Filmmaker Rick Bronks headed to London to take the LaCie Rugged BOSS hard drive out for a spin and returned enthusing about the simplicity of backing-up crucial files while on the road.
THERE ARE TWO types of people who routinely back up all their stuff: those who are naturally well organised and others who have experienced firsthand the sinking feeling and sense of panic that comes with knowing that you’ve just lost a load of crucial and irreplaceable work. If you don’t take precautions, it’s a given that it will happen to you at least once in your lifetime and, when the worst comes to pass, that will be the point where you’ll realise just how crucial it is to always have every possible safeguard in place to save your professional skin, and you’ll never be caught out again.
As a working videographer, I always back my files up on an ongoing basis, and as soon as possible after a take. There’s always the possibility of a corrupt memory card, or some camera error that comes along to mess things up for you. You should never get complacent because, technology being what it is, it’s never going to run perfectly 100% of the time. Even if you’ve got the security of dual card slots and you’re under pressure to be tempted to ‘do it later, ’ don’t take chances: back up at all stages and you’ll never have any regrets.
Of course, it has to be said that on location this can be tricky at times, particularly if you don’t want to be hauling a laptop, card reader and hard drive around with you. However, there’s now no excuse to put your faith in things just working out, since the folks at LaCie have produced a piece of kit that’s promising to soothe away all your backup woes, and it’s simple to work with – no computer needed. They’re so confident this is the solution for you that they’ve even called it the BOSS, and this is one piece of kit that you really should be thinking carefully about adding to your arsenal if you want to stay safe.
Ruggedised in the now-familiar LaCie orange rubber, the housing shields a lovely 1TB SSD drive. All very reassuring, of course, but what makes this device really special is its built-in connectivity and ability to back up your stuff wherever you are – and fast.
BOSS is actually an acronym that stands for ‘Back-up On Set Solution, ’ so it’s clear the audience that LaCie is targeting with this device. However, don’t go thinking this is something that’s purely aimed at the upper-end filmmaking world, because it has an audience that goes way beyond this, and it comes with the potential to ease your backup woes at the push of a button, whatever level of photography or filmmaking you might be working at.
USING THE DRIVE
Tucked away behind all that silver and orange is a clever little display, which will show you the battery level, connected status, remaining storage and a bunch of other useful information. It looks rather snazzy too when it lights up and goes through the various modes.
It is controlled by a single button that blends perfectly into the
rubberised shell, and this is all you need. No complicated menus, and you need to do nothing other than insert your memory card, press the button and then wait. That really is all there is to it: the device will back up the contents of whatever you pop into it, so stills or video or anything else all gets taken care of at a press of a button.
Once done, the screen tells you to click the button and remove the card. It’s so simple – and it works. It was pretty quick too – on the shoot I was undertaking around London, I didn’t find myself waiting around for the card to back up at any time. And what is really good is that the backups are incremental. The Rugged BOSS knows what it’s already backed up, so each time you pop your card in it will only back up the things that are new. You can override this and do a complete copy each time should you choose, but I don’t feel there’s actually a need for it.
The package also comes with a swathe of adapters to charge its internal battery, so if you’re a traveller you’ll be pretty sorted anywhere in the world. I started my day’s shoot with 100% power and, after several backups, I was still rocking at about 88%. I would imagine that you’d be fine for backups for a long day’s shoot, so that’s reassuring.
As well as the power adapters, there’s also a sea of orange cables, giving you the opportunity to hook into whatever device that you might happen to have with you. There’s a Micro USB, USB-C and a Lightning cable, so you’re likely to be fully covered, no matter how you want to connect to it. There’s also a USB-C to USB-C cable included as well, for hooking into a laptop like a conventional hard drive.
Once you remove the rubber cover on the side of the Rugged BOSS, a whole bunch of sockets is revealed. There’s the power input to charge the battery, USB-C to connect to a computer, the SD card slot for your instant backups and another USB-A socket. There’s also a Micro USB socket, which is where you can plug in your adapters.
I chose to use the Lightning cable, and this plugs into the back of the Rugged BOSS. I realised that the design is such that once the cable of choice is plugged in, it can then be fed around the drive and stored back into the rear compartment. It’s a neat and clever touch, and makes this a really sleek device with no trailing cables anywhere.
Another feature that was appreciated was the ability to actually get the SD card in and put the cover back on the side while I was backing up, so I was able to perform this function while I caught my train. It was perfectly happy doing its thing while it I packed the kit away and ran to the platform.
With the USB-A port, you can also hook in a card reader, so if your workflow doesn’t involve the SD format then you can use whatever card format you like, just plug and play. Meanwhile, when the device was connected to my iPhone, I was able to open the app, browse the files on the drive and I also had a bunch of options, such as backing up to another drive connected to the BOSS or adding watermarks to my stuff. It’s a solid app and the browsing works a treat.
I’ve had drives in the past that connect with Wi-Fi and it’s always been a bit of a faff. The LaCie, on the other hand, is an absolute joy to use, and if you’re out and about or travelling home and want to send a preview to a client then you can do easily, direct from your smartphone or tablet. It’s a very well thought out app. There’s even a setting to charge the phone from the Rugged BOSS’s battery, which is super handy if you’re out of juice and need a top up on the move.
Of course, with all your footage being on a really fast SSD, it means that you can whack in the USB-C cable, link to your computer and get working on your stuff straight away. I was able to pull in the footage I’d shot directly from the drive, load it into Final Cut Pro and start editing immediately. I created the project and associated files on the Rugged BOSS itself, meaning that once I was back at my desk with my main edit station, it was still there and ready to go.
Now you really have no excuses for not backing up. Trust me, you never want to experience that sinking feeling, so make sure you stay safe!
The LaCie Rugged BOSS SSD is available from CVP
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