FlashPipe is a highly configurable data "piping" program that can be set up to transfer data from flash cards to one or multiple locations with just the click of a button. Please read this short manual in its entirety so that you understand the options available. If FlashPipe doesn't copy or move files exactly as you would expect or like you normally copy/move files, it is likely that it can be configured to do exactly what you want and cater to your individual workflow simply by changing some settings.
The main window
The FlashPipe main window is split into two main sections:
- The source panel: The source panel (top half of the main window) shows the files that exist on the flash card that is currently inserted into your computer or card reader. When FlashPipe is first installed, it is set to automatically open whenever a flash card is inserted and close when the flash card is removed. This behavior can be changed in "Edit", "Settings". Note that you can also click on the light blue header labeled "Source" to manually select a source location. Note that the information displayed in the source panel is for reference only: you do not need to do anything in that area although you can double click on folders there to open an explorer window to browse contents if you like.
- The operations panel: the operations panel is where you define which operations are to take place. Files can be copied or moved to one or multiple locations. Note that photos are being copied to two different locations while videos and other files are moved to just one location. The operations here are quite flexible and allow copying/moving files to many different locations in one operation including multiple drives or even different computers on a network! Note that by default, FlashPipe is set up so that you can select a "To Folder" of your choice where most of your images reside and a "Subfolder" of that "To Folder" is created based on today's date. These options are configurable of course, but this setup facilitates the "one click and done" FlashPipe motto described below.
One click and done!
Once you define the operations that you normally perform on flash cards, FlashPipe will remember those operations from that point forward. By default, FlashPipe is set to start with Windows and it will watch for flash cards so that when one is inserted, the above window will pop up automatically. At that point, you can click the "Go" button and you are done! If, as illustrated above, move commands are used, the card will be cleared of all data and not only will the data be copied to the specified locations, but the card will also be cleared and is ready to place back in the camera for a new batch of shots. Of course, there are many options to allow users to customize how they transfer or "pipe" date to different places from their flash cards so see the settings section below for more information.
"Pipe" your photos and videos to multiple locations with a single click
No need to open explorer windows, copy, and paste. FlashPipe allows you to define as many destinations for your photos and videos as you like. Have a network and need to put photos on 10 machines? No problem. Just like to keep a backup copy in a second folder? Easily done. Simply define each operation in the operation table.
Develop your raw photos!
Yes, FlashPipe can even develop your raw photos automatically! By default, FlashPipe will develop all raw files that are copied/moved and place the raw photos in a "Raw" subfolder and the developed raws (JPEG or TIFF, your choice) in a "Developed" subfolder. FlashPipe uses the popular and efficient Qimage raw engine to develop photos automatically. Of course, raw photos are developed with fully automatic settings but these usually produce excellent results and just like Qimage, FlashPipe can even use custom camera ICC profiles! So insert that flash card, click "Go" and when FlashPipe is done, all your photos will be in the places you defined and the raw photos will be developed and ready to use in any photo application.
Any "move" operation actually consists of two separate operations: first the file is copied and then the source file is deleted leaving only the new (target) file. FlashPipe actually verifies the existence of the target file and the file size to verify that the copy operation was successful prior to deleting the source during "move" operations so your data is safe!
Automatically open FlashPipe when a flash card is inserted (default=checked): Check this option if you would like FlashPipe to start when Windows starts and automatically open whenever a flash card is detected. If you would rather FlashPipe not start when Windows starts and you want to operate the interface manually, uncheck this box. Note that with the box unchecked: flash cards are still automatically detected; the window simply won't open on its own.
Automatically insert today's date in the operation table subfolder (default=checked): Check this option if you would like to create a subfolder based on today's date. If your "To Folder" in the operation table is "c:\photos" for example and today's date is 9/6/2009, the subfolder will be 2009-09-06 and files will be copied/moved to c:\photos\2009-09-06. FlashPipe is set this way by default to facilitate "click once and done". With this option turned on, you can add other text to the subfolder if you wish. For example, you can change the subfolder from "2009-09-06" to "2009-09-06-birthday" if you wish, but the date must be some part of the subfolder name. If you'd rather pick your base photo folder in the "To Folder" and manually type the subfolder name each time, just uncheck this box. If this box is unchecked, you can also leave subfolder blank and simply choose the destination folder in the "To Folder" entry. In other words, if you want to select a destination folder manually each time, just uncheck this option and make sure all "Subfolder" entries are blank in your operations table.
Automatically rename photos by date (default=unchecked): Check this option if you would like destination photos to be renamed based on date or your user defined custom renaming criteria (click the "Auto Rename Options" button to define). As an example, _MG_0001.JPG would be renamed to something like "2009-08-06 19.32.32.JPG" in the destination location(s).
Automatically rename videos by date (default=unchecked): Check this option if you would like destination videos to be renamed based on date or your user defined custom renaming criteria (click the "Auto Rename Options" button to define). As an example, 00001.MTS would be renamed to something like "2009-08-06 19.32.32.MTS" in the destination location(s).
Check availability of destination folders on startup (default=unchecked): Check this option if you would like FlashPipe to make sure all the destination folders in the operations table are available when the program first starts. All folders that are not available such as folders on an unavailable PC on a network or on a removable drive that is not inserted will be highlighted in the operations grid. This option defaults to off (unchecked) because FlashPipe will make this check every time you click the "Go" button anyway to ensure that all destinations are available.
FlashPipe will monitor these drives for photos/videos (default=all removable media drives checked): By default, FlashPipe will check all drives that are labeled as removable media drives on your system so that it can find any type of flash card inserted into your computer or a card reader connected to your computer. Most systems with built in card readers use various drive letters for different types of media. A compact flash card might show up as the "I:\" drive while SecureData cards might show on drive "K:\". If you have specialized removable drives, you can tell FlashPipe not to check certain drives for inserted media. For example, your drive H: might be an old ZIP drive so you might want to uncheck the H: drive in the list if FlashPipe keeps opening and thinking there are photos on that drive. In most situations, you will not have to uncheck any drives
Raw Photos and Miscellaneous Files: The settings in the "Raw Photos" panel and "Miscellaneous Files" panel control how raw photos and non photo/video files on your flash cards are handled. By default, FlashPipe has all checkboxes checked which tells FlashPipe to copy raw photos into a separate subfolder named "Raw" and to develop them in a separate "Developed" folder. Let's look at an example based on the default settings. Let's assume your "To Folder" in your operations table is "c:\photos" and your "Subfolder" is today's date which is 2009-09-06. Let's also assume that you have some JPG files/photos on the flash card and some raw files as well. In this example, a "Copy", "Photos" operation would copy files to these destinations:
- c:\photos\2009-09-06: your JPG photos will be transferred here.
- c:\photos\2009-09-06\Raw: your raw photos will be transferred here.
- c:\photos\2009-09-06\Developed: your raw photos will be developed into this folder.
- c:\photos\2009-09-06\Misc: all files on your flash card that are not photos or videos will be transferred here.