Friday, November 4, 2016

Image Capture for moving large files and photos in bulk

Macbooks are getting rid of the SD card reader.  Here's Apple exec Phillip Schiller defending that decision in The Independent:
The new Pros have no SD card slot for a camera memory card. Why not?
Because of a couple of things. One, it’s a bit of a cumbersome slot. You've got this thing sticking halfway out. Then there are very fine and fast USB card readers, and then you can use CompactFlash as well as SD. So we could never really resolve this – we picked SD because more consumer cameras have SD but you can only pick one. So, that was a bit of a trade-off. And then more and more cameras are starting to build wireless transfer into the camera. That’s proving very useful. So we think there’s a path forward where you can use a physical adaptor if you want, or do wireless transfer.
I'm not sure I buy the "cumbersome" argument; when not in use it's recessed, and when in use, well, every other port has a big old wire sticking out of it, so I don't see it as a real point.

I find the SD card a great method of generalized file transfer and backup, not just a tool for getting photos off cameras, and it was convenient not to need the reader, though they're cheap. But, just another dongle - dongles which will likely be the way of your world for the next two or three years if you upgrade your Mac or iPhone.

Of course, some of the SD Card indifference is justified because so much amateur photography is done by smartphone now anyway. (Which is probably the strongest pitch for "it's wireless now", camera to wifi last felt really clunky and gimmicky to me, though maybe I'm out of the loop with recent advances.) Still, I find wireless transfer slow, and in my curmudgeonly oldness, I have a strong preference for dealing with photos as regular files and not being beholden to some service for another.

So as a reminder, Macs come with the "Image Capture" app, which I think is the fastest / simplest way of getting photos and videos off of iOS devices in bulk.

Incidentally, I learned about that quote from Shaun McGill's excellent Lost in Mobile blog. 
 His stuff has been through several models seeking a business model, but it's always a great view of modern consumer tech. (And I've always liked his How Did We Get to the iPhone? which traces through the PDAs and the like that provide the evolutionary backdrop for that 2007 wonder.)

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