So I downloaded ShotPut P2 and checked out what it can do. I can say that I am REALLY impressed. Here, look at the interface:

First off, you can have the application create an name folders for you (Include Prefix). I like to name them with the project or location, plus the date, and the consecutive numbers.

Second, you can have the application offload to THREE locations at one time. This is great. On location I like to offload to two bus powered firewire drives. So that I have identical information on both. If you are EXTRA cautious, or want to hand a drive to a client, then you can offload to a third drive.

Fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh…the application will play a sound when the offload is done, automatically format the card, name it to whatever you want, and eject it. Automation rocks! Oh, but it still is very nice in that it warns you before it formats, in case you had that preset from a previous shoot and don’t want to format for the next one.

And now the card is formatted with a custom name!

Oh, and one of the most important thing, is that it verifies the data that it offloads. You can choose file size verification, or file contents. File size is a little quicker, but I am cautious, so I do file contents. This ensures that the offload is good…and that is VERY important.

A while ago I touted P2 Genie for this purpose, but now I can’t…for two reasons. First off, it didn’t have any sort of file verification. And second, there is no Leopard support. In fact, it is no longer offered for the Mac. So really, that trumps the first reason. But now I highly recommend ShotPut P2.

If you want more than offloading capabilities, then I still recommend the other Imagine Products…er…products. P2 Log Pro for offloading, and if you want to convert to Quicktime or maintain a log of the footage, and the HD Log product line, that does the really cool thing of making small QT aliases of the MXF files and allow you to create XMLs for import into FCP, and allow you to MAP THE METADATA to FCP columns so you can take full advantage of the P2 cameras and data.

EDIT: A reader of the blog brought up a very good point to me in an e-mail. When you insert the card into the computer, the best practice is to have the COPY PROTECT TAB flipped on, so that you can’t accidentally erase the card. So when you do this you cannot format the card with the application. True…and that is the best practice. So thanks for that catch.