Chris Shaw

Producer Mixer Engineer

For Booking information contact:
Adam Katz  | Next Wave Mngmt.

Disk Cataloging - Find Files on Any Drive

Sometime last week was International Backup day. If you're anything like me you're pretty religious about backing up all of your session data but do you know which backup disk hold the data for that session you did three years ago?

I don't like to hawk software in general but this program has been a lifesaver. NeoFinder (formerly known as CDFinder) catalogs every file on every disk you throw at at it - including network drives. It sits on your menu bar and you can search for any file on any disk you have whether it's mounted or not (as long as you've cataloged it of course). The other thing I like about it is that it will also catalog the contents of ZIP and DMG files; very handy when searching for an installer for an old plugin that you're looking for.

NeoFinder has been pretty invaluable for me. I'm constantly shuffling around ProTools sessions from my current work, backup, and archive drives. Before deleting anything I always do a search in NeoFinder to make sure that it is backed up on at least two other drives. Cataloging a drive is easy. Once installed you can select a drive from within NeoFinder itself or you can right click the drive and under "Services…" select "Catalog Folder with NeoFinder". The cataloging process only takes a minute or two. If you want, it can also catalog all of your CDs and DVDs. I'm only scratching the surface of what this program can do.

The downsides: The initial cataloging of all your disks will take a while. You also have to remember to periodically catalog all your drives to keep up with and changes you've made. If you have a lot of "deep" storage drives this shouldn't be an issue as you probably never change their contents but updating all of your drives  periodically is a good idea because you should always spin up and mount your drives to keep them from locking up from long periods of inactivity. It's also a bit pricey - $39.99 for a single private license. But if it saves you ten or so minutes every time you go looking for a file it will pay for itself in lost billable time pretty quickly. If you catalog a client's drive before sending it back to them you 'll come across as a genius when they call you looking for a file and you tell them exactly which folder on their drive it's located.

Do yourself a favor and just get it.