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Using portable recorders with Mac OS X

Posted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 12:05 am
by michi
Mac OS X has a habit of creating files when it first mounts an external drive. Portable recorders look like hard drives to the OS, so they are affected too.

The main problem is that, if you use the Finder to browse files on the recorder and copy them around, when you delete a file on the recorder, it is not physically deleted. Instead, OS X moves the file into a .Trashes directory. This results in the space for the deleted file not being reclaimed unless you empty the trash while the recorder is connected. Eventually, you will run out of space on the device, even with all recordings deleted.

Another problem is that OS X by default indexes the drive for Spotlight searches, and it creates a log file for file system events; these files unnecessarily consume space on the flash card.

Here is an article that explains how to stop OS X from doing this. If you use your recorder with OS X, I recommend to follow the advice given there.

In addition, you will probably want to disable Time Machine backups of the recorder's contents. You can do this by entering Time Machine while the recorder is connected and adding the recorder volume to the list of things not to back up in the Options dialog.

If you don't know how to follow the advice in the article, send me a PM and I'll drop you a script that does the job for you.

Cheers,

Michi.

Re: Using portable recorders with Mac OS X

Posted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 12:15 am
by Carl
Personally, I never use a computer to delete files on my recorder!
I do not think Sony's have this problem, but occasionally a recorder has system files that are very important. You can't access those files from the recorder, however, you can accidentally select them from your computer (especially if you "show" hidden files).

I think of my recorder as a temporary home for the files. Usually I record a class, go home and copy everything to a hard drive (or two) then use the recorder to erase it'self.

Ok, it's a bit overprotective of the data, but I have lost important recording before. (like Mamady teaching a solo for Demesolikulen! I remember about 1/2 of it, particularly one difficult passage, but the rest is gone!)

I think I need a hug....

C

Re: Using portable recorders with Mac OS X

Posted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 12:58 am
by michi
Carl wrote:Personally, I never use a computer to delete files on my recorder!
I usually delete them from the Finder after copying them onto my computer. I find that easier than fiddling with the recorder's controls.
I do not think Sony's have this problem, but occasionally a recorder has system files that are very important. You can't access those files from the recorder, however, you can accidentally select them from your computer (especially if you "show" hidden files).
Yes, you could do that, but you'd have to try pretty hard. Usually, the files are hidden or marked as system files, so you won't be able to delete them without at least going through an extra confirmation step (or the file browser won't display them at all).

For the Sony, it's not an issue because it doesn't keep its firmware in the file system on the card. (As far as I can tell, the Sony's firmware is not upgradeable; at least, there is no menu item to do it, and no mention of that in the manual. Almost certainly though, there will be a back door somewhere to permit a firmware upgrade, just in case...)
I think of my recorder as a temporary home for the files. Usually I record a class, go home and copy everything to a hard drive (or two) then use the recorder to erase it'self.
I don't always delete everything, but only throw out garbage, leaving some files on the recorder so I can listen to them on the go. In that case, deleting from the computer is easier because it's simpler to select the files I want to trash; doing this on the recorder is more tedious, especially if there is a large number of files.
Ok, it's a bit overprotective of the data, but I have lost important recording before. (like Mamady teaching a solo for Demesolikulen! I remember about 1/2 of it, particularly one difficult passage, but the rest is gone!)
Get that 1TB external drive and run Time Machine. Once you have the recordings on your computer, they'll be safe that way, along with everything else on the machine. (Time Machine is the killer application for OS X, IMO.)
I think I need a hug....
Consider yourself hugged! ;)

Cheers,

Michi.