explorer copy function.

Other transfer management solutions on the market

This is exactly where data or transfer management software comes in. Until recently, there weren’t many feasible software solutions available. I have been using ShotPut Pro for a long time now, and I like it. It’s a relatively easy to use software package that enables you to do transfers from one source to up to 5 destinations at once, verified, without clogging up the transfers. The downside of it, at $99, it’s not super cheap for a relatively straightforward tool—and that’s only a single CPU license.

Red Giant’s Offload is another simple transfer management tool, too, but it only supports transfers to up to two drives. Offload also does verification and gives you previews of your transferred files. It’s $99 as a standalone product, but also comes as part of the Red Giant Shooter Suite which contains also Pluraleyes, Instant 4K, and Frames.

A much more advanced type of transfer management app is Pomfort’s Silverstack, the de-facto standard for digital intermediate technicians on sets, adding much more functionality for organising large amounts of transfers from multiple sources, and now even adding color grading functionality to create preview looks for batches. At $399 for the annual subscription, it’s also the priciest option I know of.

Hedge for Mac released

The starting screen of Hedge for Mac

Hedge for Mac – the new kid on the block

In comes Hedge for Mac, a new transfer management software. Hedge for Max version 1.0 was released today, and I had a chance to check it out and try it before its release.

It’s by far the simplest tool on the market and it’s extremely intuitive. The interface is very graphical and minimalistic, and that’s a good thing—the last thing you want to deal with on set is a sophisticated interface that confuses you or makes you feel unsure as to whether data has been safely transferred or not. Like the other solutions, Hedge can transfer to multiple destinations at once, but it does that in a very visual way. It shows you progress bars for each transfer. This is very reassuring. Everything is cross-referenced with the original file (checksum verification) too, of course. For extendable workflows, it also has functionality to auto-launch AppleScripts and the like—that makes it extendable and integrable into existing workflows if required (note: I did not test this feature).

Hedge for Mac

Reassuring: you always see the status of all your transfers at once.

Conclusion

There’s not much to say about Hedge for Mac other than it does exactly what it is supposed to, and it works. The interface is its biggest drawing point, especially compared to ShotPut Pro which takes a bit of time of to get used to when you first pick it up (however it’s quite straightforward once you have figured out how it works). Its simplicity is similar to Red Giant Offload, with one big difference: if you only need two destinations, Hedge can be used absolutely free, forever, and that’s pretty nice. Of course nothing prevents you from doing a third and fourth transfer the second time around. However, once you start paying for licensing for Hedge for Mac (to allow for more than two destinations at once), at $15/€15 per month or $150/€150 per year, it’s quite pricey. I honestly also think that a subscription based model works better for a much more complex product like Silverstack, which gains a lot of functionality with every update. I’d rather pay a one-time fee of $50 or $99 for a simple tool like Hedge to get its full functionality permanently, and I’m sure many readers will agree.

UPDATE: The people behind Hedge for Mac have heard our (and our reader’s) concerns about their subscription model and they have reacted! It’s now a one-time purchase for €99, but they are offering an introductory price of €59 for cinema5D readers. [Disclaimer: this is not an affiliate link, we do not benefit from any transaction.]

Nevertheless, it’s a nice tool and I will use it more frequently on shoots in the future. Its simplicity means that you can explain it to an assistant within minutes and he or she will be able to initiate media offloads on set without creating havoc or losing data—and that’s what matters.

Summary
Author Rating
4 based on 1 votes
Software Name
Hedge
Operating System
Mac OS X
Price
$ 15
Landing Page

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Teymur Madjderey Reply
Teymur Madjderey March 22, 2016

what a sweet app and then they only offer a sub… that is just stupid.

 Paul Matthijs Lombert Reply
Paul Matthijs Lombert March 22, 2016

There’s a free version available, without limitations except for the max amount of concurrent transfers.

Reply
Palmer Woodrow March 23, 2016

“what a sweet app and then they only offer a sub… that is just stupid.”

Amen. This software RENTAL bullshit is the wrong way to go. People need to reject this rip-off business model.

Reply
Palmer Woodrow March 25, 2016

Just to follow up on this: Because of Paul’s enthusiastic responsiveness and thoughtful replies, I’m going to buy this app. This is the kind of customer respect I want to support with my dollar.

Let me second the vote for selecting folders as a source. That’s the only reason I hesitate at all.

