Well that’s interesting. We noticed that in Final Cut Pro X’s Import from Camera window that, not only was the built-in camera always visible (it’s a MacBook Pro) even with external devices mounted, so Greg hypothesized that it would ingest from multiple sources at the same time. This, of course, would be highly desirable on The Solar Odyssey, so I decided to test it.
Now, technically I can only view and select on one source at a time, but what happens in practice is that I select what I want from the device, tell FCP X to copy to the Event, and then move on to the next device.
As you may know, Final Cut Pro X is pretty clever at this. It immediately creates aliases in your Event folder and progressively copies the media from the device or card, progressively replacing the aliases with real media.
Couple of details: the devices or cards must remain mounted until the copy is complete. The Import from Camera window can be closed, and you can start working with the media while this happens. I suspect you can connect devices up to the limit you can physically connect, but the USB data rate becomes a limit eventually.
For us the advantage is that the Mac Mini ingest station can be remotely set up to ingest from multiple devices quite quickly, then left to itself (without needing human supervision) while it completes the task.
Update: Jonathan Sanderson – @jjsanderson on Twitter – adds
I bought a 4-slot SD card reader recently and have had Final Cut Pro X ingesting from multiple cards simultaneously. The USB was slow, but worked well. The reader is Kodak-branded and I was ingesting mix of AVCCAM & Nikon H.264. Transcoding to proxy etc. very smooth.