IOS 13 File system

bassman

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When traveling I like to backup my images each day, as I’ve had a couple of SD card failures over the years. Also, I am old IT guy and know that there are two kinds of people: those that have had a card fail, and those that will have a card fail.

Over the years my technology and process has changed as technology has improved.

- Years ago I traveled with a laptop and used that. That worked pretty well, but you had to carry a laptop and charger, etc.
- I haven’t owned a laptop since I became invested in my iPad shortly after the first release, so I moved to a Hyperdrive. That worked ok, although the Hyperdrive software was always a bit flaky for me.
- A couple of years ago I sold my Hyperdrive and bought a WD My Passport Wireless Pro 1TB. This, like the Hyperdrive, has a built-in SD reader and makes the copy process easy - press a button and go about your business. Much more reliable than the Hyperdrive.

But the WD MPWP weighs about a pound, and I need to keep it in my carry on because of its fragility (it’s a hard drive) and the lithium battery. So the Samsung T5 SSDs have intrigued me, as they have no battery, and weigh next to nothing - just a couple of ounces. And being SSD, they are very robust - no moving parts. My problem has always been lack of support from IOS.

Well, IOS 13 seems to solve that problem. The brief process - which I’ve been using on my iPhone today, as the new iPadOS won’t be released till next week, goes like this:

1. Using the Apple SD card reader, I use the Files app to copy the folder of raw images files from the SD card to the “On My iPhone” location. For 75 16MB .orf files this takes about a minute on the iPhone X.
2. I then use the “Apple Lightning to USB 3.1 Gen 1 Camera Adapter” to connect the Samsung T5 To the phone. This adaptor has a Lightning plug to connect to the iPhone (or iPad), a Lightning jack for a power supply, and a USB A jack to connect the T5. The T5 needs power, and it gets it from this power supply. There’s also a USB-C version if you have a newer iPad.
3. Using the Files app I can then Copy the entire folder from “On My iPhone” to the T5. For the same 75 files, this takes over a minute.
4. I delete the folder from On My iPhone to conserve space.

Some additional thoughts:

1. You can keep copying the same folder from the SD card as you shoot and add images, and the Files app is smart enough to not duplicate the files on the destination. But this will take progressively longer as your images accumulate, so it may be worthwhile to create a new target folder on the SD card in your camera each day or session. On an E-M1ii, that’s done here:

MENU/<gear>/H1/Card Slot Settings/Assign Save Folder/Assign/(Existing or New Folder)/OK

2. If you have a lot of free storage on your iPhone or iPad, you can consider keeping the images there as well, giving you two backup copies.

3. This IOS 13 release is a day old and still buggy. At one point, the copy hung and Files froze. Even unplugging the Samsung T5 had no effect. I had to reboot the IPhone.

4. In principle, you could hook the SD card reader and the T5 up to a USB hub and copy directly from one to the other. My existing powered USB hubs are big, so I ordered a smaller one to try this. But I don’t think it will really save any time, although it will be one operation (Copy from SD to T5) rather than Copy to iPhone, then Copy to T5, then delete iPhone copy. And if you would like to keep a copy on the iPhone or iPad anyway, there’s no advantage. I’ll probably return the new hub.

I plan to keep testing this over the next few weeks and taking the T5 kit with me on our trip in October. If anyone has additional thoughts or insights, I’d love to hear them.
 
Last edited:

bassman

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Location
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Real Name
The Bassman
I received two hubs this afternoon from Amazon.

Anker 7-in-1 $46
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PPGWQ15/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Amazon Basics 4 port $17.50
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DQFGH80/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Both work about the same in my tests. Interestingly, I can copy directly from the SD card to the Samsung T5 using these with only a little time penalty compared to just copying on the iPhone from the SD card. Since this is a simpler process - just one copy operation rather than two plus the delete from IOS Files - it makes sense for me to go this way. Especially since deleting anything, especially while traveling, makes me nervous.

The Anker has a built-in SD card reader and is powered via USB, which means I can use my existing power infrastructure while traveling.
The Amazon requires both a separate SD card reader and - more importantly - a dedicated AC wall wart. Two more items to loose on the road.
The Anker also appears more solidly made, although that might be just cosmetic. And I've had good experience with their gear.

So the Amazon hub goes back today (free return shipping!).

As a result of this, I believe I've constructed a really good portable backup system based on the T5. As it's SSD, it should be very robust. And at literally 1.75 oz., I'm saving almost a pound over the WD My Passport Wireless Pro in my carry-on bag.

I've also built up a collection of converters: USB-C to USB-A, USB-C to micro-USB, Lightning to USB-C, Lightning to USB-A, ... . I'm now in a world of four major connectors while traveling.

iPhone, iPad and Apple Pencil: Lightning
Battery pack: micro-USB input, USB-A output
A/C power adaptors: USB-A, USB-C output
E-M1ii: USB-C
GX9: micro-USB
Bose noise-cancelling earbuds: micro-USB
Bluetooth Headphone adaptor: USB-C
Ankor USB hub: USB-C

By eliminating the WD drive, I've eliminated a USB-3 connector.
 

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