 Paul Matthijs Lombert Reply
Paul Matthijs Lombert March 26, 2016

Thanks Palmer! We want to build something truly useful so we really appreciate all the feedback 🙌

 Jeff Johnson Reply
Jeff Johnson March 22, 2016

You’re spot on Nino. Having used shotput pro for a feature recently, it is great, but could use a design and UI refresh. I was ready to give Hedge a try until I saw the subscription – hopefully these guys change their model, as I don’t know a single film maker who’s itching to jump on another subscription for a small tool like this. They’re killing a great product (presumably) with a terrible business model.

Nino Leitner Reply
Nino Leitner March 22, 2016

Yep I agree Jeff. The UI of ShotPut needs a refresh. And yes the subscription model won’t work for such a simple tool I think. Not at this price point.

 Paul Matthijs Lombert Reply
Paul Matthijs Lombert March 22, 2016

Hi Jeff and Nino, Paul from Hedge for Mac here. Thanks for the feedback! We’re aware it’s a big change from current business models.

Hedge is a tool that can be used on a per-project basis. The sub can be turned on or off, always giving the user the latest version of a constantly evolving (and improving) offloader, whenever you need it. You can use the free version as much as you want.

The good thing about subs is that you have a right to get updates, instead of features you don’t use. In our opinion this makes app development sustainable.

Nino Leitner Reply
Nino Leitner March 22, 2016

Thanks for chiming in here Paul! What features do you have planned for future releases?

 Paul Matthijs Lombert Reply
Paul Matthijs Lombert March 22, 2016

Camera specific workflows, previewing and more automation are on top of our list at the moment, and NAS support for is already being tested in the field.

 Gonçalo Santos Reply
Gonçalo Santos March 22, 2016

Any tool like these, but for Windows platform?

 Paul Matthijs Lombert Reply
Paul Matthijs Lombert March 22, 2016

No plans for that now, sorry!

Walid Hoyek Reply
Walid Hoyek March 22, 2016

just what i needed, thank u:)

 Paul Matthijs Lombert Reply
Paul Matthijs Lombert March 22, 2016

Great to hear!

Reply
Frank Marin March 22, 2016

UI of ShotPut need an urgent update! It works like a charm but I’m afraid to leave anybody donning the downloads!

Reply
Frank Marin March 22, 2016

UI of ShotPut needs an urgent update! It works like a charm but I’m worried to leave anybody downloading the date!

Reply
T F March 22, 2016

Every time I see a new post about a program for offloading footage I get my hopes up for something that will rename individual files. I have tried many programs like this. I don’t think $99 is too much to ask if you are working with footage that represents thousands of dollars of peoples’ time and money.

However, none of the products on the market (in the sub-$200 USD price range) address a huge need of ours: FILE RENAMING. Don’t know why, but many cameras (like lots of Sony cams) create footage with the same names, which count up from 0001 with every formatted card. At the end of a shoot you may have 20 or 30 cards, all containing files with the same name. This becomes a HUGE problem in post, and even bigger when you begin archiving all that footage after the project is over.

Unfortunately, ShotPutPro does not address this and neither do any of the other tools I have tried. Adobe Prelude has a renaming option but that program is slow as hell. Just terrible.

For now I drag-and-drop files in Finder, and then preform a checksum manually with ShotSum (same makers as ShotPutPro). Then rename files using a separate utility. Using Finder to copy is a little more risky but it is WAY faster, and as long as you checksum before formatting cards you are in the clear. I can queue up the checksum to happen while I’m asleep and check everything in the morning. I’m only sleeping 5 hours a night on most shoots, if I use ShotPutPro I sleep only for 3. Because you have to sit there and babysit the copies as they happen one by one. At the end of our days we typically have 6-8 cards.

If anyone has advice to remedy this, I’m open to any suggestions!

 Paul Matthijs Lombert Reply
Paul Matthijs Lombert March 23, 2016

We’re getting more and more requests for this. Could you tell us about your workflow and how you’d like the renaming to be done? You can reach me here, through pm@hedgeformac.com or via Twitter: @paul_matthijs.

Nino Leitner Reply
Nino Leitner March 23, 2016

Indeed it would be useful, I agree. This is standard functionality for photo archiving apps but it never occurred to video app backup makers. Having a custom name followed by a sequential numbering format, for example.

 Paul Matthijs Lombert Reply
Paul Matthijs Lombert March 23, 2016

We’ve been working on this for a while, and it’s really hard to do this without becoming ‘space shuttle software’. That’s something we try to avoid at all cost.

It’s pretty easy to append something to a file, but fully replacing a file name with a custom scheme is something else when you’ve got to keep your backups in sync too.

Please share your workflows with us like Ty did, it really helps us zoom in on your needs.

Oscar Goldman Reply
Oscar Goldman March 25, 2016

“many cameras (like lots of Sony cams)”

EXACTLY. Sony’s file-storage scheme is an absolute mess (as if the rip-off SxS cards weren’t bad enough). Their duplicate file-naming can be disastrous. We lost an entire morning’s footage from one of our cameras because of this amateur-hour BS from Sony, so the file-renaming idea is pretty huge.

I know you may not want to pander to every manufacturer’s convoluted messes, but in the future it might be nice to give users the option to copy only the media files, not ancillary junk. For example, from the Sony cams, I only back up the MXF files. But they’re buried in subdirectories amongst a lot of other crap.

 Paul Matthijs Lombert Reply
Paul Matthijs Lombert March 25, 2016

We had the same mess when doing a multicam 5D shoot, with DCIM madness all over the place. We created a sorting script that renames all .mov’s and moves them into a new folder.

I’ve written a blogpost about it which Seb proofread for us, but it needs a bit more editing. Will post the url along with the scripts here. It’s easy to adapt for MXF’s.

Reply
Palmer Woodrow March 25, 2016

Great. Yeah, Canon is guilty too. Actually, they may even be worse, with AVCHD nonsense. And then there’s the baffling creation of

FOLDER1
FOLDER2

FOLDER10

Perpetrated by both Sony and Canon. Canon does it with their SLRs, and Sony does it on their audio recorders. WHY?

Which brings up another category of functionality: audio. With most people recording second-system audio, do you guys plan any audio-specific features? Thinking it over quickly I’m not even sure what those would be, since most of what you’d need is the same as you’d need for video files. I guess you’d only have to implement audio-specific stuff to support what I mentioned above: extracting only the useful files from subdirectories.

 Paul Matthijs Lombert Reply
Paul Matthijs Lombert March 26, 2016

Two of us including myself have been audio engineers for over 15 years so we do have some ideas here ;)

 James Connell Reply
James Connell March 23, 2016

Is there a way to set the source as a folder, not a disk image?

 Paul Matthijs Lombert Reply
Paul Matthijs Lombert March 23, 2016

Not yet, we’re working on that.

Oscar Goldman Reply
Oscar Goldman March 25, 2016

Even more important: Is there a way to set the destination as a folder?

And thanks for following up on people’s gripes and adapting accordingly.

 Paul Matthijs Lombert Reply
Paul Matthijs Lombert March 25, 2016

Of course: select the disk menu on a disk (the arrow down icon), and pick a folder.

Reply
Palmer Woodrow March 25, 2016

Good!

 Paul Matthijs Reply
Paul Matthijs May 3, 2016

Hi James, small update: this is possible with the latest version of Hedge, 1.2.

Reply
Thomas Coffey March 24, 2016

Looks like it’s a one time payment now…

Reply
Thomas Coffey March 24, 2016

Looks like they’re offering a fixed pricing now. They’re also giving 50% off if you click the link above.

 Jim Feeley Reply
Jim Feeley March 24, 2016

Just got an email from the developers saying:

“We got some feedback from you guys that the subscription model wasn’t working out for everyone. So, starting today Hedge is also available at a fixed price.”

That price is $99 with an intro price of $59.

https://www.hedgeformac.com/pricing

 Paul Matthijs Lombert Reply
Paul Matthijs Lombert March 24, 2016

We’re not deaf ;)

 Paul Matthijs Lombert Reply
Paul Matthijs Lombert March 24, 2016

Actually, the link in the review gets you an extra cinema5D coupon of 10,- on top of the intro discount.

 Jeff Johnson Reply
Jeff Johnson March 25, 2016

clearly not. Well done guys. I’ll give it a go.

Feature request: Shotput texts you when it is done transferring, which is pretty awesome. Also, the web mentions transcoding in your example project – is that a feature you plan on adding??

Thanks for being so responsive!

 Paul Matthijs Lombert Reply
Paul Matthijs Lombert March 25, 2016

Those are exactly the things where the scripting engine shines. We’ll be putting documentation up on the site soon.

Oscar Goldman Reply
Oscar Goldman March 25, 2016

Nice, thanks for listening.

Reply
Frank Marin March 25, 2016

Thanks for listening Paul.